I'm asking for my best friend who is struggling with how to separate.
She's been married for 18 months and has caught her husband cheating on top of many money issues that have been continuous in their relationship. They own no joint property, no kids, and she's hoping for an amicable split, but also knows she needs to cover her own ass.
She makes double what her STBXH makes and has a pension, savings, etc. He has nothing. He came into the relationship with debt, she knows he paid some off, but he's also been up to shady shit so she knows there is likely more out there.
When she talked to a lawyer about drafting a separation agreement the lawyer insisted that she has to get him to disclose all of his assets and debts. He is refusing to get a lawyer himself (doesn't want to separate), and is furious with her for moving forward with the process. He told her to give him $1000, pay the filing fees herself, and that was it. He wants to have a verbal separation agreement.
She's worried that down the line he will change his mind and go after her pension, benefits, savings etc and she doesn't want to be saddled with his debt (anything is in his name, she ran all credit reports on herself).
How can she go about drafting this without his cooperation? Also she has no way of finding out his debt if he doesn't participate. Her lawyer was pretty adamant that she needs to know, but pulling up someone's credit report without their approval is fraud.
It boggles my mind because he would be better off (potentially get spousal support, etc) if he disclosed, but she thinks there is a lot more to what he has been up to and he doesn't want to admit it all.
In my state most people don't get spousal support if the marriage was "short term" which can be defined for as little as 10 years. So there is no way she should pay him support. He may be able to get 50% of what they have in joint accounts (even if they do not own joint property). If she has bank statements of contributions to the account then that could change - judges review all of the paperwork and agreements and will not approve one that doesn't seem fair.
She should work with her lawyer to draft whatever agreement she wants. If he doesn't get a lawyer, that is his problem. In my state you can get divorced if one person wants one and the other doesn't - it can take longer though. Once the divorce is final then he can't go back and ask for assets, spousal support, etc (again, in my state... and child support is different that can change at any time).
Good luck, i do not beileve with such a short term marriage he will be able to get much. Document everything. I would draft up something for him to sign with a little more than the $1,000 he is asking for in order to try to get him to sign and waive the rights to get more. FYI I did run my husbands credit reports and told him I was.....
Thanks everyone. Your answers really just confirmed what I expected, which is that she needs to retain her own lawyer to sort through this mess. I'm certain the lawyer will have some solution to the fact that he is unwilling to disclose his finances, although I suspect that will mean going in front of the court to finalize.
I doubt that she owes him spousal support, and at worse I can see her having to pay him a settlement. She is just very concerned that someone can pursue her for his debts, especially since she knows they are high interest short term loans or credit cards issued by chat rooms, etc.
He was previously married for a year at the age of 18 and he says hey just split their furniture loans 50/50 and filled out the paperwork at the court and that's what he wants to do again. I don't think he really realizes that they have too many assets, debts, and she has a lot of savings that she is concerned may be implicated.
Post by dragon's breath on Feb 23, 2017 0:34:38 GMT -5
Has she run a credit report on herself? If not, she needs to do this to make sure he did not open anything in her name.
Did she take on any joint debt with him?
When I got a divorce, it was a little more complicated because we had a kid and a mortgage, but I was the only one with a lawyer, and just wanted to have it over with. It cost me $600 (this was in 2001) and I, while I received constant collection calls after he moved out (he used my phone number for new credit applications), no one had any leg to stand on to collect his debt from me.
If I were her, I'd get the credit report, and if they have no joint debt, have the agreement written so that he is responsible for his own debts, and they do not claim each other's pensions, pre-marital savings, or try to get alimony. If she has managed to save a lot during the marriage, it might be a good idea for her to just pay $1k and keep the rest of the savings if he doesn't contest it.
Are they required to be separated for a length of time, or can she just file for divorce and have a divorce agreement? I would do what I could to avoid dragging anything out long enough for him to come to the realization he could ask for more. Asking doesn't mean he'd get it, but it could rack up her legal fees.
I lost about $400 in child care a month because they found a glitch in the calculator after my ex signed the paper work. While that extra money would have been nice every month, it was worth it just to have it over. (We've been divorced 16 years and the CS was never adjusted.)
ETA: And yes, it sucks to give a cheating bastard a dime, when they deserve to have to pay forever, but $1k may be a very small price to pay to avoid the hell he could continue to put her through if it gets dragged out.
Post by pinkdutchtulips on Feb 23, 2017 1:17:45 GMT -5
given their marriage was only 18 months, he's likely to get ZERO support. she needs to lawyer up. she should ask if she can have the court's jurisdiction to terminate spousal support. that way he gets ZERO. its what i asked for since xh is a transient drug addict with no income and i have a protective order against him.
i agree if he wants to $1k to be cut loose ... i'd be inclined to cut the check and be done with him.
As for having to pay his debts... as long as she didn't co-sign on anything, she should be fine (*not a lawyer*) Most divorce decrees will include a statement on this. Her lawyer can make sure of this.
My XH had a substantial amount of consumer debt when we married that he hid by using an alternate address and/or claiming it was actually his dads since they have the same name. When we divorced I had cc and bank records to show that all of the debt was accrued before our marriage- I also had records to show that we (I) attempted to pay off some of the debts and he opened new accounts. Because I was able to show that the debt was pre-marital, I was not responsible for any of it. It was also written into our decree that he could not come after me to cover any of his debts when our divorce was final. I know this varies state to state, but it would be in her best interest to have as much information and documentation about his debts, any joint accounts, etc to provide to her attorney and/or the judge if she does not get her own lawyer.