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    Help Needed

    I am is a real spot and thought to come here. My DH just told me this morning that he is filing for divorce. I knew it was on the horizon but thought it would a little while before either of us filed.

    We have over $60K in debt and the house is worth less then what we paid for it. The credit card debt is about 1/2 in his name and 1/2 in my name. The mortgage is in his name.

    What should I do first to protect myself? He makes a majority of the money and I have just started working after staying home for 12 years.

    #2
    Sorry to hear of your situation. I have to say, though, that while I'm sure you will get good support here, what you need to do ASAP is retain a good divorce attorney to protect your interests. Laws vary from state to state and every situation is unique, so tips and advice you get here may or may not apply to you exactly. I wish you the best as you move through the process.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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      #3
      Thanks Steve. I have the number of two attorneys that I am going to call on Monday.

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        #4
        Steve is exactly right. I'm sure it depends on the state, but in Texas and kids are involved, then if you have a good attorney, he may end up with the debt or a large part of it, because his income is higher. As Steve said, be careful using any advice here as none of us have enough information to give you great advice.

        One piece of advice I'll give you is regarding your finances. I'm assuming that 60K in debt doesn't include the mortgage. I'm assuming some is car debt and some is credit card debt. You don't give your income so I can't make assumptions too much, but 60K in debt (not including mortgage is A LOT even if your income is $300K. So, start now planning for your future. Sit down and calculate what it is going to take to live on your own. Leave the debt out of the calculation for now. This process will determine how mcuh you can afford to spend on debt reduction. This exercise may also help you in the divorce settlement, especially if kids are involved. If you aren't good at this whole financial thing, then I'll point you to our website runawayfinances.com. I know it sounds like I'm promoting our own site, but I built this site to help people that can't afford my services and who don't feel they have the ability to fix their finances on their own. Basically, you need to find out what it is going to cost you to live on your own. That process involves look back 12 months and determining what you spent. That is going to be a little harder for you as you need to figure out YOUR expenses going forward. You may or may not be able to use all the expenses in the past as a guide.

        Not a great way to start the weekend. Sorry you are having to go through this. Feel free to ask more questions. I'm trying to come to this site every day. If I don't reply, it may be because I couldn't find it again. You can also send a message through runawayfinances.com if you don't see a reply. Although I think this site is awesome to get opinions from many different people.

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          #5
          My divorce came relatively quickly and was a surprise. That is, my ex didn't tell me she was filing for divorce during our separation, but in all fairness, perhaps she didn't know at first either.

          But in your case, it sounds like the two of you have seen it coming for a while.... What I'm getting at is, to add to what Steve said, I hope that the two of you can work things out amicably. Seeing as how it is not a surprise, it's always best if things can be mediated and settled.

          I hear some divorces were so amicable that they required little to no legal intervention. Of course, that is not to suggest that you shouldn't retain a lawyer.

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            #6
            Sorry to her about the end of your marriage.

            I'd set up a seperate bank account for your work income.

            I'd call the credit cards in your name and let them know of the situation. If he's on the card as user, maybe it could be removed. I'm not sure about that at all.

            Is is possible to have a decent conversation with him on what he thinks should happen financially. Of course, the more you communicate, the better it will be. I know this may be asking a lot.

            If I think of something else, I'll let you know.
            My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

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              #7
              Sadly your marraige has ended. Divorce can be collaborative or litigated depending on the four of you [lawyers & couple]

              Check-out the attorney before you hire. Attorneys charge by the minute whether by phone, in person or by mail and it's important to budget for the costs. Find a minister or therapist to help you sort out your feelings, never use your lawyer to vent. You need to view divorce as a business matter, contractual,
              try your best to keep as much emotion out of it as you possibly can.

              Save time and money by creating a snap shot of assets, when/where acquired, cost, financing details, investments, IRS filings, cash reserves, CC stmts., cancelled checks/hard copy of e-bank statements, car loan etc. Identify what items are yours without playing power games. Do not allow your divorcing spouse to play power games either, even if it's easier. Your financial snapshot should also substantiate your lifestyle.

              Do you suspect hidden assets? Would your spouse be likely to file bankruptcy? That would require special clauses to limit the impact on you. Open a savings a/c and take a reasonable amount from any joint a/cs but don't strip them as all actions have re-actions and consequences.

              Think about what you will need post separation. Can you arrange health benefits for yourself [child]? If your income will not support the costs of operating the house, can you rent it to cover expenses?

              Begin creating a list of Experts like appraiser, business valuator [if appropriate], forensic accountant. Be aware that the past can follow you. The car loan isn't affected because ofyour change of status, the IRS can conduct an audit etc.
              Last edited by snafu; 05-30-2009, 02:12 PM.

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