Part two: Rebuilding a Financial Life:(see part one here: http://voices.yahoo.com/rebuilding-financial-life-part-1-7802862.html?cat=3 )
I was forced to come to grips with a different sort of money issue: Addiction and Divorce.
A year or so after my husband and I found ourselves back on good financial footing; and even paying ahead on our mortgage; we hit a battle with his dissatisfaction with life. It proved to be the end of us. Right before Christmas, he came home late and announced that he had re-enlisted in the service, and upon re-acceptance would be leaving for California. I was baffled, but at the same time not surprised, as he had grown increasingly irritable. His alcohol intake had increased rapidly at that point and I did not know what to do. He had always spoke of his time in the service with a dreamy sense of wanting to go back.
It was 2007-2009. I could not sell the house, the mortgage was underwater, and he was gone. While in California, and while our accounts were still joint-hundreds of dollars at a time would be withdrawn by him, if he used the debit card it would be at a bar. I could not pay the bills; I could not afford to buy groceries. I would tell him, he would get mad and drink and spend more. He came home for a stint in the middle, bailed on marriage counseling, and lied about going to AA. I flew out by him in May, he was drunk for most of it, and in July after a long hour of fighting, on an eclipse night-he asked why I had not filed for divorce yet….that following Monday it was done.
Part of me thought he did it as a way to force me to pull the trigger on a divorce, as that was confirmed when after we were officially divorced he let his contract expire and was discharged-3 years after he re-enlisted and 6 months after the divorce was final.
It has been three years. I am now financially stronger than I was in the past. As for the divorce, I was lucky, he wanted the stuff and his money, I wanted the kids and no money from him at all.
My process went as follows:
1. I consolidated debt and closed out all unnecessary accounts, I took the savings and paid off the credit card and closed it.
2. The kid’s accounts and CD’s were in their names and mine so they stayed as such.
3. He took the car with no car payment, and I took the car with the huge car payment.
4. The kicker in it all, he was responsible for paying the mortgage until the house sold. I was told: “If I am paying for it I don’t think you should live there…” I moved out promptly after being told that. (he promptly stopped paying the mortgage to drink as soon as I moved out).
5. I removed sentimentality from objects. I can replace any possession you take. If it means that much to you, take it.
6. Child support: I asked for no child support as I really at that point, wanted to no longer be connected to his financial woes. The judge told me I had to take something-so we built the amount off of his lowest possible wage, and he basically signed off his rights to them.
In the end, he got most of the physical possessions, and I got the kids and car payment. I asked for no child support as I really at that point, wanted to no longer be connected to his financial woes.I went through all options to try to save the house, no lender would budge or give me a chance, and the house sold in short sale. Once it was all over, I was out of the red. I have multitude of savings accounts varying styles and maturities, and am working toward my master’s degree. I am a single mother, and I can do it. I am doing it alone. Do I sacrifice things I want-Yes. Is it worth it-Totally-especially when collections people and skip tracers call looking for him.