Money and Divorce: Will You End Up Homeless?

stack of money next to divorce decree

Money Fears about Divorce

Do your fears about how much money divorce will cost and the soul-sickening fears of running out of money keep you up late at night?

The all-encompassing fear of running out of money can hold us back right from the very time we start seriously considering divorce and continue to torment us with its relentless, teasing grasp  all the way through the divorce process and continue to keep us entangled during the months and years to follow.

Believe me, I understand. During my 20 year of marriage, I wasn’t able to pursue full-time employment due to my husband’s frequent business travel schedule that he was required to follow and the fact that we had to relocate for his career seven times all over the country with barely a month’s notice.

I was in charge of managing the grocery money, figuring out 101 New Ways to Fix Chicken for dinner, and keeping our three kids’ staggered times of their bus schedules straight as I acted as the Chief Financial Officer of Kids and Chaos.

For so many years, we followed the mutual business deal that my husband and I had made early on in our marriage with me taking on all of the cooking, cleaning, dealing with sick kids, our dog who ate a beanie baby and parent-teacher conferences. My husband was then able to make himself fully available 24/7 to his corporate bosses, constant business travel and the needs of his sales reps and clients.

But everything changed when the corporation we had both dedicated to organizing our lives around for years was suddenly taken over in an unexpected business merger.

My husband joined his co-workers and bosses in having to find a different job and we relocated yet again so that he could take a two year contract position with the hopes that it would lead to him getting hired on permanently.

Two years later, he was given severance pay and told he was being replaced.  Angry at the hand he’d been dealt, my husband refused to even consider looking for another job.

Instead, he insisted that we put our family home on the market right away and then cashed out a large portion of retirement money so that we could choose a franchise business and start a new location where we lived.

When we arrived at our bank to set up new a new joint business checking account the business accounts manager asked us if she should write down on our application that we would both be co-presidents of our new franchise location.  To her shock, my husband insisted that only one person could be the CEO and that I would have to be the secretary.

Less than six months later, I discovered my husband’s complicated secret life of infidelity, hidden money and his detailed plan to make himself look as broke as possible by starting a new business and then claiming his income was now zero at the time our divorce began.

My husband’s attorney fueled the fires early on during divorce by filing motions asking the judge to order us  to re-list our family home for sale and pleading my husband’s  new state of  ‘extreme financial hardship’ while we waited for the judge to  set temporary orders for spousal and child support.

As if all that weren’t enough craziness on my plate, the lease on our minivan came due soon after the divorce started we had to turn the van back in.

My husband adamantly refused to have anything to do with my attorney’s repeated requests that he co-sign a loan or lease so that I would be able to get a car to drive and then I would agree in writing to take over the car payments once the divorce was final. Since I didn’t have a full time job, I was unable to get a new lease or loan on my own.

Instead my husband called me nearly every day, yelling at me that “If  you continue to ask for spousal and child support then the new business will go bankrupt and you’ll soon be homeless and taking the bus downtown.”

Did I let these fears get to me?  Yes and No.

Although I knew that my woman attorney would try hard to guide me through the divorce financially, I had not heard encouraging things about the judge assigned to my case and worried both day and night about where me and the kids would live and how I would drive them around to where they needed to go in our suburban neighborhood.

“You’ll end up homeless if you don’t settle with me right now…”

You ‘ll end up taking the bus downtown if you insist on pursuing alimony…”

When we allow threats like these to seep into every corner of our minds, it’s easy to see why so many people give in too early just to get away from their spouses’ tirades and insistence that we give in to whatever they want.

Fortunately for me, the kids and I never did end up homeless and taking the bus.

Instead, around the time that I so desperately needed a car, our marital house sold and after it closed, my attorney went in to see the judge and asked for a court order so that I could get some of my portion of the money from the sale of our home and use that money to buy a car outright.

The very next day I was the proud owner of a new silver Honda. I chose a silver car since I saw this new silver car as a symbol of beginning to break away from the emotional abuse and threats I had endured for so long.

Don’t allow your fears to be in the driver’s seat causing  you to give in too soon when it comes to money and divorce.

 

Please let me know your thoughts in the Comments Section below.

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing what must have been such an emotionally trying time. Thanks for sharing this with us and so relieved that you’ve broken away from it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You certainly have been through a rough time. Well done for sticking to your guns and taking care of you and your children!

  3. all the best for your future journey. thanks for sharing your experience. this helps people who have passing through similar situation.