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Fight or Run?

Old 09-29-2011, 09:05 AM
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Fight or Run?

Hi SR friends,
I am interested in input here as I face a decision on how to handle this divorce.

I met with an attorney. I have claims I can make financially, based on the money I paid into things like HIS house and HIS credit card. I can claim 1/2 his retirement over 2 years, as well.

We have one joint credit card that I have made the payments on all along. It has a relatively small balance (in comparison to the rest of the country!) that was originally mine from a higher APR card. I paid off his card balance first, and then began working on this one right at the time that I moved out. I also paid about $20,000 into his mortgage while living there - so about $23,000 total on his personal debt. He has refused to pay anything toward mine. I offered him a divorce settlement to take 1/2 this card balance and I will assume the rest and the account in my own name. Now he wants to whittle the amount down - taking all the while about "fairness".

I can:
1. assume the entire debt and run, run, run away as fast as I can from this psycho and never ever fight with him again,
2. Fight for something...anything...back on my financial investment in him and his debt.

I am torn.

He's pulled a real doozy this time...breaking into my email accounts...making up lies about "things I did to him"...telling my how I feel. (I really hate that!)..refusing to take any personal responsibility for anything (big surprise) and just being a general a$$hat. Blame, blame, blame....yeesh it never ends!

But it can end, if I want to take a loss. Walk away with less than I had when I began this crazy-train relationship.

Thoughts? Should I call the financial loss a 'painful lesson learned' or should I pursue what I rightfully, by law, have a claim to...some return on my financial investment in him?

P.S. I can afford the financial hit - it will hurt, I am a single Mom with teenagers - but I can do it and be ok.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:23 AM
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If it were me and I could afford it, I'd just take the hit and get out quicker and never have to see or talk to him again. I'm not one to drag things out anyway and when I'm done, I'm DONE.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:31 AM
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Wow, that is a tough one for sure.

What does your gut tell you?

My dry drunk fiance walked out after my savings from a workman's comp settlement was drained, and I took care of his two daughters when they came up from Florida for a month to visit.

I took it as a very expensive painful lesson. I was so cooked I was beyond done.

Just my own personal experience on the matter.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:39 AM
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In a way, it's quite the insult toward him to be willing to give up those funds if that means you get away from his nasty azz faster.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:55 AM
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I realize intellectually that I am trying to force my ethics and principles onto someone who has proven time and time again he has none, except those that cater directly to his benefit. Part of me agrees - take the loss and run like heck and never, ever look back because this guy is nuttier than a Pay Day candy bar, stalking the Peppermint Patty in the candy aisle.

But...I get all tangled up in what I feel is "the right thing to do", by my own personal standards. And of course, my folks are pushing me like crazy to pursue something.

I didn't want the divorce - he did. I thought all was fine - he was the one who created a bunch of drama this month and ran with it to the point of sheer lunacy.

*SIGH* I know I got the best of him - the first year we were together. All the rest was drunken madness, just like now. But when he says "fair", I just cringe inside knowing there is absolutely nothing fair in any of this, and that has been perpetuated by him.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by suki44883 View Post
In a way, it's quite the insult toward him to be willing to give up those funds if that means you get away from his nasty azz faster.
Thanks Suki - that is the other part of the thought in my head. Screw him and his money - I want nor need nothing so go f-off and never utter my name again, you psycho!
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Tuffgirl View Post
Thanks Suki - that is the other part of the thought in my head. Screw him and his money - I want nor need nothing so go f-off and never utter my name again, you psycho!
Therapeutic to say stuff like that, isn't it?
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:08 AM
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TG, could you work something out where you get some of it back rather than taking a complete loss? If you are willing to walk away with nothing asking for something less than what he is expecting won't hurt and you could end up in a better position. Say something to the effect that you'd rather he had it that the lawyers. He'll think he's winning and you're getting more than you planned.


Your friend,
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:11 AM
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The real question is ...even if you give in. Take all the debt and not fight for a thing...will he still just let you go?

I doubt it.

My thinking is there is a battle to be had whether it be about something important or not...he will find something else to fight about..and draw out your divorce as long as he can if for no other reason than because ..he can. It's going to be about control.
Not about the money or whatever else he decides to fight for...
it will be "wow, I've still got her"...and it could be about something he has absolutely NO right to....
but will fight for it just for the sake of doing it.

I say take a stand. He's going to be difficult anyway...you may as well make it worth your time.But be careful...psychos get more psycho when you try to leave...!!!
Good luck
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:35 AM
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Tuffgirl-

My exAH and I had no debt occurred during the marriage, except our mortgage. Either of us could pay it on our own. His family has a lot of money, mine has plenty but not an abundance.

We had a relatively amicable parting considering.

At times though there was a lot of blaming especially about finances from him. He was REALLY angry when our house (that I was buying from him) did not appraise as high as he thought it was worth for example. When we divided joint property things that I was keeping came out in value about 50 dollars different from each other he went ballistic (he really wanted me to owe him something). I had been working fulltime plus the year and a half prior to our divorce in part because his father was on hospice. Between his father's illness and the economy he was not working very much. I had paid for all the extras during that year. He was not willing to discuss that additional money that I had contributed for example.

It was easier for me at the time to just sigh, not make waves and settle. I have enough in retirement and with careful financial planning have enough to pay all my bills and then some.

Almost a year later this morning I had a good cry about it. I am ANGRY at myself for settling and not making waves. Part of me did not think I was worth fighting for, and that is why I behaved the way I did. I am grateful that I got out, and that it was done fairly easily, please don't read into this that I am not.

I just expected (gets me every time) that it would be a black and white issue for me. I took the high road right...I will feel good about that. It is not as easy as that.

In no way am I trying to tell you which way to go. I am starting to realize that I would probably have unresolved emotions regardless of how I choose to act at that time. I just want to support you that it is not an easy choice and that regardless of the choice you make you will have strong feelings about it for time to come.

I want the world to be in black and white, and it is always shades of grey.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:39 AM
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You have two levels... the legal/ financial level is what you have a lawyer for. You have to think calmly about your future. Giving up EVERYTHING that you are legally entitled to, will be an emotional choice...not good.
His insanity is separate. Nothing you do..fair or not, is going to change that. Obviously, it already has messed with your head, and is intruding into the nuts and bolts of the divorce.
Just my thoughts... cut your losses and run is something that MIGHT be necessary. But don't go there, UNLESS IT BECOMES necessary.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:44 AM
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TG, I have worked in the legal profession for some time and I can say, it is not necessarily an either-or proposition. You can always "start" the battle and if you hit a point where you don't care anymore then you can always cut and run.

Also, I have seen instances when the non-alc spouse expected a knock-down drag out fight, but the A just blew the whole thing off - in other words, it was much easier than expected.

If you are certain you would be in for a fight, then your attorney should be able to help you with some more specific cost-benefit analysis. Do you know anyone who has been a party to litigation like this? They may have some opinions on what it really means to fight, and whether it's worth it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by garfiild View Post
If you are certain you would be in for a fight, then your attorney should be able to help you with some more specific cost-benefit analysis.
That's basically what she did with me during the consult. We figured it would cost me more to retain her directly than I would ever see from him, mainly because he doesn't have much. If I got 1/2 the equity on his house, he couldn't pay me. I would only be able to put a lien on the property. If he assumed 1/2 any joint debt (the one card) that doesn't mean he would pay on it, and to protect my credit rating, I would of course be liable to continue paying. Since our retirements both didn't do well over the last few years, it would be a wash there - so that leaves me with really just getting a potential judgement with no potential for receiving anything monetary indefinitely.

So I offered to split the card debt and forget the rest of the money I've put down on his debt. Call that my loss. He countered with a smaller amount and said ti wasn't fair of him to pay anything on my debt, and me paying on his was fair because I was "living there" during that time. I had to remind him he was not my landlord nor did we have a rental agreement in place. We were married. Very juvenile way of looking at what's fair, I'd say!

Now - all that said, walking away, as Suki mentioned, may be the higher road here in the sense that it sends a loud and clear message that I simply want to get as far, far away as possible. and I know where to get an RO if he bothers me or my daughters again. I am leaning toward this, but am more than chapped at the idea that I get nothing for the money I put into it. But hey, big surprise, huh?!

Thanks for your input, folks!
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:27 AM
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how long and protracted of an ugly legal battle with exhorbitent attorney fees and probably years of court drama do you want to endure? cuz asshat there is not gonna just concede and i doubt you would ever get ALL that you ask for. so this "return on investment" will probably end up a push at best....you might get something awarded in your favor, but the legal fees would pretty much negate any real GAIN.
Anvil sort of said what I was thinking. I ran through my savings and a credit card very quickly just over a couple of months dealing with a lesser issue with my AXH last spring. You'll probably spend as much as he owes you (or more) on lawyer fees. I'd try to negotiate a deal through the lawyers (where maybe he gives you enough to pay off your credit card or something) and go with the best deal you can get without going to a contested divorce.

But then again -- if he decides he wants to be a d**k and fight you anyway, you might want to rethink the "cut my losses" strategy. My attitude was "I will try to get us both out of this marriage as easily as possibly, but if you choose to fight me, I'll bring my uzi."
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:45 AM
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Anvil - I thought about my motivation here, and ya know, it isn't the money (although some relief would be nice, given I support 3 people here and he supports only himself) but more the idea that he can make a serious commitment and then walk away as if none of it mattered at all, while leaving the dead bodies in the wake. AND - pointing the finger at me - again - while he's walking away. I know it is ludicrous to think I have any power to change someone's perspective, but again I get caught up in the idea of worth.

I thought he was worth investing in. I believed him when he said we had a future, therefore I was perfectly ok with investing in his, knowing full well I could end up with nothing because what I was investing in did not have my name on it. I simply took him at his word that he would sell his house, as I initially sold mine, to buy a marital home for us all. That never happened, and I doubt he ever had any intention of doing it anyway.

So as irrational as it sounds, I feel like the girls and I are worth SOMETHING here - we committed to this and invested in it and now he wants to toss us away as if we mean nothing and are entitled to nothing.

It seems all WRONG somehow to just walk away, severing all ties, without asking him to step up. But on the other hand, he has never stepped up before so I am insane myself to think he will now. And, is it my place to force some realization here? According to my recovery, that is not my job...and according to my 40 years of life wisdom, the universe has a way of taking care of that without my help or input.

Gosh reading this makes me realize I just need to get out of this mess and if that means paying off a debt myself, so be it. Yeesh. What a horrible 3 years and by far, the biggest mistake of my life.
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Old 09-29-2011, 11:58 AM
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Tuffgirl-

Thanks for the last post. That is what I cried about this morning, feeling like I was tossed aside.

I also am coming to realize in teh last little bit that though the feelings and emotions are hard, wow am I glad that I am capable of having them, sitting with them etc. I read that in what you are writing too.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:01 PM
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What helped me move past being screwed over by my ex-fiance was realizing he has to look at himself in the mirror every day, and that was far worse than anything I could wish on him.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:13 PM
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Thanks DeVon, I needed that reminder!

He just sent me an email stating he would transfer a percentage off the card but we had to stipulate that in the dissolution. How asinine. If he transfers and I assume the account in my own name, then why bother having that in the dissolution papers? It will already be done? I replied saying do it and never contact me again. Now...we see if he does it or if he comes back with more arguing, of which I intend to ignore. I have repeated myself enough to last me a lifetime.
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Old 09-29-2011, 12:49 PM
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My 2 cents worth, my ex was a psycho, she counted on me walking away fast and she ended up way ahead, if I had a do-over I would fight her for every last penny because money was the only thing that ever mattered to her.
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Old 09-29-2011, 01:26 PM
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I believe that the credit card debt should be split right down the middle. As for the house, you had to live somewhere and I don't think that is worth fighting over.

I would keep everything as simple as possible, no sense in racking up alot of attorney fees to obtain nothing.

Just my 2 cents....Dolly
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