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finances with an AH

Old 04-02-2010, 12:28 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
I've read some horror stories on this board about credit card companies coming after the spouse, after the divorce, even though the settlement excluded them from paying the debt. They can.

L
My ex AW is dead and they still call me on her delinquent accounts, and we've been divorced 2005. I am in now way responsible because they were debts incurred after the separation, but they still call me every six months when her debts roll over to the next collection agency in line.

WOD I'll be frank here, get your own income and keep it separate and apart. Get your name off any account you share with any active addict in your life. Pull a credit report on your husband because that is THE ONLY WAY you will know about any account/s your name is on with his.

And the promise to "not do that to you"... When the chips are down and an active addict is cornered and forced to choose between fight or flight mode THEN you will see just what he is capable of.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:47 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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I could go on endlessly about the financial difficulties of being married to an alcoholic. Based on my experience.....

1. if you all think it is wise to know your husband's credit card debt/payment plan (or even set joint agreements about how much to pay off a month or an agreement not to get into any more debt, etc.)

I think it is very wise to know your husbands financial info. It is yours now too.

I think joint accounts are smart in healthy relationships, and very unwise in relationships with alcoholics.

I think budget discussions, shared budget plans, and financial planning are all a waste of breath and time with an alcoholic.

2. is it weird to you that my H keeps it secret?

I think it is suspect. Highly suspect.

3. how do you do your finances with your husband/wife? Do you share everything? Do you plan together? Do you have agreements about money? How does that work if it is going right?

I have had approximatley 10,489 different discussions, plans, agreements, arrangements when it comes to money, budgets, financial planning. All the discussions were rational, joint, agreed on. NONE of them worked. Both people have to a) care, b) intend to follow through, c) actually follow through.

Where I am at the basic is that debt before marriage remains with the person, debt incurred during marriage is shared 50/50 regardless of if both people knew about it, signed for it, etc. Debt during seperation, but before divorce, is shared unless the divorce petition forbids it.

Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
I tried for years to figure out how to have a healthy relationship around finances. I think you have to have a healthy partner first.

We had all our finances combined at one point, and we were constantly broke. One day I opened my own account and had my paycheck direct deposited into it. His name was not on the account. From that day on, no more bounced checks, no more late payments, etc. But, I was now covering everything, just to make sure it was covered. He took that as free reign to spend all his money on whatever he felt like. UGH.

Honestly, one of the biggest reasons I divorced him was to protect myself financially.
L
We may have been married to the same person.

Originally Posted by LaTeeDa View Post
My finances are straight. But, I'm single and staying that way. Never giving my power away again. Emotionally, spiritually, financially, or otherwise.

L
We may be the same person, lol.
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:51 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Is divorce as outrageously expensive as I fear it is?
Can you do it (theoretically) without lawyers?
Can you do it cheaper if you do a joint divorce/mediation?
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Old 04-02-2010, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wifeofadrinker View Post
Is divorce as outrageously expensive as I fear it is?
Can you do it (theoretically) without lawyers?
Can you do it cheaper if you do a joint divorce/mediation?
My lawyer cost me about $2000. We did not have a court battle. How well you come out of the divorce as far as debt/assets depends.

In my state you are allowed to file on your own. You can get the forms online. Then you just pay whatever court costs are.

I have no idea on your last question.
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:05 PM
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I was chased by my XAH's bank, for 5 years after I had left him and been divorced.
I had a mastercard and he was a co-card holder, but day before I left him, I had his name removed from the card. The bank let him run up a few thousand and first I knew was 6 weeks after I had left.

Loads of apologies at first, til they found he had nothing, and back to me, month after month, with amount increasing, and then debt collectors at my door.

Threatened to go to a current affairs show on tv, and also sue their hides off. That worked, and they scrubbed the debt...then spent 3 years getting my name off it and it hurting my X's credit not mine.

Hope you land the job you want Wifey, and make it soon.

God bless
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:14 PM
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I did my own divorce. It cost me about $500, and most of that was court fees. I had a free consultation with an attorney in the beginning. He wanted $7000 for a retainer and told me it could easily go as high as $15000-20000. I decided to try and represent myself first, and if the need arose, then I would go the expensive route.

I won't lie to you, doing it myself was not easy. Court paperwork and proceedings are confusing as he11, even though my AH didn't put up much of a fight. But, in the end, I got what I wanted and it didn't bankrupt me. So, I would say it was worth it.

Divorce laws are highly subjective and specific to each state, so others' experience on this board will probably not prove to be useful to you, unless you are in the same state.

L
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:21 PM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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HI,

My exA was very secretive about money. He inherited a lot after his father died (like millions a lot). Anyway, he started complaining about money two years ago. But, insisted that he was very well off. He spent loads of money.

The woman he married claimed to have millions too. She had a very nice house and car (her ex-fiance before my exA actually purchased those for her, but that came out later). The week after their wedding, her house went into foreclosure. She also had a bankruptcy in her past and was fired from her previous job (all this was secret at the time). Six months after they married his debts came out of the woodwork. He lives at a country club and is about to be kicked out for not paying fees and assessments in addtion to almost getting kicked out of another club for not paying back dues. Neither of them were honest about finances.

When I was with him, I used to create budgets and ask him to please help me with the numbers as I wanted us to be financially solid always. I am a little OCD about it. He never would work on that with me. Now I know why.

For your own protection, you need to know what your financial situation is. You are married, so HIS is part of YOURS.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:34 PM
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It was explained to me that any debt that is accumulated by your husband during the marriage is what I could be liable for (anything before the marriage you are not liable for). As well, I am making the assumption that the debt is in his name.

1. if you all think it is wise to know your husband's credit card debt/payment plan (or even set joint agreements about how much to pay off a month or an agreement not to get into any more debt, etc.) My husband no longer uses credit cards. He only uses a debit card now and records his purchases. Previously, he had a huge debt. He settled with his credit cards.
2. is it weird to you that my H keeps it secret? Some spouses do separate finances. It depends what it is and if you could be liable for it if something happens.
3. how do you do your finances with your husband/wife? Do you share everything? Do you plan together? Do you have agreements about money? How does that work if it is going right? Our finances are separate. But we do share a Best Buy credit card that both of us make payments on. And we each write a check for our apartment rent. We also share the cost of cable and utilities. And my husband reimburses me for the health insurance that he is getting through my company.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:30 PM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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I really think it should be WAY harder to marry. I remember asking the registrar if there was a list somewhere of what legal changes would happen when I married, what the "small-print" of the contract was, in fact a prior view of the LARGE-PRINT would have been a start. there is no list here.
there should be a long list, in plain english explaining the legal, financial, medical ramifications of tying that knot. and you should have to provide full financial disclosure. and a health-check. and and identity check. and a crime-record check. and a family tree etc, plus undergo compatability counselling, before it is even possible to get a marriage license.
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Old 04-02-2010, 03:53 PM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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As if you don't have enough to worry about being married to an alcoholic... add in finances... and it's another BIG worry. Yes, you are responsible for his debt. Debts and assets are 50/50 in most all states now.

Is is abnormal that he's secretive about the finances? YES. You should share that knowledge fully - NORMAL couples do.

Is a divorce expensive? YES. (mine was $25K - and I'm not a rich person... just middle class average person) We had a home, debt and it all got split... 50/50.

Should you have a lawyer? YES, if you have debt and property.

I'd advise you to take the blindfolds off, get informed as to what is going on. It's your right, and your responsibility. Having "trust" in an alcoholic is not wise. Don't put your faith in the thought he's being responsible. Protect yourself.

Never again will I EVER trust anyone with my security - emotionally or financially. "Once bitten, twice shy" you might say.
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Old 04-02-2010, 05:22 PM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by NYC_Chick View Post
This happened to my sister 8 years after her divorce with a credit card her x husband took out, unknown to her, when they were married.
Did she talk to a lawyer? I thought debt expires after 7 years, it's uncollectible, so companies sell it to maverick bill collectors for pennies on the dollars and they try to bully people out of payment.

Very weird.

He's not letting you know because he's hiding something big. "Trust me" says the alkie. "I'll never drink again. I'll never lie again. I'll never stick you with any debt."

Alcoholics always lie. They are not trustworthy. And alkies get very vindictive in divorce. Even if he can pay, he may try to stick you with a portion of the bills just because he's mad at you.

I'd find out what's going on . Annualcreditreport.com is the government sponsored one, I think. I'd pull both yours and his. Particularly if you own a house or car together. Do you want to come home one day and find a notice of default on your house or have your car repoed?

You have the right to know.

The problem is, once you find out he's $40,000 in debt, what are you going to do about it?

Debt acquired only in his name prior to the marriage is probably going to be just his. Debt acquired only in his name can go either way, it depends on the state and the judge. Debt acquired in both your names is both yours. Fortunately, joint or marital debt is usually apportioned according to income, so if he makes twice as much as you, you end up with a third of it.

However--alkies have a habit of losing jobs, and codies often end up trying to make ends meet on underpaid jobs; it can work both ways: you make $10 an hour and he's unemployable, so you get stuck with all the bills.

You need to find out, you have to know if you are going to be going down with the sinking ship.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:12 PM
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No, debt does not expire after 7 years. The laws are sticky around this from what I have learned, but they were in contact with him and she was properly served with a lawsuit over it when he ignored debt collectors, which she obviously never knew about. Not paying it would have been both stupid and irresponsible of her, regardless of how the debt was accrrued. Fair? No, but legal? Yep.
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Old 04-02-2010, 06:59 PM
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He's not letting you know because he's hiding something big. "Trust me" says the alkie. "I'll never drink again. I'll never lie again. I'll never stick you with any debt."

I agree with this.

Alcoholics always lie. They are not trustworthy. And alkies get very vindictive in divorce. Even if he can pay, he may try to stick you with a portion of the bills just because he's mad at you.

This was my experience in a break up and seeing it before in his divorce.
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Old 04-02-2010, 07:17 PM
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hi wife-

i divorced my husband for $45 in wash.,dc. we went to the court, got the paper, stood back in line and submitted it. we had no children and had agreed ourselves to the division of assets. about one month later, there was a court date. we both appeared and the divorce was granted. then, he took me out to lunch.

we had no shared accounts, but had bought a house together, which we agreed i would buy from him. i did the paperwork for that too and filed the deed.

this type of thing only works out cleanly if both parties are reasonable adults.

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Old 04-02-2010, 07:26 PM
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hi again wife-

now, as for finances with my alcoholic (who i did not marry) it was a case of what's mine is his and what's his is his.

when i first entered the relationship, i had quite a bit of money and property. i shared everything with him. after 5 years, i was broke.

he then turned the tables and any money he got, he drank. as i had no money anymore, i moved in with him. he gave me less than crumbs...not even enough to keep the electricity on or food in the house.

i agree with thumper, it was about control. how couuld i go out and do anything if i didn't even have five dollars in my pocket? therefore, i could only go out when he felt like taking me along (rarely) and i couldn't even make decisions about the household as it takes money to run one.

i think it is ridiculous that you have no idea what the finances are in your marriage but of course, i think it's ridiculous that i shared thousands and thousands of dollars with a man that won't share enough to keep the heating on in the house.

and i'll second that you don't know what they will do until the chips are down.

i recall my alcohlic being arrested for smashing a door down and attacking my neighbor whose house i had fled to one particularly bad night. one policeman arrested him and the other police man was standing in the living room.

across the walkie talkie, i heard my partner saying to the police officer "take her house key from her, the apartment is only in my name".

the police officer said i could stay in our home and the judge ordered him not to come near our house for 2 months.

anyway, just a story.

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Old 04-03-2010, 07:38 AM
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I'd recommend against following legal advice from a free online forum, no matter how well intentioned.

In an ideal world, you and he would talk openly about the situation and consult an attorney together to find out what obligations each of you has. There are steps you can take together to firewall his debt and protect you, but they require a united front between the two of you.

I don't see a united front in your post. I see extreme secrecy on his part. One thing I learned about my RABF's secrets (and he was very secretive when he was drinking, still somewhat that way now that he's sober): it was always way worse than even my overly developed imagination could dream up. I found out early on that even though he made $90,000 a year, he couldn't keep up with his bills ("forgot" to file tax returns one year and the IRS garnished his paycheck). In 2008 he swore he had everything straightened out, and two months later I pulled up to his house and there was a foreclosure notice tacked to the door. He had gotten in late from the bar the night before and never noticed it.

My RABF had a huge amount of shame about all this, and that's why he kept secrets. I told him I had compassion for him, but I still had a right to know--either that, or he could tell me I had no right to know and I'd walk. To his credit, he didn't get angry and blame me for asking. The lies were bad enough.

{shuddering at the memory}
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:09 AM
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thanks, everybody!
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Old 04-05-2010, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by NYC_Chick View Post
No, debt does not expire after 7 years. The laws are sticky around this from what I have learned, but they were in contact with him and she was properly served with a lawsuit over it when he ignored debt collectors, which she obviously never knew about. Not paying it would have been both stupid and irresponsible of her, regardless of how the debt was accrrued. Fair? No, but legal? Yep.
I looked it up. It depends on the state. For example in Florida credit card debt expires 4 years after the last payment is made (in Michigan it's 6 years). It can stay on your credit report longer, but they can no longer legally sue to collect it--altho they can try to pressure you. Written contracts expire after 6 years in FL and MI, judgments after 20 (but have to be revalidated after 6) in FL and 6 in MI. Fed student loans, child support/alimony, taxes, and judicial fines never expire--but they can only be collected in the name of the person who accrued them--that's federal law.

Some states have it that ANY debt incurred during the marriage belongs to both, and some have it that only debts signed by both belong to both. In MI if your name is not on the debt, you are never liable for it.

The problem is, no matter what we all agree, you can't get blood from a turnip, and if he doesn't want to come clean, wife's kind of stuck.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by lc2846 View Post
One thing I learned about my RABF's secrets (and he was very secretive when he was drinking, still somewhat that way now that he's sober): it was always way worse than even my overly developed imagination could dream up.
Same here. He drank more than I realized, he lied more than I knew, and schemed against me with his kid and family and my kids and whomever he could far more than I knew at the time.

He was a horrible person, but he's sure he's a put-upon, victimized saint.

(Re: lying: he'd confess, 'I'm terrible at lying, people know right away', and you were supposed to be reassured that he was such a bumbler at lying that he'd just given it up. In fact, he was an accomplished liar, a dyed-in-the-wool liar, and that phrase was just to cover himself in case he did get caught: "See, I'm a terrible liar", and you wouldn't look for the other lies he got away with--everyone I've ever known who has said "I'm a terrible liar" was actually a very good liar. The phrase is a red flag to me now.)
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