(800) 973-1540

Should I get legally separated from my estranged husband to protect my home if he requires long-term care?

1 answer | Last updated: May 15, 2010
A fellow caregiver asked...

My husband and I have been separated for four years. He is 65, I am 63. He is on regular Social Security..his health is going down quite fast. I am concerned that he may need long-term care in the future. I am concerned about my home that I live in--if he should become disabled and have to be placed in a nursing home, could 'they' take my home from me? My husband has his own home that he lives in. He has no long-term care insurance and refuses to invest in it. Should I go ahead and divorce him or acquire legal separation papers to protect my assets? These questions are quite concerning to me....please provide me with legal advice. Thank you.


Caring.com User - Steve Weisman
Caring.com Expert
Send a Hug or Prayer
Steve Weisman hosts the nationally syndicated radio show A Touch of Grey, heard on more than 50 stations, including WABC in New York City...
67% helpful
A fellow caregiver answered...

Your concerns are entirely legitimate. If your estranged husband were to require long term carein a nursing home, Medicaid would consider the assets of both of you in determining See also:
Are adult children legally responsible for a parent's unpaid nursing home bills?
his eligibility. Because Medicaid is a joint state and federal program there are some variations from state to state. In some states, the strategy of "spousal refusal" can be used whereby, in a situation such as yours, your assets would not be considered as assets to be considered in the determination of your estranged husband's Medicaid eligibility where you have been separated for a considerable length of time and did not separate merely because he was going to enter a nursing home. In that situation, you would be within your rights to refuse to cooperate with his application. However, the more clear and effective way of achieving a separation of your assets in order to protect your assets from being considered in his Medicaid application would be to obtain a divorce.