Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
niceguy7376
Posts: 2858
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:59 pm
Location: Metro ATL

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by niceguy7376 »

Her comment about debts of her husband was more than 2 years back. She was using the same paragraph to update it each year and putting the updates in RED.

I appreciate her for presenting a situation and also the steps they have taken to overcome and updating us yearly.
Topic Author
BlckhwkPlt
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:15 am

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by BlckhwkPlt »

LOTS has changed for 2014!

We ended up divorcing for one. This was good for me, as we were just not compatible (divorce was final October 9, 11/9 he bought a truck with an $850/month car note, $0 down, and he drives 30K miles per year for work. He missed the first payment already, and is renting a $1400/month apartment, when there were very reasonable apartments for about $600/mo less. But I digress...not my problem any longer.) He spiraled downward into domestic violence, and to protect my kiddo, I got out. He filed, I pushed it through after he tried moving his things back in and saying we were getting along, so would just stay married. Nope.

I got blindsided with more debt that was spent during the marriage I didn't know about. I don't think I will ever co-mingle funds with any one ever again, or ever get married. Financially, there is 0 benefit. This is probably me being gun shy, but I really REALLY don't want to do that again.

I did get to keep the house, to be refi'd/put into my name only within 5 years and equity split 60/40 (60 to him. Why? I bought more time with my daughter as he was going to fight for 50/50 time with her even though he didn't want it. When I started offering up money and material things, it dropped to where he has her every 1, 3, 5th weekend and that's it, plus rotating holidays. I also "bought" the ability to take her with me for military training if I am able, versus leaving her with him.) The 5 years stipulation came from me because of the fact I got slammed with more debt due to his idiocy. I need some time to recover and save money.

Income:

me: $60K per year, ~$18K per year in National Guard pay. 5% pay $1 for $1 match, $.50 on the dollar for another 1% of pay from civilian employer. I currently contribute 6%. I did NOT have to give him half of my 401k. He believed I didn't contribute much to it, so the $30K+ in there was left alone. I switched to a HDHP with an HSA. My employer contributes $750 per year to the HSA, and I added in another $1500. He is mandated to pay 50% of all un-reimbursed health related costs, so I'm saving money in the long run based on the premiums alone.

Child Support: $2250/month - this will decrease whenever I refi the house. It will decrease to state mandated support, which will be about $400 less/month. I have not decided when I will do this yet. I have 5 years in which to do so. He pays $400 more than the state mandates in support/month, but with the requirement I keep her with the neighbor for child care, which is double what daycare was. My current expenses for her (to include mortgage etc.) are 30% of my income, his are 24%.

Savings: Back down to $0. Attorney's are expensive :(

Me:

1.) $25K in student loans at 6%. $205 to pay minimums. PAID DOWN TO 9K - stopped dumping money on to these when crap hit the fan with the split. Currently paying minimum of $123/month on one, $82/month on another

2.) Truck note: $430

3.) Mortgage $1307/month. Escrow for taxes, insurance etc included. Would love to get below 20% on this to get rid of the $158/month PMI

4.) Debt assumed from his spending during marriage...wait for it...$35K :evil:

5.) Truck insurance is a yearly $1200, $1MM umbrella policy is $128/year.

Budget:

Mortgage: $1307

Child care: $1500/month. Unfortunately, I said ok to this. I don't regret it, as it meant more time with my kiddo. She also hasn't been sick a day since she started going next door, and it's like going to grandma's house. She doesn't cry when I drop her off, she's not ignored, she's learning spanish etc. I just wish it was cheaper. But I've only got once change to give her a great head start for her future, so I'm willing to pay.

Variable expenditures (gasoline, electricity, gas for house, internet, cell phone food, etc.: ) $1200/month. I'm eating a lot of oatmeal these days. My kiddo gets healthy foods, and I cook for her and send the leftovers next door for lunches, we eat them for dinners etc. I use my credit card for everything, so the rewards dollars go to pay towards utilities, except for once/month where I will eat out at lunch with a friend for about $10. My mother lives in Germany, and I offered up my cable service (satellite) for her to login and use since she can't stream anything over there (copyright something or another.) She said because she'd have to pay it anyhow, she would pay the cable bill. So she does that for me, and I'm grateful for it.

Eating Out: $0

I use a rewards credit card everywhere. Right now, playing the balance transfer game on the above debt I inherited. The payment on that is EVERYTHING I have left over. I am saving $0. If I have an emergency, I have $30K available as a low interest loan from my 401k as a LAST resort, I have ample credit lines available, or I'll find a way to make more money. I've sold just about everything I can for extra cash. It's not that I have nothing to live on, it's that I want the debt gone ASAP.

In my budget spreadsheet, I have a plan that looks like I will be debt free save for the truck, the $123 student loan and mortgage by September of 2016. That includes taking the kiddo to Disney in 2016 with my family (who will pay a portion) plus making sure she has educational toys etc. I really want to send her to a good private school in the area. Her father wants to as well, but I told him the only way I will enroll her is if we draft up something saying we pay 50/50 until support drops (and then I've come up with a budget to where he will pay essentially what he was going to pay if support had stayed the same.) That way, if he doesn't pay the school, I have some recourse.

Right now, it's so jumbled that posting actuals on here isn't going to work until I have a better idea of things month to month (divorce was just recently final.) I had thought about a roommate, but with a young daughter in the house, I am EXTREMELY wary. So I think I will just suck that one up and pay to live alone.

Peace, love and all that other crap for 2015 :D
User avatar
FelixTheCat
Posts: 1993
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:39 am

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by FelixTheCat »

Once the divorce has finalized, have you thought about simplifying more? Why do you want the house? How about renting for a while? How's your credit? If bad.... I rarely mention bankruptcy but it may do you good to wipe out the ex's debt you inherited.

The next thing you should do is build your emergency fund to six months.
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.
lhl12
Posts: 678
Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 8:24 am

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by lhl12 »

I just read this whole thread for the first time. I will leave financial advice to the side for now, and just say that you are an extraordinary woman. You have been through a lot and have managed things better than almost anyone else could have. You deserve a ton of credit and moral support, and I for one offer it unreservedly.

You will now be making a fresh start, which is a great gift. You are still young, healthy, and have your whole life ahead of you. It will take some work to get your financial affairs fully settled, but there is no better resource than this forum. With your mindset and discipline, I have no doubt that in time, everything will be in great shape.

In all sincerity, I offer my best wishes for a happy, healthy new year and new future. You have earned that opportunity, and it is within your power to make it a reality. Good luck!
Topic Author
BlckhwkPlt
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:15 am

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by BlckhwkPlt »

FelixTheCat wrote:Once the divorce has finalized, have you thought about simplifying more? Why do you want the house? How about renting for a while? How's your credit? If bad.... I rarely mention bankruptcy but it may do you good to wipe out the ex's debt you inherited.

The next thing you should do is build your emergency fund to six months.
The house is literally next door to the person that watches my daughter. Rent would be hard with the dogs...that's another story. He had taken "his" dog. I had a 12 year old lab X and a doberman. I get a call one day, and he's dumped his dog in my backyard saying it was easier for me to keep her since I had a yard. Nevermind the fact I have the kiddo most of the time, 2 jobs, a house to maintain and 2 of my own. His major complaint was he had to use an elevator at his apartment complex to walk her out to the dog park on the property. She has a new home now, so I'm back at 2. Rent in the area is expensive.

To add to this: I am leaving for a 12+ month military duty tour. I'll rent the house out for the year, and live on post. Unfortunately, he has still mandated I keep my daughter with a nanny so no savings there. I'm currently trying to get the current nanny to move with me, as it's only 12 months. That's 1307/month of no mortgage, as based on current rental rates, the house should rent for enough to cover the mortgage, insurance and management fees (which is also why I will not be renting - it's cheaper for me to stay put.) The military training and post housing is what I'm banking on helping me pay down debt quickly. Besides, I don't think that 18 months of paying off debt is worth filing for bankruptcy. I have a 720 credit score. Enough to keep the 0% balance transfer game going for a little bit.

I will build me emergency fund back after paying off debt. For now, the debt is more important than saving. I have access to somewhat quick cash in the form of a 401k loan, or a 0% credit card if I absolutely need it.
User avatar
FelixTheCat
Posts: 1993
Joined: Sat Sep 24, 2011 12:39 am

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by FelixTheCat »

Your responses seem reasonable. Focus on dumping the debt.

I know the common theory on paying down debt is paying the highest interest rate first. Let me provide an alternative (from my own experience). I had a snowball plan. I paid off the credit card/loan with with the smallest balance. I took this payment and applied to the next CC/loan with the smallest balance until it was paid off. See the snowball effect? This helped me pay off my debt.

Once you are debt free, stay that way. Debt is a financial an emotional killer.

Good luck!
Felix is a wonderful, wonderful cat.
Coiled_Snake
Posts: 35
Joined: Wed May 28, 2014 1:44 pm

Happy New Year.

Post by Coiled_Snake »

It's a new year, right?
I am glad you got out of an abusive relationship.
You seem to have been doing things responsibly for years; you will reap the fruit of that this year.
Last edited by Coiled_Snake on Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
G12
Posts: 1537
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 2:35 pm

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by G12 »

Good for you, OP. When someone won't even make minor changes to correct juvenile, and what could be dangerous, behavior like continuing to rack up speeding tickets it makes one realize there are deeper rooted problems. Unlike you, I have a younger sister with 2 children and her husband has devolved tremendously the past 5-years. Bi-polar, raging mad/abusive alcoholic, yet he claims to be fine. Arrested recently for domestic violence, she still won't leave him, we fear for her and the kids but it is complicated in her mind, not so much for the rest of friends and family. You still have some challenges, but will be much better off further up the road. Good luck and stay safe.
User avatar
Mister Whale
Posts: 484
Joined: Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:39 am

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by Mister Whale »

lhl12 wrote:I just read this whole thread for the first time. I will leave financial advice to the side for now, and just say that you are an extraordinary woman. You have been through a lot and have managed things better than almost anyone else could have. You deserve a ton of credit and moral support, and I for one offer it unreservedly.

You will now be making a fresh start, which is a great gift. You are still young, healthy, and have your whole life ahead of you. It will take some work to get your financial affairs fully settled, but there is no better resource than this forum. With your mindset and discipline, I have no doubt that in time, everything will be in great shape.

In all sincerity, I offer my best wishes for a happy, healthy new year and new future. You have earned that opportunity, and it is within your power to make it a reality. Good luck!
Well said and I couldn't agree more.

OP, you did as well as anyone in that situation could have.
" ... advice is most useful and at its best, not when it is telling you what to do, but when it is illuminating aspects of the situation you hadn't thought about." --nisiprius
Topic Author
BlckhwkPlt
Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:15 am

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by BlckhwkPlt »

I haven't posted in some time, as things kept popping up that otherwise had me occupied.

For the next small portion: tl;dr: ex is psycho, I'm in debt due to him being in arrears and a boatload of attorney's fees that I could not avoid. Two year plan to pay it off. I'll post my income and debts once I get home and settled in a few months.

Ex has spiraled into some pretty serious issues, mainly harassment of me. I've filed police reports etc. He, in turn, took me back to court to revisit...well, I'm not exactly sure what to be honest. Initially, it was visitation of our daughter (I moved temporarily out of state on orders, and this is something he agreed to prior to the divorce as it's written in to our decree that my daughter moves with me and he takes visitation out of state.) Then it was custody. I fired my initial attorney who kept rolling over, and hired someone else who had a pair. She scared the other side in to pretty much agreeing to go back to what the decree stated. So...we went to court over nothing. However, that cost me a boatload of money ($$,$$$.$$) on top of divorce crap. Ex harassed me to the point I hired an attorney here for a protection from abuse hearing in the other state. More $$$$. That was dropped when attorney from back home came on board and straightened things out.

Ex continues to harass me over things he didn't like from the marriage, and prior to marriage. It would be funny if I wasn't serious. Divorce has been final two years in October, and started three years ago in October. My entire family (and one friend of mine) has blocked all communication with him due to harassment of them as well.

So let's just say, I'm in decent amount of debt stemming from divorce plus attorney's fees incurred in the last year. I'm back at square one, and moving back "home" in August. I'm moving in to my grandmother's house to save on living costs, but I'm honestly anticipating more in attorney's fees, as my ex seems to like to make my life hell. His last stunt was getting his attorney to EMAIL the commanding general of the post where I am stationed (a 2-star general) and accuse HIM of using the military as a shield to prevent me from appearing in court. Last I checked, federal law stated I don't have to appear if, while on active duty orders, it isn't possible due to a variety of factors. I have two letters from my commander stating as much.

So that's the story for now. Once I get back home and back in a routine, I will post an update. I have a two year plan to pay off all debt on my own, and send my kiddo to a decent preschool to boot (without the help of the ex) as the schools where my grandmother's house is located are not the greatest. I do not think it's going to go as well as he thinks in court, due to the fact he is 1.) still in arrears and 2.) I have documented evidence he will not leave me alone.

Until then...
KlangFool
Posts: 19663
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Help with spouse and finances (read: lots of debt)

Post by KlangFool »

OP,

I wish you best of luck. And, I admire your courageous fight for your kid. There will be light at the end of the tunnel. This shall pass.

KlangFool
Post Reply