Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

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mptfan
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by mptfan »

Elena wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:48 pmI would take full control of finances and give DH an "allowance" or "salary" of sorts. I think that would be a middle ground between full rupture and doing nothing. If you are the responsible party of the two, financewise, then you should be the one in control of absolutely everything. If it means that everything has to be solely under your name, so be it. You should be the only one signing off every single transaction, even when you keep filing taxes as married. The confidence issue must be hard to overcome, but at least this way this puts you in the driver's seat. I think the time for "candid discussions" has long passed. It should be your way, and your way only.
Imagine this post from a hypothetical wife...

I need some advice from the wise people on this forum. My husband has full control of our finances, he is in control of absolutely everything and everything is solely in his name. He gives me an "allowance" and I am not allowed to spend one penny more than what he gives me and he signs off on every single transaction. He told me that is the way it is and it is his way and his way only. What should I do?

Elena, what advice would you give this wife?
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HueyLD
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by HueyLD »

mptfan wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:23 am
HueyLD wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 6:09 amIt should be a priority to keep one's spouse informed no matter how disinterested the spouse is. The spouse doesn't have to actually manage the finance, but (s)he should be in the knows.
I agree, but how far should you push the issue if the uninformed spouse is actively disinterested and does not want to know? Pushing that too far can cause it's own issues.
Well, every relationship is different and you can only do what you can “get away” with.

Based on my experience helping family and friends dealing with money issues, it is useful to talk about money and finance even when the other person appears to be disinterested. Somehow, the former disinterested person seems to remember what his/her beloved said because of the human survival instinct.

It is very important not to make the other person feel stupid.
Elena
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Elena »

mptfan wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:32 am
Elena wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:48 pmI would take full control of finances and give DH an "allowance" or "salary" of sorts. I think that would be a middle ground between full rupture and doing nothing. If you are the responsible party of the two, financewise, then you should be the one in control of absolutely everything. If it means that everything has to be solely under your name, so be it. You should be the only one signing off every single transaction, even when you keep filing taxes as married. The confidence issue must be hard to overcome, but at least this way this puts you in the driver's seat. I think the time for "candid discussions" has long passed. It should be your way, and your way only.
Imagine this post from a hypothetical wife...

I need some advice from the wise people on this forum. My husband has full control of our finances, he is in control of absolutely everything and everything is solely in his name. He gives me an "allowance" and I am not allowed to spend one penny more than what he gives me and he signs off on every single transaction. He told me that is the way it is and it is his way and his way only. What should I do?

Elena, what advice would you give this wife?
In my opinion, you are decontextualizing the situation. OPs husband (if her version is accurate) has lost the confidence to manage finances. It could be compared to any other compulsion: if one has a money spending problem that he hides from the rest of the group, as a member of a group he is no longer reliable and should be put on an allowance (same goes for gambling: not allowed to enter a casino; same for alcohol). This is not a feminist discussion but a behavior problem. Should the dishonest party be a woman, same course would be recommended.
Startingover2019
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Startingover2019 »

HomerJ wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:15 pm
8foot7 wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:20 amIs your husband willing to put you in exclusive control of finances and go on a cash allowance provided by you?
She doesn't need to be in total control.

They just need to be a total team (and she can sell that a lot easier)

She needs access to all accounts and all passwords, and she can watch the money.
And what happens then when she sees a bunch of money going out, confronts him and gets nowhere?
Total waste of time and even more money.

There's no need to put him on an "allowance"... She just needs to be an equal partner. That's fair, and he should agree to that.

If she can see all the accounts, and watch the money coming in and money going out, the problem should be solved.

I agree there's no point in asking over and over where the money went.

Look forward, not backwards.
Startingover2019
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Startingover2019 »

Startingover2019 wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:48 am
HomerJ wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 1:15 pm
8foot7 wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:20 amIs your husband willing to put you in exclusive control of finances and go on a cash allowance provided by you?
She doesn't need to be in total control.

They just need to be a total team (and she can sell that a lot easier)

She needs access to all accounts and all passwords, and she can watch the money.
And what happens then when she sees a bunch of money going out, confronts him and gets nowhere?
Total waste of time and even more money.

There's no need to put him on an "allowance"... She just needs to be an equal partner. That's fair, and he should agree to that.

If she can see all the accounts, and watch the money coming in and money going out, the problem should be solved.

I agree there's no point in asking over and over where the money went.

Look forward, not backwards.
And what happens when she sees the money continue to disappear and confronts him again?
Just more wasted time and money. She needs to be in total control.
Startingover2019
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Startingover2019 »

8foot7 wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:20 am Frankly it seems there are two questions here, and only two:
1. Is your husband willing to put you in exclusive control of finances and go on a cash allowance provided by you?
2. If he is not willing to do so, are you willing to leave him?

All of the rest is noise, quite honestly. You don't need a financial planner, or an accountant, or even an attorney at this point. You need a stiff drink and to throw your shoulders back and confront this.

Your staying in this marriage needs to come attached at the hip with your complete control of finances and him with a cash allowance or a prepaid debit card, the amount of which could be up for discussion.

If he won't work with you and you won't leave him, then you have no power or leverage. You can't just will a grown man to stop or start doing something he doesn't want to do. If you won't walk out the door if he doesn't do what you demand, then you have made a decision that you approve of what he does to the extent that you are willing to live with it for the rest of your life. This also means you are no longer an innocent spouse.

If he's willing to cede control of his financial decisions to you, then this problem is eminently solvable and frankly it wouldn't take too much effort to do so. You can remain married, not lose over half of what you already have to divorce, fix your financial situation in a year, and use this as a growing moment for both of you and your relationship. But you have to be willing to demand this, and you have to willing to say, "If you do not do this, I'm filing for divorce."

I agree with your general sentiment, OP, that provided your husband puts you in control, a divorce would be a poor decision.

And yes, before you do this, you need to clean out your joint accounts and make sure he's cut off from any and all access to funds in your name. You can't ethically redirect his own SS payment but you don't have to give him access to yours, or any other money in a joint account.

Assuming your husband is willing to give up and put you in control, I disagree with other posters about having endless come-to-Jesus meetings about what happened. At your ages, it quite frankly doesn't really matter where the money went, unless there's a $80,000 boat in dry dock somewhere. I guarantee you your husband is embarrassed, whether he admits it to you or not. Relentlessly rubbing his nose in recreating receipts on his bad decisions is not furthering your cause. It's not productive. The fixes to whatever caused this problem--freezing credit, cash allowance, all money now comes to you for doling out, etc.--are the same regardless of what happened and how he wasted the money. If he gambles, he can only gamble his cash. If he has a mistress, they're not attracted to 70 year old men on cash allowances from their wives. If he's just poor with money, he can only do the amount of damage as cash in his pocket. And since there is no "new money" coming in, he's retired and older, there's nothing to "heal" or "fix." He's not going on to a well-paying career and managing substantial new earnings. The ship has sailed. The barn door is shut. You have what you have. So I'd encourage you to just to uncover each and every penny of assets and debt you currently have, and then just work your way forward.
BEST RESPONSE EVER! I love the stiff drink and popping the shoulders back especially!
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Mr. Rumples
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Mr. Rumples »

mptfan wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:32 am
Elena wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:48 pmI would take full control of finances and give DH an "allowance" or "salary" of sorts. I think that would be a middle ground between full rupture and doing nothing. If you are the responsible party of the two, financewise, then you should be the one in control of absolutely everything. If it means that everything has to be solely under your name, so be it. You should be the only one signing off every single transaction, even when you keep filing taxes as married. The confidence issue must be hard to overcome, but at least this way this puts you in the driver's seat. I think the time for "candid discussions" has long passed. It should be your way, and your way only.
Imagine this post from a hypothetical wife...

I need some advice from the wise people on this forum. My husband has full control of our finances, he is in control of absolutely everything and everything is solely in his name. He gives me an "allowance" and I am not allowed to spend one penny more than what he gives me and he signs off on every single transaction. He told me that is the way it is and it is his way and his way only. What should I do?

Elena, what advice would you give this wife?
I would say that is abuse; he is treating her as his property. It is no different than if he told her what she was permitted to eat, wear, who she could see and when. I would run to a divorce attorney. Coverture has never been recognized in Colorado where the poster lives (except perhaps before it became a state and it was part of New Spain), in states like mine it has not been legal doctrine since the 1870's.
fru-gal
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by fru-gal »

LilyFleur wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:37 pm
fru-gal wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:33 pm OP, if you get a divorce, you are not likely to be alone, as you have those kids. Many women outlive their husbands and have the emotional support of their children.
But, please, don't put your adult children in the middle of this. That don't need that kind of drama. Someday they will understand. If you decide to divorce, get yourself a good attorney.
I meant once the dust settles, she will still have family.
cherijoh
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by cherijoh »

delamer wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:52 am Ignoring the HELOC, IRS debt, and credit cards, you have a joint net worth of $1.1 million.

Subtract the above debts, and you have a joint net worth of about $950,000. At a 4% withdrawal rate, that’s $38,000/year.
Isn't most of that net worth in home equity?
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Stinky
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Stinky »

Startingover2019 wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:55 am
8foot7 wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 11:20 am Frankly it seems there are two questions here, and only two:
1. Is your husband willing to put you in exclusive control of finances and go on a cash allowance provided by you?
2. If he is not willing to do so, are you willing to leave him?

All of the rest is noise, quite honestly. You don't need a financial planner, or an accountant, or even an attorney at this point. You need a stiff drink and to throw your shoulders back and confront this.

Your staying in this marriage needs to come attached at the hip with your complete control of finances and him with a cash allowance or a prepaid debit card, the amount of which could be up for discussion.

If he won't work with you and you won't leave him, then you have no power or leverage. You can't just will a grown man to stop or start doing something he doesn't want to do. If you won't walk out the door if he doesn't do what you demand, then you have made a decision that you approve of what he does to the extent that you are willing to live with it for the rest of your life. This also means you are no longer an innocent spouse.

If he's willing to cede control of his financial decisions to you, then this problem is eminently solvable and frankly it wouldn't take too much effort to do so. You can remain married, not lose over half of what you already have to divorce, fix your financial situation in a year, and use this as a growing moment for both of you and your relationship. But you have to be willing to demand this, and you have to willing to say, "If you do not do this, I'm filing for divorce."

I agree with your general sentiment, OP, that provided your husband puts you in control, a divorce would be a poor decision.

And yes, before you do this, you need to clean out your joint accounts and make sure he's cut off from any and all access to funds in your name. You can't ethically redirect his own SS payment but you don't have to give him access to yours, or any other money in a joint account.

Assuming your husband is willing to give up and put you in control, I disagree with other posters about having endless come-to-Jesus meetings about what happened. At your ages, it quite frankly doesn't really matter where the money went, unless there's a $80,000 boat in dry dock somewhere. I guarantee you your husband is embarrassed, whether he admits it to you or not. Relentlessly rubbing his nose in recreating receipts on his bad decisions is not furthering your cause. It's not productive. The fixes to whatever caused this problem--freezing credit, cash allowance, all money now comes to you for doling out, etc.--are the same regardless of what happened and how he wasted the money. If he gambles, he can only gamble his cash. If he has a mistress, they're not attracted to 70 year old men on cash allowances from their wives. If he's just poor with money, he can only do the amount of damage as cash in his pocket. And since there is no "new money" coming in, he's retired and older, there's nothing to "heal" or "fix." He's not going on to a well-paying career and managing substantial new earnings. The ship has sailed. The barn door is shut. You have what you have. So I'd encourage you to just to uncover each and every penny of assets and debt you currently have, and then just work your way forward.
BEST RESPONSE EVER! I love the stiff drink and popping the shoulders back especially!
You sound like Dr. Phil. Love it.
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mptfan
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by mptfan »

Mr. Rumples wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:01 am I would say that is abuse; he is treating her as his property. It is no different than if he told her what she was permitted to eat, wear, who she could see and when. I would run to a divorce attorney. Coverture has never been recognized in Colorado where the poster lives (except perhaps before it became a state and it was part of New Spain), in states like mine it has not been legal doctrine since the 1870's.
And would you also say it was abuse if the wife did it to the husband in this situation?
cherijoh
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by cherijoh »

stanford73 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:57 pm
aristotelian wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:44 pm
stanford73 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:25 pm I hear what you're saying. I agree. But, I don't think it's an easy decision, especially at this age and stage of life. My SS is $945 per month, plus an annuity of $320. How could I possibly live on that amount of money? Division of the assets (minus debts) would net me maybe $350k.

I had a window of opportunity 10 years ago to make a change. I don't think that option now is financially feasible.
Sounds like he is going to be a net drain on your finances. Assuming that that is a valid reason for staying (which I personally find problematic) are you sure you will be better off financially staying with him?
About 20 years ago, a divorce attorney gave me the following advice: "as long as you stay married to this man, your finances will be in jeopardy." At that time, raising children, I didn't give it much weight. But, his words have come back to haunt me now.
If this were strictly a financial issue (which it obviously is not), my advice would be to beware of the "sunk cost" trap. A simple example of this is someone who is waiting to sell a stock that has fallen in price rather than cutting their losses. You need to do what is best for you given the circumstances as they stand now. Your decision to stay with your husband in the past is water under the bridge. There is no real benefit to a shoulda, woulda, coulda analysis.

This may mean divorcing your husband and moving in with one of the kids. Or renting a room in a house a la Golden Girls. You need to think outside the box. Lots of people live just on their Social Security.

FYI, as a divorcee, you would be entitled to the same spousal benefit as if you had stayed married (i.e., one half of your husband's benefit) since you meet the requirements (at least 62 yo and married for 10 years). Read this article for more details.
Balefire
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Balefire »

Consider having one of your kids arbitrate.
Finances is simple but time consuming math.
rage_phish
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by rage_phish »

mptfan wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:20 am
celia wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:06 pmTo prevent DH from pulling out select pieces of mail, have all joint mail forwarded to a P O box that you control. You can let it pile up for a week there without worrying about having to go thru all the mail every day.
So you think it's wrong that the husband hide things from the wife, so your solution is that the wife set up a P.O. box so she can hide things from the husband?
Not seeing anything about secrets
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JAZZISCOOL
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by JAZZISCOOL »

OP, you asked for “candid” advice in your original post and several BH’s have mentioned financial/emotional abuse. Below are some quotes from an article that may be applicable in your situation:

“In a healthy relationship, each partner feels like they have a say in decision-making, even when it comes to money.”

It does not appear that you have an equal voice in managing your mutual finances. Among other things, he is not communicating critical financial information with you which may seriously impact both of you.

“When an abusive partner is in control of the finances, planning for an independent future without them can feel difficult. Thankfully, there are many organizations that aid survivors of domestic violence and financial abuse. These groups can help create plans that will support a victim who is attempting to leave and can also help them become economically stable and self-sufficient after leaving.

No one should prevent you from having access to the money that you earn. If your partner is acting in any of these ways, call us at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Our advocates can help you come up with ways to save money and can also connect you with local programs.”

These quotes are from the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

https://www.thehotline.org/2013/07/09/w ... d-control/

There is help available for you or anyone in need if you seek it out.

The site also mentions this legal website for legal assistance for women (although you stated you have previously consulted attorneys):

https://www.womenslaw.org/

Having witnessed a close family member go through a divorce after her husband pulled some serious financial shenanigans with 3 kids at home, I can say there is light at the end of the tunnel. This relative was in denial for a long time until her ex filed for divorce and she was forced to act. But if anyone stays in a state of denial and doesn’t address the situation by seeking professional advice such as legal and/or counseling (which sounds needed here), things may not ever change.

At a minimum, it seems like a good therapist could help you examine this marriage and explore your options.
BarbBrooklyn
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

JAZZISCOOL wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:28 am OP, you asked for “candid” advice in your original post and several BH’s have mentioned financial/emotional abuse. Below are some quotes from an article that may be applicable in your situation:

“In a healthy relationship, each partner feels like they have a say in decision-making, even when it comes to money.”

It does not appear that you have an equal voice in managing your mutual finances. Among other things, he is not communicating critical financial information with you which may seriously impact both of you.

“When an abusive partner is in control of the finances, planning for an independent future without them can feel difficult. Thankfully, there are many organizations that aid survivors of domestic violence and financial abuse. These groups can help create plans that will support a victim who is attempting to leave and can also help them become economically stable and self-sufficient after leaving.

No one should prevent you from having access to the money that you earn. If your partner is acting in any of these ways, call us at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). Our advocates can help you come up with ways to save money and can also connect you with local programs.”

These quotes are from the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

https://www.thehotline.org/2013/07/09/w ... d-control/

There is help available for you or anyone in need if you seek it out.

The site also mentions this legal website for legal assistance for women (although you stated you have previously consulted attorneys):

https://www.womenslaw.org/

Having witnessed a close family member go through a divorce after her husband pulled some serious financial shenanigans with 3 kids at home, I can say there is light at the end of the tunnel. This relative was in denial for a long time until her ex filed for divorce and she was forced to act. But if anyone stays in a state of denial and doesn’t address the situation by seeking professional advice such as legal and/or counseling (which sounds needed here), things may not ever change.

At a minimum, it seems like a good therapist could help you examine this marriage and explore your options.
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mptfan
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by mptfan »

rage_phish wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:18 am
mptfan wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:20 am
celia wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:06 pmTo prevent DH from pulling out select pieces of mail, have all joint mail forwarded to a P O box that you control. You can let it pile up for a week there without worrying about having to go thru all the mail every day.
So you think it's wrong that the husband hide things from the wife, so your solution is that the wife set up a P.O. box so she can hide things from the husband?
Not seeing anything about secrets
The OP said that the husband hid things from her...
stanford73 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:05 am I just discovered that my husband has not been setting aside money for quarterly taxes and owes the IRS $40k, which he is paying on a monthly plan. He also tapped our HELOC, without telling me, maxing it out at $80k. I feel a mix of emotions, but I am here hoping to get ideas on what to do financially.
Last edited by mptfan on Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
aristotelian
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by aristotelian »

mptfan wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:32 am
Elena wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:48 pmI would take full control of finances and give DH an "allowance" or "salary" of sorts. I think that would be a middle ground between full rupture and doing nothing. If you are the responsible party of the two, financewise, then you should be the one in control of absolutely everything. If it means that everything has to be solely under your name, so be it. You should be the only one signing off every single transaction, even when you keep filing taxes as married. The confidence issue must be hard to overcome, but at least this way this puts you in the driver's seat. I think the time for "candid discussions" has long passed. It should be your way, and your way only.
Imagine this post from a hypothetical wife...

I need some advice from the wise people on this forum. My husband has full control of our finances, he is in control of absolutely everything and everything is solely in his name. He gives me an "allowance" and I am not allowed to spend one penny more than what he gives me and he signs off on every single transaction. He told me that is the way it is and it is his way and his way only. What should I do?

Elena, what advice would you give this wife?
If the anyone (male or female) was delinquent on taxes, hiding credit card debt, and spending tens of thousands unnaccounted for, I would say their partner is taking perfectly reasonable steps to get the finances under control.
cherijoh
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by cherijoh »

stanford73 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 2:19 pm I don't mind the reality check and I agree, if we are to solve this problem, we need to do this together. HOWEVER, my income (while raising three children!!) did not pay just for optional expenses--my car, clothing for myself & kids, school tuitions, food, cell phones, miscellaneous for kids, any travel). Also, our house is 3,000 square feet & was purchased at $250k 25 years ago. It has appreciated with equity, even though it's been refinanced several times. It's far from being extravagant in this hot housing market.
OK, here is another reality check. You have been using your home equity as an ATM, meaning that you have been living beyond your means for a long time - not just with the "emergency" HELOC that your husband maxed out in the last two years.

It probably isn't the house per se on which you've overspent - although one could argue that 3000 sq.ft. is well beyond what a family of 5 needs. It appears to me that the main issue is that you borrowed to maintain your lifestyle when your husband was unemployed and during lean years with his consulting work with no concerted attempt to adjust outgo to match income. He simply did the same thing again - without your permission this time and with back taxes hanging over your head.

I really have to agree with this assessment by katietsu:
Katietsu wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 1:53 pm But there seems to be a long history of troubling behavior by both parties with this last bit being a small part of the overall picture.


Think about it. You currently have $350K debt on a house that you purchased for $250K 25 years ago.

I'm 60 and purchased my house 27 years ago. I refinanced it twice - but it was to reduce the interest rate and shorten the term of the mortgage NOT to pull out equity. I paid my house off in less than 22 years by starting with a 30-year loan and subsequently refinancing to a 15-yr loan and then a 10-yr loan as rates dropped. The mortgage broker I used for both of the refinances remarked that I was one of his few clients that wasn't taking out equity, so I know that your path is far more common than mine, but that doesn't make it prudent. (FYI, during the years I was paying off my mortgage I was also unemployed/underemployed and went back to school to get an advanced degree. And I only got back to my 2004 total compensation (salary + bonus) in nominal dollars in 2017).

I know that I posted about "woulda, shoulds, coulda", but I think it is important for the OP to acknowledge that this is a longstanding chronic problem that has recently become acute as well. IMO, the original post made it appear to be a problem that had only manifested itself recently.
delamer
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by delamer »

aristotelian wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:58 am
mptfan wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 7:32 am
Elena wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:48 pmI would take full control of finances and give DH an "allowance" or "salary" of sorts. I think that would be a middle ground between full rupture and doing nothing. If you are the responsible party of the two, financewise, then you should be the one in control of absolutely everything. If it means that everything has to be solely under your name, so be it. You should be the only one signing off every single transaction, even when you keep filing taxes as married. The confidence issue must be hard to overcome, but at least this way this puts you in the driver's seat. I think the time for "candid discussions" has long passed. It should be your way, and your way only.
Imagine this post from a hypothetical wife...

I need some advice from the wise people on this forum. My husband has full control of our finances, he is in control of absolutely everything and everything is solely in his name. He gives me an "allowance" and I am not allowed to spend one penny more than what he gives me and he signs off on every single transaction. He told me that is the way it is and it is his way and his way only. What should I do?

Elena, what advice would you give this wife?
If the anyone (male or female) was delinquent on taxes, hiding credit card debt, and spending tens of thousands unnaccounted for, I would say their partner is taking perfectly reasonable steps to get the finances under control.
That’s right. mptfan left out the part of

I got behind on our taxes, took money out of our HELOC without telling him, and have spent lots of my earnings and refuse to account for where the money went. Why wouldn’t he trust me?”
Last edited by delamer on Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
delamer
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by delamer »

cherijoh wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:04 am
delamer wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:52 am Ignoring the HELOC, IRS debt, and credit cards, you have a joint net worth of $1.1 million.

Subtract the above debts, and you have a joint net worth of about $950,000. At a 4% withdrawal rate, that’s $38,000/year.
Isn't most of that net worth in home equity?
No, about half is in retirement accounts.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by cherijoh »

delamer wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:17 am
cherijoh wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:04 am
delamer wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:52 am Ignoring the HELOC, IRS debt, and credit cards, you have a joint net worth of $1.1 million.

Subtract the above debts, and you have a joint net worth of about $950,000. At a 4% withdrawal rate, that’s $38,000/year.
Isn't most of that net worth in home equity?
No, about half is in retirement accounts.
But then the 4% withdrawal rate should be based on investments not total net worth which was actually my point (which I admit wasn't clear).
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by goodenyou »

This is financial infidelity. It has the same destructive power as sexual infidelity. Protect yourself first by seeking legal advice. Then seek marriage therapy if your believe it is salvageable.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by delamer »

cherijoh wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:19 am
delamer wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:17 am
cherijoh wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 9:04 am
delamer wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 11:52 am Ignoring the HELOC, IRS debt, and credit cards, you have a joint net worth of $1.1 million.

Subtract the above debts, and you have a joint net worth of about $950,000. At a 4% withdrawal rate, that’s $38,000/year.
Isn't most of that net worth in home equity?
No, about half is in retirement accounts.
But then the 4% withdrawal rate should be based on investments not total net worth which was actually my point (which I admit wasn't clear).
My expectation is that they’d sell the house so the equity would become a liquid asset. Which means — if they stayed married — they’d have over $90,000 to live on which should be enough even if it part of it goes toward rent.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by cherijoh »

stanford73 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:19 pm
greg24 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 5:05 pm
stanford73 wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 12:49 pmIn full disclosure, I've left the finances up to him--it's not my strong suit and he has an MBA--so I assumed all was being handled.
Finances and running a household aren't difficult. Its mostly simple math and keeping tracks of things.

An MBA doesn't really provide much finance education.

You could easily take over the finances.
That was the reason for the bi-monthly financial sit downs we did for a few years. I doubt he'll be open to me taking over the finances. I'm in the position of "not knowing what I don't know" about financial matters. DH is reckless, but I'm in over my head. I don't know what questions to ask, which is why I came here. Now I know more than I did yesterday thanks to the very knowledgeable, wise and kind people here.
I know you don't want to bring your kids into it, but I think since you are in over your head you need to spill the beans on their father. There needs to be an intervention and frankly you don't sound up for it.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

goodenyou wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:22 am This is financial infidelity. It has the same destructive power as sexual infidelity. Protect yourself first by seeking legal advice. Then seek marriage therapy if your believe it is salvageable.
The thing is, this isn't the first time. The OP has been down this road before with DH. He promises to change and is a "good boy" for as long as she is checking up on him. (Oh, wait. He drained the HELOC while preparing false spreadsheets for her to look at.)

This IS financial infidelity and financial abuse. OP asked for FINANCIAL advice. Being/remaining married to this guy is
a huge financial liability, because he has proven that he is a serial liar, at least when it comes to finances.

Maybe the OP is financially naive and doesn't see how much their current lifestyle doesn't line up with DH's and her income. Or maybe DH IS hiding a a very large boat or another child/family [maybe THAT'S what he means when he said it wasn't for HIS benefit...] somewhere.

I'd get myself to a lawyer, a forensic accountant and maybe a PI in her shoes. But first and foremost, I would be getting advice from a lawyer who was putting MY best interests upfront and who had access to all the facts.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by dknightd »

Two people stay together because they want to stay together.
I wish my wife would take over our finances, it would be one less thing I had to deal with ;)
It is a lot of responsibility!

Before I retired I started working out numbers. When I figured out we were good to go, I asked for her opinion on how much we needed to be comfortable. It took her what seemed like years to come up with her number. Luckily her number was between my high and low numbers.

So the number we figured out was, lets call it x +-.
$x would be enough to keep us both comfortable enough.
Then we figured out how much one would need when one of us died.
By our figuring that would be about 3/4 x
Again, I had to do most of that figuring out by myself. Then explain it to DW

We had enough to cover x. We both agreed we could not afford 1.5x We both agreed we could not afford a divorce.
We both have flaws. And things have changed. But I guess we essentially got married again.

The reality is I could live on 1/2 x if I had to. She could as well. But we'd rather not have to ;)

Sounds like you and husband may need to make that decision as well.
If you value a bird in the hand, pay off the loan. If you are willing to risk getting two birds (or none) from the market, invest the funds. Retired 9/19. Still working on mortgage payoff.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by RubyTuesday »

1. Pull credit reports, freeze credit
2. Get informed delivery from US Post office so you know what mail should have arrived in case mail is going missing

Lots of good advice in this thread, but none of the solutions will be easy. Good luck.
“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” – Lao Tzu
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by THY4373 »

JAZZISCOOL wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:28 am At a minimum, it seems like a good therapist could help you examine this marriage and explore your options.
+1 I too was going to suggest therapy it helped both my ex and me when we went through an amicable divorce (we did both individual and couples therapy). It wasn't cheap but it was money well spent. It will also help OP identify and address her contributions to this mess as I expect (taking nothing away from the debacle her husband caused) that she has some skin in this mess as well.

I will also say to others who may be younger than OP who are considering divorce to make every effort to improve/save their marriage now and if that doesn't work to move on and divorce while you are younger. These things rarely get better on their own with age and it is much easier recover from a divorce when you are younger. I realized in my mid-40s that my now ex and I were not on a good trajectory. Nothing was really bad in the marriage, no abuse, we were both good with money, no cheating, but we were increasingly more roommates than spouses. I realized unless something was done we'd probably coast until we retired and then with more time on our hands would likely go WTH are we doing in this marriage and become another gray divorce statistic. My divorce is one of the best things I have done. I now have a better relationship with my son, my ex and both my ex and I have grown considerably since we got divorce. Going through a divorce is one of the hardest things I have done but it was so worth it. My new life is awesome! Good luck to OP whatever she decides.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by cherijoh »

theplayer11 wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:58 pm
delamer wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:43 am
theplayer11 wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:10 am
minimalistmarc wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:52 am It’s personal but my wife would divorce me if I did this and hid it from her
that's extreme imo. No way my wife would, she would be disappointed of course.
Nothing extreme about it.

Mismanagement is bad enough, but he hid information and reneged on their agreement to use the the HELOC for emergencies only.
agreement? lol..I believe our relationship is strong enough were again, no way, no how, not in a million years my wife would even think of the D word. Very extreme...IMO
Apparently the OP has already considered divorce at least twice.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Herekittykitty »

BarbBrooklyn wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:35 am
goodenyou wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:22 am This is financial infidelity. It has the same destructive power as sexual infidelity. Protect yourself first by seeking legal advice. Then seek marriage therapy if your believe it is salvageable.
The thing is, this isn't the first time. The OP has been down this road before with DH. He promises to change and is a "good boy" for as long as she is checking up on him. (Oh, wait. He drained the HELOC while preparing false spreadsheets for her to look at.)

This IS financial infidelity and financial abuse. OP asked for FINANCIAL advice. Being/remaining married to this guy is
a huge financial liability, because he has proven that he is a serial liar, at least when it comes to finances.

Maybe the OP is financially naive and doesn't see how much their current lifestyle doesn't line up with DH's and her income. Or maybe DH IS hiding a a very large boat or another child/family [maybe THAT'S what he means when he said it wasn't for HIS benefit...] somewhere.

I'd get myself to a lawyer, a forensic accountant and maybe a PI in her shoes. But first and foremost, I would be getting advice from a lawyer who was putting MY best interests upfront and who had access to all the facts.
Exactly.

This is indeed financial advice.

There is no point rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as it sinks, or pretending it isn't going down. I don't know what the passengers on the Titanic could have done to protect themselves and which is way beyond the scope of this discussion, except as a metaphor for what is within the scope - which is that the OP's ship is going down. And that rearranging the metaphorical deck chairs or pretending it isn't going down will keep her from what she can indeed do - which is protect herself.

Start with a divorce lawyer. If the lawyer agrees with an accountant (possibly forensic) and/or a PI, then do as he/she suggests. I'm guessing the lawyer would have accounting and PI professionals he/she works with regularly and can recommend. This needs to be coordinated and a divorce lawyer can do that.

At this point the situation is this: The OP has been warned before that the husband will cause financial chaos and ruin. He is a serial (or perhaps chronic) financial deceiver of his wife. The husband's behavior has persisted for decades and the OP (wife) knows this. Yet she has not involved herself in financial decisions, learned about finances, or even remained aware of what has been going on. The OP either has chosen this path of leaving the serial/chronic financial deceiver in charge, or has felt at least emotionally bullied into remaining ignorant. On the other hand, maybe the husband is a great guy who makes bad financial decisions and hides them from his wife who tacitly agrees to remain ignorant, while he wants to uphold his image as a good provider and protect his wife from anxiety, and the wife colludes with him in leaving him with the burden. Who knows.

But whatever the dynamic, whatever started it, and whatever perpetuates it - the wife can choose to protect herself or can choose to try to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic while the ship goes down.

Again - start with a divorce lawyer. Don't start with a confrontation, accusations, or anything of the sort. Just get a divorce lawyer. Yesterday would be a good time, tomorrow will have to do. No point in giving the husband more time to do whatever he might do with the remaining assets or whatever he might do as far as creating more liabilities, or even getting his own lawyer - which he may already have, we don't know.

Keep in mind that getting a divorce lawyer and getting whatever he/she recommends in the way of accountants, PI's, or whatever, does not commit the OP to divorce. It puts her in a place of whatever knowledge and power is available to protect herself. I do not see how this can happen in the absence of getting a divorce lawyer and following his/her advice toward that end (protecting herself.) Divorce may not be the best or only way to do that - I don't know but a lawyer knows and can advise her.

As that part gets started and well underway, the OP could benefit from learning about financial matters herself. Once she gets the lawyer engaged and gets whatever the lawyer needs available to him/her, then she should start learning about financial matters, not just the family financial matters but how it all works (Social Security, pensions, investing in and out of 401k's and IRA's.) No benefit to remaining ignorant.

I would make no significant financial moves until the lawyer - which OP should get by tomorrow - advises it. Otherwise, there will be no more protection for OP than there is now, and the Titanic will continue to sink as she rearranges the deck chairs. And she won't even know where the lifeboats are.

(Edited for spelling.)
Last edited by Herekittykitty on Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I don't know anything.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by Herekittykitty »

Woops - double post.
I don't know anything.
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

Post by dknightd »

cherijoh wrote: Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:14 pm
theplayer11 wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:58 pm
delamer wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:43 am
theplayer11 wrote: Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:10 am
minimalistmarc wrote: Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:52 am It’s personal but my wife would divorce me if I did this and hid it from her
that's extreme imo. No way my wife would, she would be disappointed of course.
Nothing extreme about it.

Mismanagement is bad enough, but he hid information and reneged on their agreement to use the the HELOC for emergencies only.
agreement? lol..I believe our relationship is strong enough were again, no way, no how, not in a million years my wife would even think of the D word. Very extreme...IMO
Apparently the OP has already considered divorce at least twice.
I have considered many things I choose not to follow up on!!!!
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Re: Help: Husband's Surprise Debts

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This thread has run its course and is locked (relationship issue, contentious, derailed). See: Locked Topics
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