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by Abigail Van Buren

Both Partners Need Help to End Cycle of Abuse

DEAR ABBY: I am now in the 20th year of my second marriage. My husband and I have children from our previous marriages. Now, after two decades of commingling our funds and working to secure a future for ourselves in our retirement years, my spouse has requested that we split everything and put it in separate individual names so that he will be able to leave his half of our assets to his children when he passes away. He feels that he will die before me, and it would not be fair to his children to be required to wait until I pass away before they receive his half of our assets. He also feels that there will be enough for me to survive on with my half of our assets.

Please print your answer and do not reveal my name or location. -- SECOND TIME AROUND AND WONDERING

DEAR SECOND TIME AROUND: If after 20 years your husband has decided to split your assets, stop wondering and consult an attorney immediately. I don't know what the marital property laws are in your state, but you need more advice than I could possibly offer in one column.