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Financial Abuse and Your D-Day

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The Unicorn of ReconciliationToday’s guest post is by Vickie Adams, a certified financial planner / certified divorce financial analyst discussing the financial risks post-D-Day. (Men, this advice goes for you too. Please forgive the gender pronouns.) The professional advice and opinions belong to Vickie (who has way more sense than chumpy me ever had at D-Day…) I’m rerunning this one because all the newbies need a primer on financial abuse and chumpdom. 

By Vickie Adams

The very first spouses of those named in the Ashley Madison hack are just beginning to turn up at my office for financial advice. Any other group of readers might wonder why the betrayed waited so long to start proceedings.

Didn’t that happen like over 3 months ago?

The uninitiated believe they’d be lawyering up in 3 minutes.

Chump Nation readily acknowledges that the disordered have “odd and confusing” reactions and responses to everyday stuff. Little things like marriage vows, empathy, impulse control, boundaries. Like when you find your spouse has had multiple partners for decades and their monotone response is: “So what’s the problem? You know it meant nothing.” Odd.

But did you know that that those close to you see chumps as having “odd and confusing” reactions too? Specifically, a lack of appropriate action or anger when dealing with infidelity, deception, or just plain being screwed over.

It’s painful to point out, but on some level you know this is true. Have you ever lied to friends or family members about what’s going on in your marriage post D-day? Ever skirt the truth rather than out the cheater because even you can’t say without hurling: “Yes, he’s been a horrible husband, but he’s such a good dad!” Odd response.

Early on in divorce financial planning, I noticed chumps had a special ability to suspend belief rather than act in their own best interest. It was a clearly a case of that old saying, “Who are you going to believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

Chumps go overboard to show they are “good and fair people” who possess an unwavering sense of honor and commitment. Because you believe in love, family, and unicorns, chumps hold themselves to insanely unreasonable standards. There is no prize for this. Instead you damage yourself emotionally and financially in the process. Everyone who cares about you hopes that you will go from D-day to Dump His Ass Day — instead you’re more likely to go from D-day to Beating Yourself Up Day.

Chumps are more likely to tell me, ‘I did everything wrong. I got by angry and I reacted and now I’ve ruined it. I should have understood his disease, his family of origin issues, his need for strange. If I would have embraced hot yoga threesomes,  we might still be together.”

I’m sure he was a stellar catch. Besides that unfortunate day that he was caught in the prostitution sting, I can see why you’d fight for that.

Post-D-Day

Here’s a typical timeline of events post-D-Day and some tips to minimize your collateral financial damage. It is my fondest hope that you will catch on before you are out-played.

Week 1 – 4 — Let the games begin! If a cheater had a high-profile job, he enters rehab and is upgraded from common cheater to someone suffering from a Sex Addiction to save his ass and job. If the career was not so sparkly, you search for a marriage counselor while he critiques your choices and or may or may not show up.

Chumps charge in for the rescue. Reading, attending support groups, and accepting blame for their contribution to the problem. Wrong focus, people. Instead of googling “Do sex addicts recover?” use this brief period of “contrition” to start gathering and preserving assets, while preparing for the worst. Don’t focus on “fixing it” — focus on protecting yourself financially.

Instead of being the marriage police, be the money police. If there is a chunk of money from any community asset you can put in your own name alone, do it now. It can be equalized in divorce settlement. If reconciliation blows up, you will need money for retainers, therapy, living expenses, etc. Spouses mistakenly think that because the higher earning spouse has always put their check in a joint account, they will continue to do so. NOT TRUE. Because someone’s never drained a bank account before, don’t assume they won’t. Don’t wait for this to happen. Act first.

Week 4  Are you going to meetings or are you going to a hotel? You may hear “how can I recover when you don’t trust me?” Rather than accepting the undeserved title of co-addict that the marriage counseling /rehab industry has anointed you with, recognize you’ve been had by someone with a personality disorder. That means their personalities aren’t organized in a way that makes sense to most people. That extends to money and those promises they make in front of others — “I swear I’m not with her anymore”, “I didn’t take that money. The bank made a mistake and I’m waiting for them to fix it.”

While you are waiting to see if they’re serious run a credit report, get tax returns, bank statements, see a lawyer, a financial planner. Ask important questions Use this brief period of ‘transparency ’ to extract as much financial information as you can. Trust but verify. Actually I wouldn’t trust but it’s not my first rodeo.

Week 8 – 12 — It’s not so shiny anymore. Rehab is over, counseling is boring. Meetings, what meetings? The facade starts to crumble. Chumps waste months in counseling, negotiating for symbolic crumbs that prove they are first in the pick me dance, like requesting lists of dating websites and passwords or deciding on the exact definition of full transparency. By now the cheater has often returned to affair partner(s) and is now moving money out of accounts and possessions out of the house. While you are “standing your ground” for access to ALL of the cheater’s email accounts and passwords, bank accounts are being closed, money is being diverted, new debt is being incurred. Again, the focus is on the wrong issue. Don’t waste time waiting for some sign that your love and time has meant something to him. GIVE THAT TO YOURSELF by securing your financial future.

Week 13 — You get tired of going to marriage counseling by yourself. You realize you are back to square one. Most of the initial promises of “transparency” and “working on it” are blown off. You can continue to search for ways to change yourself enough to win the pick-me dance or you can make a plan to “leave a cheater and gain a life.”

Week 14 — The stall of “working on the post nup.” At Chump Nation, we stress post-D-day actions. “Get tested, run a credit report, get a post-nup.” Just this week, an unsigned post-nup landed on my desk that was was being worked on until the day someone unexpectedly moved out. “He really wanted to do it. We just couldn’t agree on semantics.” It also was missing huge amounts of valuable assets. It was all just a stall tactic while he figured out where he was going.

If you aren’t aware of your complete financial picture, can you negotiate an accurate post-nup? If someone is sincere in coming to the table with a post nup, 45 days is a fair amount of time for completion. Be sure you know what you are signing.

Week 16 — Someone moves out and you are left holding the bag.

Chumps mistakenly feel that protecting themselves financially telegraphs “you didn’t believe in us.” Translation: you didn’t want to hurt his feelings or rock the boat when reconciliation was still possible. Meanwhile they were deciding on Plan A or Plan B (also known as you if you were the bigger earner.) This is where we are the chumpiest: Financially.

What happened in these few months is they only pulled you closer to get a better shot at you.

Let’s hear it Chump Nation: What have you done financially for yourself during the D-Day time line? Did you do something ballsy during your divorce that helped you avoid financial disaster? Any financial questions?

VickieAdamsVickie Adams is a certified financial planner® and certified divorce financial analyst™.

Over two decades ago, she founded a client-centered, boutique wealth management firm in San Pedro, CA., located south of Los Angeles. 

During her own divorce, she realized that while her attorney was an expert in family law, he lacked the specialized skills necessary to structure a strategic divorce settlement that considered the long-term financial effects. 

In addition, the practice of fighting over individual, unrelated financial issues, combined with the siege mentality of divorce, led many of her clients to be exhausted, confused, and often devastated by the monetary implications of their divorce agreement.  

Vickie took a proactive stance in advising clients to plan for their economic future before, during and after their divorce. Her practice is focused on assisting others to navigate the life-changing transition of divorce successfully. See more of her articles at www.MyDivorceFinancialPlanner.com

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • How do you fund a high-conflict divorce? During the marriage, he was a sex addict who spent 15K on escorts and massage parlors, now he’s not, nothing’s weong with him, it’s none of my business, and he wants equal parenting time. I have two young children I’m trying to advocate for and protect and I’m well into 5 figures for this legal shit show.

    • Yep, my spouse spent over 20k on strippers and hookers, and did therapy for “sex addiction”. Here’s the thing, the court DOES NOT CARE! Unless you have proof the kids are in physical danger, they will not consider this. What he does in private isn’t an issue with the court – it’s completely irrelevant! That’s a hard shit sandwich to swallow!

      You can request a child custody evaluation. It is a process in which a mental health professional evaluates you, your child, and your co-parent to make a recommendation to the court regarding custody and visitation. Child custody evaluations can occur for a number of reasons. The most common reasons for bringing about a child custody evaluation is if co-parents cannot come to an agreement on the details of their custody agreement or if one or both co-parents believe that their current custody agreement is not meeting the needs of their child. In both cases, a family court judge must order a child custody evaluation to be made.
      I caution that manipulators are very adept at turning this around and working the system in their favor. You could walk away worse off than had you just tried to come to an agreement.

      Please keep in mind the court is not concerned with the morality of your spouse. They are concerned with “their” definition of evaluating parent child relationships … are “both parents fostering and encouraging the others relationship with the child.” Other than the possibility for physical harm, the court doesn’t deal with morality issue. Unless he’s sleeping with hookers in the presence of the kids, the court does not care! Does he consume large amounts of porn locked in the bedroom? They don’t care as long as the kids are sheltered from it.

      You can get the kids into therapy with a good therapist. If the therapist thinks there’s threat of emotional harm, they can advise you to hire an attorney and they will testify on your child’s behalf in court.

      Even though custody is part of the process of divorce, think of the two as two separate issues, that require two different sets of rules.

      My ex was rarely involved in child rearing. Traveling the country, sleeping with hooker, but none of that matters. He fought for 50/50 custody because he wants to pay minimal child support. 1/4 of the time during his parenting time, he spends it with smoopsie and leaves the kids alone. That burden of proof falls on me. Short of stalking him or hiring an investigator, there’s not much I can do.

      To get a good understanding of what the court considers in relation to kids and the parent child relationship, read Divorce Poison. Examples abound of shelfish parental choices, moral corruption, etc. but the court wants children to have a relationship with both parents. Moral standards are often used as proof that the moral teachings of a parent are cause for claims of parental alienation. It’s not a easy book to read, knowing the ultimate goal of the court isn’t raising morally sound children, or protecting the moral teachings of one parent. Its preserving the parent child relationship. I think that’s worth repeating….

      the ultimate goal of the court isn’t raising morally sound children, or protecting one parents moral teachings, even when you think those things are in the best interest of protecting your children. The goal is preserving the parent child relationship at any cost , other than physical harm, or professionally documented emotional harm.

      Trying to teach your children right from wrong carry’s with it the chance of being accused of parental alienation if the things you are criticizing are behaviors your spouse engaged in. There’s a fine line you must walk as a co-parent with the unethical. Trying to teach your children cheating, stealing, porn, prostitution, etc. is wrong? Tread carefully! If your kids go to their dad and say “mom said cheating is wrong” he can say you are poisoning the kids against him, even if it had nothing to do with him. It’s a backwards system that makes raising and protecting kids hard. I do what I can to protect my kids in my home, but I have no say about what he allows in his.

      • Thanks for your response and advice. I had some very helpful documents about my ex’s behavior, that he himself wrote, that have helped me thus far. We have a GAL (not helpful) and he’s been ordered by the court to do an intensive psych eval that assesses his sexual behavior and effects on parenting. Evaluator comes highly recommended. The ex filed an objection to the order, of course, but we’ll see what the court decides. I’ll be very surprised if the order is overturned. If it shows no risk to the kids, fine and great, but if it does, I’ll have it documented by a well-respected expert. But all of this has been ridiculously expensive because he’s fighting every step of the way.

      • How old are your children that he is leaving alone? Each time he does it, have one of them call you and document because he may be breaking the law and is concrete.

      • Men have been dealing with this for decades: cheating,immoral wife? Woman still held the cards in custodydisputes.

      • I hate no fault divorce! There is a huge fault- the cheater! Cheating should never be rewarded with 50 percent of the marital assets!

  • While he thought I was sitting home paralyzed with grief over loosing his wonderfulness, I got a lawyer, collected the tax returns, checked phone and credit card statements, got his life insurance policy, and took it all to the lawyer. I also took all the kids’ important papers out of the house so he couldn’t get them. He never knew what hit him when he was served with the divorce papers.

    I was a Chump all through my 22 year marriage, but cheating was one of my lines in the sand, I got pissed, and I got out.

    • I did all of this too! I also changed jobs where I made more money & he didn’t find out about it until after I had been there almost a month. I never disclosed to him at that time that I was making more money.

      We have this nice little self-service portal at work in which we can split our paychecks into different accounts if we want. I secretly set up my own checking account. I deposited the same amount I had been making at previous job into our joint account. The overage went into my new account. He never knew. He never even knew what the login information for our joint account was until after I filed. He all of a sudden deemed me untrustworthy & felt he needed to monitor to make sure I wasn’t cleaning out the account. Ha ha.

      He also had a 401K account that I monitored over the course of our marriage. He didn’t know the login info on that either. Only when I filed did he start talking about how he needed access to it because he wanted to cash it out to pay bills. I told him absolutely not were we cashing it out. I wanted my half rolled over into my 401K through work to avoid taxes & penalties. When I refused to give him login info, he called them and changed the password. By this time, my lawyer had the most recent copies of the statements. He didn’t realize that my email address was linked to his 401K account. I got an email stating that the password had been changed. I never said a word, but I went in and changed the password to our joint account. Someone got a little pissed & showed up at my door at 4:00 AM the next morning demanding the password. He gave me the 401K password & I gave him the joint checking password. Tit for tat 🙂

      I definitely walked away financially better off than him in the end because I didn’t sit around and do nothing.

      • I love this so much. I have zero memory for passwords but there is no excuse for not keeping a record of the important ones! This is just fantastic. I am genuinely extremely impressed 🙂

      • Brandib,
        Sweetie, you are one strong, wise, courageous, kick ass woman!! Wish I’d used that strategy after I finished chemo, etc!!! Would have saved myself the last 5 years of utter hell!!

        But, hindsight is always 20/20! So grateful I found CN 2 months ago, woke up, stopped feeling and started thinking!

        now, won’t have to wipe his nasty ass when the dementia years come into play-that’s not far off if Stbx current mental instability is any indication !!

        • I’m just sitting here, reading about your lives, celebrating your strength and tenacity.
          Speaking of wiping asses, after 40 years together, three grown kids, I knew the man I loved so much was limited and detached and uninterested and self-absorbed, but decided to love him for who he was!, Pfft. Chumpfest. He got cancer three years ago. I cared for him tenderly, as did my kids, helping him to die at home peacefully. Speaking of ass wiping. A week after his death? Discovery day. And everything falls apart . The 13 year affair w girlfriend, he was texting days before he died. Who he brought to Europe, when we saved up for him to go because he “needed it so much” I needed to be alone so it couldn’t include me. I deserve a chump award. All the sex texting,with so many, making fun of me sitting outside his work , waiting for him. All that antagonism and rage! Control and secrecy. Pathetically asking everyone he sex texted with if they could meet. Every time I read posts like yours, or all the other articles and posts on chump lady, I am so encouraged to become so clear and strong, and take back my life. I hope things go well with your plans. Hooray for that incredible attorney.

          • Gm,
            My heart is breaking for you! Your reply brought on tears! My late husband died very suddenly years ago – the grief was devastating- I can’t imag going through that kind of grief, plus discovering all the evilness you had to find out about after your husband’s death!! That grief fogged my decision making – that’s how I ended up remarrying, stbx Narc – had know experience years ago , that would have allowed me to protect myself from the charismatic “mask” of Stbx

            The path of destruction these non-humans leave in their wake is mind boggling!

            I’m so incredibly sorry you had to deal with all of that!!

            Hugs
            Seeing clearly

            • Thankyou. I cried with your note. He refused to let me see finances until he could almost not speak ( but still texting ow). Finally let me speak to HR. Finally gave me bills to pay after not letting us do them together. Now I see there is a 3 mo delay before SSI and pension arrive. If I were dying, I would have sat and investigated and laid it all out, and saved for the delay. Coming out of the fog, I now see how this made me so sick I had to stop working. As he got weaker, I was recovering, and wondering why. The day after he died, all my fears vanished. God help us all. Bless you in your own regained life.

              • Gm,
                Go to Forum:General:Senior Chump thread – amazing woman re building their lives in later years!!

                There is also a thread under Forum:Post-Chump Happy Life: Silver Queens

                Go to both – you will find amazing support and wisdom from us Silver Queens navigating the trail of destruction from divorcing or being widowed and left utterly dumbfounded!!

                I wish I could be with you in person, hold you and let you cry!! My heart is heavy from everything you’ve endured!!

                Just know, honey, you and I, as have so many CN tribe, survive, cross to the other side, to a new life of peace and freedom from Narc abuse! You’ve had to endure so much! You are strong and use CN as your life line!! You will receive such wisdom, encouragement, support and advice from global CN tribe!!

                My prayers are with you, sweet lady!!

                You’ve got this!! Take baby steps and breathe! This too shall pass!!

                Seeing clearly

              • Gm,
                Narc abuse – not only psychologically damaging, but physically! I have numerous texts, letters from Stbx telling me “how sorry he is for causing my illness”, I have an autoimmune illness that I’m sure stress creates many of the frequent flares I gave with illness!

                Stbx sorry – hell, he gets off on when I’m so sick I can barely move!! Sick piece of shit!!

              • Gm,
                Just wanted to say that I frequently think of you and the hell you are going through!!

                You and Duped are dealing with such a Cluster fuck!! I would love to take a bat to both dead husbands! Narcs leave destruction in their wake dead or alive! Such a waste of human space!

                I hope and pray each day you find some moments of peace. If you don’t hang out on Fuck thread ( inForum:General:Fuck thread) – do it- the comic relief is so very worth it – some amazing, wise, courageous and hilarious Fuck Nation members!!

                We do have to find some humor in the midst of all the pain and heartbreak!!

                Hugs
                Seeing clearly

    • I did the same. I stop questioning what he was doing and just pretend not to care, and was focusing on the kid. I was taking seven months of collecting all the financial data, Plus other evidence, storing it in a bank safe along with emergency cash. Also put passports and all important papers in there too

      What I neglected to do was take enough cash for myself. It’s good I got all the financial data, because as soon as he was served he started hiding and overspending all of our assets. So that will be equalized in the divorce. However now he is refusing to pay the court ordered child support, and I am currently in a short-term financial crisis.

      What I must emphasize from my learning Is that treat the separation process separate from divorce. Both require different strategies and different outcomes. It’s one thing to know where all of your assets are to have them equalized a divorce, it’s another thing when there is no money for you to survive on once you file for separation

  • I’m going to mediation today and still don’t think he turned in all his financials since June. My lawyer is a bulldog!! We pressed charges for contempt on Sparkly and the hearing is next week. I am NOT sitting down until I have a clear picture of what my financial future will hold. Wish me luck! I’m doing this for myself and my kids future, it’s so important to listen to this advice. We are mighty! Xoxo sweet

    • sweetChumpgirl,
      I do, wish you and your precious Children, all the luck in the world!
      Mighty YOU and a Bulldog lawyer make for a great combination!!
      YOU go girl!🙌

      • Thank you Peacekeeper. I ended up with the house, half of the 401k and child support til January. We are officially divorcing on Monday since we have the judge that day for the contempt charges. Baby steps and just breathing. I know my life is still wonderful. He was one black hearted SOB among the thousands of ppl here and around me that have wonderful, loving hearts. I’m the lucky one because it could have been worse. I was only stuck with him for 22 yrs not a life time. Xoxo sweet

        • Sweet Chumplady,
          Honey, keep taking those baby steps and deep breathes and focus on the other life awaiting you – Narc Free!!

          I’m practicing baby steps and deep breaths every single day!!

          You will make it!! Hang in there!!!

          Seeing clearly

        • ❤️
          A heartful of love,
          and a very very happy dance for you and your precious children.
          You are a winner sweetChumplady!
          Your positive attitude shines through.
          I am so very proud of you!
          YOU, sweet lady, are Mighty!

        • “I know my life is still wonderful. He was one black hearted SOB among the thousands of ppl here and around me that have wonderful, loving hearts. I’m the lucky one because it could have been worse. I was only stuck with him for 22 yrs not a life time. Xoxo sweet”
          THOSE are ‘up on the refrigerator’ words. Thank you.

  • Hello all newbies! Strike quick and quietly!! Don’t think your otherwise loving spouse wouldn’t try to screw you over financially. They have been screwing you over intimately already. This is just the next logical step for them.

    There was a narrow window where my husband of 20 years felt some guilt and fairness while he was trying to decide between his wife and family or his young schmoopie. I took this opportunity to get a separation agreement ironed out with an attorney. While he was sneaking out of the house for ‘work’ which was meeting his schmoopie, I was going through all the financials and making copie as well as taking things like family pictures (sentimental valuables) and securing them away from the home.

    If you are thinking, but wait I might want to reconcile and this obviously led you to divorce, remember if you were to have that rare unicorn who transformed you can always turn that separation agreement into a postnup. And if they feel like you don’t trust them and the marriage is over, so be it. It actually is over. You can never go back to that level of trust again.

    Before anyone thinks I am super mighty, I must confess I had already lived through one discard when we were married for 5 years with 2 young children. He left for a howorker and we sold our house. I tried to stall the divorce and unfortunately that worked. I set myself up for many more years of a self centered, entitled man child. Only to have him discard again for DD14’s 20-something sports coach in our kids high school.

    Don’t be me. Don’t be Nigel and lock yourself in to a spouse decoy.

    • I just posted this on yesterday’s Nigel post, but I’ll do it again here.
      (Inspired by Nigel post and the Valentine’s Day poetry contest)

      Concrete and rebar–
      You’re a shatterproof decoy;
      I’m like poor Nigel.

    • twiceachump,
      Whenever I read a post from you I can’t help but think, ” this girl is so Mighty!
      Please don’t beat yourself up because you took him back the first time. This fact just shows what a loving person you are, full of hope and love for your children. It never was YOU. It was him all along, the one with the shitty character traits, the false pretensions, the one with the ability to break your heart and the heart of your precious children. To leave the second time took guts as you were carrying all the scars from the first betrayal. These scars did NOT break you and make you crumble. They made you kick ass!!( you were smart and took that as a fast exit opportunity).
      I see YOU as a very very strong Chump! The advice you share with newbies is invaluable, priceless!

      As a Chump, who pick me danced, ( told no one, no CL, CN in my time of need), he stayed, we moved, he changed jobs.
      Eventhough I truly believe he did not cheat again he still possessed so many of those other nasty character traits that a cheater-type possesses. ( to cheat in the first place one has to be that kind of a shit head).
      It is difficult when I get going on this subject.
      But, I always say, that is why I post here, to be an example to new Chumps, to newbies, to leave a cheater, gain a life.
      Everyone has to make their own decision but you and I know, twiceachump, that is the very best one.
      YOU do a wonderful job of doing that and I salute you!

      Xxxxxxxxxx
      peacekeeper

      • Ahhh thanks Peacekeeper! I think we all navigate this crap as best we can with what information is available at the time. The first time he left when kiddos were young, I thought he was having an early midlife crisis (we were 34 years old). He ran off into the sunset with a howorker and discarded us.

        Nope, now I know it’s character disorder. I signed back up for more years of life with a self centered covert narc. It takes a lot of time of no contact/gray rock and reading up on infidelity to get to this point. I feel like I am free now!

        I always appreciate your support Peacekeeper and look forward to your posts. You are always so willing to give back despite what you and your family has been through!! How are your daughter and grandkids holding up?

        • Dear twiceachump,
          You certainly deserve to be free now after all you have been through.
          I think about you and your Children often and wish you every happiness.

          My daughter is a very strong girl, struggling financially, as well as emotionally. I help her as much as I can.
          Last week would have been a milestone birthday for her late husband and she always had plans for a surprise party for him. The kids knew about this. His first birthday since his death was very difficult. I was far away from them that day and just sent extra hugs and kisses and let them know I remembered and was thinking of them.
          Getting specialized cardiac medical testing for the children is very difficult where they live and I find myself harping at her about that. I have been consumed with worry but am trying hard to calm down. As my friends often tell me, ” You can’t save the world peacekeeper!” But, right now I just want to save my Grandchldren.
          It was very thoughtful of you to inquire about my loved ones twiceachump.
          Thank you for your kindness.

          • Peacekeeper,
            I noticed in your post about your daughters late husband’s birthday plans and your concern for your grandchildren?

            Was your late son-in-law under 40 yrs of age at death?
            Was his death due to SADS or HCM?

            • Hi Seeing clearly

              Yes,
              No,
              No.

              I hope you and your doggie are doing well.
              Strong, strong, a very strong pair, you both are.
              Keep safe.
              You are brave and mighty!!

              • Peacekeeper,
                Apologies, I resent question regarding your daughters husband’s death and grandchildren . I hadn’t read your reply

  • Newbies, please, please, please listen to this. I didn’t and am paying the price. Already in year 3 of working a 2nd job just to stay afloat and provide for the kids. He just started paying child support this year, but the damage is done. In debt past my eyeballs. He has us in debt to the IRS which will take me years to dig out of. Protect yourself, fight for every penny for your kids.

    • You should try to file Innocent Spousal Relief from the IRS. It requires a lot of paperwork but if you can prove the things that got you in trouble with the IRS was related to abuse, deception and/or lies, you will have the tax burden put solely on him and you can get reimbursed what you already paid. I won and since the IRS accepted my claims, the state automatically accepted them. Got all my money back that I had been paying $25 a month for.

      • Did you do that on your own or did you have CPA help? I spoke to the IRS and they told me if I signed the tax forms then I was not eligible. How do you prove abuse? He controlled all the finances.

        • SpecialSnowflake, talk to a tax attorney. If you are under 250% of poverty level based on your household size, contact a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic. Their services are free of charge and there’s one in most states. To find one near you, google “IRS Publication 4314.” If that doesn’t work due to your income or whatever other reason, call the Taxpayer Advocate Service and ask them to help you.

          Innocent spouse relief is one option, but you also might qualify for a hardship status or an offer in compromise (settlement). There are many possibilities. I’d give you my direct contact info to discuss it if I knew how without losing my anonymity.

        • Also SpecialSnowflake, what the IRS told you is completely false and quite stupid. Innocent spouse relief only exists if you filed a joint return. If you didn’t sign (or authorize the signing of) the joint return, the rules regarding innocent spouse relief don’t even come in to play. Innocent spouse relief is precisely FOR those who signed a joint return and are now asking to be absolved of the liability.

        • The IRS is not your advocate in this situation – talk to a tax CPA, they can represent you in front of the IRS. This is from the IRS.gov website:
          What are the rules for Innocent Spouse Relief?

          To qualify for innocent spouse relief, you must meet all of the following conditions:

          1) You must have filed a joint return which has an understatement of tax;
          2) The understatement of tax must be due to erroneous items of your spouse;
          3) You must establish that at the time you signed the joint return, you did not know, and had no reason to know, that there was an understatement of tax;
          4) Taking into account all of the facts and circumstances, it would be unfair to hold you liable for the understatement of tax; and
          5) You must request relief within 2 years after the date on which the IRS first began collection activity against you after July 22, 1998
          everything is at irs.gov, then search Innocent Spouse.

          • In my case, my signature was forged, and not just by Stbx! I have copies of all forged signature authorization forms and the 5 yrs of fake write offs !
            I have the tax advocates phone # etc, just waiting for forensic analysis of 7 years tax returns- I have copies of other 10 yrs if needed

    • Special Snowflake ha!

      THIS! #metoo Mine has failed to file taxes for the past…i don’t know how many years. He keeps dragging his feet – like he is doing with the divorce, too. Taxes are taken from my check & I always claimed the least amount of deductions to reduce his burden. STBX-Hole is self-employed. He has dragged feet on getting his accounting info to our CPA for YEARS, just yesterday providing backups for 2014, 2015, 2016. He is playing a shell game with an insurance company that won a decision against him. He bought a laptop & began to keep his records on that, anticipating the ins co. confiscating his desktop, so I think a lot of the desktop info is doctored. He also has done a lot of cash biz. (Schmoopie was a subcontractor – painting houses for him).

      I learned at our temporary hearing that our joint return should have been separate from his S-Corp biz filing ALL ALONG! The CPA seemed surprised when I told her this, then said, “Well, of course.” But maybe moot since all she has filed have been extensions in recent years. I hate not knowing what he has been doing financially, wondering how much i can prove (I collected a lot of documentation), and how much “WE” owe in past due tax, penalties and interest since he stopped filing quarterly a looooong time ago. UGH! Clearly I need a separate CPA to protect me & whatever interests I might have. God, the garbage these narcs leave in their wake. But…better to be rid of him than stuck with him!

      Newbies – all that sadness, rage, fear, shock, devastation you are feeling? – Channel it into gathering as MUCH information as you can to defend yourself & your children, if you have them. I cried as I copied, copied, copied and sifted through every bit of paper i could find. Listen to the wise ones above. I’m still a newbie myself. Dday(#3!! – I’m not the only open-hearted slow-learner here, in GOOD company) was 8 months ago, I kicked “it” to the curb 10 days later, spent months information gathering (& in therapy), filed 3 months ago, had a good ruling at temporary hearing. But this is the beginning of what will likely be a long ordeal. CL & CN have prepared me to get my MIGHTY on and it WORKS!! No contact/gray rock is magic for healing the open-heart surgery wounds and chopping off hoover tentacles when he tries to suck me back into the vortex of lies.
      Trust these chump angels – they know.

      • Longingformwh— please don’t file joint returns with this guy. This story has audit written all over it. If you file joint returns and the IRS comes back with an audit, you are jointly and severally liable for the entire amount due from the audit. That’s lawyer talk for “the IRS doesn’t care which of you they collect it from…they’ll just collect it.” Think wage garnishment, taking your future refunds, etc. until the entire balance is paid (by you, most likely, because he’s hiding assets and not filing). Why take that chance if you know he’s being dishonest? If you’ve been over-withholding, you might be due a refund on a separate return. If that’s the case for 2014, you need to file the return soon because the deadline for a refund claim on 2014 returns is April 15, 2018. You do not have to file married filling joint returns even if you’ve done that in the past, and even if your extension request was joint. Please see a tax attorney or CPA! See my post above about Low Income Taxpayer Clinics if you can’t afford to pay for an attorney.

        • Thank you so much for all the great information! I’m going to hit the ground running today and get that ball rolling. I appreciate it so much!!!

      • I spent hours and hours copying documents onto a memory stick. It was depressing (why do I have to do this? Why is it so boring and why does it take so long?) but therapeutic. I was finally exercising some control over my own destiny. I was taking stock of what we had and deciding my future.

  • I will give every new chump this!!!! It is so true, while I was in shock and denial he was using money from the joint account to pay for his apartment, furnishings, and who else knows what under the lie of cancelling investments taken out of his paycheck (didn’t happen) and reducing monthly donation given to our church (ironic he did follow through on that!) to cover his new expenses. Seeing the expensive hotel bill (charged to our joint account) is what truly pissed me off enough to get me to reality though. Interesting only took me to budget motels when traveling but the best for his new Phillipino Queen and their nights of praying (yuck!). I will also tell every new bride always stay involved with all financial decisions throughout your marriage – trying to learn what investments owned while divorcing is not easy. Get smart, get mad, start protecting yourself is my mantra now. I caught up after D day but wasted too many weeks. I still resent having to pay him so much equity in order to keep kids in the home they know and keep my family’s lake house. His shock and tears when seeing what he’d owe in child support was priceless – fool thought we could just each put money in an account and together pay for things the boys needed – he was and is still delusional! Learning and taking care of my financial future with the help of a financial planner that had been in my shoes herself is empowering. Taking back control after being controlled for 23 years feels great!

    • “I will also tell every new bride always stay involved with all financial decisions throughout your marriage.”

      This goes for everyone. We need to tell young adults and newlyweds: Don’t outsource your financial life to your spouse or anyone else. Insist on at least a bi-weekly reckoning, a budget, a list of assets that includes all separate accounts (pensions, etc.) and the account numbers for that stuff. Make note of insurance policy numbers and what is covered in the policy. Every family should have all the information secured in case of fire or natural disaster (fireproof box, safety deposit box, etc.) So it’s not like you are being sneaky–you should already have this stuff. Review credit card bills for charges, phone bills, bank statements, etc. for accuracy. And run a credit check at least once a year on both of you.

      • My narcissist never once allowed me to have a joint account with him. Immediately after we got married his computer and phones were password protected, the house phone was in his name and when I tried to change the number he went back and got his number back. Secrets much? Never once did he want to have any joint accounts. I now know why, because all these years he had a big HO that he worked with. DO you know, that he hid his money with her and she became a very rich woman when he died. YES he duped me so bad, that he screwed her for my entire marriage and he channeled his money to her, then when he died, I could not find where he hid his money, because get this he made his sibling the executor of his ‘estate’ so that his sibling could move his secret hidden money around to his HO. I know it’s to her because she had a big plan with him to get me dumped from my marriage because she had been screwing him for 17 years, my entire marriage. SO, my point newlyweds, is RED flag when your husband won’t have you on any accounts, there is a secret agenda there, a double life happening, screwing his co worker right under my nose. I also found out that she came into 6 figure assets after he died !! I am sure it’s my marital assets that he hid all these years, that he gave to his Putana Schmoopie…Now I am left to not only pick up the wreckage /pieces of my marriage but come into the reality that he financially abused me and controlled everything so I would not have a dime. I had to work (while he was a top exec) and pay all my own expenses…now I know why, because he was taking his whore on trips, jewels, and giving HER the luxury lifestyle. I was no dog, and I am educated, but his HO was able to manipulate him, and he was a champion all his own too, in other words, he knew what he was doing, he allowed his HO to have everything. She worked it so that he would dupe and destroy me along with him. She’s a skank. She deserves some kind of good Valentines present from me. and I mean that sarcastically.

  • SuperDuperChump is proud to announce that he is the Super Heavy Champion Chump of being totally fucked over financially by a cheater. I will defend my Belt against any newbie…..Just bring it on.

    Float like a butterfly
    Sting like a bee,
    Broke off my ass-
    Yep….that’s me.

    (The 80’s song “Never Surrender” is playing in the background)

    • Would love to hear your details, as I enjoy your posts and draw a lot of strength from how you’ve handled yourself. So, here’s my shot at your belt, SDC: When SirLiesALot was outed by our teenagers having yet another affair with a Christian life-coach friend of mine, he abandoned us all, chose the schmoopie. Said he would only pay one-third of the mortgage on a 3500 sq ft home, and none of the $800 monthly utilities. Our 16-yr old son was in the middle of his junior yr at an elite tennis academy in Florida ON FULL SCHOLARSHIP worth $40,000/yr (we lived in PA), which had just been extended to cover his senior year, when all the college recruiting would take place. The training was free but his monthly board was $1500/mo. Dickhead said he would not help pay for any more tennis, so dear son would have to give up his tennis dream, forfeit the scholarship and come home, as I could not pay 2/3 of the mortgage, all $800 utilities and his board all by myself. Dickhead also blocked all of my efforts to get a formal child support order for a full year (he had a sleazy atty). We had agreed on splitting all of the marital debt equally (we both make the same income), but he reneged and paid NONE of it, leaving me to pay it all just to preserve my credit. I had to take on $15,000 in credit card debt to just survive. We lost our kids’ childhood home to a short sale, and the deficiency was charged to MY VA guaranty, so I can’t use it to buy a home for me and my kids until I pay the $58,000 back in ONE LUMP SUM. Dickhead’s VA guaranty is free and clear since we never used his, so he is buying a home for his schmoopie with it. And even though I helped pay for my stepkids’ college, Dickhead refuses to pay for ours, so I am currently at $45,000 in parent plus loans incurred in just two years, and we have two more kids to go to college. My parent plus debt will be at least $90,000 when all are graduated.

      Please tell me it gets better, SDC!

      • I am proud of myself for not caving on tax filing with him, though. Dickhead just assumed I would take two exemptions and he would take two (four children), but since he had reneged on everything and blocked the child support order, I filed early January (stealth mode) as head of household and took all four exemptions, since I qualified for all. When he emailed me in March, saying “we need to talk about taxes…,” I told him I’d already filed. He went BALLISTIC, it cost him $10,000 debt with the IRS that he is still paying on 😉

        • Owlbaby, I did the same thanks to the advice of a very good accountant friend. I had never heard of first to file. I subsequently found out he had never deposited the full amount of our returns. And yes, he took a huge hit and even moved one county over in order to pay less taxes. My financial advisor also insisted I get Head of Household status (my lawyer had never mentioned that to me). That’s another hit for the Genius 🙂

          • Glad to hear it, Better Alone! Our sad sausages no doubt expected to “share” our typical and sizable refund, and got quite the shaft…by their own undoing. They think they’re the smartest people in the room, asshats, ALL of ‘em!

            • Owlbaby….

              I had a $500 attorney who showed up to court drunk and a judge who refused to allow me time to find another attorney.

              I am getting back on my feet slowly…on a daily basis. I learned from The Tortoise that slow and steady always wins the race.

              Cheaters are thieves….and they enjoy watching you suffer. It’s their drug of choice. They pride themselves on doing things that will hurt you in every aspect. Hell, they’ll take your dog, kill it, and send you a picture of it’s body knowing it will destroy you.

              Cheaters are fucked in the head. You can’t negotiate with Dahmer or Manson.

              • The RIC always throws the Grace Card in the ring.

                How can you possibly offer Grace to a lunatic?

              • Bitch stole my dog; took my dog and gave it to him. I ain’t never givin’ her no “grace” or gettin’ over that shit. Never.

              • My dog mysteriously died two weeks after I had to tell him where I lived and someone broke into my car and let our kid’s cat out of its carrier after a vet appt. The ex turned up in court with some papers that had gone missing during that break in.
                Grace is for Jesus to dispense and my name isn’t Jesus.

              • That judge is a piece of work, SDC. Just know your mightiness inspires me to reach my own mightiness one day! (((hugs)))

  • The mightiest thing I did financially post D-day is hire a lawyer overseas to get the paperwork proving my name was on the deed of a house we were paying for in his country. Very different language, very different laws, very patriarcal society, very different banking system. It worked and I was able to enter that property as marital asset to leverage my keeping the house in the US. Best money I ever spent.
    Another one… He was driving a car that was under my name (title and credit). He cut me off financially very early on (PSA: It takes 2 to open a joint account, only one person to close it) and I was paying the credit on that car with my very low salary (it was taking the majority of my earnings). After a Friday mediation meeting where we agreed he would take the payments over, he went out that very evening and bought himself a luxury car and told our daughter she could use ‘his’ old car. NOPE. I got the title, took that puppy to Carmax and sold it the next day. Used that money to get my lawyer.

    • Your PSA is very useful.

      Banking practices still too often hail from the patriarchal stone age. I remember when I discovered that although we had a joint account, and we both contributed equally to it, because his name was on the first line of the supposedly joint account (I never took his last name when we married, and set up our accounts alphabetically–and the initial of his last name comes before my own), he could take a loan out without my signature–but I couldn’t do the same, because my name was on the second line. Boy did I raise hell with the credit union over that!

      • I am remarried and my request for the new system is in place – we deposit set amounts into the joint account for shared expenses and I keep the rest of what I make (same for him). The law here says it’s all joint asset, of course, but the day to day management setup allows me to ensure I have some savings, etc. in my control.

        • I am remarried also and as much as it makes me sad (because part of my definition of marriage includes combined finances) there are chunks of our money that will never comingle. The money from Majorcheaterpants’s death is mine and my kids – new husband doesnt want or need it and my mom wants it but she aint gonna get it.

          Newhusband is not crazy-rich but is “set for life” in comfy middle-class but does not want his funds to ever go to my kids (who are adults and admittedly not acting like anyone you would want with access to your money). He has made sure that I will be secure if he dies and he put $ in an emergency fund with my name on it in case he has a stroke/accident/whatever and needs immediate funds.

          In the mean time, I still work making chickenfeed for a salary because I love my work but its good to have a little $ I can spend as I wish without considering anyones opinions. Actaully, I give most of it away, but that is my choice.

      • The IRS did something similar to me. I prepared the returns and always listed HIS name first (you know, Mr. and Mrs.). I also calculated and sent in all estimated tax payments from our joint account. Well, during divorce, we agree through lawyers to file married filing separate and to each take one half of deductions. Lo and behold 100% of estimated payments are credited to him. IRS tells me HE is “primary” taxpayer. I explained to them that we were “co” taxpayers. Eventually got this all straightened out after explaining to the IRS that this is the 21st Century! So, if you are making estimated tax payments, put YOUR Social Security number on the check!

  • Another thing to acknowledge/consider:
    When divorcing a narc, they are determined you will have nothing. They believe you deserve nothing and will do whatever it takes to make that be the end result. My ex played so many games, dragged the divorce out till it went to trial (very expensive), before and during which he drained and destroyed our business, then dragged the sale of the house out for so long that after 20+years of marriage and with two special needs kids (who he abandoned and blamed me for alienating) I left that marriage with $17.45. Should have had at least $60K to start over with but that all went to the lawyer and other expenses. I beat myself up trying to figure out what I could have done differently to have a different outcome but the bottom line is this: when dealing with a narc, you are dealing with an irrational person.
    Just sharing what happened to me so maybe it can help someone else. At this point, I wish I had just walked away. I may have been broke (I am now anyways), but I wouldn’t have wasted 2 years if my life that were consumed by a high conflict divorce.

    • Mighty might,
      I am so sorry you were treated so horribly.
      Leaving a wife and two Children with 17.45, well that is just such a special shit head that some ow acquired. She will get her 17.45 one day, one way or another.
      As I posted above I was a pick me dancer, cheater stayed.
      He did tell me on DDay, when his pants were on fire to divorce and fly to ow’s arms, that I could have the house, everything. Well, everything had a huge mortgage on it. I did have a good profession, but I was also in first trimester pregnancy, we had a tiny child.

      These cheaters think with their dick!
      The financial devastation that you and other posting Chumps experience is absolutely disgusting. It proves cheaters have absolutely no conscience as well as no heart.

      I like your name Mighty Might, you worked hard for it.
      ((((((((YOU ARE MIGHTY))))))

    • Oh thank you for sharing. I am here now. My estranged DH has been delaying the settlement for over 6 months (after he cheated, lied about how we bought the house, etc etc). Sometimes people will say to me, especially as he calls me his wife* often, oh maybe he doesn’t want a divorce.

      No, he wants to leave me with nothing.

      *He called me his wife while trying to terminate our car insurance policy. Twice. The people had no clue we were divorcing.

    • Mighty Mite,
      Sounds as though we married twins. Wish that I had just let my husband have my $100k that went to my lawyers when he filed for divorce–would have saved three years in court and probably would have helped me maintain healthier relationships with others included post-separation boyfriend. All the begging and pick me dancing what ‘set things right.’ I learned the hard way. Save yourself and your children and other loved ones. Acting decisively might even get disordered partners and exes to treat you a bit better or harass you less as they will respect you more or realize that you are difficult prey.

    • This was my experience as well, they want to leave you with absolutely nothing as they don’t believe you contributed at all to whatever level of success they have. To them we are like a dishwasher, and who would pay a dishwasher alimony after you throw it out for a new model?

      • nodancing ,
        my cheaterTurd , always introduced me as THE WIFE , not “my wife” , insert any word : THE “DISHWASHER “, HERE IS ” THE FLOORSWEEPER ” ETC. ETC.

      • Yes – same here – I deserved nothing because he made more money than I did… He was such a dumb dick.

  • BEST ADVICE EVER

    “Instead of being the marriage police, be the money police. If there is a chunk of money from any community asset you can put in your own name alone, do it now. It can be equalized in divorce.”

    • Damn straight. The first thing I did after throwing the crapweasel out was to move $25k from our equity line to my own account at another bank. I knew I’d need it for litigation and perhaps living expenses. He supported my daughter and me for a few months, but once I changed attorneys, he cut me off and it was ON. Thank God for MY big credit line on Amex and the $25k I salted away.
      Asshole. He got away with some, but not much. And the settlement stabbed him in the heart.
      Have a nice life, dickhead!

  • This is good advice. I wish I would have protected myself financially through out the marriage. While I was working and paying all the bills. My husband would keep half of his pay checks to himself. He always had hundreds of dollars in his wallet. When I lost my job he would not give one more cent towards the bills. I was forced to go through my savings, 401K and credit card debt. I then found out that he was sneaking around with my cousin. Fast forward 9 months I was served with divorce papers(he said I lied about the credit cards and he was afraid I was going to bleed him dry). He was hiding cash in his parents safe( at least $15,000). I was blindsided and financially ruined.

    My husband stopped the divorce and we signed a postnup. However, I now am getting my finances in order. Putting cash aside. I am putting myself first and I will be in better shape when I serve him with divorce papers.

    If you have just found out about your spouses affair. Do not trust them. Get to a lawyer ASAP and find out your rights. If your spouse has lied to you about an affair they will lie about money. They have had a long time to prepare themselves and will make sure their ass is covered. So cover your own ass. A cheater only thinks of themselves.

    • Yep. Where I live, all new debt is co-owned if you are married. There are forms of separation that interrupt that. Get that lawyer, even if it’s just to get started.

    • THAT was the saddest thing and the hardest to deal with. The fact that HE had the affair, HE became the compulsive gambler, HE was getting fired from his job, HE spent an entire joint account on her, HE filed for the divorce and yet HE made the process unbearable. Attempt at mediation was a mistake (you cannot mediate with a Sociopath), he lied throughout the entire process, refused to complete financial statements or turn over credit card statements and lied about his income. He forged a car title into his own name and stole the contents of the safe deposit box. I could never imagine that after 35 years, this was the person that he became. Glad to be rid of him!

      • I don’t believe that they “become” like this. I think that is really who they were all along. But for years, you were of benefit so they wore a mask. Once you stop playing the game, the mask comes off and you get the full view of what lies inside. Character does not change over time. It is who we are. Circumstances just bring it to light.

        • GETMEFREE,

          you are so right , when you are dishonest, untrustworthy , and without integrity , they where like that from the beginning , it was just hidden , . when the relationship breaks and DDay is upon you , they cannot hide those feelings of pure hatred and wanting you “destroyed ” and left with nothing , makes me wonder , “how did i miss this” how did i not see the cheating ,lying ,stealing , until it was too late ……oh …i was trusting ,the untrustworthy …..now i see…….

        • I feel exactly the same way. 22 years and found out about schmoopie when he showed up with her at a function for my adult daughter. He told me on dday he just wanted to be alone and I believed him. I lawyered up and never confronted him in order to keep my assets. Stupid me was grateful he didn’t go after my assets until I found out after the divorce was final he was hiding money and had bought a business with schmoopie before the divorce was final. Oh well he is working 7 days a week so joke is on him. Scumbag!

    • OK. 20/20 hindsight, you would never allow that again.

      But Chumps! If there isn’t reciprocity and fairness with money, why are you surprised by sexual infidelity? A spouse who doesn’t contribute his fair share toward the bills is a freeloader. My XH the substance abuser paid the utilities. I paid the mortgage and taxes. When I asked him to chip in a bit more for taxes, he “forgot.”

      Doesn’t matter whether he was cheating or not. I should have left him right there.

      • I should have left mine whilst we were planning our wedding. He had been gambling secretly and lied and lied. It was only when I threatened to call the fraud helpline that he told the truth. Thankfully I wasn’t landed with all his debt when it all came out at D-day.

    • Heres something my dickhead did, something new, that he was alllll excited about…got paypal and he was able to send money to his big whore to maintain the lifestyle she was used to…that is, because he was giving her money..YUP, another way to hide money, that you cannot trace, and also she set up a PO box and closed it down after he died, because PRINCECHEATING and queen skank a lot, were planning their exit strategy and after he died suddenly, and she got her Karma, cuz loverboy won’t be running over to her brothel by the sea anymore for her to climb on him; well, like I said, she closed down her PO box because sexy loverboy won’t be receiving any more payments for her tongue skills (eww gross) because her gravy train ended!

  • Have your lawyer hire the private investigator who bills the lawyer who bills you. Then it is part of lawyer bill which is appropriately paid out of marital funds until the divorce is final. Only seems right that Cheater should help pay for the P.I.

  • What’s really overlooked during the paralysis stage of finding out your spouse is a cheater is the fact that cheating is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Deviance in fact is multilayered. The disordered in most cases has been building a support system undermining the loyal spouse for years.

    Then there’s the third party (OW/OM) who is planning their future on your dime. Together they believe you should suffer and will go to great lengths to break you emotionally and financially.

      • Yes. This doingme.

        The OW could not wait to get her hands on my X’s money. They wanted it all – according to them I am entitled to nothing. They plotted and planned and did crap to “make me crazy”.

        Honestly I am way stronger than I EVER thought.

        I made it through.

        Chumps listen up. If they cheat, lie and gaslight. The money is next. It speaks to their character.

        • The OW he found WANTED my pension. Legally he was entitled to half as my attorney repeatedly stated.

          Fortunately, my adult children were on my side and were willing to go to court with me after lying to them about allowing me to keep my pension.

          Key was knowing what he really wanted. He preferred liquid cash to waiting for me to retire. It was a small price to pay (8000) in order to keep well over that amount. He overvalued his old BMW and van (typical Narc style) and got to keep them. He took on all his credit card debt of 14000 as my name wasn’t on his cards. He got hit with taxes as I filed seperstely. He couldn’t write off any of the expenses as I threw him out.

          All those vacations, new cars, higher rent, taxes, and addictions guarantee he’ll be scraping by for the rest of his life.

          I agree Livefortoday, we are much stronger than we know.

    • This is SO true! Dickhead’s deviance was porn and inappropriately touching our younger two daughters, who felt safe enough to tell me after we moved 1109 miles away, I’m still sick to my stomach, they’ve both been diagnosed with PTSD. It seems like whenever I see a light at the end of the tunnel and get a little optimistic, only to find out it’s an oncoming train. So very frustrating. Thanks for your mighty examples, CN!

      • Owlbaby, I’m so sorry your daughters had to go through that, and that you suffer the pain of knowing that. But you are mighty, and will help your girls through. I’m sending you as much support and as many hugs as the internet will bear!

        • Thank you, KarenE! It’s definitely been a long road, but my daughters’ strength keeps me going. Appreciate the virtual hugs! I don’t often post, but just reading others’ posts has helped me find my value again, and I am so grateful to you all!

          • (((((((Owlbabyanddaughters)))))))
            It is difficult to convey my feelings to you.
            I am so sorry for all you and your precious daughters have suffered.
            YOU have always been the present, sane, loving parent.
            YOU are Mighty!

    • Exactly, THat is exactly what PRINCECHEATING and HO Skank were plotting all those years. He was sending her money or channeling it to her through paypay, this was all there nasty little game against me, his wife, so that she can get my husband in the end with their nice little nest egg of money. That whore knew what she was after, a tall handsome successful executive, that she just had to have, the jealous bitch, and they were both working on destroying me. She was taking his money that he was hiding with her. Then when he was dying here on home hospice, because he got sick suddenly, the Bold HO was sitting outside, because she had not heard from her loverboy. And she had the nerve, the nasty clam, to text him. Of course, sneaky narcissist man had her dubbed in as a man’s name, yet another angle to fool me. And she was worried that she had not heard from him. Boy, oh Boy was I a Chump. To tell you the devastation of my life and how I was fooled all these years, I cry everyday. It’s really unbelievable. And that skank Whore is rich because of it. And my life is devastated and I will work the rest of my life. I had to pay lawyers because he was so underhanded that he did not even make me executrix of his estate ! Yeah, the man of faith….Please, more like the devil.

  • The narcopaths are at their most generous when they feel a little ashamed — that is, afraid they will lose their image along with their primary source of kibble supply — yet cocky enough to believe they can still pull it off.

    The ballsiest financial thing I did was insist on a fair post-nup agreement with an infidelity clause immediately after I found out about the fucking and asked for a separation. Woody lovebombed and begged me to stay together, promising to “fix the bugs in his program” and “be the good husband Meht deserves,” and I caved because I was hooked on the hopium even though I knew deep down that any self-respecting unicorn would never have fucked his wife’s niece in the first place. The post-nup then became the separation agreement when the wreckonciliation crashed, right on the schedule Vickie outlines her her post. So everything was set to file for a smooth and uncontested divorce in October, and it was final on Friday – YAY.

    The most helpful financial advice I learned along the way is to make sure you refinance any joint mortgages into the name of the sole property owner. Don’t sign a quit-claim deed until this is done, or you could wind up liable for the ex’s mortgage or with a credit score down the tubes if they make late payments. In this way the cheater’s gifts can keep on giving long after the marriage is over.

    The other thing I learned was that if you want your own kids to get all of your stuff when you croak, don’t die in a car crash on your Road Trip to Meh until after the judge signs the divorce decree, or your cheater STBX and Schmoopie will wind up with a pile of your assets because the state won’t allow you to write your legal husband out of your will.

    New chumps who are still dancing and spackling and betting the house on their sparkly unicorns, if you know down deep how this is going to end, the moral of the story is DON’T WAIT. Put down the hopium pipe now and GET OUT AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

    • And even if you believe, down deep, that you have a uncork, protect yourself financially, anyway! A real unicorn will understand. Get that post-nup, and make sure you know everything that’s going on w/the finances.

    • Or at the very least, get that post-nup. Get all the information. Move the money. Start squirreling away gift cards, get the dental work done, replace the washer that’s on its last legs. Even if you believe in the unicorn, protect yourself.

    • Bloody hell, how awful; I’m not in the US but I was able to write my husband out of my will, which I made shortly after he ran off. Solicitor said that to prevent him challenging it, in the event of my demise, on the grounds that I might have accidentally forgotten about him, and would have wanted to include him, we needed to put a bit in it saying along the lines of seeing as adulterous husband has buggered off I do not wish him to be a beneficiary of the will. The house was also jointly owned, so I severed that and set up that we became tenants in common. Had to do this as even with a will had I popped my clogs and the house was jointly owned, he’d have got the whole house, not only a bad thing but my daughter lives with me. OK, had he popped His clogs I’d have only got my half automatically, but I gambled on him being too bone idle to make a will, so as a widow I’d have got it anyway. Had he made one, I’m assuming he’d have left it to the children, and they’d not have thrown me out. It would have been extremely convenient had he died, but he didn’t, and murder’s not my scene
      UK chumps, make that will and sever that tenancy. Even if you have no children, no relations at all, the donkey sanctuary or Battersea dog’s home or any charity would be more worthy recipients than your cheating spouse

  • My ballsy financial play… Soon after I filed for divorce, I was worried that STBX would clean out the bank accounts. I was advised by the local women’s advocacy to protect myself. So, I went to the bank, took out OVER half of the monies in all of our joint accounts and opened new accounts in my name only. I informed my lawyer as to what and why I had done, gave him the paper trail documentation to show every penny was still there in the bank, and waited for the fallout.

    STBX WAS INFURIATED. He was a local businessman and had friends at the bank. He convinced someone there to freeze all accounts that had my name on them and then tried to get me charged with contempt of court — at that time we didn’t even have any temporary orders in place! I sicced my lawyer on the bank (they pulled an illegal dick move for STBX) and then he (lawyer) went to the court and cleared up the contempt summons. The money was then placed in a trust held by my lawyer to shut up my STBX. In the end I walked away with the full amount of the trust. 🙂

    Another smart move I made during our settlement was to take the house (no mortgage on it) in lieu of alimony payments. Alimony payments were considered income and therefore taxable. The equity in the house was not. I sold it a few years later for a lot more than it was valued at in the divorce.

    • I have to add that his freezing the accounts stunt backfired on him because my name was still on our existing joint accounts and our college kids accounts! None of us had access to any money. NSF charges racked up on the kids accounts while they were using the debit cards to pay for college expenses…. It was a huge mess!

    • Over and Out,
      The song “This girl’s ON F I R E ” is gonna play in my head all day.
      I love your post!
      I am so proud of you!
      Thank you for this!

  • It was mentioned that many see us chumps as disordered too.

    My experience is that half the people are in one camp. “You should divorce his ass and take him for all he is worth.” And the other half is appalled that you are engaging in a high conflict divorce. “Can’t the two of you just sit down in a conference room and settle this?”

    Bottom line, people cannot even begin to comprehend the crap narcs put you through. And the financial shit is worse than the actual cheating in my opinion. And the crap they do to the kids tops them both. At the beginning, you can’t imagine anything worse than being cheated on but as someone else said…it is just the tip of the iceberg.

    • I agree about the ‘financial shit is worse than the actual cheating’. Throughout the divorce I found out about so many more lies, secrets and deceptions of a financial matter. Now that the divorce is final and all financial matters have been settled, it’s the kids who are suffering their father’s icky relationship with money. It truly is disgusting 🙁

    • You’re so right. The only person that can possibly comprehend what you’re going through is somebody else who’s been through this. People on the outside……it’s not their fault……..it’s just that they have absolutely no idea what we’re dealing with.

      So you’ll get some people who feel sorry for you, and those that think you must have somehow created your spouse’s issues, and others who don’t want any part of it. It’s just the way it is and somehow we need to block it all out and move forward in our own best interests.

  • I won’t add anything more to what was said above other than to reiterate that they do use you. Financial infidelity ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS accompanies an affair. Why? Because they view themselves as some type of victim of your failures as a spouse. Ergo, they are “entitled” to take advantage of you financially and therefore “cut their losses.” They’ll often also assume that you’re doing the same thing to them that they’re doing to you (hello projection), and that’s just some more twisted self-justification.
    Yes, it’s a tortured level of thinking – but then again, this is their basic mindset throughout the affair.

    My wife saw me as a walking, talking ATM that was there to buy everything for her that she wanted. Leading up to the divorce, she had me buy all sorts of stuff that she planned on taking in the divorce. Meanwhile, while I assumed all of her personal debt (I could get better rates on her loans) and made her car payments, she hid money in her desk at work that only she and her COW boyfriend knew about. Then I took months to get over the shock and to start trying to figure things out.

    Don’t make the mistakes I made. Get your act together quickly – because your spouse sees you as an adversary, and they have had that mentality long before you had any idea what was going on.

    • Or the just think of a spouse as nothing and all the assets from marriage are their by right of their massive entitlement.

      We’re dealing with people who don’t care if their kids have shoes or not.

  • I’m certain this article gives terrific advice to those cheated on by the high-earner. They should be forced to pay up. I was the high-earner, and my cheating wife deserted not only me but her daughters. In discovered emails I read about the house, cars, boat, etc. that my ex’s lover wanted with my money. Our “no-fault” “split everything” laws encouraged my ex to leave her family for a loser with no job, and the loser to leave his family-supporting wife to have access to even more money. Without this no-fault nonsense there would have been no incentive to destroy 2 families with small children.

    2 questions:

    1) why does a profession that is always looking for fault where none exists, take a “no-fault” attitude to the entire field of family law? (My lawyer said it was because there are plenty of billable hours in the division of assets.)

    2) why would any bread-winner with any sense not insist on a prenup? Nothing one-sided or unfair, just something saying if the bread-winner cheats the chump is entitled to half, but if the non-breadwinner cheats he/she is on their own?

    • I totally agree! Another point is why are we asking two people to agree to a contract (divorce) when one partner was not able to follow the original contract (marriage). It is mind boggling to me. I am so glad I live in one of the few ‘at fault’ state, otherwise I would be living under a bridge right now. I would even go further and say that cheating should be considered criminal behaviour during divorce proceedings.

      • I beleive there are only a handful of states that still consider adultery illegal – yet, even in those states, those laws do not generally affect the division of assets.

        I think the general consensus is the government can’t regulate morality, i.e. it’s not their job to regulate adultery. Yet, they require a license to get married, give tax benifits to those who are married, require a legal process to end the marriage, but they don’t want to involve themselves in specifics. They regulate who has a right to get married, but if you want to end the marriage, “hey, it’s not for us to get involved in why you are divorcing”

        To quote someone unknown “Don’t mistake our legal system for a system of justice”

      • A pre-can protect you, too. He may be the higher earner but there may be pensions, savings, inheritance, savings bonds–as well as debt. You may have less income, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect what you have.

          • Phillygirl, your boyfriend may be a great guy, but it worries me a bit that he would have that reaction to your suggestion of something quite reasonable. Adults can disagree, and discuss their disagreements, without that kind of dismissing statement.

            Perhaps not a red flag, but at least an orange one?

    • Fault vs. No Fault relates to grounds for divorce.
      Community property vs. equitable distribution relates to property division; both have a 50/50 starting point.
      Equitable states have the ability to adjust those percentages based upon what their statutes permits.
      States differ in what they consider marital conduct and tend to focus more towards the financial effect it placed upon the marriage.
      Rarely do you ever see a party “punished” monetarily for causing the marriages demise.
      This is what people confuse ‘no fault’ as meaning.

      In my opinion, the family court system is complete bullshit. Perjury, fraud, larceny, and abuse are not criminal offenses in family court yet in other legal proceedings are punishable by incarceration. I wouldn’t be surprised if the family court system is just a front for attorneys, judges, and lawmakers to generate and filter revenue for their own benefit.

      • Srfrgrl you are right, if a company defrauds another company they face an action for damages which might include a request for punitive damages for egregious behavior. You don’t hear, “Come on, mistakes were made, be grateful for half and walk away” from the court. Historically, it was the more economically powerful male who felt entitled to cheat and the less economically powerful woman who was chumped and who tried to hold the marriage together, for financial stability if for no other reason. So the male-dominated court system didn’t see the need to extend these kinds of remedies to the chumped spouse. As women start to become the higher-income partner in more cases, or as more women become judges, we may see these rules start to shift.

        • I had several judges sit through my divorce. The male judges treated me MUCH better (could sniff through BS) than the female judge, who was WON OVER by my lying STBX!

      • srfrgrl ,
        i totally agree with your opinion about the “family court” .the horror story”s abound . i wish something could be done , the one with power and knowledge , wins . not always , but usually ……….

      • The whole financial mess gets turned on it’s ear in a Community Property state, especially when the cheater is also the spendthrift wiping out financial assets. That’s one of the reasons I stayed married as long as I did. His debts were my debts, according to state law, even though I knew nothing about the secret credit cards and small business loans. And my savings were his savings, even though he spent every penny he earned and saved nothing. Even the earnings on what I inherited from my gramma was half his! (Although the state did acknowledge that the principal I inherited from gramma wasn’t his.)

        My solution was to leave him, move to a non-community property state, and become a resident there before filing. It also meant I stayed with him several years longer than I should have, waiting for the youngest kid to turn 18, so I wouldn’t be forced into court in the community property state. Once I was an an official resident of my new state for the required # of months, his debts were his, my savings were mine, and the court could take judicial notice of the documentation showing who paid the bills all those years.

        It was a crappy solution all around, but I figure that I was able to keep my kids housed and fed decently with the money I didn’t pay a lawyer fighting those antiquated community property laws.

      • Sfrgrl
        Hell yes!! Family court is a front to generate revenue!! I’ve been living through that bs in a no fault state in a county known for the “backward family court” system!!!
        The overburdened family court system allows for months in between hearings, which a narc cheater then uses that time to clean up their trail of bs!!!

        Due to my prior attorney’s negligence,I fired and recently found a new attorney, who is going with her gut after the consultation we had and her initial review of a small % of the extensive documentation I’ve been collecting for 3 yrs, and is going to take my case , waive her retainer and be paid on back end!! Miracle – due to all the wisdom and support I received after finding CN at the end of December !

        Prior attorney at last hearing showed opposing attorney the documentation I had on new company married AP set up to assist Stbx in hiding and dissipate marital assets, Stbx had no clue I had all the documentation or that I even knew about company he is a silent partner in. Judge never saw the documentation , but a 2.5 month hearing delay allowed Stbx and married AP to clean up their trail!! I was livid, got online and through a miracle found CN, woke my ass up, started taking advice from CN tribe and attended seminars, made phone calls, set up consultations and found my new attorney!

        I get a phone call from her this afternoon-she had just finished speaking with Stbx 2nd attorney, first one quit because of Stbx antics and lying bs – his new attorney knows nothing, except that he’s representing Stbx in a dissolution and DV case! My new attorney within 1 week has a good handle on my case and knows more than Stbx attorney who hasn’t done one thing! No discovery, nothing!!

        Stbx and married AP are going to be having frequent WTF moments very soon. Plus new attorney asked me if I knew I was owed about $25k from an order last January that judge never amended!

        Family court is a fucking sham!!! It also enables narcs like no other!!

        There’s my two cents on no fault states and family court – that rant was a very brief summary of my opinion and examples backing up my opinion. I could go on and on, but will instead, take a deep breath and breathe!!!

          • Peacekeeper
            As I’ve saud before, You are such a kind, caring, loving, inspirational, wise woman!

            I admire you so very much. Your caring spirit shows itself with every encouraging post you make!

            I would love to hug you in person one day!!!

            • Awww, thank you seeing clearly.
              Funny, I often think if we Chumps could ever be in the same ( it would have to be BIG) room altogether we would just know one another. It would be “Oh, there’s Tempest, there’s Born Free, there’s LovedaJackass, there’s twiceachump, there’s Tessie, there’s Capricorn, there’s seeing clearly, there’s Martha!” We would just know each and every one, by our smile, by our walk, by our heart vibes.
              The first Chump I would know right off the bat is JeepTess. When I first had the courage to post on this site she welcomed me with warm open loving, arms. I will never, never forget her for that. ( thanks again JeepTess)!

              (((((((Seeingclearly))))))

              • Peacekeeper,
                JeepTess was also one of my original replies when I joined!!!! Strong, courageous , inspirational , wise, etc / could go on forever about JeepTess !!

                Love her and sweet Beau!!!

                There’s so many people from CN , you included, born free , flinding Bliss , JessMom, unsinkable , no more kibbles , Tessie, list goes on and on!!!

                So grateful !!

                Seeing clearly

    • John, I don’t think it was the laws that encouraged these idiots to cheat and break up their families. If there wasn’t no-fault, they would just cheat and steal.

      It’s their disordered characters that are the problem.

      • You’re right, LovedaJackass, disordered character is the basic problem. But I know my ex would not have left the lifestyle to which she was accustomed to if she had to live off of loverboy’s meager assets, rather than take half of my life’s work with her. Likewise I know from intercepted emails that winning the lottery (for the AP) was the main reason he was willing to leave his kids.

        • But that just says they are both mercenaries. And she did you a favor by going for the gold because you were able to be rid of her.

        • John,
          I feel your pain!!

          In my case, it’s the married AP and her money that attracted Stbx! He was having a hard time hiding the ways he was “blowing away” his high wage salary so he found a rich married AP to help him, form a company where he’s a silent partner , and assist him in hiding and dissipating marital funds!

          Being family court in a no fault state, those actions probably won’t be considered criminal!!

    • Dude. Sorry she did that to you. Fuck her, man. She can take her saggy tits, gaping gash, jiggly arms, neck pouch, and wrinkly face on down the line to the next dude. Glad you are free from that succubus.

      • Doubtless, I know you’re trying to be supportive, and your comment is addressed at her ugliness of character. But quite a few Chumps have all those attributes, and sterling character. Please attack based on inner ugliness, not physical attributes that are less attractive, and that are often inevitable with age.

        • Karen,

          Only two of those traits are gender specific. My initial reaction was: what about all the bald jabs and viagra jokes?

          But your point is well taken; and two wrongs don’t make a right. My comment was insensitive and offensive, and I apologize. Chumps gotta stick together.

          Best, I

    • John,

      My question is why would anybody ever get remarried after being put through the financial wringer ?! Pay one’s own way in life and be generous with gifts if one feels like it but it ends there. No more parasites or users that could bring about financial ruin, bad credit score, or problems with the I.R.S.

      • Good question SPBAS! Maybe I am a sucker, but I’m actually getting remarried next month 3 years after being taken to the cleaners! And without a prenup! My situation is a bit different as I’m a couple of years from retirement, and was reassured by lawyers that what I brought into the marriage remained mine as long as I kept these assets separate from post-marital assets. My new wife is smarter, better-looking, and younger than my parasite ex. If she is entitled to half of a couple of years salary that’s fine, as long as I (and eventually my kids) keep the rest. I think my “picker” has improved. Some friends think I’ve lost my mind. Does Chump Nation?

        • John, it sounds like you’ve got your head screwed on tight! Good luck with your fresh start, you deserve every happiness.

        • John, I would get a pre-nup! The person you marry is NOT the person you divorce! I about died when Paul McCartney married that Heather woman and on national TV announced he wasn’t going to have a pre-nip! You saw how badly that ended right?? Pre-nups are even more important for us “regular” folks I think. Just my humble opinion. I admire your guts!

      • Sucker punched by a saffa,
        I’ve spent weeks trying to clean up my credit report from Stbx IRS liens, that are mine because we filed jointly!
        CPA assistant was extremely helpful in giving me copies of 6/7 yrs forged signature authorization forms and bogus P/L write offs. I’m waiting for new attorney instructions on when to file IRS innocent spousal relief form!!

        I won’t even consider dating unless he has a CIA, FBI, DOJ background clearance check and then God himself would have to hand deliver him to my front porch!!

        I worked my ass off for years, then became ill, went through chemo, blood transfusions, all of it to then have sociopath force sex ( spousal rape) so I could eat and get medicine while waiting a year for medical disability approval, while Stbx earns high 6 figure salary, but told me “ you want to eat, you better apply for disability, I’m not supporting your ass now that your sick”!!

        The level of depravity is endless!!

        • Seeing Clearly,

          You have been through so much and it sounds like there is a dim light at the end of the tunnel. Your stbx sounds like a heartless,abusive monster-good riddance !

          (((Hugs)))

    • Well, one reason is that cheating can be very hard to prove in court. So, my EX might talk all he wants to me about his “soul mate,” but I don’t have photos of him sleeping with the “soul mate,” and the “soul mate” is not about to testify on my behalf, so even though I live in a state that does consider cheating illegal, applying that law was not practical. Even my lawyer never mentioned using the “alienation of affection” approach in the divorce. It would have been just another “he said/she said” issue as far as the court was concerned.

      There are all kinds of things amiss with our divorce system, but I think re-criminalizing cheating only looks good right now because cheaters don’t have to hide their behavior too much. We imagine cheaters still behaving transparently and our settlements being so easily reached if there were laws penalizing it. If it were illegal, however, the cat-and-mouse game would be even worse than it is now, and the amount of money eaten up by court costs and private investigators would sky rocket. And there would be little guarantee that chumps would do any better in settlements.

      • I live in a no fault divorce state, even though Stbx saved tons of graphic pics of he and married AP on his cell phone, I can’t use them in my case!

        The separate company in married AP’s name with proof Stbx is silent partner and this company is being used to hide and dissipate marital assets, that can be used!!

        No fault states and family court system is a scam and needs to be overhauled -yesterday!!!

  • I wish I had this advice when I was going through the divorce. Here is what I can tell you. Don’t be paralyzed by fear that you will be poor after divorce. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised at how much money you have without someone constantly draining assets. Odds are your wayward spouse was waywardly spending while cheating, or to be blunt, whores cost money!

    Narkles the Clown made three times my salary. I was convinced I could not make it on my own, that I’d have to sell my house and live on ramen noodles and whatever I I could get from a local food pantry. Worse, I was convinced my son would hate me for being poor and not being able to give him everything like his father could.

    Fast forward two years. I’m fine. I still have my house and my car and all of my retirement (thanks to my awesome lawyer) while my pay has barely increased. No fancy vacations or birthday parties at exotic locations but I can afford to feed and cloth my child and pay for his activities without a problem. I’m not able to save for a rainy day so I just keep hoping for sunshine. Narkles the Clown hasn’t worked as much since he no longer has a built in baby sitter. He was on welfare until his mother died. Now he is living off the money she left him. My son says he is investing some of it but he’s also going on vacations and paying his mortgage with it. We’ll see how long that lasts.

    • I’m in the poor a shit class. We have no joint assets apart from the home we purchased 2.5 years ago, which is in joint names. I have a car I own, my retirement and a small credit card debt. I am unemployed and have been for 6 months. I live in an area with a competitive job market, not helped by me losing my last job as despite my best efforts I stuffed up some accounts at work due to my brain being jello from the sudden implosion of my family, this job was high pressure and easy to f up if you didn’t have your shit locked down. Anyways I’m studying and can feel work is on the horizon. I have managed to pay my mortgage on time out of my account for the past year on child support and unemployment benefits and selling a few possessions here and there. The plan is to refinance house into my name by end of 2018 and then I’m clear of him. Seen a lawyer and she says we are 50 50 and sees no point in taking action apart from sorting the house finance, the house by the way has zero equity and is probably worth less than we paid for it but damned if I will go back to renting after busting my ass being a working Mum to buy it.
      Any tips much appreciated, I’m in West Australia.

      • When I did a re-finance (in the U.S.), I worked with a local bank. Actually, they re-fied my house the first time after the mortgage collapse debacle in 2007-8. Working with a local bank and banker has been a godsend for me. They helped me figured out the best way to go and still stay on course to pay off the house by retirement (at age 75 but I don’t dig ditches so I’m OK).

        So talk to local banks, credit unions, etc. and not just the big mortgage lenders. And be aware that interest rates are going up in the U.S. and might impact international markets.

        • Thanks for the heads up LovedaJackass. Aussie rates are currently pretty low as we like many countries are all in too much debt. I am considering a shared equity lender which is a government initiative that I would qualify for.
          Asshole is threatening to go to the bank and have his name taken off the mortgage, have told him a thousand times it is not that simple, but he’s a bit dim. Basically he is trying to come back to me and the kids and when he gets a no, he pulls this shit. He informed me of this last night with a note on the door mat as he is blocked on other communications and I don’t pick up the landline to entertain his bs anymore.
          If I can have one thing this year it is to have the house in my name.

          • Lady B,
            In the US, I don’t think He could “just” take himself off the mortgage if he’s on the mortgage account !! I think it would be you getting the mortgage in your name – basically reapply for mortgage in your name only!

            I’m sure there are more knowledgeable Chumps here that can give you definitive advice!

            Good luck, I pray your wish for 2018 comes true and you are rid of his ass!

      • Been there bought the t shirt…. long relationship. Good jobs …house was remortgaged to fuck. He essentially made me and the 3 kids homeless by refusing to make mortgage payments and i was considering everything from sub letting to air b&b but in the end the huge mortgage killed it and now in a rental . . Feel like i need to share this because australia is a make or break type of place. Lady b love to grt in touch . Im in perth myself . It never ends. But at least hes not using up all my energy now.!?

  • Bought him half out of our home after serving him divorce papers.. he traveled the world with the whore with the money.
    Still waiting for half his pension ( hasn’t retired yet for spite). Financially strapped but at least I’m not being cheated on & lied to anymore.

    By the way Karma hit them.. whore died few months ago. He quickly has another schmoopie.

    We chumps have to protect ourselves financially, mentally & emotionally. When it comes to money they
    will show how little they really care about you.

  • Omg! This timeline of events is spot on! EVERY SINGLE ONE!

    I just had a lightbulb moment 🤦🏼‍♀️… he wasn’t running to sex addiction counseling to fix himself… he was trying to put a safety in place in case his hooker habit while traveling for “work” was discovered. I’ve always been confused by his assertion that a “sex addiction therapist” helped him realize his acting out was because he wanted a divorce. Not that I care how he justifies it, it’s more of … “what kind of advise are these people giving out?”

    I hired my attorney on the advice that she was the one who would go up against his attorney (the best one in town). Here’s my advise, if during a consultation an attorney calms all your fears, they are most likely selling themselves, not reality of the divorce process. I was assured there were laws to prevent my spouse from robbing me blind. I was advised not to close joint accounts, yet he closed them. I was following an ethical standard I beleived the law required – it doesn’t!

    2.75 years later, I’m paying my attorney $300 in late fees every month because I can’t afford to pay her bill. My spouse is a high income earner, yet I’m racking up debt on credit cards to pay for the needs of my children because apparently “the judge doesn’t want to rule on temporary support when we are so close to the end.”

    3 orders to compel and one pending contempt of court later, you’d think would tip the judge off to the fact that WE ARE NOT CLOSE TO THE END! When you can’t afford to feed your kids because you’ve maxed out your credit cards, and your spouse pulls in 6 figures a year… there’s a problem with our system!

    Upon finally getting all the discovery docs, He’s spent all of our liquid assets accumulated over the last 16 years, including 2 business accounts, 3 savings accounts, and a stock account valued at an amount comparable to a healthy lottery winning. All these things are apparently perfectly legal!

    Here are the back handed things he’s done.

    After d-day one in 2011, he started filing extensions for tax returns. When I filed for divorce in 2015 we had 5 years of tax returns extensions. 1) you can’t settle without these. 2) the law allows this delay tactic as long as they are making “reasonable attempts” to complete them. Short of hiring a detective how do you prove there’s not reasonable attempts being made? Currently there is a pending contempt of court order for these as he was compelled to produce over a year ago.

    Requesting tax return transcripts from the IRS, I discovered he has a $30,000 tax credit, but no tax filings to go along with them.

    “Spending in the ordinary course of business” is a loophole that allow a spouse to rob you, not blind, but right there front and center, legally.

    The burned to prove spending 16k a year on custom suits (the business owned by is best friend) falls on the other spouse, so hey… might as well be well dressed right?
    10k a year on concert tickets… a drop in the bucket when you are screwing your spouse.
    7k a year on vitamin supplements, that happen to be ordered from his girlfriends Thrive business, nope, that’s not shady. Everyone should be taking their vitamins right?
    20k a year on travel – prove it’s not for work!
    30k in capital gains taxes on the stock account you spent all the money from, might as well pull that money from a joint account and close it! The faithful spouse should have to split that too right! Never mind you paid cash for your new house… the faithful spouse should have to help with that tax burden!

    Don’t go into divorce thinking you are protected from such back handed tactics… you aren’t!

    • “Requesting tax return transcripts from the IRS, I discovered he has a $30,000 tax credit, but no tax filings to go along with them.”

      I just received a letter from the IRS stating the same thing for a $15,000 tax credit. Did you find out what source the tax credit came from?

      • No, they don’t say were it comes from, but we all know it’s our spouses.

        I’ve read up on this, and the general consensus is, spouses do this in hopes of getting the overage back as a refund after the divorce is final. They pocket the money and you are none the wiser. It’s a legal way for them to hide money. The only deterrent is if they file that years taxes jointly they would need your signature to deposit or cash it, but I have a feeling anyone willing to go that far wouldn’t have a problem forging your signature.

        A record of account transcript may have more information. Here’s a link to the IRS website explains the different types of transcripts

        https://www.irs.gov/individuals/tax-return-transcript-types-and-ways-to-order-them

        • this is unconscionable, they get away with stealing legally . yes and no doubt they would forge a signature . but look at who makes these IRS rules ……, look at the IRS rules ,…confusion abounds , ,they really should do away with the IRS …..just another way for the narc to violate you…

          • I used to read stories on how idiots would try to hide money from the bankruptcy court. Lack of financial ethics has no bounds, and the lawyers would file bankruptcy themselves to screw over their STBX’s in divorce court. It should be criminal.

            One of my favorite stories was about the idiot who told the court he had no savings, no investments, no cash, no jewelry, no available credit and no equity in his house. All of that was true. But what he didn’t tell the court was that he had hundreds of thousands of dollars in casino chips stashed in his closet.

            The bankruptcy trustee who did a court ordered search of the house and found those casino chips was able to pay off most of this idiot’s debts pretty easily.

  • It took me 3 years of MC and IC from D-Day to finally realize that I just couldn’t spend one more day married to that man. By the time I was prepared to divorce, I was just so beat down that I would have cut off my own foot to get away from him. I had no fight left in me. I went to a lawyer that charged only $2,000 for a non-contested divorce and in my state divorces can be final 30 days from filing and by that point that was my main goal. I just needed to protect my mental health. I have always had my own job and got him to give me $ to even out our IRA plans, but I know I could have gone after more if I filed contested. He went to Europe for 3 weeks right after the divorce, I know some of the money he used was mine, but I made the decision that money is just too expensive, and I can live with that. I wish everyone the best in advocating for what you deserve.

    • I should say I share this story to illustrate what happens if you don’t take action in the early days. See ddame23 try for 3 years after D-Day to come around. See ddame23 be conditioned into believing she has no worth. See ddame23 roll over. Don’t be ddame23.

      • Thank you. Someone will see this and learn. But you’re sure right when you say that sometimes money is too expensive. But as you point out, if you get the jump on them, you’ve got a shot at what you need to do.

    • I applaud your commitment to your own health, Dame. So many times I see on here people “lining up ducks.” I mean, the cheated stabbed you in the heart already. Why spend one more night under the same roof? I imagine everybody has an opinion on this strategy, Dame. I am here to tell you that you are mighty.

  • He said:
    “I don’t see any reason we can’t handle this divorce amicably.”
    “I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing you were without health insurance.”
    “I’m not going do anything to hurt you financially.”
    He did the exact opposite.

    If they didn’t keep the promises they made at the beginning of the marriage, there’s no way in hell they’ll keep the ones they make at the end.

    • You and the kids are my number one priority. … simultaneously making us homeless, stealing their life savings, taking me off the life/health insurance snd obviously shagging someone else immediately and throwing us all under the bus. Do not believe ANYTHINGthey say it is all what they want other people to believe about them. They fuck u over without a second thought.

  • Things I have learned the importance of: temporary financial restraining order, discovery, forensic accounting. Should have gone there sooner, but doing what must be done.

  • The irony, when the final D-day came, was that I managed the family checkbook. He really had no clue what our day-to-day finances were. I married an infant. SO – first thing I did when he left for the OW was meet him at the bank to:

    – remove all joint funds and close joint accounts (bank retains statements for years)
    – had him sign a one-page agreement for financial support AND child support (I was actually stunned when he signed that one!)
    – had him sign a one-page agreement that I could remove him as beneficiary to any of my assets

    The bank was less threatening that a lawyer’s office, but still has a NOTARY… so everything he signed was notarized and made legally binding. The Judge and my lawyer loved those documents. Mr. Sparkles, not so much.

    I was also fortunate in that I had a PRE-NUP (foreshadowing anyone)? And, it was very straightforward. The chump me offered him a financial settlement anyway when I was first trying to get the divorce going. When he balked that it wasn’t enough, I filed pro se and included the pre-nup. Fuck it, I thought, let the Judge decide.

    All told, my sunk costs from the marriage were about $100K over 10 years, mostly spent on my stepkids. The divorce cost another $25K, all in.

    But, I look at it like this… $100K for stepkids; $25K to divorce a cheating fuckwit; freedom from abuse… PRICELESS.

  • This guest post says it better than I ever could, but I will repeat the key point learned from my own experience:

    To the extent they feel any remorse at all (and many never feel any), it is FLEETING!!!

    Your window of opportunity to get a decent settlement (notice I don’t use the word “fair” as there is nothing fair about what just happened) is very short. From the moment you catch them, the clock is ticking. Any feelings of shame, embarrassment, fear of exposure to others, genuine naugahyde empathy … all will quickly become justification, minimization, entitlement, rationalization, … especially if this is not the first D Day. Don’t spend that short window of opportunity trying to reconcile, understand, help, protect, or find “closure.” Protect yourself financially immediately. You can always work on the relationship and reconcile later if you so choose.

    I sadly had a lot of time to think strategically about finances as I was stupid enough to be a limbo chump for two years. He happily continued his behavior all that time while I watched and hoped for a miracle, all the while not knowing the true scope of his betrayal. When I finally learned the truth, I was able to kick him out on a Saturday and present him with a very detailed draft of a financial settlement the following Thursday. He would have NEVER agreed to give me 60 percent of the assets if I had given him even a month to reflect. He was still mortified and so he signed. Work fast, fellow chumps. Work fast.

  • Ouch. Ouch! But in a good way.

    She is wise and this is valuable advice. I recognize my “odd reaction” in not having an appropriate anger response.

    Goal for 2018. Develop appropriate and awesome anger response. Practice using it as needed.

  • First time posting. I found this site 2 months after filling for divorce, it was my weekday morning counseling session. Best advice I ever received came from you chumps. Thank you!

    I knew things were not right a year before D day. During this time I took photos on my phone of everything I came across, passwords, business banks account numbers, emails, etc. I even had photos of the back and front of all his credit cards. If it was in his wallet I had a picture of it. This small thing allowed me to stay ahead of him without his knowledge. You can call phone numbers to CC companies and use their automated system to track every purchase and payment.

    The F*cktard wasn’t very smart, he used the same passwords for his online banking and Facebook. You very well might know the answers to his security questions!

    I was able to find the hidden stash of cash in our house, took out half of the monies in our joint account, and put stop payments on checks he tried to send through if they were not Status Quo. Do not wait to check with your attorney first if you have questions. You can always give it back. But once it’s gone it’s gone!

    Investment accounts. Call them directly, tell them about the divorce. That way address or beneficiaries changes can’t be made.

    Any joint name checks coming to the house sign for deposit only into joint account and immediately move it to your new single name account.

    One thing I learned you can NOT stop payment on a debit card purchase.

    One piece of advice I took, and it was very difficult. Let them “screw up” on something. Document it, show the lawyer, who tells the arbitrator. You now are the person who does the “right thing”, and they trust you to be the honest person.

    My Narcopath ex, tried every thing he could to convince the arbitrator his business was valued at ZERO. My investment in a forensic accountant proved otherwise.

    Do as much investigating discovery as you can, you never know how it may help. Channel your anger towards getting the best possible financial outcome.

    My ex turned 50 shades of anger Red when the divorce decree was signed. That’s the best way to I could say “Fuck You”!!

  • Your best friend after D-day? No, not your sister or your childhood buddy with whom you’ve stayed besties for 30 years. This:
    copy machine

    (and don’t forget to dig through the files for how much each of you had in your retirement or stock accounts at the time of marriage; every $ since that time counts as marital assets, except for inheritance).

    • Yep Tempest! The ink and paper expense is well worth it! Copy anything and everything then get it to a safe place! I also bought a memory stick and copied it from our computer. These items and the time you spend are well worth it!

    • And remember if you find something and can’t move it, you have a cell phone with a camera. Take photos and email them to yourself at a safe account.

    • True!!!!
      I will never forget telling my boss what happened the morning after D-day. He said take whatever you need, folders, paper, copies. He was awesome about my situation and likely one of the reasons I was D-day to divorce in under five months. I found out later his mom was a cheater and it just about killed his dad.

  • Thank you for rerunning this post!

    Along with seeing a lawyer and getting tested for STDs, every Chump also needs to be proactive about finances. I think this is especially important for when there’s a lot of income disparity (wage earner and stay at home parent, for example) or the amount and variety of marital assets introduce complexity into the division of assets, or if you’ve not really had to deal with the financial side of things before.

    While I did not use a divorce financial planner, I did read a lot of divorce financial planning websites. I had followed the advice of Chump Nation about keeping my knowledge of his affair secret until I was ready to file. One of the most valuable things I learned from the financial planning side of things is that even in a 50/50 split, where you draw the line can have a big impact on post-divorce finances.

    There are two key things to think about with respect to finances: safeguarding your assets during divorce and securing financial stability 5, 10, 15 years down the road. Both are hard to think about when you’re in the middle of such emotional turmoil, and that’s why a divorce financial planner makes sense.

    Anyway, thanks for running this again, Tracy. It’s good to remember this stuff!

  • All these stories are shocking… and true. Newbies: you are fighting for your emotional
    Life in the early days, but you MUST strap on your financial armor and fight like a demon to retain anything you can.

    Good advice here on asking for forgiveness rather than permission on splitting accounts. Attorneys will often tell you not to do it but I generally disagree. While our spouses are bathing in limerance, we have the opportunity to split joint assets and stash our fair share… do it.

    And although the cell phone is the devil’s Leatherman tool for cheaters… it’s also a powerful tool to document everything you can in your battle for justice. Take photos of everything: documents, home contents, valuables, vehicles… just be sure your phone backs up to a storage account your cheater cannot access. (And do check any shared backups!)

    I was married 9 years, with a strong prenup cheater insisted upon.. to protect me! (Second marriage for both/I had assets and he did not.)

    After 6 years of crazy expensive litigation and all the bad behavior you read about here, we ended up at his instigation with a 3-day trial on the validity of that prenup/ which he agreed in the trial he had insisted upon and signed!

    Of course I prevailed- but what was he thinking? Just trying to drown me in legal fees… which he nearly did. And then he mediated a settlement accepting basically what I offered him immediately after separation… six years before!?!

    We had almost nothing owned together and he was never on title to any of my pre-marriage assets, but he sure fought to invalidate the prenup he assured me was for my protection… then he walked away from his years of legal demands just before a second trial.

    You cannot make this chit up.

    But you can be super-duper mighty and hope for the best as you prepare, like a general facing battle, for the worst.

    LOCK DOWN finances the moment you know they are lying to you. About anything. That way you are prepared as you discover that they are lying to you about everything.

    • As my narc father’s third wife (a narcy paralegal) said “A prenup isn’t worth the paper it’s written on” My father and “stepmonster” signed one years ago, not that there will be much left after she has siphoned off money for her family (private mortgages for her son and one of her nieces/nephews, college funds for her older granddaughter, therapies for her autistic granddaughter)

      Serenity Prayer

  • 5 years after dday and 2 years divorced and i still have to deal with asswipe financially but this too will pass. Ive learned alot and the main thing ive learned is no matter what i will never comingle finances again ever. Ive still no desire to date and will never remarry. I worked hard to get what i have and i will not put that in danger ever again. The affair and discard was bad enough but to also be raped financially this all ought to be a crime. To you all thank you and hold your heads high. And to the newbies yes there is a light at the end of that tunnel.

    • Excellent point Kar Marie. I’m so glad I didn’t commingle finances with second ex husband Dr. Crazy. I never put my assets into the trust he wanted to set up to “protect them from my ex” and I only put his name on my household checking account. During our proceedings our individual financial pictures were clear and I was protected from the massive debt he had lied about and kept racking up.

    • Oh, me too. Never, ever will not have my own hands on my financial future. And never, ever again live with someone I may at some point have to kick out.

    • This is my take, too, and I am married again. I am not going to get a divorce just to un-commingle, but if I end up widowed or divorced, I will never marry again. And, I will consult with counsel before sharing a home again to ensure I maintain financial independence.

      (We did discuss divorcing “on paper” so he could start a business without implicating me financially at one point — at my request, as I didn’t want to take a financial risk on the business he wanted to start — but he ended up deciding to go a different way at the time, so it’s marriage for the foreseeable future. 😉)

      It isn’t that I have a lot to protect. I don’t make loads. It’s that I don’t want anyone to verify be able to bury me financially again like my ex did. People can consciously choose to share expenses, set beneficiaries, and give gifts however they like without marrying. Though I love my spouse, I do sometimes wish I had not actually married him “on paper” for all of these reasons.

  • My story is boringly well known here, but I will repeat my cautionary tale:

    Don’t assume that you are going to get anything they agree to, even if they sign and it is court-ordered.

    My ex quit his $100K job within weeks of Dday/separation. Sent an email to my lawyer that he was going to pursue “his dream of becoming an actor” because the stress of my asking for divorce had caused him to no longer be able to hold his job.

    He remained in marital home for 2.5 YEARS not paying mortgage until bank foreclosed and threw him out. He filed bankruptcy as well during this time. All of that hit my credit report.

    It has been eight years since he quit that job. He has not held a full-time, steady, real job since then. He spent years floating around, living with any family member or stranger who would take him in. Worked under the table, or part time minimum wage jobs for a few months at a time.

    He owes me $24K child support arrears; I’m still trying to get that. He owes me $13K alimony arrears, which the child support agency dropped, so I will never get that. He never paid anything towards son’s insurance, medical costs, or anything else. That was thousands I’ll never get. Never paid me the settlement on marital home he owed me, or portion of his IRA. Tens of thousands there.

    Periodically he pops up to try and con me into dropping the case for the child support. He is now living with and engaged to a woman who makes good money. He still has no job.

    I thank God that I had my attorney put a clause in divorce orders that ex could never come after ME for alimony, because I know that was his plan. He was so angry about that.

    I’m remarried now, but I still keep some of my money in a separate account in my own name.

    Sorry this is long, but be aware that you cannot count on anything with the truly disordered other than that they really have no “rock bottom,” and there is nothing they won’t do to harm you if they think they can get away with it.

    • It’s horrifying what some people are willing to do, to get back at a person who only loved and trusted them. What an asshole. And how sad that sometimes we cannot protect ourselves from the financial cheating.

  • Please please please listen to this advise. I failed to get a post nup( in fact my lawyer failed to tell me about post nups) when I decided to try to reconcile. He spent the next 4 years taking our life savings and dumping it in his failing business. Money I can never get back. Then when we did separate after the second affair( that I know of) he started stealing assets( my jewellery, cars house trailer and other toys because they were in his business name—note NEVER put your valuable assets in his company name to save on insurance. I lost everything I bought( yes I paid for those things that he took—to the tune of about $60k) NEVER pay off his business debts ( to “preserve” his good name). He sold our customer list and kept the money, leaving me to struggle to support us by myself. Please don’t be me!

  • Gladitsover

    All that to get out of his financial responsibilities. I so wish CL was around when the Limited moved to Florida promising to get a job and send me money to pay my Mortgage.

    Within a year I’d lost the rental property we owned leaving my daughter, son and without a home. He didn’t care.

    Fast forward to 2014 he wanted me to co-sign a loan on a two family home. He needed my signature as he was self employed. I said NO. Within a month I had my final Dday. Just goes to show the lengths they go to fuck us over.

    It’s laughable they’d rather go underground than be honest.

    He too latched onto someone who would support him financially even though she makes much less money and at best they’ll struggle financially for the rest of their lives.

    Hoping his new source dumps him on his pathetic ass!

    You are Mighty!

  • My Ex and I were married for 38 years when he started screwing around and married legally 41 years when divorce was final. Looking back I realize that any money that came into our home over the years fell into a vortex with his name on it! From day one he would deposit my paycheck into a bank account that I later found was in his name only! My inheritance check from my Mom was placed in an IRA in his name only! I found out quite by accident. Anything with my name included was only payable upon his death or “for the benefit of”! I was stupid for a long time. Most of these financial issues were corrected before he cheated. But he was incredibly lazy when it came to maintaining these accounts and paying attention to detail. I ended up managing our finances later in the marriage and corrected most of the glaring abuses. Thank heavens! The day after I found out about his affair I spent the day copying everything I could get my hands on. I hired a bulldog lawyer who froze every investment and insurance policy we had. He was unable to change anything. Once he decided to leave for good he promised to give me 80% of everything because Schmoopie has money and he thought she would support him. I took advantage of his “generosity” and typed up an agreement which he signed at our kitchen table before running out the door. There was no notary or witness, but that signature certainly held a lot of weight during our mediation and became the basis for our divorce. His attorney seemed totally uninterested in saving his butt and I ended up in really good shape financially after my divorce. My lawyer said she hadn’t seen such a great settlement in her 30 plus years of practicing law. I admit I was quite lucky and I do suggest you have a notary witness any signing of documents. After 41 years of marriage my Ex walked away with less than 20,000.00 and none of it was liquid. I got the House Schmoopie wanted, all the investments, beneficiary to his insurance policies, car, etc. I was fortunate. My life changed little except I had to mow my own lawn (I soon hired a lawn company). He ended up with no job, no place to go but Schmoopie and he was not the “prince” she thought he would be in a matter of about four months. To all newbies: make sure you know more than your spouse knows about the finances. If you work keep an account in your name separate for yourself, talk to an attorney or two and know your rights as a spouse. Don’t let hopium stand in your way. These cheaters will screw you over and their kids! Stay on top of your financial situation!

    • When I sold our house, I was stunned to hear the wife say “Oh my husband handles all the financial stuff” They had two children at the time and she got the two more she wanted. Four children, no job and married to a lawyer who had no qualms about opening up my mail before forwarding it to me ! Hope it works out for you sweetie !

      A childhood friend who became a stay-at-home-mother after working for fifteen years inherited some money from one of her Jesuit college professors (father figure to her). My unsolicited advice was “Do not commingle that money with your marital assets. He didn’t leave you and your husband that money-just you.” She had looked out for this man and coordinated his care at the end of his life.

  • I think my situation was rare, but I was lucky that my ex kept guilt-gifting me money, electronics, furniture, extra salary from shared business, meals, part of his inheritance from his dad; and boy, did I take advantage of that. To be it honest, he gave me more gifts post-affair than he ever did in our marriage, cause that’s how their family says sorry/shows love. Empty gifts though. We never had a shared bank account except for the business, and I’m glad I kept it that way. Of course I have no idea what other accounts he had hidden and I know he had others. He had land he sold off, which I never saw a penny for.
    Of course I’m not kidding myself, because I know that even though he was giving me gifts, A.P. was getting more in value. I’d get a Starbucks coffee, she’d get a dozen roses. I got the coffee table, she got one of his cars.
    I think he did all this to fuck with my head- make me think he was being so generous so I wouldn’t obliterate him in court. My dumbass didn’t even ask for allimony, and I could have pinned lawyer charges on him, since I was an employee of our shared business and was put out of a job. But no, I went lawyer less while his lawyer family represented him (for free-they were doing ‘us’ a favor; I think this was conflict of interest because I was related to them through the marriage, but haven’t been able to pursue it legally,) I was thinking we could have an amicable divorce and keep the law out as best as possible. It was somewhat amicable, until we had to renegotiate custody. I saw his true colors then. He buttered me up, so he could fuck me where it counts and get off consequence free. And yes, I allowed myself to be fucked over, and still beat myself up over it now-so yes, I would validate this CL post.
    I even let him keep his house, the one I moved into, which was technically half mine through marriage, and now he’s collecting rent from it. He was able to lower child support by 100$, which doesn’t eveb cover half my rent. In exchange, I also let him keep his debt, since it was his before the marriage. I’m debt free and have great credit, even though I’m barely making my bills. I have been so blessed to have good friends and family who love and support my kid and I.
    I’m praying for all of chump nation- that we are able to come through this stronger and mightier and happier!

  • It’s probably too late for most of us here, but the time to start protecting yourself financially is the day you get married. If you have significant assets going in, it’s BEFORE you get married–with a prenup.

    During marriage, make sure all accounts are joint and all assets are jointly titled. Make sure you are the beneficiary of all life insurance on your spouse. If you inherit assets, be meticulous in keeping these separate from your joint assets. Once infidelity rears its ugly head and the shit hits the fan, it’s more difficult–if not impossible–to make this happen, and you will have to do it during the divorce process. This could lead to a more contentious divorce, and possibly an expensive, lengthy, and stressful court battle.

    My x and I started and owned a couple of businesses during our years together, and we acquired real estate as well. Because I had been adamant about having all assets equally in both our names, our settlement (after 30 years of marriage and two grown kids) was relatively simple.

    I never thought we would divorce, but I made sure I was protected in case of divorce or if my husband died unexpectedly. In the end, I’ve been extremely grateful to my younger self for that foresight.

  • My ex-husband and his first wife built a business together during their marriage. There were seasonal fluctuations, but they brought home six figures a year. In lieu of alimony, his ex-wife agreed to take half of the profits, which was a chump move in itself, because it’s easy to cook the books. Once the divorce was final, he closed the business and took an hourly job while he figured out what he wanted to do next. She was left with no income after being a SAHM for 17 years. Lost the house, had to move in with her parents. He was proud of this.

    I’m so good at spackle I should join a union.

    • When I stopped spackling and came out of the fog of devastation after being a SAHM for 10 years, my rational brain kicked in and I started spending for my new life. I got a lot of the things I knew might be unaffordable in the future. I got an eye exam, new glasses and 2 years of contact lenses. I got teeth bleaching trays from the dentist. I bought new linens and curtains for the bedroom that would be just mine. I bought a couple of small pieces of furniture. I bought some new dishes and home accents. I bought new clothes and shoes for a job search. I bought an inexpensive but good laptop. I stocked up on makeup and perfume. I kept everything at a friends house so he wouldn’t be tipped off. Each time I went grocery shopping I bought a $25 gift card. I took an extra $60 from the ATM on every visit and kept that with my mom. I prepaid a year of lawn service “for the discount”. I paid off the kids’ orthodontist accounts “for the discount”. I had a plumber rod all the drains and got a new hot water heater. I traded in my 9 year old mini van for a single gal SUV and paid for the balance with joint savings. Other than the car, no individual purchase looked suspicious or malicious though I’d spent a bit of money. A friend had told me if it’s under $1000, a judge won’t care. I kept every purchase under $500 and had a bag full of receipts, but was never questioned about anything. And when he complained about my car during the divorce proceedings, I said that he’d bought a new car 9 months earlier so it was my turn, and his attorney shrugged and moved on.

      • This is such an excellent post. For those who are staying in a situation in order to get prepared for a new life, this is great advice. I’d add don’t just get the bleaching trays for your teeth–get dental work done for you and the kids.

  • I wanted to add that I also insisted on staying in the marital home. I had no where else to go and the added bonus was I had access to all the financials in our home office and computer. On my attorneys advice I did not pack up our household goods in case I had to move because I had no intention of giving my home up to anyone. I did, however, pack up a few of my own items that were definitely mine such as jewelry, artwork that I bought or was purchased as gifts to me. I also included the bills of sale for these as many were purchased in my name or sent to me and coincided with birthdays, anniversary’s, etc. This made it easy to prove they were mine and were gifts. I wanted to be sure that if in the event I had to leave then I would have these items. Just don’t make it obvious or known to the cheater. Divorce actions usually will require you list assets such as jewelry etc. if they are high ticket items. I refused because they were gifts or out and out mine!

    • In my experience there was only a small window of time where Narc was trying to do anything and everything to make it work . I required money as his “ actions “
      Money thst was in my name and account only .
      I didn’t give a crap about his therapy , sad sausage upbringing that was a lot better then mine and I wasn’t a fuck wit .
      My only goal was not being screwed over financially. The more that passes , the better chance he will get angry and fight you .
      Use the three channels to your advantage and strike while they are in charm mode …

  • Don’t forget your ex’s Social Security. If you were married 10 years or more and are at least 62 years old and unmarried, you can claim a portion of their benefits.

    • If your ex has child support arrears at the time s/he starts collecting SS, you can have their funds attached to repay the arrears. At this point, I figure that is my best hope, although my ex won’t be old enough to start SS for close to a decade.

    • Yes Geode, and you can make a claim against his Social Security if arrears are owed when he finally begins to draw them. Check it out people1 This applies to both Child Support as well as Alimony.

    • And if you are working, wait till age 66 and collect on his benefits. Then if you want, you can wait until age 70 to collect under your number. Sit down with the SS office and figure out what works best for you in the long run.

  • I spent the first year immersing myself in our finances, while pick me dancing. For a smart person, I knew NOTHING!
    Then I read about post-nups on CHUMP LADY and had my lawyer (who had also suggested post-nup) draw up an agreement that STBX signed. It was signed about 1 year after D-day, and by that time reconciliation was looking ominous. Since we had been married 32 years, 35 together, and he couldn’t seem to leave his 28 year old assistant/AP – we were all shocked and I was dragging my feet on signing, but my lawyer was adamant about getting us both to sign. The lawyer was smart because my cheater was still feeling guilty and signed.
    A few thoughts based on my experience:
    As much as you’d like to” get it all” – courts are pretty formulaic about how they divide things, so the “split” and support levels in the postnup will reflect this – a good lawyer will tell you where you would end up if case went to judge, and that is what you should try to go for…..the key is to focus on clarifying a few other things….e.g. things that are often not defined, like who pays house and kid expenses if you separate in interim, or they walk out (it can take a year for divorce to finalize) – how you will sell house, whether you will set money aside for college, before division etc. I also included a clause limiting either of our ability to spend over $x amount without joint approval. This was so he could not spend money on her “gifts” or if he did (since they are not to be trusted) there was a legal remedy for me to get that money back since i didn’t agree to it.
    Net, a post-nup let me see what things would look like post divorce, and also took a lot of stress off
    One other thing is to make sure you include the idea of legal separation in your post-nup – not accepted by all states, but is essentially a way to be able to “separate” and split assets – legally rewrite your will and any insurance beneficiaries — and also not be liable for any of t heir debts — before you receive final divorce decree.
    Legal separation mattered to me —— because I needed to stay on health plan in the short run (you get kicked off after divorce but can COBRA for 3 years!!) — so again, I saved some money this route, but essentially got out of the marriage when he couldn’t stop affair.
    GET A GOOD LAWYER WHO has experience with post-nups to make sure cheater doesn’t steal even more (already took your present and future and intact family!)
    Or get smart about finances and divorce ASAP

    • Yes, if you can get out physically and you aren’t in a hurry, it’s something smart to wait for the final decree until you can slide right onto Medicare.

  • Dear fellow chumps, also remember to have your attorney calculate how much of his fees were for tax planning purposes. (Of course, during the asset division, much of this time can be construed as “tax planning”.) If you itemize, you can deduct this amount on your Federal Income Tax return. If you’ve already filed, you can revise your return for this added deduction.

  • Cheaters can’t be trusted to do the right thing with joint accounts. So many chumps here today playing by the rules. Don’t do it. Immediately move everything into accounts only you can access and let the court sort it out months down the line. Cheater doesn’t like it? Tough.

    • Move your assets to a separate bank not just a different account within the same bank, i.e. go from Bank of America to a credit union

  • At first I thought this topic would have no relevance to me as I am one of those rare chumps who was not financially chumped as well (ok, that I know of but he gave me all I asked for and/or need). But it turns out that there was plenty in the article regarding trust and wasting time that still applies. Something about holding ourselves to higher moral standards when there is no reason to do so and no prize to be won. That was me and sometimes I fear it still is. I am still nice to him. Of course he is much nicer to me now than he was when we were married, but that doesn’t make it all ok. Perhaps I am just nice because I have come to realize that treating him the way he deserves doesn’t make me feel better either. The one time I raged at him after finding the charge for theater tickets and valentines flowers on the joint credit card, I didn’t really feel better afterwards. On the other hand, maybe that rage was what kept him from screwing me any more financially than that. Hmm. That makes me feel a bit better about that whole incident. 🙂

    • Anger/rage is a natural reaction to deliberate injury. You find him charging theater tickets and flowers for V Day on the joint account–and they aren’t for you? That’s righteous anger. Anger isn’t meant to make us feel better. It’s purpose is to alert us to serious danger because our boundaries are being violated. It’s meant to help us mobilize our defenses so an enemy can’t kill us. Fear, also, is a protective emotion if we don’t turn into a rabbit frozen in the headlights.

  • My ex cleaned out the joint bank account, putting it all into a savings account under his own name. He actually told me he was doing this ‘to get a better interest rate’ and like an absolute pleb I nodded and smiled. Anyway. Turns out that was preliminary to the affair, lying, discard routine we are all familiar with. In the middle of which I got cancer and he continued cheating, lying etc. I think he may have been hoping I’d die so he’d get all the money. Anyway, that didn’t happen. Once I discovered his hideousness, I hired a solicitor immediately. I think he was surprised – he thought I was so ill and sick and alone that I’d not put up much of a fight. Anyway, my solicitor was ace – she had had my exact cancer the year before and she really took him on. I insisted he let me eyeball every account balance before we agreed on the division of money. I remember him looking at me with his big eyes – ‘don’t you trust me, M?’. I mean – what?!?!? No I don’t you awful piece of shit. Anyway, he then had to give me back all the money but because of the limit on how much you can transfer every day he had to repeatedly get up day after day and transfer the maximum amount of cash possible into my account for about 4 days. Hahahahaha – bet he loved that.

  • O – and then I used the cash as a deposit on a lovely flat that I’m sitting in now – my first proper home……he fled the country.

  • My advice: GET THE BEST LAWYER YOU CAN. I got a really sharp lawyer. My ex got a stupid, lazy one. Guess who walked off with assets that his lawyer was too lazy/dumb to have appraised?

    The other thing is DON’T BE NICE. Just don’t. Why should you? Why should you even be fair? Was this your choice? Fight hard for everything you can get and don’t back down. As my father said, there’s no such thing as a dirty fight. You fight to win, period.

    And I did.

  • I did a fair division of assets with XH the substance abuser weighted on his side in terms of household property. He is retired. I still work. I can recover financially. He can’t.

    Some signs you have that a spouse is unplugging are changes in financial reciprocity–whether they pay their share for things, whether the benefits get distributed evenly, and in my case, a sudden reluctance to buy birthday gifts for me while son and the grandchildren got piles of stuff. That’s a pretty specific observation, but if assets are suddenly no longer “joint” or he has a new car again and you drive a beater, or he gets a 2-week resort vacation while you work, you’ve been demoted to spouse appliance.

    • LAJ,

      It has been over 3 years and your post hit right on target. I must have blocked some things from my mind, but no doubt I was a wife appliance much longer than I realized!!

      Thanks for the observation.

  • After the final d-day (AP’s husband forwarding me all the emails he found of the affair), I kicked husband (now ex) out, installed a security system, and hired a nanny (so I didn’t have to rely on him for babysitting). I called a coffee shop meeting and laid out what I wanted: primary custody, the title to our house, a set amount of spousal support and child support to cover the expenses. I made it clear that all of it was to minimize the disruption to the kids day to day lives. I told him if he agreed to all of this we could go the mediation route (already had a lawyer and mediator). If he didn’t, I could lawyer up and had enough evidence to bury him or even worse embarrass him A LOT. He agreed to mediation. I’m glad I acted swiftly, even though I was dying inside at the time (CL lady’s book saved me!) I recognized if I didn’t my kids and I would have been screwed over even worse.

  • After the final d-day (AP’s husband forwarding me all the emails he found of the affair), I kicked husband (now ex) out, installed a security system, and hired a nanny (so I didn’t have to rely on him for babysitting). I called a coffee shop meeting and laid out what I wanted: primary custody, the title to our house, a set amount of spousal support and child support to cover the expenses. I made it clear that all of it was to minimize the disruption to the kids day to day lives. I told him if he agreed to all of this we could go the mediation route (already had a lawyer and mediator). If he didn’t, I could lawyer up and had enough evidence to bury him or even worse embarrass him A LOT. He agreed to mediation. I’m glad I acted swiftly, even though I was dying inside at the time (CL lady’s book saved me!) I recognized if I didn’t my kids and I would have been screwed over even worse.

  • Vicky.
    Is there anyway to speak to you in person or by email?
    My financial situation is as complicated as it can get.
    We’re at the very beginning of divorce proceedings.
    Our chapter 13 bankruptcy is in default. We have approximately $200k equity. He has approximately that same amount in his 401k He wants to sell the house and pay our debt . I’ve been told not to sell the house as it’ll leave me and the kids without our home and rent is quite similar to the mortgage. I have so many questions chapter 7 option? Other options for hat chapter 13 debt. Home equity and 401 k questions as well.

  • Important thing to remember is that out of desperation, dishonesty, or disorderedness these cheaters do underhanded things. Mine insisted that I let my lawyer know that she wasn’t ‘abandoning the home’ when she moved into the apartment, yet she has violated what we had agreed to and has stiffed me her half of the mortgage payment and bills for the past two months. You have to protect yourself and expect the unexpected because they are super dishonest people.

  • The lack of appropriate action and anger is right on, it’s a real thing with us chumps. I’m pretty sure I lost a couple of friendships over that, frankly. And now, counseling chumps, I can really understand the frustration with people who will NOT act in their own self-interest. Talk about holding up a mirror!

    • Good point K.

      I think many chumps think they will lose friends if they act decisively and angrily and with a bit of crazy thrown in.

      But the reality is some good friends may lose respect for us if we continue to be chumped and continue to put others’ interests before our own.

  • I have the opposite story. We always kept separate checking accounts (her choice) and I make a significant amount more than her. It was also my credit card. So, when I finally left, I simply took her name off the card since it was mine since way before I knew her, and I could absorb the bills with my income along. It’s tight, but she wasn’t employed anyway for the last two years, and so it’s not like much has changed.

    But, man! Did she scream when I would no longer allow her to use the card or give her any more money. Her channel went from charming to self pity and has remained on angry for quite awhile now. And since she shows no income for the last two years, she can’t get a credit card of her own. She’s now mooching off her mom. Fine with me, eat up your own family’s trust.

    Or better yet, get the methhead that lives at home to pay for your phone bill, nether-region waxings, and hair appointments. Perhaps that broke “writer” you banged on my birthday can foot those bills? Because this gainfully-employed chump is off to the grocery store to get food for his kids.

    • ((((Chump-pin))))
      “nether-region waxing”
      That’s the thing about CN, in the middle of horrible cheater treatment, there is often such a forceful humour, that it just makes your day.
      I think you are new to CN? I am so sorry that you have reason to be here, but your posts are right on and your dash of humour is so awesome!
      I agree, food for the children is top priority!
      You are a great DAD!

  • For newbies going through divorce with minor kids: I had it put in our divorce decree that if Saddam was behind in child support, that I’d take both kids as dependents for taxes. I have it in there that if he’s one red cent in arrears, I take both kids for taxes. Sure enough, year 2 after my divorce comes around, he’s decided “working ruins his vibe”, so he stops paying child support. He’s almost $20,000 in arrears, so now I take both kids on my taxes every year and I sic’d Child Support Services on his ass, so I’ll get his & Schmoopies tax return, he’ll lose his drivers license, etc. Don’t forget all of the components of taxes, it’s important!

  • In my case, exh2/The Evil One would overdraw our joint account on a weekly basis to fund his dates. Of course, I was clueless exactly what he was doing with the money until DDay, then it all clicked.

    That Monday, I changed my beneficiaries on all my retirement and insurances. Never did tell him

    Me being a teacher, he would exoect my monthly check to cover the negative balance plus pay all the monthly bills. He would bitch if I even dared to buy a cup of Starbucks for myself with MY paycheck because “WE have bills to pay!!!” It was a nightmare.

    In the month leading up to him moving out, he had overdrafted the account -$700. (Rent). The day before he moved out, I asked him when he was going to pay me the 700 I was deficient. He answered that he had his own house to set up and didnt know when he would. Good times.

    So he moves out Saturday, comes back Thursday with tears saying hes sorry he hurt me, he loves me, wants to work things out. I agreed to reconcile. He moved back in (sort of). That week he overdrafted the account another two hundred, then the day before mother’s day, he overdrafts it another 300, comes back from the flea market with new sunglasses but didnt get me a thing for mothers day.
    Right about then, I found out that he didnt have the money to put the gas on for his water heater for his slut shack.
    Yep, he played me for hot water.
    Then, I skulked around his Facebook and found his friends- strippers and local single women, some of whom were friends of my friends or sisters of a few friends. Ugh.

    I confronted him, he came and got what shit he had here and tore out of my yard. The tire skid marks were there right at ny front door for weeks.

    Now, consider this fact- this whole time I was home on med leave recovering from hysterectomy and hernia repair surgeries- while in the hospital post-op room, he angrily spat out that he had opened up an account for himself at another bank and that my friends could stop telling me to get myself a new account separately to keep him out of my money- he had gone through my phone while I was in surgery and read everything- I was a total wreck and it impacted my recovery for sure.

    Within a week, he was back claiming that he was still hung up on me, wanted to work on us again, etc. By now, I had found the mighty Chump Nation and checked the calendar. He knew I was about to get paid again, and needed extra cash.

    Also, I had received my sick leave benefit check (no, not AFLAC), so he had found my deposit slip and helped himself to some cash from that and had me buy us lunches, groceries, cigarrettes for him, etc. I was abke to open a new account for myself, pay the negative balance off on the joint account and didnt tell him.
    The very next day, he texted me asking if I had shut the joint account down. I told him that I had. He responded with, ” you couldve told me”. I shot back that he couldve told me he had opened his own account and not while I was in the hospital recovery room. He responded with “whatever”- his answer every time I zing him with truth

    Oh, annnnnnnnnd, from dday until our divorce was final, I had to pay for his shiterado insurance, his medical and dental insurance, plus he didnt pay me a dime in child support. Five months. If not for a loan and my sick leave pay, i dont know how I would have survived.

    Almost three years now. I survived. I made it.
    I didnt have any other choice.

    • Unsinkable ,
      You have survived a horror story and survived in spite of his degradation and despicable acts towards you!!

      You are one strong woman!! Pat yourself on the back and hold your head high!!!

  • I must admit that the one mistake I made in my settlement with the Ex was to agree to amend our 2013 and 2014 taxes. I had filed on my own and I was in the clear, but I agreed! Dumb, dumb, dumb! He screwed them up entirely and the IRS was coming after me! It took another two years to straighten out and was a major headache. Don’t agree to this insanity if it can be avoided. As my lawyer said, “if they will cheat on their spouse then they will cheat on everything else they can too!” Boy was she right!

  • When I was thoroughly chumped by my ex’s 3 year double-life with an married, middle-aged mom, I researched a lot, and I learned a lot

    My goal from D-day onwards was to protect my kids as much as I could, from some of this sordid mess of fallout

    I learned that if you live in a community property state, a Postmarital Agreement (aka Postnuptial Agreement or Post-nup for short) won’t do much to protect you or your kids if your Post-nup merely reiterates the 50:50 split of community assets already specified by community property law. And don’t forget, a Post-nup doesn’t take effect until a couple eventually divorces.

    I also learned that child custody, & child support, & the visitation % timeshare between parents can NOT be specified in a Post-nup document in most US states

    So 1 option for potential leverage for us chumps in a community property state is to see if you can get your cheater to agree to move some of your joint, community property assets to be your sole “separate property”.

    This process & this type of marital contract is called a “Transmutation Agreement” because it “transmutes” the nature of marital property from joint to separate ownership, or (more commonly) from separate ownership to community ownership. It takes effect as soon as it’s signed by each spouse’s (separate) Family Law attorneys & signed by each spouse.

    So if your cheater has a post D-day window where they’re feeling *somewhat* remorseful & *somewhat* conciliatory… see if there’s a way for you to propose & agree to a Transmutation Agreement for some substantial assets (or maybe a home?) to be shifted to your separate property. You must each get your own attorney, but the agreement itself is pretty easy to negotiate & draft up.

    Within 3 months of D-day, I moved 20% of our total assets into separate property (although I’m still surprised that he agreed to do this), & I no longer felt @ the mercy of the standard 50:50 divorce process for property settlement.

    After the divorce is done, the final asset split will be 60:40 in my favor, which is unusual in a community property state, & which will help my children immensely going forward.

  • I had one of those insane Xs. When he walked out, he had been screwing me over financially for about five years. In the two years it took us to divorce he ramped up the abuse. X had also taken a pt job at a courthouse in the next town over. While there he rubbed elbows with the good ol’ boys and took notes on family law. Soon after DDay, he took his income with him, paid our mortgage for a few months to lull me (and the court) into thinking he had a soul, then stopped paying knowing I could not handle all the expenses (I had taken on the rest of the household bills he had left me with). At the same time he stopped paying pedente lite so my county’s Children’s Services office took him to court and garnished his wages. Fucktard skipped out on college fees, robbed our younger children’s college savings accounts, purchased expensive items to dissipate assets, robbed our savings and checking accounts, moved money from one savings account to another to purchase years on with his employer (increasing “his” future retirement funds), and ran his game of intimidation saying I owed him money. I caught some of the dissipation and recorded it in my disclosure documents for the court so that I too could share in my community’s wealth…. 😂 I knocked out my own MSA, as my lawyer clearly didn’t realize we were dealing with a Narc till foreclosure papers were filed, and I didn’t trust that the local court would give me a fair outcome. At the time I made 1/4 of what ex did and the college’s financial aid offices let me know that my kids now qualified for aid based on my income. If you are in this situation, get help filing your FAFSA. Look at expenses and prioritize. At all three colleges, people stated that many parents divorcing simply dumped their kids financially and “no longer wished to pay college expenses.” But crap parents will show up for graduation! So this too can be added to the Cheater playbook. Also in the two years before his ILYBINILWY speech, X had taken out a second mortgage on our new home, stripping it of equity and buying himself a new 33k truck. Major red flag here. At that time we had 3 cars, a truck, and a boat and were doing extremely well financially. The mortgage was my entire paycheck though. By the time I realized what he was doing, it was too late to save the house (dealing with the bank was a joke, as I was not the primary wage earner) and my focus was now on my children, their education, and our future. And my half of “our retirement fund.” X now makes over 200k/year, has purchased 2 houses and sundry other toys to replace the ones he dumped and is Mr. Sparkly for all his new clueless friends. Kids say all he talks about is money, all the new places he has been, and not having enough money. Lol. Still a crap father though. I trust he sucks. I now live on an 1/8 of what he makes but spend my time, money, and vacations with my beautiful family 😍. I would rather be poor, authentic, and happy, than rich, disordered, and miserable.

    • Drew ,
      There really isn’t a rock bottom for how low they go !! It’s a never ending bottomless pit of evil!!

      The roadkill left behind – they don’t notice, because they never care enough to look back, it’s all about “ME, ME and MY happiness!! To hell with anyone and everyone!!

      But your , my dear , are another inspiration!!!

  • Douchmuffin left me but was stalling on the divorce. Turns out he wanted to stay on my medical and dental insurance long enough to complete his cosmetic dentistry procedure. I was the high earner, and had a very large pay raise coming up.

    It’s important to strike during that very narrow window when they “just want to get it over with” because “they are so done”. My lawyer told me I couldn’t afford to delay a divorce, so I filed even though I wasn’t emotionally ready, and walked away with everything.

  • I have no idea of the true extent of the financial infidelity during my 20+ year relationship which ended when he left in December 2016 (married OW in April 2017) but the example that I give was actually what it took for me to start to realise that ex was, in fact, not to be trusted, and to start to understand the true nature of our relationship:
    In December 2015 the man who valeted ex’s cars (he liked to refer to them as his “stable” of cars – what a nob!) asked me what I thought of his new Porsche. My initial response was “he hasn’t got a new Porsche, he just changed the color of the wheels from red to orange”. About an hour later he came back to me and said “no, it is definitely a new one – look the engine is also orange”. At this point I realised my ex had, indeed, exchanged one black Porsche out for another one. I was pretty pissed off. During the previous 5 years he had bought and sold at least 5 high-end cars (all $120+) as well as numerous vintage cars which, whilst cheap, he had spent lots of money on having repaired as well. He had lost $10s of thousands on most of the sold cars. He had near the beginning of 2015 wanted to test drive a $300k car when we were in the city and I had said fine, but I wasn’t happy with him spending this much money on a car (I had never objected to any of the others).
    Anyway, later that evening I confront ex about the car. I am so disbelieving I am actually quite calm. I say to him that I think that this is the final straw (so many other things prior to this, not financial). Within the next couple of days he writes me an “apology” letter which basically was a letter that consisted mainly about him talking about his feelings, how he just had got carried away, how it had made him sad that he had to hide it from me due to my “contempt” of his hobby, and that I needed to share the blame in this. To be honest, this was a seminal moment for me – whilst internet surfing about it I had come across the term “financial infidelity” and when I read his blame-shifting response, and thought about it in terms of infidelity, I knew that this was not ok. He had bought this car and swapped it out under my nose in April 2015 – so, had continued the deceipt for 8 months until I found out.
    Now, I assumed that the car had still cost around the same as he had previously spent on cars ie $120-$150k and he didn’t correct me on this. It happened that he then decided to sell the car but that he accidentally undervalued it – unlike his other cars it had actually gone up in value. He then got into a legal dispute with a buyer (spent $15k on legal fees and eventually had to back down anyway) as he had undercharged. In the end he didn’t know what to do so asked my opinion and had to reveal the true cost of the car. It had actually cost $300k.
    He is a professional with a good income, but we were not rich (I am in same profession but earn about 25% of him for lots reasons). In the last 4 years we had sold our 2 investment properties to pay tax bills. I have no idea what was happened to our money. When he left there was virtually no equity in the house, very small superannuation. It wasn’t worth chasing. I also recall a few years ago accidentally opening a bit of mail where the addressee name was covered up and finding a bill for $20k loan. I asked him what it was for and his response was “you shouldn’t be opening my post” (we had 2 children together, he was happy to call me his “wife” although we never married). Like the idiot I was I just rose to this and the real issue was buried.
    He wasn’t mean but god knows what he did with most our money – and I was too stupid/trusting (and, to be honest, lazy) to keep a track of it, although I suspect he made it a lot harder than it needed be to do so . At mediation he refused to submit tax returns, nor income proof and I know grossly underestimated his income but he was reasonably generous, given the little that was left in equity, and the very small amount the state mandates of child support, so not worth pursuing. His new wife has assets of her own so he gets those now.
    I wish I had understood what financial infidelity was a long time ago and its’ links to other types of infidelity and emotional/psychological abuse. It is like a jigsaw, though, and it is not until you can see enough of the pieces that you can start to make out what it is – and then it all makes sense, and is so obvious – and you want to be able to go back in time and shout at yourself to look at what is really happening!

  • Even though this information is probably way too late for most of us here, now, THIS is why it is important to change the dialogue around affairs.
    Especially when children and many financial obligations are being tossed into the wind, usually to the chumps disservice.

    Affairs are not simply “private adult” choices, they concern the very financial core of the family foundation.

  • I so wish I was as mighty as so many of CN. I am still working on it, BUT I did refuse to do as he wished regarding one of our assets which is in my name alone. He wanted me to add his name to it, OR take my name off of another of our assets. Nope.

    He couldn’t believe how unfair I was, how totally selfish. “Why would you do this??” He exclaimed. “Insurance.”, I replied. He stood there gaping at me. How DARE his wife be remotely mighty!

    In case of my death, the asset will immediately be transferred to our daughter…not him, whether we reconcile or not. He has shown what he is, and I have far more interest in protecting my child than him.

  • Dancing Dick knew I had the “goods” on him (hard evidence of his disgusting behavior). Slipping the divorce papers in on him came with a “sign or else- everyone gets a copy of your penis activities and your crimes.”

    Get the goods on these dirt bags! Use the “goods” to get out quickly and with as much money as you can! Also….strike while the iron is hot! If the cheater/pervert/liar is in a state of faux repentance……..get him/her to sign right there ….right then. Don’t wait till he/she reverts back to an arrogant, self entitled piece of shit!!!!

    • Leavingthecrapbehind,
      I wish I’d seen read this a year ago/ I do have boxes of documentation to bury this piece of shit…tick tock, tick tock….countdown to his wtf moments are just around the bend.
      Stbx, has reverted back to arrogant, self-entitled piece of shit….,he has no idea what’s coming very, very soon! My new attorney, (the one that 2 days after my consultation with her, called me up to tell me “I haven’t stopped thinking about you or your case, I’m trusting my gut , and am going to do something I’ve never done, will waive my retainer and get paid on the back end), with balls of steel, is diligently working out her strategy, and will very soon cast a very wide net to Stbx, married AP and her husband, plus numerous flying monkeys! Stbx arrogance will soon turn to wtf!!!! Can’t wait!!!

  • Don’t play “fair” with these monsters. They wouldn’t know the word “fair”- if it bit them. Fair does not exist to them.

  • I found years of porn/web cam hoes on his computer/cell phone. I will never know the true amount of money the freak spent on sex trade workers.

    Dancing Dick wouldn’t help pay for our kids’ college….but he had plenty of money for whores. Now he wants to play “the good father” with my adult kids.

    • Leavingthecrapbehind,
      Yes, cheaters should be charged with theft and so much more!

      It is mind blowing what narcs get away with in the family court system, especially no fault states!!

  • Quite lucky that my father 3 days post d day sent me to remove my inheritance and joint funds from the joint account. I held onto it for the next 12 months while I was expected to do the pick me dance. When I was discarded he only got away with a small portion of funds. Of course I was held accountable for every cent while he never accounted for $25000 of missing funds. He took my personal property and sold that in retaliation including things my mother had given me. So secure the money but also your valuables.

    • Juliet,
      Sounds like you have an amazing father!!!

      I’m so sorry – Narc retaliation is brutal, selling items your mom gave to you! What a horrible human being!!

  • Uuuugh! I’m in the middle of this shit show and don’t know where to turn. No papers have been filed between us….just lots of discussion of possible divorce. Has anyone here ever gone with an arbitrator/mediator instead of using expensive attorneys? Also, if by chance my husband would go do something dirty like liquidate his 401K wouldn’t a judge see that if we divorce and get a forensic look into our finances? I was told judges frown upon seeing that large amounts of money are moved around and accounts liquidated. Also, what about CPA’s? Our CPA has all of our financial information. Can’t I obtain everything from him if need be? I was told that a forensic financial investigation if needed during a divorce would expose everything. Any feedback? Thank you! No idea where our marriage is headed, but I sure as Hell don’t want to be blindsided. My husband is a very successful surgeon, I am an RN but haven’t worked since 2007 (to be a stay at home Momma of course). He is in charge of the finances, pays all the bills, etc. Looking for cover my ass advice just in case.

  • Along with his history of cheating on me with his “ex” girlfriend among others, he was also mentally, verbally, and physically abusive. I enjoyed this article because it did describe me about 1 and 2 years ago where I was wringing my hand full of fear, self pity and self blame trying to fix it all while he just paid lip service to counseling and everything you described they do up above. You wrote that exactly how it happened for me.

    He had a thing about getting angry and walking out on me. There I’d be, logging on to the bank account faster than he could drive to the bank to transfer our funds before he hit the ATM. Days later he would come home all “sorry” and promising….you know the routine, I’d put the money back. Rinse and repeat as time went on.

    About a year ago I happened upon a Narcissistic Abuse Support group; I didn’t realize I was married to a Narc (narcissist), I didn’t realize there was an entire club of us out there! It helped open my eyes to what was happening, the ways he was manipulating me, and how I could hopefully escape his abuse in the best way possible. Act One of course was to immediately start stashing money. I was the family financial officer, the budgeter. He brought all his money home (pay check) but kept all his Per Diem cash to blow on booze and loose women, so he didn’t pay much attention to the budget.

    I began stashing cash, green money. I also made copies to all the vehicle keys, I took photos of his Driver License and SS card; I kept tabs on his 401k increases and pay stubs, etc., like you recommended in the article. I went further and began keeping copies of all his abusive texts, and writing a journal of other abuses. I saved all these “in the cloud” AND on secret other hard devices so I had several copies, in case he found and destroyed one I’d have another.

    When I had about $900 saved up, (I was a SAHM) I put half in a new secret checking account and kept the other half in green money I could access any time of day if need be (if I had to run with the kids). I kept all this stuff hidden out in the back yard in a waterproof box – if need be I could drive away in an instant, but sneak back up in the dark and walk away with my stash after he passed out drunk.

    Eventually the day came I told him I wanted him to leave, and get a divorce. I had around $7,000 saved up by then and felt i could handle it now. I also got a job, I hadn’t started yet but he didn’t know I had a job, I kept that secret so he wouldn’t ruin it. He did not want me working, because he could control a lady with no money. He was drunk and left in an angry huff. I immediately reported his ATM card as stolen. I had to keep some money in the bank to pay the bills from, and I wasn’t quite set up to pay from the new account yet, so reporting it as stolen prevented him from draining the bank during those first couple weeks. Even if he ordered a new card it would have came to my house, ha.

    We have lived separate for 72 days now (who’s counting!); the mortgage is in my name only but he is fighting in court to make me sell the house, out of revenge on me for kicking him out and not playing his games anymore.

    I owe $46,000 on a $55,000 house; he has $42,000 in his 401k plus a $10,000 motorcycle, so he would come out WAY ahead to just walk away with his cash and bike and leave me alone with my mortgage, but he wants to be a jerk now. He is old enough to cash out the 401k without any penalty, he could literally have all that cash to himself but he would rather make us split everything so I lose my house and don’t get much in return. I have a new job, but not enough employment history to get another mortgage at this time….plus, I love my house, it’s mine!

    anyway – I wish I would have consulted a financial and real estate attorney before shit his the fan, but his abuses were getting too frequent and intense to wait any longer, I had to get him out of the house before he seriously hurt one of us worse.

    If you could answer this one question perhaps, would you please? If the Judge forces us into a 50/50 split of assets, making me sell my house and give him “half” of that tiny equity it has – and he has to give me $21,000 from the 401k – could I sell my house to myself? Could I buy it from myself? Sell it as Mrs. Jones and buy it as Ms. Maiden Name? If I sold it for $55k and turned around and put $21k down on it, it would actually shorten my mortgage amount and pay off time! HA. Is that a thing people can do?

    If I cannot legally buy it from myself, how could I find a safe investor to buy it and sell it back to me?

    Thank you for your help.

  • Many couples nowadays are experiencing this kind of problem, they locked themselves in order to protect their family, children or dignity, in order not to be ashamed to others that they were not the perfect couple that they should be…it’s hard to go through this process in court knowing the pain and money it will cost..

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