The Twelve Financial Pitfalls of Divorce

An excerpt from the seminar “Second Saturday: What Women Need to Know About Divorce”

Each year, nearly 2.8 million men and women go through the emotional and financial trauma of divorce. During divorce, many women are concerned about financial survival—and with good reason. Studies show that in the first year after divorce, the wife’s standard of living may drop almost 27 percent while the husband’s may increase by as much as 10 percent.

Many factors combine to lower women’s standard of living after divorce. Child support may not be adequate to cover the true costs of child rearing, and she might have lost many important years of career growth, making it difficult for her to get back on her feet after divorce.

Advance planning goes a long way. By familiarizing yourself with the twelve financial pitfalls of divorce, you can save yourself a lot of heartbreak—and hassle—in the future.

1.  Not enough cash. Expenses will begin to mushroom as soon as the divorce process starts. Legal fees, court costs, therapist bills, new living expenses, and myriad other costs will drain your financial resources. Money previously used to support one household must now stretch to support two. If you are contemplating divorce, now is the time to begin amassing the funds you’ll need to stay afloat.

2. Too little preparation. Divorce is a long, complicated process that requires careful preparation. Before you jump in head first, consult with legal and financial professionals and read books about the subject. Think about the timing of the separation: Is your husband due a bonus or other windfall in the near future? Don’t separate until after it arrives, so it will be community property. Think about Social Security: If you’ve been married nine years, you might want to stick out the last year, so you can collect on your ex’s earnings record. Finally, don’t just pack your bags, load up the kids, and drive away in a car that needs four new tires. Before you separate, buy the clothes you’ll need, perform maintenance on the car, and fix the kids’ teeth.

3. No records. The three most important words during divorce are: document, document, document. Try to obtain copies of all financial records before your divorce begins. Make a clear copy of all tax returns, loan applications, wills, trusts, financial statements, banking information, brokerage statements, loan documents, credit card statements, deeds to real property, car registration, insurance inventories, and insurance policies. Also, copy records that you can use to trace your separate property, such as an inheritance or gift from your family. These assets will remain yours as long as you can document them. Copies of your spouse’s business records can be a treasure map showing you where the hidden assets are buried.

4. Overlooking assets. Don’t overlook any assets—half of everything is yours! Even if you don’t want an asset, it can be used to trade for something you do want. Inventory safe deposit boxes; track down bank and brokerage accounts; review pay stubs, retirement plans, and insurance policies. If your spouse’s business generates a lot of cash, engage a forensic accountant to look for telltale signs of additional income. Don’t overlook hobbies or side businesses that might have expensive equipment or generate income. If you have a PHT degree (Putting Honey Through), you might be entitled to some reimbursement for the cost of his tuition.

5. Ignoring tax consequences. Should you take monthly alimony or a lump sum? Should you take the brokerage account or the retirement plan? Should you keep the house or sell it now? Who should pay the mortgage until it sells? Don’t ignore the hidden tax costs of divorce in making these decisions. Your situation may require some calculation by an accountant to determine if you are really getting the best deal. And, if there’s a chance that your past joint tax returns omitted income or overstated deductions, you may want to seek an indemnification clause to protect yourself if the IRS decides to audit.

6. Ignorance is bliss. During divorce, ignorance is certainly not bliss—instead, it can be very, very expensive. Don’t be a passive observer of your own divorce. Doing as much as you can by yourself will help you recover more quickly from the divorce because you will have a healthy sense of control over the process, be focused on practical things, and be working with your ex to get things done. Also, taking an active role in the negotiations will help you to reach a better settlement than “letting the attorneys handle it.” You will have less conflict and litigation after the divorce, better compliance from your ex, and better sharing of information about the children. Your attorney may give you legal advice, but all of the decisions are ultimately up to you.

7. Mixing money and emotion. During this trying time, it’s easy to confuse your feelings with the facts. Try to be as dispassionate and businesslike as possible. View your attorney as a paid professional rather than a friend or confidante. When your grief is overwhelming, go home or to a friend’s house, not to your attorney, who is billing you at his normal hourly rate. Make property division decisions based on your own long-term best interest, not out of revenge. It won’t make you happy to declare war on your ex. Make an effort to bring the divorce to a successful conclusion with as little rancor as possible. A nasty divorce benefits only the attorneys.

8. Not fighting for what’s yours. Women tend to be supportive and sensitive to the needs of others, to build bridges, and to “make nice.” These tendencies often get in our way during divorce. Divorce is about survival, not making friends. You have to insist on getting what you need and deserve. Even if you hope that you will eventually be able to reconcile with your ex, don’t bend over backwards to make it happen. Stand up for yourself and get your share. If you reconcile, that’s fine. If you don’t, you’ll still be able to take care of yourself financially.

9. Not taking control. Going through a divorce can sometimes make you feel like the captain of a leaky boat on stormy seas—there seems to be a new crisis at every turn. Use this time of upheaval to start taking control of your life. Vow never to worry in the dark—if you can’t sleep, turn on the light, pick up a pencil and paper, and write down your worries. Then, you can go back to sleep and deal with them first thing in the morning. Also, try to get a lump-sum whenever possible so you control the cash. Listen to your attorney, but make your own decisions. This is your divorce—so take control of the process!

10. Not being ready for the worst. During divorce, prepare yourself mentally for the worst that can happen. How will you cope if your children get sick? If you have to move in with your parents? If the divorce lasts for years and you lose all of your money? If your ex remarries within two weeks, moves to Tahiti, and/or refuses to pay any support? Plan for the worst so what actually happens will seem easy by comparison. Don’t panic and let your fears rule your life. Face them, and take control.

11. Not developing a career. Many women put their careers aside to concentrate on their families. After divorce, you will probably need to figure out a way to support yourself and your children. Divorce is an excellent time to get some career counseling at the local job center, university, or community college. Prepare for the expense of tuition and books while you get your career on track. Remember: there’s nothing like  new knowledge and a fulfilling career to bolster your self-esteem.

12. Not getting good professional advice. Right now, you need all the help you can get! Divorce can be very complicated, so don’t try to do it all yourself. Hire an attorney who can give you excellent advice—even if he or she isn’t the most inexpensive. Engage a forensic accountant if you think there might be hidden assets. Find a good therapist to help you emotionally. Hire a divorce financial professional to help determine the best settlement options for you. Don’t skimp now on matters that will affect the rest of your life.

Are You a Financial Advisor?

Are You a Financial Advisor?

Comments

  1. I will soon receive a settlement from my ex.’s 401 K in the form of a QUDRO pull. I am a school teacher on a fixed income and have two kiddos still at home. I want to pay down my house payment, pay off my car, and all other debt so that my monthly income is not so challenged each month. I have been told by my tax guy that I need the 10% penalty set aside. I read here that it is not necessary. What are the facts? Also, what is this monthly pull from an IRA option? That would increase my monthly income and avoid the big taxes. Thank you for this service. I have learned so much I did not know.

    • When you use a Qualified Domestic Relations Order to transfer funds from his 401(k) to an IRA in your name, you have the option of receiving some or all of the funds directly to you instead of going into the IRA. There’s no penalty if you receive the funds through a QDRO, but you will owe state and federal income taxes, which could reduce your payout by as much as 40%. And remember, anything that you take now won’t be there growing for your retirement later on.

      If you have funds in an IRA, you can begin taking regular payments from the IRA early, without penalty. You have to take regular amounts that would extinguish the account over your lifetime, and you have to take those payments until you are 59-1/2 (or ten years, whichever is greater). You’ll pay tax on the funds you draw each year, but no penalty. This is called annuitizing the payment under [IRC Section] 72(t). Again, be very careful, because taking those funds early means less when you retire, so think about the future as well as the present.

  2. chris searle says:

    16 yr married 44 yr old need help in financial issues of divorce claiming infedelity

  3. Married for almost 18 years, two young children (7 & just turned 2) . I am ashamed to admit that I was completely clueless about finances and let him take care of everything. I don’t even know where to begin. Divorce was his idea, and I believe he was thinking about it for some time before telling me. We are trying to do this collaboratively, and do not want to spend money or time or mental anguish to have a long drawn out fight. However, I am somewhat uncomfortable with what he is proposing. He is offering me full physical custody, house and all assets within ($80,000 paid off, mortgage payment of $770/mo) savings account (only abt $10,000) and he will carry kids on insurance. In exchange he does not want to pay any child support, he keeps the investments totalling at least $40,000. This scares me, however he is threatening that if I push for support, he will push to have 50/50 with kids & house. Number one priority to me is kids, followed by keeping them as stable as possible in the house.but I need to be able to afford them! I do make more $ than he does, but am only a teacher and will be challenged to make ends meet. I am not trying to be greedy or to punish him, but want to make sure I can take care of my children. I need help weighing what my best course of action should be

    • Do not give up your right to child support. Can you get him to put in writing (like an email) his threats if you don’t agree to his offer? He’s using the kids and a custody judge might like to see that.

      What a louse. I am so sorry. Your kids deserve better than a dad who uses them as a pawn. I should know – three boys and an ex-donor who rarely pays and tried to get custody so he wouldn’t have to pay. Now he’s stuck without any legal custody at all because he acted like a spaz. Sucks for him.

      Either get a good lawyer – or educate yourself like mad. I did – went back to paralegal school to represent myself. Won my case (physical and legal custody plus child support). Educate yourself – online, anywhere!

    • Albeit his offer seems suspicious, take your kids, your money and begin a new life somewhere else.
      I know I did with my kids and have absolutely no regrets. My situation was similar. Married 21 years, working part time earning $30K, when the Ex impregnated a co-worker. We divorced. Our kids at the time 9,13, and 15. My ex used our children as a weapon of choice post divorce, because he had a new family to support. He cut them off financially from everything they had known when we were married;private schools, music lessons etc… Housing debacle, combined with a recession I was forced to sell the family home and move six states away. When we moved, I was at $55K no child support, no alimony, and less than $45 from the short sale. Limited on money, no family or friends to help went through very difficult periods, always keeping focused on my family and learned to live modestly so I could pay for hockey, lacrosse, swimming, cello rental, and scouting fees. Seven years later, currently earn $70K, no alimony or child support EVER!!!!

      In 2010, bought a newly built 1800 sq ft town home where I live with the youngest. My sons figured it out-one son attends a military academy;all expenses paid. The second son is at an ivy league school in the mid-west on scholarship with ROTC, and youngest is in his final year of high school and following in the path of his brothers. We are absolutely fine and are a very close family. Boys often thank me for being a great Father and Mother, and tell me divorce was the best thing that happened to them. My advice-keep your children very close and focus on your future and theirs.You will look back at this time and thank the universe for the opportunity and challenge to grow. Dont’ be scared you are not alone, you have your kids. You will be fine.

      • I am in my 70′s with a 78 year old husband, going through this mess. My strength is my children. It’s hard to hold to hold on to my sanity but I will get there. Thank you for your words of encouragement .
        Extremely scary.

      • Terri, I just wanted to thank you for posting your post. It is giving me more motivation to focus on what is most important, my son. I have so much resentment towards this man that I married ( married young, lasted 3.5 years.. he walked out, sold my dogs behind my back, and wont even tell me where he is living in order to get in touch with him God forbid there is an emergency with our 9 month old!.. absolutely NO communication) I found out that our home is going to auction in a few weeks, because he stopped paying the mortgage without telling me, he emptied out his retirement fund, and I have no proof of this except for tax returns from 2 years ago… I just have nothing to fight for, and I believe he lined it up this way. He is sending a monthly check for our son- 1/2 of what it should be. But since he isnt fighting for custody in any way shape or form, I am sticking to that blessing- I have my son, and just need to get out of this mess of a marriage. I worry constantly that my son will resent me for not giving him a “normal” family. So, glad to hear your boys are all doing well and see what a wonderful job you did!!!! I was a “kept woman,” for the marriage and the years dating prior, and now have to start from scratch. Which is intimidating, but I can do it :) Again, thank you for posting.

        • Kaitlin,
          I went through the same thing. Lost everything in my marriage, don’t receive any child support, but it’s best since I don’t hear from him. The one month in 6 years that he did pay child support, it was non stop questioning and judgement. However, he kicked US out….go figure!! We are starting from scratch, I’m back in school and working to get back on my feet. You can do this!! And you will see how much your child will appreciate it. I’m amazed how my now 9 year old notices everything I do to make his life better. I always worried about him lashing out, but god has definately sent me my angel. He is what has made me the woman I am today. Can’t imagine going through this without him. Good luck with everything and god bless!

  4. linda smith says:

    how much time am i allowed to recieve an education so I can support my self?

    • You can take as much time as you need. If you are in the process of getting a degree or certificate when you separate, the courts will usually order support based on you going to school rather than working. If not, then map out your proposed course of education so that the court can see what you are intending and ascertain that it is reasonable. That way, you might be able to avoid having the court impute income to you while you are going to school.

  5. Helpmeplease says:

    My husband of 19 years told me he wants to be a woman and us bi curious and can’t guarantee he won’t go for the surgery while married and desire to be with a man. All thus time I was told that he was just a lesbian stuck in a mans body. I tolerated his crossed dressing as long as it was done away from me in private. Even message boards were ok as I wanted him to be able to talk to others and have support. Well it’s not enough now. He said its only not having the money to do this or else he would. When we are out in debt a three years that could be his plan. We have one teenager. I been crying all day and he stays away from me. Told me that he can’t promise not to do that one day… I said you promised to be my husband 19 years ago fir life. He said sorry but things changed. I have no idea what to do… I am so hurt and I have my child to consider too

  6. Darlene Salzlein says:

    I have been married to a man for 43 yrs. who I gradually fell out of love with. e was verbally abusive for many years and cheated on me so many times, don’t know why I stayed so many years. Recently I fell in love (unintentionally) to a great man and want to divorce my husband. My husband is in a nursing home with Parkisons and I have told him how I feel.
    Can I divorce my husband without his consent? We only have a house together. It wouldn’t benefit him to get the house because he is on Medicaid which pays for his health care at the nursing home. I just don’t know where to start.
    Can you give me a suggestion as to what to do.
    Thanks, Darlene

  7. T Tucker says:

    American women in particular deserve nothing more than their asses they arrived with. The narcissistic and passive aggressive behaviors are ultra apparent these days….Bitching and complaining about their husbands as they cheat and lie to him. You women don’t deserve nearly as much as you think you do. American women have the worst reputation in the world and there is a reason why. Ugly, demanding, perfidious and rude. YOU are the downfall of Western civilization. Only the women and state sponsored thieving organizations benefit from the institution of divorce. The men and children lose. Wanna know what’s wrong with our society? Go look in the mirror! I hope all of you choke on the ill gotten gains that you steal from your husbands and children.

    • You sound like a bitter ex-husband who was not American born. Deal with your own American ex-wife and don’t downgrade all American women since there is no way that you have met all of us. American women are some of the best women. Sorry you got a bad apple, but to me, you sound like you are bitching and complaining about your ex-wife while labeling her “American Women” GROW UP please!

    • Steven S. says:

      Hey T Tucker… you are a dumb foreign loser! If you don’t like America then get the hell out and go back where you came from.

      I came to this country (America) from somewhere else too and I can say for a fact that American women do NOT have the worst reputation in the world… not even a bad reputation. And in fact American women have the best reputation in the world. The only thing that American women can be “blame” for being is too trusting and accepting of foreign idiots and losers like you.

      As for “ugly”… are you serious??? American women are one of the most beautiful women in the world.

      You are a typical pathetic foreign moron that labels everybody in a country, that gave him opportunities that his own pathetic little country wouldn’t, the same.

      So T Tucker get the hell out of America and go back to the shitty country you came from. You don’t deserve to be here. GO HOME LOSER!

    • mom first says:

      Wow!!
      Lol or should I cry for you?
      We want respect, not divorce!!( most of us anyhow)
      Men seem to be weak last few decades, any amount of stress and they behave, think and act like cowards, having all priorities mixed up. Kids come first! Stability, takes more than child support to maintain the life style YOUR precious children are accustomed to!! Divorce is devastating! Men who divorce gain financial monthly income! Denial and anger will never find you happiness!
      Some men can’t stand the fact that yes, women are smart, sometimes smarter 8), confident, multi-tasker, nurturer, kind, respectful, loyal, unselfish and we can and will do fine if not better without a bitter, critical, crabby ungrateful ass!

      • OliveOyl12590 says:

        The children DON’T come first!! Everybody says, “What about the children?” and “The kids should come first”!!
        Divorce isn’t “about the children”. It never has been and it never will be. Divorce is about the power, control, and torture of destroying a marriage. How do men or women gain financially when you have a Court system (I.E. “THE STATE”) that condones lawyers, judges, and “law guardians” dragging out the process?
        Your priorities should be your FAITH, your SPOUSE, your CHILDREN, and finally the STATE.
        If you are a woman (or a man who has started a divorce proceeding) and you allow your lawyer and the “law guardian” to hold you and your children hostage because you want to divorce your spouse then you are doing your children a great disservice. If you file for divorce then all you care about is yourself. How pitiful!!

    • I’m sorry that you got hurt by your ex-wife, I know betrayal is difficult. I can relate because of similar behavior from my ex-husband.

    • Ya really what the hell r u talking about, women are great. how do you think the population continues onward. once we get a child or children we are even more wonderful. you are bitter and i’m glad i don’t think so hatefully like you do. i’ve been married 15 years and we have a lot of assets but the worst thing is my soon to be xhubbie said he will fight me for the children. he will not win, i will not shed another tear and i will keep my children who are wonderful… shit changes and sometimes a marriage grows apart. be mature.

    • time traveler says:

      That’s all good and fine T Tucker, except I am the one who started our business, I am the one who grew it and overall I worked just as hard if not harder and made more money than he ever did! So kiss my American a$$. I am entitled to every single dime.

    • T. Tucker You wouldn’t happen to be my son-in-law who is a drunk and drug user, and spends all the money for this and his “entertainment?” Just curious.

      • Oh, and by the way. My daughter works, but doesn’t make enough to support she and her 3 children. He does not contribute anything whatsoever for the family. My granddaughter has braces, but because this deadbeat dad decided he wanted a 22 yr. old blonde, he’s abandoning the family, so unless something can be done, they will need to take her braces off. I could tell you some horror stories about this so-called man, but I’ll keep it because either you are like him, or you ex. got too much in the settlement. If she did, she’s fortunate. My daughter is getting nothing!!!!!!!! 3 little girls, and she has to support them.

  8. Bridget Bevis says:

    My husband is in a nursing home/mental facility. He threatened to slit my throat in 08/2011 and ended up in a nursing home. He did many terrible things there and had to be transferred to a nursing home that also had the ability to deal with patients with mental problems. He has Parkinson’s disease and other mental problems. I took care of him 24 hours a day for the previous 9 years before he went into the nursing home. We have been married for 19 years now. He gets social security disability and retirement. I cannot work because I am now disabled and cannot get social security because I have not worked for the past 9 years due to taking care of him and the new law regarding this. He now says that he does not love me anymore. He also has a life insurance policy that I am the sole beneficiary of. If we get a divorce, what should I ask for? Also I do not have health insurance and have many medical bills.

  9. Hi Ms. Wall,
    I have been married less than a year and I am quite sure my husband and I will be getting a divorce, though I don’t know if he or I will do the filing. I know he will want to protect all his assets, and I have none. I literally have a few small pieces of jewelry, but I quit my job to move across the country when we got married and haven’t been able to find work since. He has been freelancing and supporting us the entire time. We don’t have any joint-accounts, my name is not on the house he bought, and he has done some stock investing since we married but I have no access to any of the information, and I’m sure my name is on none of it. I spent the little bit of savings I had on our wedding, the move and household goods within the first month of our marriage.

    There has been abusive behavior, though I don’t know how this is proven or if it is necessary to bring up so long as a satisfactory settlement is reached. I have been to 4 therapists, one was a couple’s counselor that my husband also talked to. She refused us as clients based on the “emotional volatility” of our relationship and she didn’t want to be liable, and she also said she would be required to report the abuse, which she did not want to do. So I suppose she could contest, but that would require paying her for it, involving lawyers etc. I have no money and really don’t want a drawn out court case, I would prefer to settle but want the settlement to be fair. I was thinking of asking for a lump sum (are there tax repercussions?) to be reimbursed the savings I used up, including cashing out on a mutual fund because I had run out of money and my husband didn’t want to set up a joint account, to pay for my moving expenses and to pay off the credit card debt I’ve incurred. Will I be short changing myself this way? Is it fair or less than fair? And if my husband refuses any or all of this, what should I do to protect and assert my rights?

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

  10. I did not support my husband during his PhD education although we did live together. My husband has requested a divorce and has been staying at friends’ homes for the past few weeks. This request was a few weeks after he had an affair with a 21 year old girl. I have given up my job to move cross country with him, and I am now living in an extremely rural, low-income area with a high unemployment rate.

    I am searching for work, but my chances of receiving medical benefits are extremely limited. This will become a problem because I am on very expensive medication that I cannot afford without insurance (I am currently on his insurance through his job). We purchased his car by selling mine, and we were both employed and paid the car off together. I have a new car with extremely high payments that he has offered to take over for me for the duration of the loan. I do not have that in writing, so I sent an email to him last night asking him for clarification on our financial discussions to that we are on the same page. I realize an email isn’t the same thing as a hardcopy.

    My husband will be returning to live at our house because it is not currently in a condition for sale (lots of little problems, wallpaper that is peeling off walls, broken windows, chipped paint outdoors, nasty lawn, etc. that will take us a month or two to repair). Friends have suggested that I contact an attorney, but I am currently unemployed. I contacted legal aid, and I cannot speak with them until I have been served papers. We don’t have kids, but we have been together 13 years (married). I recently left my job for him because he said that he wanted me home with him. My boss told me that if I quit, I will not have the option of returning.

    I am scared. I don’t want a divorce but realize I have no choice but to go along with it. He can divorce me whether I want it or not, but I’d prefer that we have an amicable divorce with as little lawyer-intervention as possible. Are there any suggestions on things I should cover since I can’t afford a lawyer (and don’t want this to become a nasty fight)? Too many of my friends want me to seek alimony, but I’d rather just hand over the car payment and find work and attempt to pay for the rest of my needs (which should be difficult because the very economically depressed area I live in, I will be lucky to get a $10/hour job, even with my excellent resume and strong background in a field of work that doesn’t exist here.

    We also deferred our taxes due to the difficulties in our relationship. I have handed our accountant all of my documentation (including deductibles, etc.) – he keeps putting her off with any of us. The accountant discovered that I am having the proper amount of taxes pulled from my income but he is not. He also has a consulting job and has not been putting aside any money for taxes from that job. If we file jointly, my state taxes will cover most of what is federally owed. If we file separately, once my federal is paid off, my state taxes will leave me $1000 ahead of the time while he will be $1500 behind. I don’t want to screw him over during this process, but I’m financially strapped.

    Ok, this is too long. I know that the response will be that I need to seek legal assistance that I can’t afford, but it’s worth a try.

  11. I have been married for 8 year. My husband and I have been together for 11 years. I am to the point that I do not like him at all. I love him, we made 3 wonderful children together. Currently (within last 3 months), he pays all the bills and is the only one working.
    But lately, within the last year, we have been drifting apart. I am depressed and have gained 25 pounds in just the last 2 months. Whenever we talk about anything other than a program we are watching together on tv or the news, he is disinterested answering nearly every question with “yea”, “ok”, or “ugh…” I have told him about himself but I get no response other than the ones I just said. Sex is a chore now, I feel like I have to do it to get extras around the house, even necessities that pertain to me. I am tired of it. There are men that ask me out sometimes but since I am married I decline. I feel like I am missing out on how I should be treated.
    I have not thought about a divorce because I don’t know where I would go or how I would be able to care for my children financially without his help.
    It seems like I will be married like some of these women who have commented, for 20 and 40 years miserable…

    • Hi Jenna,

      We are living parallel lives minus the children. My husband and I have been together for almost 8 years and at the end of this week we will be married for 5. This last year has been so rough for me health wise and I spent a lot of time by myself…depressed, sick, etc and all the while…my husband would come home from work and not speak to me. I know it was hard for him because he felt there was nothing he could do, but at the same time…I was a alone all day…sick and scared and needing that affection. It gave me so much time to think about who I am and what I want. My husband has never tried to really get to know my family or gotten along with them. He has held onto grudges from arguments he has had with my sister and mother (from like 7 years ago). He hates going to functions and sits in a corner on his phone, ipad or ipod and doesn’t speak to anyone. A few months ago I told him that I was thinking about a divorce and he was shocked. I was very upset, he was upset but he refuses therapy as he spent years in therapy dealing with depression in his early 20′s before we met. After a few weeks..things improved a bit and I said I was not at that place anymore, but now I feel it again. We are basically like roomates who happen to sleep in the same bed (though we haven’t had sex in 3 years..he blames that on the fact that he has ED…it’s all mental, he is only 32). I told him years ago that I respect the fact that he is uncomfortable with sex on a regular basis, but that was when we were intimate all the time….nothing is nothing! We hardly even kiss!! He supports me totally financially and while I know I would be entitled to half of everything (including the house)…I worry about this. I still love him and care for him, but I don’t feel attracted to him anymore and I honestly don’t think I’m in love him anymore either. I keep thinking about how this will effect his family and I don’t want to hurt him…but I’m hurting myself in the process. My brother in law is ready to snap at him and my father who is laid back and has never said a bad word about my husband, spoke up to me about it this weekend when he (husband) refused to come to my parents to spend the day with my sister and her new baby. When my father spoke up…I knew this wasn’t me just imagining things and that it is as bad I as I think it is. I just don’t know where to go from here. It would be easy while he was at work to just pack up and leave, but that’s just wrong. I would never cheat on him either. I don’t want to be like some other women who stick it out for 20, 30, 40 years just to do something that I wanted to 5 years in. It’s all so scary! I hope for both our sakes, we are able to sort it out and move on with our lives. Best of luck to you and your family! I hope it all works out!!

    • Hey Jenna, sorry you are having to deal with marriage troubles. I am divorced and it wasn’t easy to go through. Now would be a great time to consider long-term career and financial plans. Also, it might be worth it to put whatever work you can into the marriage before seriously considering divorce (even if it means going to counseling, etc.) given the cost and emotional upheaval of a divorce. Some couples can work things out and are glad they hung in there through the tough moments in their marriage.

  12. My wife worked for years at a lucrative job until our son was born, then she stayed home for 4 years raising him and his brother. Instead of returning to her career, she then spent 5 years in graduate school getting another degree. That finished, then she went back and got a job in the field where she was before (unrelated to her new degree). 2 years later she filed for divorce. Her parents paid for tuition/books/etc. Can I get reimbursed for the living expenses, travel, etc. for the 5 years while she was a full time student and not contributing to the family income. This is in California.

    • Talk to your attorney, but in general lost wages aren’t property that can be divided, since they don’t exist. And living expenses etc similarly aren’t property that exists and can be divided. But maybe this goes to the spousal support issue — your attorney can guide you.

  13. This is my third failed marriage…I have two young daughters and no family to lean on. My husband wants a divorce and we were barely surviving financially, so I have no idea how im gonna start all over AGAIN. My girls are not his, so he can basically walk away. he plans on moving in with a friend, and that upsets me that he has little to no regard what is going to happen to me and my girls. we have been together almost five years, and he is the only Dad the girls know. they are barely almost 6 and 7, and their real dad walked out on them and refuses to see them. I have a pretty good job with very understanding bosses, so I don’t want to put my job in jeopardy, but daycare is so expensive and the summer is just starting. I even tried to swallow my pride and apply for public assistance and they same I make too much money, which is complete BS. the only way I can get help is if I was unemployed, and that makes no sense to me. I only need help with daycare expenses, im not asking for anything else. My parents live 300 miles away and are somewhat ailing. the only other family I have, are recently discovered relatives that live 600 miles away. I don’t have many good friends that are close to me that can help out either. Im stuck between a rock and a hard place, and I am sick of men making promises they cant keep. After three attempts at marriage, I think I know how to be a wife by now. and although I still make mistakes, I am still a human being. and life gets me stressed and I tend to focus most on my children. There is nothing anyone can do to help, but typing this help a little…it hurts, too…

  14. Hello, I NEED HELP! We got divorce on December. We have two children together. He cheated and I stupidly forgive him because he said that that relationship was nothing to him. We have being living together but I just realize a couple of hours ago that everything was a lie! I saw a few emails between him and the other woman. He says that he works at night, but I believe that he lives with his lover and lies to her telling her that he is at work during the day, which reality is, he is at home with us all this time. So that being said, I don’t think he works at all, I believe that his mother has being supporting us all this time. I really need financial help. I have a part time job and I also go to college. He has threaten me many times before saying that the judge will give him full custody because I have no money! And that if I go see I lawyer he would make my life hell! I obviously have no money to pay a lawyer so I’m VERY scared of what’s going to happen with my children and I. He left to “work” last night and haven’t returned. We rent and he has kick me out the house before because, according to him, he pays full rent to the apartment is his. I don’t know what to do! If I leave with my children right know he might call the police on me. I HAVE NO MONEY, I HAVE A LOT OF BILLS TO PAY, I DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START AND I DON’T WANT MY CHILDREN TO SEE ME CRYING ANYMORE. PLEASE HELP, I NEED TO LEAVE NOW!

  15. Washington state. Married 22 years. Amicable talks so far. His hot button is for me not to ask for half of his pension. He agrees to pay for all day to day costs for 16y/o. We each pay half on extras for 16y/o. He has offered lump sum of equity in home, approx. 90k. Should I accept and not look back? Friends say i should fight for half of homes worth and 30% of pension. Home value is approx 280k and pension statements show a monthly retirement income of approx. $4000. We are I finally getting along, I just want to move on but don’t want to work forever! We part with no other debt than the mortgage. No savings to split.

    • You need to consult an attorney familiar with the laws of your state. Each state is different, so I don’t know what you are entitled to in Washington.

      • munkster says:

        Similar story except we are gay. 30 year marriage but California (forget the Fed and DOMA) only recognizes it from the year we were “permitted” to register as domestic partners. Which is like 12 years. So pension being the hot issue, she benefits from the Jim Crow treatment. And doesn’t care. We fortunately were able to split assets but I want part of that pensions as I moved from the east coast to CA to be with her from the start to the finish of that job. I feel like taking this to the Supreme Court. Aren’t there any online support groups anymore? Just “You need to consult an attorney familiar with the laws of your state. Each state is different,…”

  16. Married for more than 16 years, want a divorce a liar husband, I tried many times to forgive him but he keep hiding the truth, now he is unemployed and collecting his unemployment. He wants to leave the house to me and kids, he doesn’t have no saving, no 401 k nothing. I just cant afford to pay a lawyer, what can I do? feel so confused

  17. I’m not able to support myself due to health issues that disability wouldn’t recognize. I am house bound due to the chronic fatigue. I couldn’t perform a stay at home job if one landed in my lap. Due to this, I am stuck. I wonder how many others are stuck like me with an illness that can’t be seen nor treated enough to be functional?

  18. My sister in law has been divorced for almost ten years. She was awarded the house in the divorce decree, but when she pays her mortgage, her husbands name still appears on it alongside hers. She is wanting to move out of the house because the bills are more than she can afford. She doesn’t want to sell the home, and her ex husband has agreed to move in and take over as a renter. This is a red flag in my mind. Can she lose the house to her husband if he takes over the payments while living in it?

    • She should call the county assessor’s office and find out who owns the house. It is possible that it was never put into her name, in which case she should get that done immediately, since she was awarded ownership of the house.

      Unless she refinanced the home to get her husband’s name off the mortgage, he is still on the hook for the loan. But as long as she owns the house, that isn’t a problem for her.

  19. My abusive husband of 30 yrs just awarded the house from the divorce decree. but my name is still in the mortgage. do i still have any right to the house. ? please let me know .
    sincerely Mary

  20. Lorraine says:

    Chicago – The buyer of my home in Chicago is going through a divorce. She is also on the payroll of her husband’s business and provided the bank with income verfication of this, as well as income doucmentation from two other jobs she has. As I understand it, she was approved for the loan and at the last minute the underwriter wants to know if she has any “interest” in her husband’s busines. The husband’s business license from the State of Illinois shows he is the “sole propriertor. ” Will that document suffice for the bank and why does the bank want this information? The buyer’s divorce attorney is telling her not to comply with the bank’s request because it will interfere with her divorce settlement. The closing on my house has been delayed twice. Do you think this deal will close?

  21. State of Virginia: Just curious since my husband abandoned the marital home, the marriage, our infant son, all while knowing that he was the bread winner and I was stay at home housewife for the 5 years we were together, almost 4 of them married. I do not have a degree to fall back on, and need to go back to college in order to support myself and my son. My husband has had NO contact with us, not even asking how his 9 month old son is. Not a word. I am seeking temporary spousal support for medical co-payments, and basic needs up until the divorce. Is this normal in a situation like this? My attorney believes that I am entitled to some sort of support because of the nature of the abandonment, lifestyle maintained during the marriage and having to move back in with my parents who they themselves are having a hard time supporting us. The cost of putting our son in day care is ridiculous at this time because of his age- 350 a week, and my husband refuses to pay half. We are in the separation stage. I am afraid to file for anything yet until I have residency in my parents state, so I will have full physical custody. This is not a “normal,” divorce as it is an abusive , physically, emotionally, verbally towards myself and an infant. I stayed until he left because of the constant threats against me. What are you opinions on temporary spousal support while going to college?

  22. Wife has cheated repeatedly, we have three kids. She started her last affair when our youngest was just 2 months old. She lies to me constantly and constantly gets payday loans at 600% interest!!! She is ruining us financially and me or a personal level. She always somehow finds a way to blame me for her behavior and doesn’t take ownership of her own actions and life…..What should I do??

  23. Hello Ginita,

    A year ago my wife mentioned wanting a divorce because she felt that I was ‘sucking the life out of her’ by being lazy and selfish, which is mostly true. I have since changed things and am going to therapy.

    In the interim she attended a bachelorette party with her girlfriends in Las Vegas and had a brief fling, which I found out about and have already forgiven her.

    She says she is staying with me for the kids, but I really don’t know if that is true, and if she’s just looking to stray again.

    We are both 36 years old, have assets of about $1.5million and each make about $130,000 per year, so money is not the issue. Recently she has been meeting with a trust lawyer to set up a trust for her father, since her mother has been in a nursing home since having a stroke last November.

    How do I know if she is actually not just setting up a trust to keep all of the assets and leave me high and dry? Also we have two young children, one 3 years old and one 2 1/2 months old.

    I’ve never been physically abusive but have had issues with giving her privacy and have read her email and chat history on several occasions, and that is part of the problem.

    Thanks,

    Jack

    • In most states property is divided either equitably or equally. But her parents’ money isn’t included in the division, and it sounds as though she is setting up a trust for their assets. You can check with an attorney in your state to see whether she can put your assets into her parents’ trust, and if so, what you can do to prevent that.

  24. Hi, im an Australian citizen married in France. I have a beautiful little boy (nearly 2 years old) and i have no idea what to do or how to leave my husband with full custody of my son. My husband swears he wont let me leave with my little one and i stay because i wont go without him. We are miserable and im stuck here. My husband always tells me i am stupid, even though im not, we fight all the time and we dont talk about anything else other than our son. My son was born in France so i know we have to stick to their laws. It sucks because i got myself into a situation that is difficult to get out of but i stay and suffer because i could never leave my son and my husband has made it clear that he will fight me for custody. My son keeps me here. It is sad really, i know he deserves better but there is not much more i can do. I have the strength but i dont have the support. I cant risk losing my son.

    • Please go see an attorney to find out what your rights are — I’m betting that your husband’s threats re custody are empty, and that there’s a way that you can sever the marital ties while retaining a custodial relationship with your son.

  25. Everybody, please help!
    My story is long but I try to cut it short. I am divorced and still living in the condo we both own. This one used to be a rental property it is under our names. Now, he is pushing me either buy his half or he will let the court make auction out of it. I am worried that I will loose this home, which is my only place to live. Will it happen like he said. I am living in Pitt County, North Carolina. Any info is highly appreciative.
    Thank you,
    Phi

  26. I’m for NY, I was married 18. I walked out of my marriage 6yrs ago that would 24yrs married. we dont have a separation papers. I have had 3 order of protection on those 24yrs being married to him. i have 2 boys, 14 and 20, they are both Special education kids. one in high school and the other in college..

    until when can my college boy b taken care by his father?? and what are my rights as a wife?? what do i get??.. I put him thru school?.. I put my school on hold, and after i left him, I couldnt go and better myself because they asked me for his financials and he wouldnt help me.

    I’m very independent person, I supported him and made him to the men his now. Just didnt know all my life he was bi-sexual, until one day i got in the home computer and started looking at things and saw his profile on gay.com.. craiglist to sleep with girls.. and tranbest…

    I just couldnt anymore.. so I just walked with both my boys. after a year and half, he called me and cursed me and told me he will make me look in shame..

    he has told many things to his family. but never cared. they dont pay my rent i tell myself..

    but every time i called the cops he will go to jail.

    can someone help me??

  27. I live in NY. Have 3 children. My ex moved out to move in with his girlfriend, meanwhile he has been paying a weekly amount to cover basic child support plus percentage of additional expenses (private school, child care, travel sports etc) however recently after learning that since i wasn’t obtaining his signature on our mutual amicable agreement we tried to make, I filed petitions in court to get things moving. he reduced this payment to the basic child support (29%) and Im having a hard time getting additional $ from him for these other expenses. he makes about 3-4 times more than I do, i currently still live with children (he has limited visitation with them) in our co-owned home with a huge mortgage payment. is he obligated to pay this extra $$ for the additional s? Also, how hard is it to obtain sol legal custody? I have always been the primary care giver and decision maker but am afraid he will fight me. Thank you!

  28. I have a question about diverce and Medical insurance. I was legally divorced in 2011 and my ex-husband was on my medical plan at work prior to the divorce. The divorces states that each person should obtain their own medical and I would continue my daughter on my medical. So once I received the divorce judgement I contacted my company and filed for a change of status. All of which I advised him I was doing through the duration of the long battle. He never filed for COBRA because he thought it was too much money and then he kept trying to use the medical card from when he was under my plan and obtained medical services with it. Now he is trying to sue me for those medical bills since I’m guessing the insurance company went after him for. Legally my company requires that a change of status is filed within 31 days of the event. So am I in any way responsible for his medical bills? BTW i also have a letter from him two days after the insurance was dropped stating he was aware that it was dropped, don’t know if this is relevant.

    • You have a legal document, your divorce decree, that says that he should get his own medical. I’m not an attorney, but that seems pretty ironclad to me, that he’s responsible for his own insurance and medical expenses. You can consult your attorney to make sure this is correct.

  29. Back in Feb, my soon to be ex tolde he wanted a divorce. A week later he moved out with his current girlfriend has since knocked her up and greed has taken over. I’m the breadwinner, always have been. We have a wonderful 4 year old who is confused and scared.
    He earned his citizenship through our marriage. Married almost 8 years.
    The house was purchased with the help of my dad, who gave me the down payment and my brother who is a mortgage broker, and my mom and family who gave us funds to fit it up.
    Originally he said we could stay in the condo. As the market is on the rebound, the values of the house has increased substantially… And he is dragging his feet while he sits back with his new life and family as I pay all the bills. Two months ago he informed me he wants to sell, as he needs to pay his credit card bills! More important that he pay his bills than keep his child in her family home.
    I have given him several offers, his response was to send an appraiser to the house. As time goes by, I have slowly learned that I will have to let go of the house. It’s not worth clearing out my retirement to hold on to this property. I’m 10 years older than him and I can not rely on him to take care of her financially. Of course once the divorce is final he will no longer be my beneficiary, but I will move it all into her name and find a responsible family’s money to be her power of attorney.
    Since I live in a state where the value of the home is closer to the court date and not the date of separating, I got shafted by bad timing and luck.
    Is there anything I can do to ask the courts to keep the value of the home at the time of seperation?
    I have a lawyer, he finally got one.
    I live in a great area with great school, but will have to leave as I will not be able to afford to live here.
    Any advice?

  30. Thanks for this advice ladies… I use this info to divorce my wife, and i have a strong shot at getting custody of the kids since i am the primary care giver.. this is much more useful then the sites us Men use to help us out…

  31. Wendy in Mississippi says:

    I have been married for 34 years and 4 months ago my husband tells me that he has been seeing someone else and they care deeply for one another. I attempted to save the marriage by offering to do what ever it took and the only thing he had to do was end it with the other woman. He said he couldn’t, so I said he had to go. One week later I hired an attorney to start divorce proceedings. We own a business together and it is in his name because in 2007 I had to file personal bankruptcy because of personal guarantees on equipment from a failing business. The business we now have was a spawn off of my other business which is based on my past employment as a graphic artist. During the past 6 years, we have relied on his income from working offshore to pay all the bills because the business could not support us totally. We have been exchanging counter offers back and forth because he doesn’t want to pay me anything other than the cost of the mortgage on the house and my attorney said that he should have to pay me some alimony too. In the divorce papers from his lawyer, he states that he will sign the house over to me but I must refinance it so that his name will not be on the mortgage any more which is fine with me. But here is my question, will I be able to do that since it has not been 7 years since I filed chapter 7 bankruptcy? I don’t want to lose my house – I grew up in this house. I don’t understand why I am being penalized for his infidelity. Can you help me with this?

  32. I supported hubby for 1 1/2 years of medical school (he had no income) and he has now been in residency making half of what I do. We have been using his resident salary to pay off his med school loans ($150,000 paid down). During this time he has only made approximately $100,000. He now tells me he wants a divorce. Can I get reimbursed for paying his loans because it is obvious that I supported him while paid off his loans. Interestingly enough I still have loans of my own.

    Thanks!!!

    • Find out from an attorney about what your Ph.T (Putting Hubby Through) is worth — many states have provisions for these situations.

    • I’d bet you can go after his future earnings as you helped him through med school. This issue goes way back when docs would marry during med school and divorce right after the wife paid for school or supported him (used to be almost all male doctors, remember?!). Now if you marry during med school the divorcing spouse can get a part of future earnings esp because you invested in him. Please be sure to check out the rulings and laws but you have a pretty great chance of doing well with this as it is not a new issue. And don’t give up. My ex wouldn’t marry me during med sch because of this and also the divorce stats are much higher. We got married at the end of internship and are divorcing after 29 years because he likes the pretty nurses. He said they make eyes at him. Best to you,

  33. This is a great post on Financial Pitfalls of Divorce. I am a 60 year old female and have filed for divorce in PA after 32 years of marriage. The home is paid for and the assets are very good. The children are grown and though I have no attachment to the home and would like to move on…..is it financially advisable to stay in the house? I currently have no work (part time Interior Designer/economy driven down). Many friends say stay in house. I am torn and need to make a decision ASAP as first Domestic Relations Hearing on Monday, which will hopefully determine Pendente Lite Alimony. based on staying in house or moving to an apt.. Please advise.
    Thank you.

    • Each situation is different, but if you don’t want to keep the house and would be happy in an apartment and moving on, leaving the home and capturing the equity in it will give you funds that you will be able to use for other purposes.

  34. April Walker says:

    hi anybody that can help me I am 32 year old woman with 3 kids and my husband is planning on filing for divorce I don’t have education or career I’ve worked very little I have only been married since June 6 2009 I live in Michigan everything is in my husband’s name I really need a lot of advice on what to do please help me thank you

  35. I wouldn’t dare ever marry a woman from USA or Canada. Half the woman are Golddiggers and the other half don’t appreciate how much a man puts into a relationship financially. Better to stay single and date the occasional woman.

  36. My husband of almost 11 years has decided he wants out. I have been a stay at home mom for the past 5 years because I could not find a job in our small university town. I am back in school pursuing another degree. We have two children in elementary school. He says he’s not living me out of the house we built 3 years ago. The one where I do all the landscaping, repairs, painting, decorating, cleaning and so on. So I can stay, but he’s moving on with other people. I feel like he wants it off the marriage, he should get out of the house. I have no job, I’m in school. We used my 401k as a down payment on the house. So I have no retirement of my own. Meanwhile, his grandmother set up a trust fund for him, probably more worth over 100k, he received an inheritance from his other grandmother 3 years ago that is worth about $125k, his current 401k is valued at about 100k also. He has a decent paying job(80k/yr). He willing to give me half of our cutter savings (14k) and I’ll get half of the proceeds..whenever.. he decided to sell the house. He is willing to pay my rent until I’m done with school. ..6 more months. After that I’m on my own. I feel like I’m getting screwed here. We are trying to do this without lawyers. If I get a lawyer, I will only strain the savings I would entitled to. Whereas he has his rich 91 yr old grandmother and very well off mom to turn to. My mom can barely make her own ends meet. Am I entitled to to a portion of his retirement? I understand I can’t touch his inheritance or the trust fund. If he’s unwilling to pay with some of his 401k, should I get a lawyer? I also think it’s unfair that he gets the house. I takes care of it and the kids. Don’t know what to do.

    • You are probably entited to part of the retirement, part of the house, and support based on his income from his wages and earnings on his inheritance. Since your 401k was used for the down payment on the house, you may be able to get that money back as well. If you don’t know the laws, and you clearly don’t, how can you ask for what you are entitled under the law when you don’t even know what it is? Get a lawyer pronto.

    • If husband put inheritance in joint accounts then half is wife’s. If he kept it separate then its all his. You need an atty to get what the CPA describes above.

      • Skahn16 says that inheritance put into joint accounts is half wife’s, but that’s not true in all states, and may not be true anywhere. You’ll need to talk to someone in your area who is qualified to give legal advice on that issue.

  37. My husband left me one year agou. I am steal in apartment. We are both owners.We own mortgage to bank.146000$ now market price is about 120000$ What to do how to divide property bicause his lawer asking. 50/50. We do not have kids. Thank you for your experiance

    • One of you will take the apartment and mortgage in the divorce. There is no equity value, so if neither of you wants to take on the liability for the mortgage, you’ll need to short sell it or give it back to the mortgage company.

  38. But i will stay in appartment mortgage is on my name and i pay mortgage. I would like to know how and what to pay him if is. 50/50. If I have to pay him how and how much

  39. I am tired of reading articles about divorce (or marriage, for that matter) clearly geared toward the household where the man works and the woman either doesn’t work, or doesn’t make as much money. Is this the 1950′s? More and more women are primary breadwinners now– in America, more than half. As a career woman with a stay-at-home husband, I have a very hard time finding articles and advice geared toward my situation.

    • We certainly understand your point — but the norm in most households still that women make less than men, and so that is the reason many articles use that approach. You can sometimes just reverse the roles discussed in articles to make them relevant to your situation.

    • Your situation is rather new but becoming more popular and issues related are coming fast.
      Best,

  40. I could throug up. Totally sexistic the advice you give. All my marriage I felt like a paycheck to my exwife.
    The true reason for financial crash is that women feel entitled. This is the 21 century, men have changed
    live has changed. If you get into the mode – that somebody must take care of you of course when the – taking care periode ends – there standard of living drops. Do I feel sorry for women? NO

    I left the house because I was fearing for my live and savety. NOTHING protects a man from false alligations. Nothing. I was put before the question to see my children in forster care or no file domestic violance charges against my wife. Quote from the police officer: That you barrikaded in a room saved you from going to yail. Thus as we men are basically without any recourse against abusive spouces and your general mental state let me question what advise did you get when you grew up.

    I was 8 months homeless, saved by strangers of the street. I left the house, with 200 dollar in cash to survive till I got my next paycheck. I fully supported my wife and children from the first day. What did my wife, spiteful she used every credit card to put me down again – I had 100,000 dollar of consumer debt paying $2000 interest per month.

    10 month later my wife demande me to move for our daughter into school district. I did this – even I was slowly recovering from 100,000 everything is about your standard of living. I was working day and night.

    Until I got a judgement to support my spouse based on 80h/week working 51 weeks a year. What does my ex do, complaining about homework – which I am glad to do – because live is such a bear for you.

    I am glad to say that I rather raise my children as a single father – pay to never hear your voice or see your face – just to have my peace, because you are never happy or easy. As I said, somebody screwed you up, and when we start to fianlly be left alone and do our thing without bleeding just to see our children, of course we are better of. We are battle hardened and I never again feel sorry for you. You can’t afford the therapist to bear your live? GO WORK. You don’t feel satisfied with your status? GO WORK. You believe in a prince in shining armour, sorry I raise my son to be extra extra careful, don’t trust you and without IRONCLAD pre and post naptual agreement -NO DEAL.

    HERE is the advice for all sons and daughters. Don’t marry the contract stinks. If you feel love separate yourself form all property. Never marrie out of class or out of education. You will pay a prise.

    LET your wife work all the time. NEVER NEVER NEVER let her stay at home. Take a paycut father.
    Have two houses. One for her and one for you. If she can’t maintain hers- RUN!

    Custody Resolution signed with Birthcertificate. Never ever let anybody erode your rights. 50%.

    And now my advise for women WORK -SAVE – be prudent. That is why you have nothing, This fake excuse that your standard of living drops because of your bad bad ex … bullshit … you enjoyed something you never earned. And if you think we owe you that is the mindset that keeps you hostage.

    • It sounds as though you really had a rough time. I hope you someday realize that not all women are like your perception of your ex-wife, and that you can learn to trust and love again.

    • Hope your not telling this to your children, or involving them in your upset. Please use your frustrations, thoughts and feelings to make something positive of all this. Perhaps you could take your life’s lessons and teach your children to get an education and work at something productive, perhaps making the world a better place. Peace

  41. I had a question about divorce in Ohio. I have been married for 15 years and have 4 children. We have lived in the same house since before we were married which is still in his mothers name and not either of ours. I’m worried where i will go when we start the process because I’m assuming since its not our house that i will be the one to have to leave. I have always been a stay at home mom raising our children while he goes to work. I want our children to live in the same area so they have their school and friends. My parents live in the same area. My question would be would I have any legal right to stay in the home that’s been my own even thought it was never in my name

    • Consult an attorney in your area who is knowledgable about Ohio family law. In many states a home that has been shared by the family is treated as a marital residence even if owned by just one spouse.

      • i do see that but neither me or my spouse is on the loan or title. It’s only in his moms name even though i’ve live here 15 years. She never transferred it to us. ugggg a total nightmare when forever collapses and you have no money.

    • What family court judge would ever allow a mother with four children be put out of a home that the grandmother owns ? I can’t imagine they would.

  42. The Ex Husband says:

    As “the soon to be ex-husband” I can honestly say most of it is your fault! What about me wasn’t “good enough” after 18 years of marriage? Did I always eat seconds of whatever that was you cooked that the dog wouldn’t eat? Didn’t I drive the kids to school every-single-day for years? Let’s not forget the dinner I cooked severaql nights a week because you didn’t feel like it or was “just too tired”. What about putting up with your crazy family? The smoking bigot mother-in-law that only came twice a year to see her grandkids, yet the kids had to act like she was thier BEST friend! Let’s not forget the “thousands” of times I had to perform Cunnilingus so you could have “multiples” and feel satisfied…. did you ever really care if I was sexually happy?

    Oh my, let’s not forget my birthday! Ever ask why I don’t care to celebrate it? Let see… maybe it was the time you set the cake on fire and blamed me (but I ate it anyway and acted thrilled) or the time I just asked for freakin’ fried chicken but instead I got bagged frozen ravioli becasue it was what the kids wanted. Let’s not forget the year I said all I wanted was to eat out and spend it with you and kids…. only to find out you “hired me friend” to take me fishing. Let’s see, I had to meet a some guy I barely knew to see a movie, spend a night in a hotel room with this guy drinking and running around the room in his “man panties” only to over sleep the next morning. By the time we got to the lake his wife was calling every 30 minutes to come home so she could go shop at garage-sales! Talk about fun!

    If any of you are like the woman my soon to be exwife turned about to be, please get some help before you sucker another sucker in marrying you. Do it for yourselves, then maybe your marriage will last and we won;t need blogs like this one to turn to.

    I know there has to be several women on here that have tried to be good wives, but sadly there are some of you (and you know who you are) that need help.

    • Get some counseling to get over your anger because then you can have a better life and be a better dad. And if you date don’t tell them any of these thoughts you have above.

  43. You know you guys make men out to be so horrible. I’m sure there are a lot of jack ass losers out here, but here are just as many selfish, controlling, bitter women out there too. “He threatened to fight for the children”…you know they are how children also and he may not be using them as a tool, he maybe just doesn’t want to lose them. I can’t speak for every guy but my wife keeps talking about divorice cause she’s not happy. We have grown apart cause I work long odd hrs and my sleep schedule is all messed up so we don’t get to see each other much, causing disconnect. Also lack of affection has made it even less appealing to be around each other- however she wants to move back out to CA which is 6 states away and you know what, I’d fight for my son. Not to be a jack ass or to use him as some kind of leverage but because I love my son damn it. I don’t want to lose my son and I want to be a part of his life and I don’t want her to fill his head with a bunch of negative crap about me (and I know she will, she is so spiteful and says horrible things when she is angry) I would go to the end of the world for my little guy, and I can’t up and move to CA and give him the same financially stable life he has here…not all guys are fighting for the kids to escape child support..

  44. I need advise, I am planning ahead for a divorce… I am on my second marriage and it is headed for divorce. I work full time 5 days a week and he has not even tried to get a job for the past 4 years. We have no children together. I have an IRA from before we were married that has maybe doubled in growth since our marriage. His name has never been on this IRA account. I also have a 401K from the past 5 years while we were married, that I know he will get half of. He has not contributed to either of these funds. I feel I have worked to hard to pay the mortgage and all the household bills. He has stayed home and kept the house in order, nothing else. Is he entitled to half of my IRA Fund also? If so what can I do now to change it so he can not get any.

  45. Been married for 18 years. My husband has PTSD and chronic depession due to a gun wound shot to the head. He has bullet fragments logded in his brain and has chronic migraines that effect his behavior each and every day. He will verbally lashes out at my son and I at any given moment. We have a long history of fighting an even police arrests. He is currently not able to work which leaves me stuck with all of the household bills. He has basically given up. We have a home together that I do not want to leave because of our son. He won’t go see a therapist or take medication. The bottom line is that I have to get out of this marriage. Need help in getting organized. I am employeed, making 80 grand a year. Please assist. Thanks!

  46. LuckyToBeAlive says:

    I just noticed you’re a CPA and I’m sorry for taking advantage of that but I can’t afford to go see one on my own to ask this/these guestion(s).

    I am currently divorcing in a community property state after 21 years of marriage. I’m expecting spousal maintenance, but I don’t know how much as the STBE and his attorney keep getting continuances on a temp orders hearing (for four months now).

    My STBE was/is the sole income to the household as I became disabled with a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis several years ago.

    Part of the assets are:

    1. a 401(k) that began during our marriage w/monthly contributions from not just him but a 100% match from employer.
    2. A pension plan through same employer that he’s fully vested in (completely earned during marriage)
    3. Military retirement, and, no, I don’t fall under the 10/10/10, but we were married for six of the 17 years he was active.
    4. Monthly income in excess of $6000/month.

    I already know I’m getting at least half of the 401(k) under a QDRO. My attorney suggested asking for the entire 401(k) if I don’t go after his military retirement. There’s currently about $55,000 in this but the STBE and attorney are refusing to turn over any statements related to it. (But there’s a full-day hearing set on the 27th of this month, so I’m sure the judge will be curious to know just “why” they’ve not done this, or anything else for that matter)

    I suggested asking a buyout of his vested pension – using an actuarial table and a statement from them that showed at time of separation, the monthly benefit would be $691/month if he retired at age 65. The amount I offered as buyout was $45,000 – cash. He would have to borrow the money to pay me this from his father or take an advance on his inheritance. He doesn’t have this kind of money laying around. He is 53, I am 49.

    I am planning on buying a house in my hometown that is $27,000. This means for me, of course, no mortgage and no rent. Just a monthly set-aside to pay quarterly taxes on alimony, the annual property taxes and homeowner’s insurance. The house DOES need work – the kitchen and bathroom need to be re-done and the roof is looking as though it might be worse for wear, but is currently in shape as it keeps the rain out. For now.

    As part of the divorce, we filed Ch. 7 to get out from under the mortgage, which was app. $25,000 underwater. We never even discussed a short sale because I didn’t want to go through the hassle (I’m still in the house and packing boxes, etc. It’s a mess. And due to STBE’s aversion to maintenance, waiting until something was falling on top of us to fix it, the house needs more work than I can afford to make it sale-able at a top price.

    My question(s) is/are:

    Based on these factors, with the buyout of the pension not being a sure thing, while at least half of the 401(k) is, what is my best/smartest option to pay for this house AND be able to get the work done to make the kitchen and bathroom livable again?

    If I could count on the buyout of the pension, I would use those funds to buy the house and do the repairs it needs. But I can’t count on that, even were he to agree to it, because the only way he could do it w/o borrowing the full amount, is to make payments. The STBE has a history (from his first marriage) of not paying his financial obligations, which is why I’m glad my state automatically does wage assignment for spousal maintenance.

    Again, I apologize for this long post. If I could have afforded to go see a financial adviser, I’d have done so. As it is, I’m nearly out of the money I’d hidden before kicking him out and filing (he’s abusive, mentally ill, etc. I knew he’d cut me off from the money the moment he was served and he didn’t disappoint me).

    • If you don’t get the buyout funds, you’ll have to figure out how to finance the house, or delay the purchase. I suggest that you talk to a mortgage broker to see what’s possible. As for the fixup expenses, without the buyout you won’t have the funds for that, so if you have to buy soon, it is best to buy a home that is already livable.

      • LuckyToBeAlive says:

        With us filing the BK7, I’m just not sure a mortgage is in the near future, though I’m already working on rebuilding my credit. And my score didn’t really go as low as I thought it would, so… As much as I’d hate to do it, I may choose to cash out the 401(k) as a Plan B, if I don’t get some kind of cash settlement related to the pension.

        My attorney is pushing for 100% of the 401(k) in lieu of the pension he’d have to buy me out of.

        I do have a friend who is in the VP of the mortgage division of the bank he’s at. He and I already talked and he said while it’s not completely impossible, it’s not probable. However, I didn’t discuss a down payment, not knowing what my settlement would be. And the house is already so low, I’m not sure I’d even want a mortgage, thus causing me to have a mortgage payment.

      • LuckyToBeAlive says:

        And so sorry for the double reply…

        I should have said – the house is currently livable – it just needs the kitchen and bathroom redone. I can use both rooms, I just want to bring them to the present day vs. their current condition of the 1950′s. For instance, I want a gas stove, but the only hook up is electric. Since I’d need to buy a stove anyway, I’d want the gas line put in right away. That kind of stuff.

  47. So, my husband drinks a lot. Two bottles a night. He is not the same man I married. We have two kids, and he has two from another marriage. I want to leave but I really don’t think it is financially possible. I make $45k/year, but have retirement/insurance all through my work. I have $140 k in student loans, but I work for a nonprofit / school so they will be forgiven in 9 more years. I am paying $810/month in daycare. We NEVER had joint accounts. Some of my student loans were taken out while we were married. The house is in his name. I moved in when he had owned it less than 1 year. By the time I pay my loan and daycare, I have less than $1,000. My dad’s house is literally falling apart and in a horrible school district. What can I do? I am so scared of not making it financially…. So much so that I feel like I can’t leave.

    • If he have income from any source, then he will owe you child support and possibly alimony as well. Gather together your financial records (tax returns and W-2s and paystubs) and see an attorney immediately to find out how much support you are entitled to. Having that information will make it easier for you to make a logical decision.

  48. Gertrude says:

    I am preparing for divorce and I cannot find a full-time job. A lawyer I consulted with told me to get a full-time job with benefits before I go through this process. Every other person I have asked for advice about this situation has said to go into the divorce process WITHOUT a job so that I will get more alimony. I’m aware that he could take me to court later to reduce his alimony payments once I do obtain full-time employment.

    Any thoughts?

    • If you need income, get a job. If you can’t find a job, then you can’t follow your attorney’s advice, so you’ll need to go through divorce without one. But keep looking, because I’ll bet you’ll need the income. It’s almost impossible to support two households on only one income that barely covered the expenses of only one household before.

  49. Christina says:

    I’ve been divorced for almost 3 years and have my 2 kids 78% of the time and pay for everything, their dad has them 22% of the time and doesn’t contribute anything other than the court ordered child support. He was paying child support and providing health insurance for both children but has recently lost his job and has filed for a modification of child support and also wants to claim one of the children as a dependent on his taxes. I’ve already filed taxes for 2013 and claimed both children, he hasn’t filed and I’m assuming he hasn’t since he owes. What are the chances of the court actually granting him the deduction on his taxes? According to the IRS in order for you to claim a child as a deduction they have to be living with you for more than 6 months of the year and you have provide 50% or more of their support.

    • I don’t know the laws in your state, but I’m guessing the chances of the court retroactively giving him the exemption for the children is zero, since courts deal with future support, not past support, so I don’t think that 2013 will be an issue. If the court orders that he can claim the exemption and that you sign the form needed for him to do so, then that will supercede the IRS rules.

      • Christina says:

        He lives with his parents and I’m sure he will be taking full advantage of his unemployment benefits for the whole year. Neither of his parents work. Would claiming one of the children even benefit him on his taxes since his income will be drastically lower than what it was? And if his parents aren’t working and he lives with them can’t he claim one of them as a dependent?

  50. My brother was married to the most selfish,lazy,foul mouth human i have ever seen. She fought with eveyone, sit at home on FB and make foul comments and start fights. Degraded him in front of his kids, told him he needed to get a second job to support his family. He was married to her for 19 years and he finally left her she told him she will not stop until he is broke and uses his Son as a pawn and tells thier son everything. She has been cheating on him for years and calls his current girlfriend a home wrecking whore. And this was way after the fact ….He pays the mortgage payment and gave her 1700 dollars yet she thinks he should pay her more money to pay the other bills. I agree that SOME women including my ex sister in law are Diseased Parasite, and a deceitful human being that dont deserve a damn thing.

  51. My husband, was planning a place for him and his friends wife to live, while he was working on financially ruining our business and taking all our clients, but I found out before it all came together,he moved out, he already had a place he was paying for her to live in. He bought a house 6 months after moving out, we have no separation agreement, I pay for all the mortgage, property taxes, all the existing joint bills we had, college for our kids, basically everything, and he has not paid for any of it for almost 4 years. Now his girlfriend has left, and he is paying support to her. Our divorce, support, child support has not even started yet. My lawyer and the judge recommended this stay out of the court because of all of his accounts and the CRA getting involved, but he refused to go to mediation so now we have to go to court,

  52. I have been married for 18 years and I have such mixed emotions. At times, I hate my husband and others I think, “am I being unreasobale.” I sometimes think that divorce is “bad” and only until recently, do I not see it that way! But as liberating for women. Also the thought of the divorce process is very daunting…. There is so much that goes into it and making sure the keeps feel safe and adjusted.

    So here is my story… My husband of 18 years has some very peculiar habits and they really effect my quality of life. He is crazy about energy efficiency and we can’t use the dryer, only hand dry cloths. He doesn’t like to turn lights on, so he wears a headlight really all day, every day unless he is in public. He has the most awful mood swings. One minute he is funny and light hearted and the next amazing depressed where he can barely move. Much of the time he yells, when he speaks. He is a pack-rat and our very big house is so crammed with his stuff that I can’t invite anyone to our house for shear embarrassment… It’s been going on 5 years in this state. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

    I do have a decent job (better then his) and I should be able to support my four kids if we live modestly but I imagine he will be the most atrocious person if I were to live.

    Could someone please comment and let me know what you think of this? Thank you.

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  1. [...] of getting divorced, couples do breakup. In fact, the Women's Institute for Financial Education (WIFE) says, "Each year, nearly 2.8 million men and women go through the emotional and financial trauma [...]

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