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How to Divorce a Financially Abusive Cheater

Dear Chump Lady,

I am in the process of divorcing my cheating husband. He has not only cheated, but is also financially, verbally, emotionally and physically abusive (shoving our older kids when they were small and throwing things). The last straw was the cheating. It has been a nightmare that I managed to survive and I have slowly gotten myself to a place where I can support myself and my kids. We have 2 minor teenage children and 2 adult children. Cheating husband was fired from his job three years ago and refuses to look for work. I have a full-time job and make enough to rent an apartment and pay basic bills.

We sold our marital house in April of last year. Husband has a small airplane and invested $100,000 of the proceeds from the sale of our marital house in a friend’s business. He has been spending down our 401k retirement and the proceeds from the sale of our marital house and threatens to spend more and take more if I ask for half of the airplane (joint asset) and half of the investment. If I leave those alone he will give me a little more in cash and promises to pay college tuition for the children. No spousal support even though I was a stay at home mom for 27 years because I have been working for the last three while he has been unemployed. Husband also shares a small beach house in the Hamptons that he inherited with his sister.

I understand that I need legal advice. We have been using mediation. I am calling lawyers this week to discuss my options.

My question stems from the therapist that I started seeing last week. This therapist strongly suggests that I should take my husband down through the divorce and definitely take away his airplane. She believes that I am capable of rebuilding financially and taking care of my children and myself, even if I walk away from the divorce with nothing and that it might be good for my soul to walk away with less money in order to make sure my abusive cheating husband does not walk away with his toys intact. Basically my husband has coercively controlled me over the years so that he gets to do what he wants when he wants. It would be an act of empowerment to let the lawyers tell him that he no longer gets to do that.

I have always tried to do the right thing and be understanding and work harder and do more with less. I feel that no matter what I do it is going to cost me somehow — he will still have visitation with our minor children as a weapon to use against me. My head says to be smart and take what is offered and leave — go live my life and let him rot with his toys. My heart says to use a good lawyer to destroy him — his identity is the “man of leisure with an airplane and a summer house in the Hamptons.” If I ask for half of everything it will cost me a little — plus the legal representation which will probably cost a lot. He will have to sell his toys and will be so very very very angry and unhappy. He is an awful person and deserves an awful life.

Have you encountered any other chumps that decided to go scorched earth and did they regret it? Or any chumps that played nice and wished they had gone scorched earth?

Appreciate any insights,

Scorch Chump

Dear Chump,

Dear God woman! Your letter is exactly why I tell people to avoid mediation with the disordered. You cannot achieve consensus with this freak. Consensus requires honest brokers. Fuckwits require the heavy boot of the law.

I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. This is advice from someone who lived your nightmare and runs a blog with millions of chump stories. We know how this ends. You’ll get screwed and he will NOT play nice and appreciate how forgiving and chumpy you were. Take the reins and get proper legal counsel STAT.

Do not tell him you’re doing it, just do it. You want a family law attorney who does high-conflict divorces. is a good place to browse for one. (They don’t pay me to endorse them. It’s just a list of lawyers that other lawyers recommend in their field.)

Now for my sermon.

Protecting yourself from abuse is NOT revenge. Drop the phrase “scorched earth” from your vocabulary. And scorned too, while you’re at it. Failing to be what he deems “nice” (oh look! the goal posts moved!) does not make you a bad person. It makes you someone who is asserting her worth. He won’t like it. Tough titties.

Do some homework on abuse. Looks like your therapist gave you a start there. Read over at on financial abuse and litigation abuse. A man who is wholesaling your joint assets is ABUSING YOU. Shut his shit down. This isn’t about taking his toys away (that may happen as a consequence of his fuckwittery), it’s about STOPPING HIS ABUSE. He doesn’t get to make unilateral decisions about your welfare. He doesn’t get to threaten you. He can try that shit in front of a judge.

Get your finances in order. Read over at Vickie Adams blog. Especially her article The Myth of Being Fair.

“Fair is where they judge livestock… Don’t fall into the trap of an even settlement; be sure to review all settlements, not just for the present value, but the future value and potential tax consequences as well. Don’t be guilted into the appearance of “fair.”

Wise words, Vickie! And who do you think is a better judge of “fair” my chumpy friend? Mr. Gut the 401K or your lawyer? Speaking of the 401K — how did he do that? Aren’t there laws requiring your signature? Talk to your lawyer.

She believes that I am capable of rebuilding financially and taking care of my children and myself, even if I walk away from the divorce with nothing and that it might be good for my soul to walk away with less money in order to make sure my abusive cheating husband does not walk away with his toys intact.

Untangle this shit.

It’s good for your soul to walk away from this marriage because it’s abusive. Period. Full-stop.

If he keeps his toys or doesn’t keep his toys is irrelevant. You’re not being punitive — you’re DIVORCING him. See “abusive” above.

Don’t walk away with “less money” or “no money.” That $100K in his buddy’s business is your money. You can ask for dissipation of marital assets back in a divorce. Your therapist can wax poetic, but you need legal and financial professionals here. Most people don’t have airplanes and homes in the Hamptons to fight over. Salvage what you can and get out. My guess is he owes you a LOT more than you think he does. And certainly more than HE thinks he does. Let a judge set him straight.

Have you encountered any other chumps that decided to go scorched earth and did they regret it? Or any chumps that played nice and wished they had gone scorched earth?

Every case is different. And again, it’s not “scorched earth” — it’s “legally fair settlement.” Some money is too expensive and you walk away. Like if it’s going to cost you $10K in court costs to fight over $2k worth of furniture. But what you’re talking about is EGREGIOUS financial abuse. Stand up to that. And make sure you add your legal bill to the tally of what he owes you.

You can do it!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at [email protected]. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • 100% what chump lady said. I had a similar financially ( and many other) abusive ex. It was all of our retirement money he stole( hundreds of thousands). Before the separation. I lost all of it. Please lawyer up and go after everything you are entitled to. His anger is not your problem.

  • As always, CL is spot on. You need an attorney pronto before he further dissipates that 401K and possibly more. I am an attorney, and now practice divorce and family law. In my state (and I believe there is some version in all states), once your divorce case is on file with the court system, the very next step is to file a motion for what amounts to a restraining order so that neither party to the divorce can dissipate marital assets until either a settlement is reached (the judge must still approve it) or the case is tried before a judge and he or she enters an order distributing the assets. It is designed to protect both parties, but the underlying purpose is to protect people like you from your lazy and predatory STBX. You can also call your state’s bar association for a referral. Much luck to you!

    • He has provided a statement of the value of the 401k and bank accounts on the day he was served papers. I have a copy of that and will fight hard to make sure that I get my half. Thanks for the advice.

  • I played ultra fair in the original separation agreement. He played fair originally ( he didn’t want to divorce for 3.5 years, long story I shouldn’t have agreed to) and we signed.

    He defaulted within months. Roll on 3 years. Refused to uphold the agreement even at the end when I offered him more cash. Chose to ignore everything and not engage. Claimed all sorts of nonsense I did for 28 years apparently. So I went for absolutely everything I could get.I fought like a cornered tiger protecting her cubs, I was relentless. I was called all sorts by his supporters. He threatened all sorts. I did not care one jot.

    I got everything, the house, the car, some of his pension and a bit of cash. His threats came to nothing as all based on lies. I prepared for the court cases with a pit bull legal team. I regret nothing. Had he stuck to the first agreement then he’d have been significantly better off. I wasted my time and money thinking he’d h been fair.
    Go straight to a lawyer. Fight for everything guilt free.

    • Honey, get a lawyer and get your (yes, it’s YOUR) half! You owe it to yourself, you owe it to your kids, and legally HE OWES IT TO YOU.

      Struggling in silence isn’t noble. He’s the only one who will benefit, so it’s just another way of accepting his abuse. Don’t do it. Get a lawyer, go to court, and get what you deserve. Find a lawyer who will work on contingency, or one who will do the retainer on a credit card (that’s what mine did). You need an advocate who can see the situation clearly; you may be out of the house, but you’re not out of the fog yet.

      And don’t let him sell another thing. Call your broker today and see if you can freeze the retirement account. Also freeze any joint credit cards that are left. Open yourself a separate card if you haven’ t already. You have got to protect yourself financially, before this man ruins you along with himself.

      • My aunt tried to “play fair” with the father of her children, an abusive shmuck who literally left a goodbye note on the kitchen counter one day and walked out on the family.

        Know what trying to be fair got her? No settlement. Broken promises. Unpaid child support. He quit his 6-figure executive job so he could claim poverty, then used his mistress’s money to drag my aunt through the courts for the next 10 years while his children went hungry. I’m convinced the stress contributed to my aunt’s early death.

        Letter writer, you can’t waste time on “what ifs.” GET A LAWYER and find out your options. Get what you’re entitled to.

        And please do ask your lawyer if it’s worth taking what you can upfront (a settlement) vs relying on payments/ongoing support. The latter depends on how good enforcement is and whether your spendthrift husband will have any money to pay you in the coming months and years.

        • Also, I would not fall for the college tuition scam without something legally binding that you are left to try and enforce later.

          At the end of the day, he has to decide what kind of father he will be, and he may or may not come through.

          • Absolutely correct Gorillapoop. I have checked with the lawyers and if he signs the divorce agreement stipulating that he will pay for college then I can go after his assets if he defaults. He has always said he would pay for college for the kids. I probably don’t need to fight for it, but at the end of the day I’d rather have a legally binding contract than spend the next 10 years wondering if he is going to do the right thing by his kids.

            • You 100% NEED a legally-binding contract for this. Don’t rely on his good will. He’s already proven he doesn’t have any.

              • Yes. I am preparing a list right now to take with me to the mediator tomorrow so that I can go line by line on the agreement to make sure everything is included and worded correctly. I know I am going to be flustered and agitated. I was hoping that we could just go into the mediation, review and sign but have realized that I need to get him to agree to paying tuition for our oldest daughter too- she needs to take 2 summer classes to graduate. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Wish me strength and courage!

        • I got screwed in our long, expensive divorce. He hid assets the day they were to be appraised. He let our house go into default after forcing me to move (it was untenable staying there, I had to get out, it was becoming more and more physically abusive), he ran up 134k in debt in my name I knew nothing about. He played disabled victim in court and the judge bought it for the very longest of times. When the judge finally got sick of his garbage, it only resulted in me getting a little more of his retirement and $4.5k of my over $100k of legal bills.

          Oh, and then he married my “best”friend. Good times. But I don’t get guns drawn on me anymore, so I count my blessings.

    • Good for you Teddy. I WISH I’d gone “scorched earth.” I was a stay at home mom for my prime income earning years. I’ll never ever be able to get to the same level of salary had I kept working. I too wanted the divorce to be “fair” for the sake of the kids. Despite playing nice and getting a good even settlement, Ex has taken me back to court 5 times post-decree on nonsense motions that are ultimately ruled in my favor. While technically I “win” these cases, I’ve lost almost $35,000 to legal fees and much of my good health to the stress.

      You cannot trust this man Scorched. He’s shown you who he is. Believe it. And get good legal help right now.

    • Thanks for sharing. We don’t have a lot, but I’m going to fight for what we do have!

  • I’m so sorry you (and your children) are still going through this.

    This man has no integrity. He is continuing to manipulate you, making promises of playing nice and guilting you into being the nice one.

    Be fair. Be fair to yourself. Be fair to your children who need you to be stable after you leave your betraying abuser.

    He never acted with integrity while you were his devoted wife. He is not going to become a man of integrity because you are divorcing him. He is going to try to take more than he gives…’s his M.O.

    Let someone fight for you. A lawyer. Accept help and relief from someone who will be on your side, fighting for you and your kids, being fair and being safe for you.

    The more you separate yourself from him, the fog of HOPIUM (hoping your deference will cause his charity) will lift and you’ll see clearer. You are desperate for immediate peace and relief, but don’t let your cheater cheat you out of the stability you need to create the new life I know you’ve begun to dream of.

    Your children and your future self will thank you.

    • “He never acted with integrity while you were his devoted wife. He is not going to become a man of integrity because you are divorcing him. He is going to try to take more than he gives…’s his M.O.”

      This is the motto I live by with my ex.

      Count me as one of the ones who went scorched earth. I had just gone through cancer and even though he was the one who obviously wanted out, walked away and had another woman already pregnant–he did nothing to actually divorce me. So I got a lawyer and did things in my best interest. I was still kind enough to let him review drafts and speak up if he wanted to. I set up 85/15 custody of our child, alimony for year longer than we were married and gave myself the house. The only thing he objected to was the house–he just COULD NOT lose his asset. So we co-own which is a huge PITA but also he pays half the mortgage and I set it up so I claim all deductions on my taxes. The last year we filed taxes together we owed. I asked him for his half of taxes due and he dragged his feet, so I filed married separately and took all of the deductions. I got thousands back and he owed thousands. He was SO angry but it’s his own fault. He refused to talk about the divorce at all and just assumed that always fair and reasonable CC would do the work for him. Fair and reasonable CC understood how he operated and acted accordingly to protect herself. Four years later everything is unfair to him. He doesn’t have enough custody, I extort money from him, etc. etc. All of that is his own fault but he cannot (will not) see that nor will he do anything to fix it. I’m supposed to do that for him lol.

      This is how he continues to operate. We agreed to when child support and alimony would be paid each month. He has unilaterally changed it with no regard to how that affects me. I planned for this though and have a savings built up so he cannot f me over when it comes to my own bills. It takes him months to pay child related reimbursements. I now use that in negotiations. He wants to change something? Not until ALL reimbursements are paid and there are reimbursements every month.

      I used to feel guilty, like I was stooping to his level. Now I understand that I’m doing what I have to do to protect myself and my child. Especially for our child that he does not look out for at all (unless it makes him look good).

      Bottom line, they may change superficially, but they are still the same people at their core. Even if it appears they have changed for other people, if they were abusive to us they will continue to be abusive to us. All that changes is they way they try to do it.

      • Like you realised, there’s no need to feel guilty, because you wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t necessary. You wouldn’t be doing what he is, if you’d initiated the divorce.

      • Good advice. I have put together an invoice of the doctors bills and extracurricular programs that my kids are signed up for that I have paid for. Over the years he avoided and ignored paying for those – told me that I was costing him too much. No more! I will not enable him and I do not care who knows that he is a POS. I am not going to hide his actions anymore to protect his reputation. His words are lies.

  • I too wonder how these fws drain a 401k, or other retirement plan without the spouses (co owners) knowledge. I mean I get that they can rack up bills to basically cancel out the value of the 401, but I mean actually taking money.

    I could not take any money from his and he could not take any money from mine, and I assume if two folks own an IRA that both would have to be notified of any withdrawals.

      • Yes, which makes tracking what is going on in their IRA’s tricky. I consider myself fortunate in that cheating bastard ex was as eager to leave the marriage as I was so he could pursue “unbridled titilation” so there was complete disclosure on both sides. I did insist on a liquid cash settlement that would represent the marital assets he spent on sex workers and Elitemate hookups on top of the rest. And I got it.
        I also took advantage of his relative inexperience with real estate when he undervalued all our holdings by accepting his low estimates and taking the ones I knew I’d have far more value in.
        A shark attorney is a must, but doing your own homework is critical.

        • “unbridled titilation” ha I love that.

          Yep, we waived each others retirement. I didn’t have much in mine at the time, (I had only been working full time for two years at the time we were legally separated) his was pretty substantial, so I got a paid off property and he got all the rest and had to assume all debt to get me to waive his ret.

          My lawyer saved me. I got a years temp maintenance while I saved money, plus the small property, but the most valuable thing I got out of that divorce was to walk away with no debt. It was only fair since any debt we had aside from our cars and marriage home was run up by him for his pleasures.

      • I don’t know anything about IRAs, but I do have a large retirement account (TSP) and is of course can only be in my name.

        The question still stands how can a person drain an IRA or 401K or any retirement account without the owners permission or knowledge.

            • After my parents’ shit show of a mirage (thanks for that Velvet Hammer), my mother shared her nuggets of hindsight wisdom when she was terminally ill. This was years after my parents’ divorce.

              “When you date a man, ‘date’ his family as well. Pay close attention to the family’s interpersonal dynamics. Go on a vacation with them since a meal here or there doesn’t reveal much;everybody is on their best behavior.”

              I ended a relationship with a man because of a ???? waved by his younger sister. She was married with two little kids and she told me she signs her husband’s “all the time.” There were many ???? about this man and his family of origin and I still remember this one. A very enmeshed alcoholic family system and he was too attached to his mommy and bossy little sister.
              Bullet dodged. ????

        • The question still stands how can a person drain an IRA or 401K or any retirement account without the owners permission or knowledge

          My guess is he is taking from own account, which if divorce had been filed he’d have to account for. Mine started taking after filing and claimed it was to keep business afloat. Lying liars lie.

          His Ira started out with $50k more than mine. I did not go after the $25k because i got more assets than him, on paper, he squandered a lot of money before I knew about howorker & drugs, he took from business. Forensic accountants are very expensive. You have to be practical and make it a business decision for yourself.

          Attorney said you only get back half of what you can prove.

          • That could be.

            On my TSP retirement account, I have to notify my husband if I make any changes or withdraw any money, even though he is not an owner, and he has to do the same with his. Maybe some of them you don’t have to do that.

            I got some of the money back that fw stole from me to spend on the whore(s). I could have gotten two more years of temp maintenance, but I needed to get out of that mess. So I took my savings, my little house and ran.

    • 401ks are held in one persons name with named beneficiaries. If FW changed or lost his job he is entitled to a full payout at that time if he so wishes. The tax consequences are heavy: the full amount is taxable plus a 10% penalty. People still do it. However if you get a QRDRO payout of 401k (or 403b) you will not be obligated to pay the penalty but the investment company will withhold 20% off the top for taxes. I kept my own 401k intact and used the QRDRO from ex to purchase a much smaller home for myself and the kids. We needed a place to live and the money is still invested. In fact, with Covid my appreciation has been 35%. Hoping taxes do not follow suit.

      • Right, I know how they work in divorce and other circumstances.

        I am just wondering about all the comments about the spouse draining ret accounts.

        Never mind.

      • Hope you don’t get hit with taxes.

        We waived each others ret accts. I got a small house as my pay out. Wasn’t worth a lot, but it was a place to live and in a fairly safe area.

        I still don’t know how folks drain someone else’s ret account. Maybe when folks are talking about it, what they really mean is the saving accounts or other types of accounts.

    • Where I work, I couldn’t even take money out of my account without a spouse’s notarized signature. But this process will vary from plan to plan.

      • That is the way ours is. We just recently had to do it because I had to up my monthly check due to changing IRS crap.

        We had to get a document notarized that showed I informed him of what I was doing, even though he is not on my account. We had to do the same thing for his for same reason.

    • He was pulling from the 401k to pay rent and mortgage since he wasn’t working and I didn’t earn enough to cover everything-my salary went toward food and everything else. So i was aware of it and we are still dealing with the tax ramifications. I am going to see if I can file married filing separately for 2021 and allocate the 401 withdrawal to him as income so that he gets to deal with the tax liability. I am so very tired of worrying about paying bills and wondering whether there is enough in the account this month to pay bills. So very happy to be in full control of my finances. No more unexpected cash shortfalls. No more “I make enough money, you’re the accountant -you figure it out” after he used all of our cash for the month leaving me to use the credit card – and then verbally bashing me because I “ran up the credit cards again.” He is sick. Working my way free and I appreciate all of the powerful support!

      • It sounds like you are legally separated, I hope so.

        Yeah, I think sick is the best word. I just don’t think “normal” folks, by that I mean mentally healthy folks can do the shit they do.

        Hang in there.

  • Yes to everything Chump Lady says. When my cheater left, he told me “I will be as generous with you as required under the laws of this province” – as if it was ALL HIS to “give” to me. He had a rude awakening in mediation when he learned that equitable split does not mean equal split. (We were able to do mediation with our lawyers present and the mediator going from my conference room to his – I would not recommend it without your lawyer participating.)

    • “He had a rude awakening in mediation when he learned that equitable split does not mean equal split.”

      I think a lot of folks don’t understand that. Same as with “no fault” “50/50” That is the starting point. 50/50 does not literally mean 50/50 and fraud/financial theft is no covered under no fault.

      However, legal help will be needed in most cases to effect a truly fair settlement. FWs will by nature not be fair or generous (generally).

      • Absolutely. An honest, tough lawyer is the best protection you can have. I will also caution anyone starting down this path-no-one-wants-to-walk that fair doesn’t really exist in the legal world and equitable to you is probably not equitable under the law. My ex had to take on all our debt plus the debt he created secretly, pay my lawyer fees, give me our primary residence and pay significant spousal support. All great. However, he was the breadwinner with an extremely lucrative career and continues to make many many multiples of what I make. I will be fine financially, but he will be extremely wealthy. At some point my lawyer had to tell me “this is the best you can do”. The courts likely won’t recognize how much a supportive partner did to allow the breadwinner to create that lucrative career. You’ll never get everything you deserve.

        • This is so true. Especually if you gave up your career to cultivate the other person’s career.

          Focus on getting a job and an equitable settlement. No one wins in divorce.

        • Yep a lot to be said for getting out.

          In my case had my ex owed me spousal support after the D, or we had any post D requirements, he likely would have made me fight for every penny.

          Also, within just a few years he had started gambling and he ended up filing bankruptcy, it surprised the heck out of me. As nasty of a fw as he had been, I didn’t think he would ever be that reckless; but he was.

          My ex had the ability to become very wealthy too, but he threw it all away once he got demoted. Simply by gambling and making stupid decisions.

          • That was my FW too. Gambled everything then came after my assets wanted 50%.

            And for me to buy him a house.

        • Oh I feel this deeply, MaisyL. My FW will die with millions more than me, made on my back, and is complaining and complaining about what he’s giving me. I got more than the courts would have given but the courts are a joke if you’re married to a high earner who stole your life’s choices with their lies. I’ve given up everything to live without him…it was the best choice I’ve ever made because every day without him is a good day.

      • Also their ima t the settlement. My FW recently proposed a percentage which I did not agree with because he somehow forgot anoint the marital assets he used for hookers and Schmoopie. The dumbass left a nice trail which the forensic accountant used. Until their team starts accounting for his dissipation we will not agree. His fault and his dissipation of assets will not bode well judges. Factor in that his first lawyer dumped him (lying or at least withholding information) and he will look like the FW he truly is.we do know he definitely lied about not dissipating money. His assets are now basically frozen with the exception of his rent and necessities. Maintaining Schmoopie and her kids does not qualify. I suspect she will soon dump him if the cash doesn’t flow in as much as it did before. Meanwhile, I get a good laugh over it. Not being bitter or having schadenfreude but at least some karma is headed his way.

        • Dang autocorrect also their attitude in the settlement. He forgot to account for marital assets spent for hookers, hook ups and Schmoopie.

        • Yep I had three years of whore charges on our joint credit card.

          I didn’t get it all back, but I got enough to make me happy. Fuck them and the whores they rode in on.

  • Not a lawyer here. But I also believe that even if it’s —his name only —401k that a 27 year marriage entitles you to half in a QRDO unless you trade it in a settlement for say, his half of the marital home. If you have proof of what the 401k was worth before the fuckwittery and separation then he is spending your half! Judges heavily frown upon the spending of marital assets before divorce and he may have to pay you back. The trick is the timing; when he lost his job vs cheating. However there are rules regarding when exactly the separation occurred and sleeping with spouse after known cheating is considered forgiveness of such behavior and consent to continue the relationship. Nailing down a separation date was difficult for me. Get expert advice; I discovered that I had no idea what the divorce process entailed. I was so grateful for their guidance (and I’ll admit to some tissues and figurative hand-holding through the process) that I send my lawyer a card every year on the anniversary of my divorce to say thank you. Get thee to a bulldog lawyer to make sure STBX doesn’t take you for a last mother-of-all final financial coupes. Think of your children if you won’t do it for yourself. Pride has no place here, nor does revenge— just seek a fair and equitable in accordance with the law settlement.

  • I had a contentious divorce. It cost us both a fortune in lawyers fees and court crap. But guess what? Worth every fucking penny.

    Why was it so expensive? Because FW wanted me to do whatever he said or he’d fight. So we had to go to court just to resolve stupid shit like pendente lite (temporary financial support).

    He lied to his lawyer so she fought all kinds of crazy shit. But in the end, I got a great settlement… more than him… and decent spousal support. 6 figure attorney fees between us… but most of it fell to him and I paid off my debt with the sale of the house and got a good job to right my ship.

    Again — worth every penny. I fought not just for me… but for my kid. I needed to make sure we had everything we needed and deserved.

    My divorce took one year. I had a friend that was so worried about the money that her divorce dragged on 3 years. And worse, she trusted her FW and he got enough info on her that she ended up with nothing. It cost her more in the end that she didn’t just go after what she wanted. She was too busy worrying about if she spent $300 to see an attorney. It cost her thousands in the end.

    Please — get a great attorney and get whatever you can to support YOU. Who cares what FWs think?

      • Yes, particularly if you have children, or youngish children. Yes, most FWs won’t pay for college, or they’ll say they’ll pay and renege later.

        But don’t give up Child Support for minor children. My attorney all the time would tell me “child support is not for YOU, it is your kid’s money and for them, don’t turn it away”, as I had a good job and would go through periods of “I just want it done and him gone”, knowing I’d be taking care of 100% of the kid’s needs, anyway.

        CL mentions it in her reply – don’t waste lawyer/court money on stupid stuff like the dining room furniture set. None of those tangible things can be sold for real money, anyway. But the retirement, pension, properties, boats, airplanes? Get all of those valued and get what you’re due. Especially if you have children. You can take your 50% of the plane asset and invest it so you start accumulating real money for you & your children. Don’t turn that away and have your & your kids live in poverty.

        • Some of the first words out of klootzak’s mouth when he announced his intent to discard me were, “Don’t worry; I’ll make sure (son) is taken care of.” The fact he said that right away, like it was a carrot he would dangle to get me to sign away everything else, made me distrust him even more. Child support, college expenses, private school, medical costs, sports, lessons, therapy, you name it, I will have it all accounted for including right of first refusal if he decides to give up his time with our so he doesn’t get to dump the child with his girlfriend or her family or his crazy ass sister. Klootzak has already shown he can’t be trusted. His word is worthless. I will fight tooth and nail to keep our child from suffering financially and emotionally from klootzak’s poor choices. I roll my eyes when I remember him saying he would make sure to take care of him. Yeah, right. Just like be took care of me….

  • My ex abused me financially as well, along with every other form of abuse also.

    He forged my signature on a power of attorney for his mother, who turned it around and used my income and credit score to help his family business secure a $6 million dollar loan. Yes, $6 million. Also tied into this loan was a large piece of property that I had no idea I partially “owned”. The FBI interviewed me and I sang like a canary. The FBI got involved because it was fraud with a large amount of money stolen essentially from a bank.

    Because of his thievery and needing me to quitclaim that piece of property (which sold shortly after the separation) so the sale would go through, I walked away with everything. The house (with quite a bit of equity) the contents, my car and my retirement intact. The only thing he got was a 10 year old pontoon boat, which I didn’t care about. Out of a 17 year marriage he got Howorker, who is 15 years older than me, and a 10 year old boat.

    It is not scorched earth, it is setting up a stable financial future for you and your kids.

    Good luck! Lawyer up and know chump nation is behind you!

      • I am doing well. It has taken 10 years but I am in the best financial position I have ever been in.

        Yes, it can take years to to dig out but it can be done! And yes, it’s a crazy story. The moral is to run a credit check and a document check at your county’s register of deeds. That’s how the power of attorney was found and the documents were traced to the loan and deeds.

        Hope you are doing well!

        • “The moral is to run a credit check and a document check at your county’s register of deeds. That’s how the power of attorney was found and the documents were traced to the loan and deeds.”

          Great work!

  • Get everything you are entitled to! Every single penny!! I played nice and got screwed over big time financially. Ex planned his departure and set up his new life while using his Alzheimer’s ridden-dying parents as his cover. Ex barely earns 60% of what he did before he left so my child support is minimal and even though we were married for 25 years, I received no alimony. Now when my they see him every other weekend I have to hear about how Ex bought them this, is taking them there, can do this, that and the other. He lives in a 600K house with all the toys while we are in a tiny little house. So infuriating. I pray for karma.

  • Dear Scorch,
    I went down the scorched earth path and have NEVER regretted it. No more worries about debts.

    The only upsetting thing is to realize the resources wasted while I put up with abuse and getting blamed for debts. I sincerely believed I was part of the problem even though I was so frugal. I would get blamed because I took son to therapist. Sparkledick’s bank and credit card statements were always “forgotten at the office”. I now know he was buying expensive shoes, etc., for flatterfucks.

    A good lawyer is a must. I took sparkles to the cleaners. I now have my finances in order and have invested in a small farm, an excellent business in my country.

    On Monday I joined my regional farmers’ syndicate. So here is little old me, a grey-haired female university professor, alone, just with her young agronomist and technical advisor. The staff that filled in my application hesitated when he asked me about my marital status (required information). It felt good to say, “Divorced, by the grace of God”. The guy beamed me a very nice smile.

    You will be fine, Scorched!

    • I just worry about FW being a financial burden to my sons in his old age. I give sons tips about how to steer their FW father towards a financially sane situation. The problem is sparkledick is a show-off and megalomaniac.

    • I can totally relate to your experience of being blamed for debts. My financially abusive ex used to go through my wallet, pull out all my receipts and insist that I explain why I went to Starbucks twice that week (thirsty?), why I took out $200 cash (pay the sitter?), what I needed to buy at Old navy (swim suits for the kids?) and then complain that we never had enough money in the bank account. He’d make comments like I must be hiding cash in an old purse to make my getaway…in actuality, he was charging thousands in business expenses on our joint personal credit card (“for the points”) and paying it out of our joint checking. In the past, he’d then have his firm reimburse him to our joint checking. To support his affair with his intern, however, he’d switched his reimbursement to a secret account in his name only. He siphoned $50k in a year with that scheme. And made me feel I was a spendthrift about to bankrupt us with my Starbucks habit the whole time!

      • Your comment reminds me of a story about my grandmother, MaisyL. Now she was never a Chump, but my grandfather was extremely close with his money. Grammie was a terrific housewife, never had a driver’s license, great cook, etc. Grampa worked, drove her places if it was too far to walk. Different generation for sure.
        Anyway, when Gramp died unexpectedly, we couldn’t find his will. Since all of the bank accounts and house were in his name, this was going to be a problem. A big one.
        My father and uncle were tearing through their house looking for the damn will and things got a little heated between them. Grammie asked them why they were arguing and Daddy said, “If we don’t find the will, what are you going to live on?” She said, “I have money.” Daddy, ever the smart Alec asked how much money she had in her handbag, what, $20.00? She said no, about $10. But I have around $100k hidden in the basement. And sure enough, she did! My Grampa’s flinty nature taught her to skim about 10% off everything he gave her during their 60+ year marriage. He never knew!

        We did eventually find his lawyer and the will so everything turned out okay for her. But it really taught me something about how to operate when you’re dependent on someone. You do what you gotta do!

        • I am basically in love with your Grammie. I wish I had been half as smart as she was — that purse full of cash I was accused of hoarding sure would have come in handy! Not to mention $100k in the basement!

      • We made damn good money between us, with me making a bit more than him, but he told my neighbour that I was obviously stashing money because we were always broke. Yeah, trying paying over $20,000 to fix other people’s cars you hit when drunk (so it wouldn’t go through the insurance), or how about that $60,000 car he just had to have. Or the 10 guitars, or the two packs of cigarettes a day, or the rounds of champagne being charged to our account by the drunken AH pretty much every night. It’s funny ‘cos I was “so terrible” with money that as soon as he left I was able to save, pay off all my debts, travel and retire early. As for him, he took out a 25 year mortgage at the age of 55, schmoopie had to go back to work after thinking (and posting on FB) that she had retired and he looks like shit. Yeah I still snoop occasionally – just to remind myself how happy I am that I no longer have to deal with him!

      • my ex covert narc (not the cheater, that was after) drilled me every month about my spending. As if Kroger and Walmart, occasionally Target, were extravagant. He was frugal and spent NO money, because he never did anything but work.

        So at least when we divorced there was enough money that he could keep the mortgage-free house, I bought a house with cash, and I have good investments.

        And now he’s learning how much it costs to run a house.

        And the only person he has to yell at when the strawberries are moldy and wasted is himself.

  • These assets are not “his” to give you. The revenge thought is a waste of time and energy and not what this is about in any way. Those assets are equally both of yours to split evenly as the law usually states. This is a legal process at this point, not emotional. Any money he is spending since the day you file is legally part of the current assets to split and needs to be in the equation, (and probably money he spent before, like CL said, get a good lawyer).

    From this minute forward, no more discussions with him. He can be angry with your lawyer from now on. He yells at you “bla bla bla”. Answer: Either silence, or “my lawyer says not to discuss this directly with you anymore”, or better yet, ask your lawyer how to respond.

    I am paying for all of my sons college because ex “gave” me all of “his” money according to him. I didn’t “ask for” ie “demand” it in the divorce settlement. Don’t be me on that one. (and btw, college is a waste or worse these days unless it is for a specific career that needs that degree)

    So, Lesson one: Accept he will never mentally get that this is equally yours to split, train yourself to keep that in mind. Lesson two: Make sure college is part of your split. No ‘promise’ needed, it will be in the legal agreement.

    This is YOUR money/assets. Even the stupid plane. Remember this. You were a partnership, kind of like a dissolving a business partnership legally. Make sure you kids understand this. You are not trying to hurt their dad and that is not how you think. You are doing what the law directs you to do, (partly for their benefit since Dad seems to be spending away any financial security they have as well.)

    You are going to be free of this raging A hole! You have no idea yet how wonderful that is going to be! Hang in there, be tough, you will not regret in the years ahead that you fought to hang on to what is YOURS.

  • The ex first wanted us to be friends.
    Was highly pissed I got had an attorney.
    Demanded that I not ask for a large sum and he would in turn supplement it each month off record.
    I said nothing and went only through my attorney.
    We finally had a settlement and he LOVED his toys and was destroyed about having to hand over a few that I sold. My financial advisor said objects are good if there’s value in selling. I moved over an email this week of him asking was I really going to take one of his motorcycles. He had 5 that I knew of.
    This has all been since 14. Divorced with settlement in 16.
    Well most on here knows the outcomes of having an agreement with an abuser. He’s not happy and we’ve been in court or had dates pending every year since. He loves the contact and drama as well as I think he wants to kill me financially. He has money and mine is limited. This year was the first time he was ordered to pay some of my attorney fees. I don’t know why all were not ordered since he filed and wasted the time.
    I would suggest cutting communication except in writing concerning the kids and get an attorney as your voice. It’ll be hard. Healing can begin but until it’s over you’ll still be mired in his muck. It’ll take a while to get grounded and reacquaint yourself with your values and love yourself again. We all deserve peace. Keep your eye on what you need to make the future you and the kids deserve. Fuck him, his anger, and any opinions he has concerning you or the mess he created.

    • “Demanded that I not ask for a large sum and he would in turn supplement it each month off record.”

      Lol, like that would happen. These assholes are amazing in their actions and words, and not in a good way.

      • AND this was AFTER he said – you’ve contributed nothing, you deserve nothing, and you will get NOTHING!!!! I learned to listen and document because I learned he is just plain disordered.
        I was a SAHM for years and homeschooled kids through HS but also used the money I had and payed every bill for the house which were all in my name plus the kids insurance. Not in 33 yrs did he pay a bill except part of the property taxes because his name was on the deed. I had debt, no savings and hadn’t contributed towards my retirement fund those years because I had nothing to spare.
        He had all the money, second rentals for a play pad, other women, prostitutes, and his big boy toys. Basically living as a single person with the front of married with kids.
        Freedom is wonderful.

        • “Basically living as a single person with the front of being a family man.” Describes my cheater exactly. Now he gets to be the gross sleazy old divorced guy.

          • Yep that was the con my ex pulled, not just on me but a lot of folks.

            When I think of his innocent grinning and playing with the kids (future voters) on the sidelines in the local parades, dressed up like a clown. (cute clown not scary clown). He was playing the family man to the hilt.

            Never missed church. We went together to all the community and political events etc. Up until the year of discard, then I noticed a cold wind blow through the house. Things they were-a-changing.

  • The Chump Lady blog is an important resource for navigating divorce from cheaters. It is a reminder that he is not “holding all the cards”.

    Fear and anger are closely related emotions for everyone, but in the case of chumps it can be immobilizing. Get your support team in place. Be honest with your children. Replace rumination and gloom with curiosity and research.

    Please realize your own wellbeing and integrity are also powerful tools.

  • Divorce is about the business of distributing the assets and debt of your marriage. Your stay at home years count. Fair doesn’t always mean equal. And the verbiage of the scorned wife and the bitter revengeful spouse are all sexism’s made to deter people from seeking what they’re worth. For me I was groomed to believe I was less than and it took some RUde awakenings to shake that out of me. Please seek legal council that supports your value as a sahm and then begin the process of finding out where this fuckwit has your money. Then build a beautiful life for you and your kids. Don’t disable them or their future by playing nice. You dont have to be mean either. Just take a deep breath, separate the emotion and fear out of the equation and get to business. The business of your future.

  • I wish I had also followed the advice of chumplady to find an attorney familiar with high conflict divorces. My ex hired a viper. I hired the guy everyone loves and is well respected throughout the community, but he wasn’t a bulldog. My ex’s attorney further abused me and my attorney was quietly working away on my case. In the end, my attorney may have protected my interests, but I did not have the energy to hang in there after the trauma my ex had put me through. I ended up directly contacting my ex and offering him a settlement that was much less than what I should have gotten. In the end, I am glad it is over and my ex is out of my life, but a little bit of me wishes I had advocated more.

    • The lawyer can definitely make a difference.

      Just about three years before my D, my best friend went through hers under similar circumstances. Stay at home mom, just recently went to work, and he was a cheating police officer. Her lawyer told her the law is 50/50 you are a big girl yada yada. She still had two minor children, about 10 and 15 so she did get child support, but that was it. By rights she should have been able to get about three years temp maintenance because of her status and full time child care, but she didn’t have a good lawyer.

      Still pisses me off that she got screwed like that. She is fine now, but it took her several years to get grounded. By the way she had to sue him for back child support.

  • Don’t back down. Get what you deserve. A good attorney will make that happen.
    My divorce took 3 1/2 years. I got what I deserved, it was agony and it got ugly. I don’t regret it at all.
    42 years married.

    • Yup, I could have gotten three years temp maintenance and stayed legally separated for three years while I collected. But, I asked for six months. Then he stalled for another six months.

      Here is the kicker, in hindsight I figured out that he would likely have been happy to stay legally separated and paying me, he was definitely trying to stall his remarriage.

      But, I am glad I didn’t; I needed to get away from him and all that horror.

  • I’m a little suspect with cheater loaning $100k to a friend’s business or investing. I think he just took the money for himself. Of course he could be one of those that love to play the big shot to impress. A forensic accountant would be great but expensive. Your lawyer could demand certain financial data and you could review yourself. It would be worth your time.
    As for walking away with nothing…these defects are bottomless pits and he won’t be satisfied with you walking away with nothing he’ll want more…get a lawyer and fuck being fair. He’ll be pissed anyway at least give him a reason to be pissed.

    • The friend’s business is legit. He has a SAFE agreement so all of the investment is at risk. It was another aha moment for me because he aggressively wants 100% ownership of the investment. Since he is not looking for work I think he is gambling on the investment being a big win in a couple of years. I realized that even if I stayed married to him I would not benefit from the investment if it does well-he would not make my life easier if he had a lot of money. Part of me hopes it does well so that maybe he will be able to leave money to the kids when he dies. But it’s basically more future faking from him.

      • Most of them spend it all on themselves, while dangling the carrot of inheritance in front of the kids to get them to show up for photo ops to make the FW look like a decent guy to OW and FOO. Just more lies.

  • What on earth makes you think you will come out ahead by not crossing him? Do you really think he will follow through on his promises to give you more if you don’t ask for your half of the assets? Why do you think he is telling the truth? You need to act quickly before he spends it all, but you will likely get more, not less if you go with the lawyer, even with the legal fees.

  • Definitely consult with a lawyer and FILE quickly. In my state, you’ve already lost a lot that you won’t be able to recover. Judge dependent. I’d consult with a regular lawyer first, pitbull lawyers are overly aggressive and you will only need one if you fight. Like someone said above, I was a stay at home mom since 2009 married to someone with diagnosed NPD. I lost my prime earning years. I do appreciate wanting to fight fight fight against the abuse, I did that and I would do anything for a wormhole. We had a 3-year $200,000 divorce and while I did end up with *more* than his original offer it was not $200,000 more all things considered. I mean, we gave our lawyers enough to pay for our kids college and they could’ve graduated debt-free. That was one of OUR primary financial goals in our life together and WE ruined it – zero student loans for them. He had a phrase that he used often – you can be right or you can do the right thing. Neither of us did the right thing by our kids. His offer was not as financially abusive as I perceived. The stress put me into a quasi premature menopause and to get my health back and to recover those 3 years, hindsight, I would’ve taken original offer. In the end, all that I needed was enough money to be comfortable and the premarital portion of our primary house (that became a rental property) and a step towards financial security for our boys.

    • This ^. Interview family law attorneys who have experience with difficult (aka thieving) spouses. File and go no contact.

      Getting away from this creepy h will clear your mind and help protect yourself & your kids from this FW.

  • I was very pragmatic throughout division of assets, the dick and I signed a written agreement with time limits to divide assets( he had to refi boat mortgage within 180 days to remove my name,etc…) and he did nothing except get married days after divorce final, buy a big house, buy a Range Rover, take a cruise….3 times my lawyer and I had to get a court date and prepare for court ($$$) over the next 3 years ( to have it taken care of at the last minute day of court). My lawyer fees are not covered because I am not”destitute”. As a SAHM our entire marriage, with a small inheritance(all but 40k was already spent on kids college and his toys with the “understanding” that we would be able to save again after kids college….then he went on a business trip and texted me that he wasn’t coming home…. Cue all the discovery of serial cheating,blah,blah. I had the same script in my head that you do Scorch Chump……listen to CL….. all these years….ITs yours….get a good lawyer and get it!

    • Oh, and all those things he said he’d do…like continue to pay for kids college…. He didn’t do…his attitude was “make me”, the kids were already in college….the bill was due! They now have loans to pay back….but it’s fun to visit his waterfront house and play with his toys. Get it now so you can pay for their college yourself.

    • I am so glad my lawyer got it so that all the agreements had to be done and all assets transferred before the D was final.

      Going back to court has to be awful.

  • Dear Scorch, first I scorched the earth and then I salted it. I have the dearest meek and mild pitbull of a lawyer. His looks are deceptive. The man is a stone cold killer in the Courtroom. He has taken care of my interests throughout this process. I do what he asked me to do and I pay him. He does the dirty work of dealing with LTC Fuckface. My lawyer is not physically intimidating, yet watching him decimate cheater x is a glory to behold. He has forced Fuckface into a very good settlement.

    Fuckface has neglected to abide by the Court’s Order to pay me until the garnishments begin. We go back in front of the Judge at the end of the month. I’m looking forward to it. Every time my lawyer represents me in Court I walk away with more.

    Don’t be afraid. You are listening to a cheater’s threats. Stop letting that asshole have access to you. Contact the very best lawyer in your area. Contact several lawyers especially the ones you think he might use. Hire the one who you think will have your back. Then do what that lawyer asks of you.

    Stop listening to a liar, he is not the boss of you. Try to manipulate that fuck into texting or emailing his threats. He is so used to thinking you are easily manipulated he won’t suspect you. Then hand that to your lawyer.

    Listen to Chump Lady. Read all these comments. Then take a deep breath and fight that fucker. Stand up and fight back by proxy, let your lawyer take his toys. That cheater isn’t going to like it. So what? Let him fuss and fume. You don’t have to be his audience. He has no right to your person. Block him but for email and let the lawyer handle it.

    • Thirtythreeyearsachump! That is exactly what I needed to hear. Cheating husband just sent a second email message asking whether I still have an expensive necklace that he gave me as a Christmas gift (it was a guilt gift for cheating on me). He wants to know where it is. I am ignoring his email. I have a consultation with a lawyer tomorrow. Plan to go over the mediation agreement to make sure I am getting a somewhat fair settlement – also to find out what my options would be if he failed to pay for college as stipulated in the agreement (contempt and jail?). Based on that I will either face the cheater one more time on Monday to sign the agreement or retain the lawyer and let the lawyer loose on him.

      • In my state at the time of D, gifts were not considered in the division. We each kept our own gifts and personal items. He made out a lot better in that than I did. I usually bought him expensive power tools, I usually got a robe.

        Funny though the last Christmas a week before Christmas; he gave me a gold necklace and a silver beaded one. Guilt gift for sure. Dday was Christmas day. When he left the day after New Years, I gave them both to my daughter in law.

  • My ex wanted to settle our divorce “amicably” and without lawyers. He kept telling me to “be reasonable”. Both of those terms actually meant “do what he wanted”. Shockingly, what he wanted was unfair and detrimental to me. Here’s what he wanted: a $20,000 cash payout from the equity in our home, 100% of his pension, no spousal support to me, no child support to me, a small payout from his 401k to me. I was super uncomfortable with his “proposal”, mostly because I wouldn’t be able to afford the mortgage if I refinanced with a cash out loan. So I got a lawyer, and here’s what I actually got: I kept the house, got a lump sum from his 401k, got half his pension, and got a small amount of child support. In other words, I got what was afforded to me by law. That’s not “scorched earth” that’s “bare minimum”. These guys think that you getting your fair share is inherently unfair to them. And whatever you give him now, he will demand more later. I guarantee it. The financial settlement from divorce is final, and is written in stone. There are no do-overs. So you have to get it right now. Get a lawyer to advocate for you, because you cannot do it for yourself. This guy wants your utter destruction and total control over you. They don’t stop wanting control. Judges will normally sign whatever settlement a couple agrees to, but if a couple disagrees, based on how long you’ve been married, a judge will likely give you half of assets. Your espy wants you to agree to an unfair settlement because he knows that the law says you should get more. Did being chumpy keep you from being abused! No! He kept abusing you, and it got worse! Backing down didn’t help then, and it won’t help now. I don’t regret for a second getting my fair share in the divorce.

    • “This guy wants your utter destruction and total control over you. They don’t stop wanting control.”


      Whatever beliefs and behaviors you see them exhibiting now are the clue to how they will act in the divorce.

      In my ex’s case, that was 1) a life-long tendency to believe he was hard done by, which produced in him 2) a sense of entitlement that he should have what he wanted (because: “unfairness”) and 3) the expectation that I should defer to his wishes (again: “unfairness”). All three of these beliefs characterized his attitude and behavior in the divorce.

      In order to get away from him faster and with as little conflict as I could engineer I made some strategic concessions in the property settlement of the divorce that gave him more than 50% of our marital assets (not a large dollar amount, and our son was an adult), but, surprise! no surprise, he still feels like he got screwed in the divorce (see: aforementioned life-long tendency to believe he was hard done by).

      I admire the hell out of those of you who like “Schrodinger’s Chump” and “Thirtythreeyearsachump” went to the mats to get what was equitable.

    • Thought if something else. For any child support you are owed, have him pay you through the state system rather than by cash i personal check. If he stops paying, it will be much easier to get his wages garnished or assets seized. It’s not for you, is for your children

      • He is unemployed. No wages to garnish. He was supposed to continue paying bills for another month but instead deposited the lesser amount of child support in a joint account from which his personal bills automatically get paid from so I am currently short for the month. I am going to ask his mother for help to make up the difference. Lol. He is going to be furious. Don’t care. I shouldn’t have to dip into savings because he is a dill weed.

        • Ask your new lawyer for an immediate order requiring him to continue paying child support and allow you to separate yourselves into 2 household accounts. That’s the first thing I did after I filed which ensured a steady stream of income and clear documentation of what each of us were doing with money. Kept him honest during the proceedings.

          • I just re-read my comment and laughed out loud. That was the only time he was honest. Certainly not during our marriage nor after the divorce was final.

  • Called a lawyer and they have referred me to a pit bull lawyer who I will be calling today. Unfortunately I was aware that cheater was pulling money out of his 401 because we were living on the money- it was pre-separation. I did the math and have a mediation agreement that gives me a little more than half of the assets that are left from the date of separation – not including the beach house- which is an inheritance for him. Concern is the chicanery that he will pull. He also paid my rent and told me to play nice and he would give me more child support than required “if you don’t tell the mediator that I gave you more”. One month later and mr. “i am not a deadbeat dad” deposited child support into a joint operating account- and paid his own bills with it. I am setting up a new bank account today for child support payments so that he can’t withdraw from it. And Lawyering up! Thanks for all the advice.

    • You were married nearly 30 years. You need to protect your future. This is money you are entitled to. This is money you earned. All of this spending he will have to give back. I am glad you have an attorney. Hire a forensic accountant. I bet he has money and accounts you don’t know about. Don’t you dare get screwed.this is your money. Next stop listening to him and make no deals or agreement with him. Get a parenting app and use that.

    • You got this! He’s told you everything you need to know about him and his character.

  • divorce is a contractual exchange. you need to stay cool and employ a lawyer who will work on your behalf, and secure your half of the assets. you earned them. file for divorce immediately so your shared assets are frozen. and keep in mind that, if you remain in this financial limbo, any debt he incurs is also a debt you incur because you’re still married.

    it’s true you never really know who your partner is until you divorce them, but you already know his nature. be prepared for it to worsen and for some surprises. you also know you can manage it and him because you’ve done so for years.

    FYI, as a SAHM your hypothetical salary would’ve been approx. $178,000/year–childcare, cooking, purchasing for the household, driving kids to activities, etc. etc. you contributed a lot to your married life. own it, sister!

  • I am a lawyer, and I am also a chump. So, first off: the whole “scorched earth” thing can and will backfire big time when you get in front of a judge who thinks you’re wasting everyone’s time trying to take revenge.

    Mediation sounds good, except in real life. The Chump and the Fuckwit are not on an even footing: Fuckwit knew all along he was putting the marriage at risk, and has had ample time and opportunity to prepare himself emotionally and financially all while depleting marital resources to bolster his premarital assets. Ask me how I know. You get in front of the wrong mediator, who doesn’t understand how completely shocked and disoriented you are, and all this plays against you, with devastating consequences.

    And, depending on the circumstances, the mediation is non-appealable and there is no record of the proceedings, all of which are strictly confidential. Three guesses who that fucks over: Fuckwit, Mediator, or Chump. Ask me how I know that, too.

    Please tell your therapist that your invisible online friend was manipulated at mediation to the point where she would do and say anything to get out, and she now lives with the consequences of that every single day. No, it is NOT good for your mental health.

    While we’re on the subject of your grasp of the desperate situation you’re already in, everybody on earth, including your therapist, will suggest you need to be on antidepressents. That’s probably true. Except that in the process of finding the correct dosage of the correct med, you’ll end up confused, disoriented, sleepless, or with memory loss. You can’t afford that until AFTER the big fight over money, so you have to accept the trauma flashbacks and lack of sleep. Ask me how I know that.

    A therpist should not offer legal advice any more than a lawyer should offer mental health advice. So here’s pure legal advice: don’t use mediation. Go along for the ride, just to leave a paper trail that shows you gave it your best. Find a smart lawyer, not to go “scorched earth” but to protect your assets and your future. In court, you are gracious and reasonable, and only seeking the best for yourself and your children, full stop. Once you file, the 401k enters into a process that’s mandated by law, and he won’t be able to touch any of it until the divorce is final.

    • The state I’m in requires mediation first. We had two. I had an abuse affidavit in place and my attorney made sure we were multiple floors apart with the mediator moving on the elevator. He said it was a good thing because he’s a loose cannon. After hours the ex tossed the payment to the mediator, fired his lawyer and walked out.
      He hired a big expensive one that ended up not liking him but managed to get him through the second unsuccessful mediation and a settlement before trial. I went in prepared but his attorney brought the papers and I had to go before the judge to accept.
      Then he somehow ended up with a court appointed one at some point who was afraid of him.
      When he took me back this year he had rehired the first one he had fired in mediation. She must have needed money bad as the ex has no respect for women which is why she had no control over the first mediation according to my lawyer.
      A funny side note is that during the first mediation, the ex’s vehicle was towed. Someone was walking me to my car and he was yelling how could he find where it was. I knew who it was but the person with me didn’t and turned to address him. I didn’t want him close to me. He was red faced and sweating. I was shook at the time.

    • Thanks for the advice. I filed for divorce and then went to mediation. I was foolish by not divorcing him 3 years ago when i caught him cheating. Oh well, it is what it is and I am in a better place mentally and financially. Will not medicate myself to deal with the trauma. Am powering up instead. Just passed the CPA exam. Interviewed for a better job this morning and am talking to a friend about picking up part-time bookkeeping work. I have allowed myself to be put into a shelf and accept crumbs. Step by step i am taking my power back. Thanks for all the thoughtful advice!

      • Congrats on passing the CPA exam! I hear it’s tough. Life will get better as you are now in control. Not to say there won’t be crappy moments here and there but you’ve got this!

    • Asking for your fair share that your are entitled to BY LAW is not “scorched earth”.

  • I *so* needed to hear this today. I don’t even have access to the bank account where our family income gets deposited. I’ve been a SAHM for 12 years and have no idea what I’m owed. I know he has put a lot of our money into Bitcoin, which I don’t really approve of, but I just let him handle everything and think of it as “his” money, because that’s what he insists it is.

    He allows me a credit card that I’m an authorized user on, but that he can revoke anytime, and that he feels I should ask permission for every purchase on. He just grilled me yesterday over my spending $100 of “his” money on a gofundme for a friend who’s leaving an abusive situation. “My” money is the random $1 tips I get from fans of my writing, and money I make betting on the political prediction market. (Did you know that was a thing? Oh yes! It became legal again since the nineties.)

    But, dear friends, I am on the path to the D! The process has begun and I am being mighty and going to get to freedom and have walls that sing! The ducks are coming together! My therapist wants me to focus on the peaceful home I will have after I get through this hard part, and I told her how the awesome Tuesday stories here make that easier. I *know* it’s better on the other side, because so many people take the time to share it here, so those of us still going through it will know. I’m once again so full of gratitude for everyone who shares.

    He thinks it will be a quick mediated discard, but thanks to Tracy’s wisdom, I am going to get a lawyer and make sure my interests are protected. There’s no reason a FW would be fair with a discarded appliance.

  • What is it with Fuckwits and their goddamned airplanes? Mine bought TWO, and had no pilots license. ????

    Anyway, even if you gave the FW EVERYTHING, they will still be pissed and angry and vengeful, so might as well go after what you are due. Get to a lawyer asap and they can put an account restriction on your 401k so he can’t bleed more of it.

    Get rid of the therapist and the mediator asap. You can find a new therapist later who will help you heal and isn’t accommodating to an abuser. You need a therapist who will cheer you on for fighting off and being tough against an abuser. You still have minors in the house, you’ve got years of dealing with a FW. You don’t need a therapist to say “oh, just be nice to FW and let him have Mother’s Day with your kids & his new Schmoopie” ???? (True story, my FW tried to get alternate Mother’s Days with my children for his Schmoopie).

    Never do mediation with a FW!!! THIS IS PERFORMATIVE FOR THEM!! THEY LOVE IT AND YOU WILL NOT GET A GOOD SETTLEMENT IN MEDIATION!!! (Yes, I’m screaming, because this can’t be stressed enough)

    Hang in there, come back here frequently, we are here for you!

    • “What is it with Fuckwits and their goddamned airplanes? Mine bought TWO, and had no pilots license. ????”
      LOL! Guys with their yachts or oversized boats that they can’t dock to save their lives and ones who own planes and can’t even fly. Too funny. I have heard that most owners of planes are very cheap or negligent with upkeep/repairs, unlike boat owners who are very keen on making sure their boats are in perfect working order. You’d think it would be the opposite.

      • Mine is definitely cheap with upkeep and repairs. All of his toys are literally rusting or rotting.

    • My FW had 2 trucks, 2 motorcycles, 2 riding tractors, 2 trailers, a camper, 3 empty rental houses, 2 rented rentals, various toilets and appliances for those falling-down rentals, every Milwaukee tool ever x2 so one set could stay in his truck, 6 bicycles (including a tandem).

      I saw at one of his rentals that he now has a 3rd trailer and a snowmobile.

      He collects crap. It was so great to kick him out of my house.

  • 100% what Chump Lady says. I am a survivor of domestic violence and financial, verbal and emotional abuse. The cunning, perpetually ex-h put this all in place so I would work like a dog to support him as cheated and bled our bank account dry.

    I went to a lawyer. Long story short, I was awarded 99% of joint assets.

  • My story is similar, but I hired my “grandpa with an iron rod” attorney and got what I was due. He said no mediation and collaboration, only lawyer-to-lawyer negotiations or a trial. My ex took off after retiring for medical reasons, spent like crazy from the retirement assets, and then hired an attorney who said “if you want it, go for it.” I had been largely a homeschool mom and hadn’t worked full-time in twenty-plus years.

    I did not become financially independent (now mostly self-employed) until after the divorce, and of course, it was scary as all get out. I was prepared to move into the basement of friends with our two college kids if I had to. At one point the three of us had seven jobs. One of my jobs was unloading trucks and picking internet orders at Macy’s. We took out having my ex help with college and pay for the kids’ health insurance because I couldn’t stand the thought of dealing with him. We looked into borrowing for the last of their schooling.

    I ended up with a fair settlement. Because he is retired and because it wasn’t a high-value divorce, I got no alimony. I did get my marital share of his pension, survivor benefits, and my marital share of the retirement investments on the date of separation so he was responsible for the crazy spending after he left. My ex was eligible for Social Security and could file for that if he needed more income. He had rented a fancy house in a gated community and certainly could have moved elsewhere to reduce that expense. So I really didn’t take him to the cleaners. My attorney did a lot of divorce appeal work and said that my agreement had nothing that could be challenged.

    Post-divorce was yet more of a mess. He canceled my health insurance while we were still married instead of sending the order and agreement to his former employer so I could get their extension while I figured things out. My attorney and I had to fight that for eight months, but I finally got long-term coverage which helps because most of my income comes from self-employment. That insurance is less than Obamacare for me and is a business expense, so it’s a win. My ex fought nearly everything in closeout and went pro se after his attorney died of COVID. Finally, we closed the file.

    Frankly, his behavior during the divorce and closeout just confirmed over and over that my ex is what my son calls “a dumpster fire.” Rational, decent people just don’t act that way. Even his own attorney commented on that and would send me messages through mine that he felt sorry for me and was doing all he could to get it settled. Move on…

    • My attorney wouldn’t let me ask for a portion of college fees by stating they can find their own way if they really want to go. While true, it surprised me since my parents didn’t think twice about helping me. It really wouldn’t matter anyway cause he’d never do it even if he agreed. He always said he’d rather buy them a house than pay for college so they’d have a step up. One went without his help and is now getting plans to build a house. The other went to work and lives in an apartment. Where’s her house? He is a no.1 future faker.

      • My son was fully emancipated and in the AF when our D hit, so that didn’t come up.

        But, that is the one area I may be in disagreement. While I think it is wonderful and generous for parents to pay for kids college; I don’t think it should ever be mandatory.

        I think if one can afford to pay for kids college and at the same time save for their retirement that is great. If they are paying for kids college at the expense of a retirement plan; that is not a good idea.

        But not everyone can afford to do that. There is no way I could have paid for my sons college, I was barely making minimum wage. I think in our state college could be agreed upon by both parties, but could not be forced. Which I agree with.

        I did help my son quite a bit when his kids were small, but he didn’t ask for it; and I did it as I could afford it.

        I am now helping my grandchildren with yearly checks, but just helping; not paying it all.

        • My exh and I have an agreement, which is actually not spelled out in the MSA, that we each pay 1/3 of college expenses for our 2 kids, and the kid has to come up with 1/3.

          Our adult son went to community college off and on, and the ex ended up paying for all of it because I demanded 1) I would only pay for classes he passed after the semester, and 2) I needed to see a copy of the charges. Son and exh were both too lazy to give me either.

          My daughter is 1 year away from college. I will have more control over her expenses as she will live with me full time as soon as she can.

          I bill my ex for 1/2 her extra expenses – band fees, music lessons, therapy, etc. He eventually pays. I have to pay for all of her clothes, hygiene, makeup, haircuts, shoes, dresses for dances, out of the whole $25 in monthly child support. Now that she has a job she pays for more of her things. And her dad has no idea how much I spend on her.

          • I couldn’t afford to pay for my kids. They got financial aid and loans. Both started at community college. The one that was bouncy, deals with depression from the family crap, and couldn’t commit to see things through but he wanted to try, I’d spent lots of money on things he dropped. My agreement was that he pay for his classes since he’d saved quite a bit and if he passed and showed me the grade , I’d give him half back and he could ask his dad for half if he wanted. The pandemic hit just at the end. He said he passed but I didn’t see that info. He occasionally talks about going back since his work will cover it. I don’t care if he does or not as long as he’s happy and legally productive. I just say it may open more opportunity.
            I couldn’t afford but the ex could fully fund it all. He’d be resentful and hold it over them forever which is another reason I’m glad it wasn’t brought up. I’ll give him credit for helping one go out of state briefly but the entire ordeal was NOT worth it. I had to go to the emergency room with severe stress hives over that and he thinks he’s God for doing that much. I paid way more than he did for that with a little money I inherited. I would never hold it one their head. The kids know the real deal and who can be counted on even for a listening ear. One still has minimal contact I think but I don’t ask. The other did a name change and in nc.

  • If I had a dime for every time a friend of mine didn’t get money from The divorced parent who promised to pay for college because they had taken their college money and bought a boat, i’d probably be living in a bigger house by now. If your husband is going to spend your money and your retirement, they’ll spend your kids’ money too. And if I understand things correctly, there is no legal recourse for children to sue their parents for not paying the college they promised them.

    I understand your therapist is trying to help you emotionally, but really listen to your attorney to get your fair share.

  • Scorched earth going to give you different advice. Everyone says get what you’re entitled to take back your power etc. It feels good to say and do.
    But there are practical matters and you need a lawyer yo ensure you have full awareness of the cost benefit so you can make an informed decision. For example if a lawyer says you’re leaving half a mil on the table fight for what’s yours do it ! If on the other hand it will cost you $100k in lawyers fees and an extra two years of stress to recover an additional $100k even though it’s not fair or right and he deserves to pay it may be best for your total well being to take what’s offered and go. I don’t know. But you have to think about the outcome for you in each scenario (financial cost, mental health and self respect benefits as well as stress of prolonged disputes that don’t allow for NC) and evaluate what’s best for you as a total picture.

    You’re mediating and then getting advice from counsel before commenting on anything so it seems you don’t need advice you’re already handling things correctly!

    That said would consider a new therapist. They should not be giving financial advice and they do not have access to your bank account and do not have the knowledge or credibility to make any financial recommendations. Totally unprofessional and arrogant to do so and seems it’s already deteriorating your confidence and mental health rather than improving it as is therapists job. I’d fire them!

    Good luck!

    • This is good advice. I gave up more money likely to be awarded in a trial during a pre-trial settlement hearing with a retired judge. It would have taken another year of my life and an additional $25k to try the case with my lawyer. I wanted to be done and be able to move on and it was worth it to me and my mental health to be free and clear.

    • The latter way mentioned here was the way I went. I didn’t get everything that I could have demanded. I offered him a very fair divorce agreement (when I could have asked for much, much, much more) because (1) I’m a coward that hates conflict but, more the point, (2) I just wanted it to be OVER. I didn’t want years of lawyers; I couldn’t afford years of lawyers (single mom with two babies in diapers)! I was using my mother’s money just to have this lawyer draft up an official divorce agreement. And also, (3) I didn’t want him to turn me (in his estimation) from an obstacle to an enemy. Not that I cared what he thought of me, mind you, I just didn’t want to live the rest of my life in fear of him.

      For me, I offered him an *extremely* fair divorce agreement and he skipped off into the sunset with his Wifetress and more money than he deserved while I struggled (and still struggle) financially for years.

      I don’t regret a thing. Offering him the “just take it and go” settlement did so much for my peace of mind because he did just that: took the deal and left.

      But that’s just me. Everyone else has to do what is right for them.

    • Yes, my attorney was very good at bringing up the cost-benefit analysis. He was comparatively expensive, but was careful with his time and gave me ballpark estimates for each step. He also told me exactly where and why he’d delegate to be efficient and save me money.

      In the initial 30-minute interview, I asked what were the characteristics of an ideal client in his experience. He liked that question and said that people rarely asked that. He said he liked clients who had reasonable expectations and wouldn’t waste time and money fighting for things that defy the law and logic. He said that if I wanted him to fight for 100% of my ex’s pension, he was not the lawyer for me because it would be highly unusual for a judge to award that and because arguing to take away my ex’s pension entirely was unfair. If I wanted to start with what a judge would award plus some other reasonable things that could be negotiated, it would work.

      He had many stories about how parents who promised to help pay for college didn’t. He said that the courts don’t always upload that sort of thing either because parents aren’t required to pay for college at all. His advice to me at the beginning was to put it in as a bargaining chip. My ex made it so convoluted that we did indeed take it out though. My attorney said to tell my ex how to contribute to their schooling by paying their college directly if he wanted to do that as part of his “fatherly” responsibilities. Never happened, which told me how truly motivated my ex was to help with that.

    • “That said would consider a new therapist. They should not be giving financial advice and they do not have access to your bank account and do not have the knowledge or credibility to make any financial recommendations. Totally unprofessional and arrogant to do so and seems it’s already deteriorating your confidence and mental health rather than improving it as is therapists job. I’d fire them!”

      Agree. And I don’t like the “take him down” idea. That just makes the cheater central rather than focusing on untangling financially and legally from him.

  • Cheaters will never, ever be happy with any settlement.
    Find what they don’t want to lose and use it for leverage. Sounds like that airplane and his social prestige. “Help” him save those by getting other assets that are more valuable to you and kids.
    My wife wanted to protect her government pension, so I made sure to go after that in settlement proposal. She was apoplectic. Calling me a leech, etc. (I had always out earned her in employment, put $80,000 in kids college fund, paid the mortgage and set up an annuity plan) Her retirement was a great lever to get her to settle. In the end, the settlement was 50/50 across the board. The forensic account calculated the value of her retirement and it was deducted from the home equity. She signed a quit claim. Done! If I had not realized her soft spot we might still be arguing.

    • That was the one thing I protected in divorce, my retirement money. It helped me that he wanted to protect his, too. As you say–leverage.

  • When I first started the divorce rodeo it was “we don’t need to give all our money to the blood sucking lawyers, we can do this easily ourselves.”

    I went into the first hearing on my own. He had a lawyer. After 19 years of marriage and giving up my career to support him and living in a remote area with very little job opportunity – I wasn’t given alimony.

    I finally got a lawyer, but had difficulties when the really good lawyer I had a medical emergency right before our first mediation hearing and I had to substitute with a less than ideal replacement at the last moment.

    In the end the X got away with a crap ton of shit. I didn’t get near what I was owed from all the marital money that was spend on his ‘toys’. I know he hid assets from me. But in the end I did get 1/2 of the property and 1/2 the retirement accounts. And he ended up paying 3 times as much in child support than what he had originally ‘generously’ offered me.

    Hang in there. Get a good lawyer to work for you. You can do this.

  • Hello Scorch! Glad to know you found your way to Chump Nation and please listen to those who’ve walked this path before you. My STBX and I had a settlement conference last year (somewhere between mediation and a trial, overseen by a retired judge) and in a shaking voice he recounted how his grandfather and his father worked so hard to create a better life for STBX and his sister. He is smart enough not to add that I didn’t deserve a penny of it. I’m not sure if the others realized that the shaky voice was not emotion but anger. I made a significant financial concession just to get things over with but after some ‘reflection’ he backed out and has opted to go to trial, thinking that he’ll be able to put me on the street without a penny. Good luck to him! Any concessions on my part are now off the table and I’m asking he pay all my expenses too.

    By the way, that small plane is costing a lot – annual inspections, insurance, parking fees, landing fees, fuel, etc. all add up. That should free up a fair bit of cash when it’s sold!

  • Be sure you get your half if not for you for your children. He promises to pay for their college but you should already know how good hi promises are! He promised to be faithful. ????????????

  • I read somewhere during my divorce…… to look at it this way:

    Take a stack of post it notes. Pull off a section at the top which represents what the attorneys will get. Now, split what is left into two parts. One of these will be yours – one will be his. In it’s simplest terms – this is what will happen. Your goal is to make sure that last split is about 50/50 or as close to it as you can get. You don’t want to walk away from the table with just a few pages of the post it note stack because you didn’t do your part to champion for yourself. And you know he wants the entire stack – he will take as much of that stack as you are willing to leave behind.

    There is no other money or assets to fight for as there might be in other types of legal cases. No new post it notes to add.

    I don’t know if this image will help anyone, but I found it very helpful.

    • Yes, my attorney did something very similar on several legal pads early on. He marked what was legally each of ours and then what else reasonably went on each side. I numbered what was reasonable for me in order. Then he made a copy for me. From those notes, he wrote a reasonable agreement which I signed. He sent that to my ex with a letter that he was taking over the negotiations.

      That was a really efficient way of handling things, and I knew immediately what I was willing to give up and what I was not willing to give up.

  • I wanted out so badly that I agreed to mediation with his best friend’s wife (she was a legal mediator).

    Wised up a little when it looked like she was not being fair and siding with him.

    Got a lawyer and told her I didn’t want a bulldog-I just wanted out.

    Figured out after that-I needed a stronger lawyer since I decided to not walk away from all assets and fight.

    It took me 3 years-but I got half of everything-and CL is right-you’re probably due way more than you think.

    I would have regretted not demanding my share-I’m soooo glad I fought for it-it was both mentally and financially worth it.

    Good luck and keep your eye on the prize that you are owed.

  • First off laws could be changed to help protect those in a divorce from abusive cheaters . Each state has its own rules on divorce. Im not a lawyer but in my situation I left an abusive controller first husband after 10 and left him property with a home and rental. I was young afraid and escaping , lousy lawyers and lack of money left me with nothing but freedom from abuse and I was ok with that but a judge sees a home of children as a stable place and it can be used to effect custody. Second divorce after over 20 years , ex had forced me off bank account (he was high wage earning) I was on SSD having been injured , little money to even retain an attorney , coming away from a serial cheater who Was getting violent. I made up a list for division of property and other assets were split down the middle .Except the bank account funds. I rightly should have got maintenance benifits long term and there is a difference on those and alimony even on taxes I was to learn at that time. Depending on ages it can effect SS if there is an age difference on when one can get benifits from ex if they were married 10 or more years. Did I loose money , yes , but gained freedom from an abusive cheater and that was worth it for me. I suggest doing research to know rules of divorce and so you have knowledge to elements of divorce.

  • This blog post should be in the “featured” section on the home page. This is important advice not just about getting a lawyer in order end a marriage with a fair distribution of assets. It’s about how twisted things get when chumps get bad advice and/or don’t understand that divorce is not about PUNISHMENT of a cheater. It’s about getting free of a cheater and getting a fair division of marital assets. You don’t “take your power back” by taking away your STBXCheater’s toys; you get your power back by going to court to get that fair and equitable division of assets. You get your power back by not thinking about the fuckwit perspective (I’ve got toys!) but by thinking in cold financial terms: what is my rightful share of marital assets? What do I need to start over with my kids?

    I’m not at all sure that this therapist has any idea what they are talking about. It’s not about “taking away the airplane” to “take [Cheater] down.” It’s about saying, “Half of that money is mine, so pony up my shoe of what you used to buy the plane.” The last thing you want is a therapist that is focused on the cheater–bringing him down, getting revenge, etc. That’s just staying enmeshed in the abuse.

    Get a badass lawyer. Get your share of the money. And then stop carrying about what he has and what he does.

  • I am no expert but getting a lawyer and filing for divorce making the date FW walked out the official separation date as soon as possible was the best decision I’ve ever made. It still took a while because FW dragged his feet the whole way, but it prevented him from doing more financial damage knowing that someone was watching. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pay my attorney but I took a loan and was able to pay it off easily after the divorce went through.

    It also helped me shift the mindset from FW generously “giving me half” to taking what’s rightfully mine, thank you very much.

    • Yes. Getting legally separated asap is key. After that the dick was PAYING ME WITH MY OWN MONEY for another year and a half until divorce was final. He controlled all the assets until then and I was at his mercy……spousal support during that time was less than half of the amount of alimony the court decided, and add half of the pension on top of that. The only reason he didn’t drag it out longer…( why not he was saving 5k a month by stalling) was the latest OW( now wife) wanted get married. They’re both cheaters.

  • Oh yes, the FW and financials. I am right in the middle of this one now. The cheating FW thought he should get most the assets-WRONG! My pit bull attorney and I got a forensic accountant and a PI on board and we decided not to be fair. FW spent $$$$ on his hooker habit and his current Schmoopie. I am going scorched wallet on that one. He lied on several things, tried to move and hide money (accountant found that) and even tried to take loans out to gain and hide money. Fortunately, that failed for him. Liars are going to keep lying and playing dirty. There is no sense of fairness here. He has of late tried to suggest mediation and has even tried agreements. My lawyer and the accountant are reviewing and when he comes to something acceptable we may move on it. Right now he realized he is in a fault based state where we can clearly show fault and is starting to face the fact that this would go on record. I am sure he will not want to face the music in front of a judge and have the world know what he did. I know it will be worth every penny I have spent! He tried to screw me and our son and this mama is not going to let that happen. FW is going to see consequences of being a cheater, a liar and everything else. I did not work through our entire marriage to come out with less than what I should have. He is scrambling now before it goes to court, happily that date is on a Tuesday!

  • I never started out “ scorched earth “
    When he packed to leave he told me to keep everything in the house all he wanted was £30,000 in cash ( which he assumed was his half of the equity of the house )

    But I went to a lawyer then he replied he now wanted £45,000 in cash since he was letting me keep the contents of the house . Like we had £30,000 of contents ????
    He kept the car , he emptied the savings account and refused to give half back until I gave him his lump sum .

    I found out during divorce ( it cost me £3 to find it out) that he had bought a house with his AP months before he left me . Then I went “ scorched earth” on his ass .
    I owned my house before I met him so that was a premarital asset . I also owned half of his half of his house with sparkle whore !! He never once thought I’d find out .

    He thought I’d just buckle as always and give him what ever he wanted . I had done that for 19 years so of course I was going to accept what he told me
    He was WRONG I fought for every single penny he must have got a shock when he was offered just over half of his demand . I could prove the lot he didn’t have a leg to stand on .
    His escape with sparkle took a big hit money wise that day . Still makes me smile .

    Fight chumps for every penny . As CL says some money isn’t worth it but if you can fight them do not accept what they tell you as they are proven liars and cheats

    • ” I also owned half of his half of his house with sparkle whore !! He never once thought I’d find out .”

      I love that.

      Yes, I agree fight for what is owned to you; and don’t take their word for what that is.

  • Someone probably already said it above, but document. Everything. Before he figures out you’re seeing a lawyer. Every paper and digital file you can get your hands on, before he thinks to hide it.
    I should have done it the minute I thought my ex was cheating. Instead I kept going to work and leaving him home with all the records so he could scrub them clean.
    Get a little solid state external hard drive and copy everything there, then make another copy on a Google cloud drive that he can’t find and take away. Good luck.

    • Yes – I am. I prepared and filed our taxes so I have information about most everything. Don’t know what he spent each month on his credit card. Need to get the airplane appraised. He has gone ballistic “think I am going to pass out” when I suggested getting it appraised which makes me think that I should definitely get it appraised. I have looked up comps on trade-a-plane. Thanks for the advice.

      • Stop “suggesting” things to him, or even communicating your actual thoughts and actions to him. He is not your partner, friend, or confidante. Stop worrying about what is “fair”, or what he thinks is fair. The law, your lawyers, and the judge will determine that. Your forensic accountant needs to do a deep dive on him.

      • You need to go as NC as possible. Don’t let the FW know what you are doing or planning. Get the app if you have kids. Anything else goes thru the attorney. Trust me, these FWs will hate going thru the attorney and him not knowing what is going to happen will give him a nice dose of anxiety. Always remember he is NOT your friend. He will use anything he can to take more, spend more and screw you over.

        • Taunting this fuckwit makes as much sense as taunting a thief who snatched your purse. Stay quiet, run like your hair’s on fire and get the law involved asap.

      • You probably don’t even know of all his credit cards, bank accounts, or investments.
        Get a full credit report. You can do it online for $20.
        Mind you, if he has hidden money offshore, that won’t show and you’ll need a forensic accountant to go through every transaction to find suspicious transfers and withdrawals. He’s the kind of guy who would hide money.

      • Yes, please quit showing your cards. It only gives him opportunity to prepare. Be boring and blank. He should know NOTHING of what is in your mind. Nothing. I am happy to hear you are moving on this!

  • Glad you have a therapist. Next a very capable lawyer right away. Often this site recommends visit several of the best so he cannot use them. A lawyer can help you get a good settlement for you and your kids.
    Divorcing an abusive FW tough but life is so much better once you are done! My entitled cheater x had strong opinions on what I should/would not get. He was wrong.

  • This topic triggers so many memories. I married a second time in my late 50’s. Good job, had savings, and pension. Married a wealthy person. He talked me out of a pre-nup.

    He was retired; I was close to retirement.

    When I left suddenly one Sunday, I got a quick education in MARITAL ASSETS. I thought I was safe because we weren’t in a community property state.

    It was only when I got vicious and attacked him personally in the divorce process that he backed off most of the marital assets. He wanted to be so reasonable but being reasonable meant he had 45% of everything I had worked for in my life. He was taking away my children’s inheritance; my ability to raise a granddaughter properly and to care for a disabled adult child.

      • Oh goodness that is horrible.

        I hope you got most of your stuff back.

        We did a prenup where we both kept our retirement accounts, but all that was earned in the marriage was both our property. Plus all that was in our non retirement savings became the property of both of us. Savings accounts, checking accounts things like that.

        He had a lot more than I did, but he still wanted to do it that way. I worked for ten years longer than he did, (he is ten years older) so I built up an equal share of the savings after the marriage. So we are ok with it.

        We also both set aside an inheritance for our kids.

    • Sorry that happened to you. It sounds like you fought off the creep and won. Yay!

      Having a pre-nup is the most important step to take if you have your own assets. Anything can happen once you say I do.

  • Scorched Chump, please rethink the therapist. For her to tell you “it might be good for my soul to walk away with less money in order to make sure my abusive cheating husband does not walk away with his toys intact” is appalling. She is definitely trying to support you but clearly knows nothing about divorce negotiations. You’ve just started seeing her so not a real loss there.
    Your letter read like my situation, until I got to the airplane. You have assets. The attorney will have you fill out forms that list all assets, & your STBX will fill out his forms separately. That determines what will be divided. Before I saw an attorney, it was easy for me to total up all assets, take away inherited assets, divide the result in two, & figure out if that would give me enough cash to put a down payment on a smaller house, and leave enough for retirement. I also looked at SS earnings since we were both so close to retirement & the estimate was that he would be getting twice as much as me from SSA. That really gave me the impetus to fight for closer to a 60/40 split rather than the 50/50 my state requires. Remember it is equitable assets, not 50% of each asset. So it’s probably easier to value the airplane, and get that amount in cash, or from part of his 401k, or the cash left from the home sale.
    It’d be helpful for you to know all your assets prior to meeting with the attorney. A good attorney will be able to tell you how to find hidden assets & will write a clause for getting those in total if not disclosed prior to the settlement.
    Scorched earth didn’t make sense in my situation because we only had so much money & other assets to divide. He wasn’t employed to capacity, I made more than him at that point, & my attorney even worked out how much I’d have to pay him in spousal support due to long term marriage (it was less than $150/month- well worth getting rid of him) if he was a dick & asked for it.
    I was lucky to work with an abuse group who did a “court watch,” & assisted people like me with someone to have with them at court. A result was that they noticed who the attorneys were that truly fought for abused women’s financial rights & were able to finalize divorce cases. That probably helped the most & kept costs down. I did a flat fee & it was kept right under $3000 but I had all grown children. The “Super lawyer” in my area was well known for being a b***h to abused women, sorry Tracy.
    Be realistic, rather than trying to burn STBX. Fight for a good life for you & your kids, based on the money that you have to split.
    Good luck.

    • Yeah, the therapist needs to stay in her lane. She’s not qualified to dispense legal advice.

      I know a woman who does the kind of work with abused women you’re talking about for a living. She helps them navigate divorcing the disordered and going through the legal system in general. She charges a zillion times less than a therapist or a lawyer and works harder and more effectively than either. She’s a massively screwed up person herself, lifelong CPTSD, former prostitute and drug addict, has assaulted police and johns who mistreated her and done jail time, and her dedication to this work knows no bounds.
      Sometimes angels really do have dirty faces.

  • Why take legal advice from your therapist?

    No more mediator, get a lawyer.

    Don’t tell him or ask him.

    Document everything.

    Stop thinking revenge. Start thinking building your new, best life. Protect your minor children.

    I divorced a covert narc, financial and emotional abuse. He dragged the divorce out through unreasonable demands, firing lawyers, but it eventually happened and it was fair. He screwed me by paying me all the back maintenance in one big chunk, so my taxes sucked one year. But so what? I’m single and living my best life.

  • This FW is bleeding your marriage of all assets as fast as he can, and the only way you can stop the bleed is divorce. Get an attorney NOW.

  • I can’t speak to the therapeutic value of getting the short end of the stick to somehow regain your power (sounds a little counter intuitive to me)…but no matter what route you go, you should get HALF (at least)! If he’s offering a cash buy out that’s worth more than half of all combined marital assets, and you and a financial advisor (and/or attorney) think that this is a good short and long-term deal for you (in that you can invest that cash into greater gains), then I would take it and run.

    So what, he keeps his stupid plane?! Get your cut and run far away. Let him play Mr. Douche Bag Unemployed Plane Owner. Check the F out of that life and rip up all your tickets for that show. Better days ahead. Don’t worry, he’ll fuck things all up again in his stupid “new life,” so it’s better that you get what you can while you can. If you drag this out and force the sale of all these assets and toys, by the time that actually happens…who knows what will be left? Maybe he crashes that plane. Maybe his friend’s business goes belly up. A chuck of cash now may be the best way forward, financially and emotionally.

    Also, you can have an attorney while in mediation. I did both. I played nice in mediation to avoid major court costs and battles while also quietly consulting my attorney on the side for guidance and advice…knowing that if necessary I would blow it all up and proceed with hard legal action. At one point, I had to have my attorney send him some threatening legal letters, but we avoided court and ultimately I got a fair cut of our stuff. So yea, protect yourself, even if it’s done quietly.

    Best of luck. This part sucks, but once it’s all done and everything’s settled, signed, and delivered…things got ALOT better. IMO getting to that place as quickly as possible is worth a lot more than holding his feet to the fire over a stupid plane, on principal. You could spend years stuck in limbo and anguish arguing over his plane, racking up court costs, or you can spend those years rebuilding your life on your terms doing things you love.

    • Thanks NotANiceChump – I did the math and hope to have an agreement that gives me a little more than half of the marital assets in cash – and lets him keep his crappy old airplane, old cameras, old motorcycles, and old boats. Talking to two attorneys tomorrow and will run the agreement by them to see what their opinion is and to interview them in case the mediation is a bad deal in their opinion, or if cheater decides Valentine’s Day is not a good day to sign a marital separation agreement.

      Hopefully the lawyers tell me to take the deal, cheater signs and I can move on to figuring out how to keep him from damaging the kids any further.

      • Smart move, IMO. Your energy is far better spent supporting your kids. I ended up conceding alot in my divorce, and I don’t regret it. I got the things that mattered and more importantly I got my freedom and the ability to make unilateral choices for my kid–meaning without him hovering over us. Our life got so much better. My daughter and I felt so free. I remember one night we went out to dinner on a whim and then went to a place to paint pottery after–the exact kind of thing that would be a problem for him for a million little reasons. We had the best time doing this very simple thing without dealing with the 12 rounds of assholery that would have awaited us at home had he been there. It was amazing. I wish all of this for you.

  • “Avoid mediation with the disordered.”

    OMG, this ^

    My ex (liar, cheater, manipulator, keeper of secrets) wanted us to use one attorney. No way in hell would I agree to that. He would have found a way to gain advantage and make it sound like he was doing me a big favor.

    Now is the time to keep your cards close to your chest about hiring your own attorney and anything you may discuss with him or her. You are on opposite sides now, and you MUST let the attorney be an ADVOCATE for you and your best interests!

    • “My ex (liar, cheater, manipulator, keeper of secrets) wanted us to use one attorney. No way in hell would I agree to that. He would have found a way to gain advantage and make it sound like he was doing me a big favor.”

      Same with mine. Asshole had it all set up to screw me right into poverty.

      Yeah, no thanks.

  • My FW claimed he wanted amicable and fast. He sent me a division of assets… claimed all sorts of stuff was his own, but he’d split other assets that he considered his sole and separate property (gifts his mother gave us, huge sums of money.) He claimed I wouldn’t need temporary orders of support, just “pay for stuff out of our checking account.”

    Then I had major surgery. He opened a solo bank account, transferred tens of thousands of dollars into it and as I was being wheeled into surgery, tried to make his solo bank account the only electronic pathway from our investment accounts. He had written down all of my passwords. I had changed them after I kicked his prostitute seeking a$$ out.

    My attorney is not great. She’s taken close to $70k from me. I accepted a lump sum in mediation because Dr Feelgood was in a crash course to losing his medical license—hookers at work, drugs and booze can interfere with patient care. Little did I know, he was also expecting numerous lawsuits relating to his prior medical practice. He’d used the 9 months since I’d filed to set up LLC’s and squirrel assets away from creditors. My attorney did nothing.

    Now, 9 months post-mediation, nothing is signed and he is demanding a trial. My attorney has yet to file any sort of a response. She’s probably pissed because I’m running low on funds—no orders of support—and she’s tired of the case.

    Get a good attorney. Get what is rightfully yours.

    • Holy crap. Klootzak set up an LLC. Said he “needed” it for any independent contract work he was doing on the side if his regular employment. I need to figure out if he transferred any assets into it. Good thing you mentioned this; a light bulb just went off. I have been keeping an eye on everything but who knows… worth checking out. Thank you for bringing this up!

  • Here’s a trick CL often recommends for those tryong to unicorn path

    He says “let me have this and I’ll give you more moneuater, and pay for college”

    You aay “great! I’ll get my lawyer to put that it the legal document you sign that means I can send said kawyer adter you of you don’t”

    You’ll quickly see how sincere he is about that

    Spoiler: he’s not. He’s trying to screw you. Get a hardass lawyer, stop interacting with him, and document everything you do and he doesn’t do, and every penny that turns up missing

    Best of luck! He sounds like a truly awful attempt at a human being x

  • The problem with lawyers is they cost money. When I went through this shit, FW brought in all the money, so he controlled it – he simply stopped direct deposits in our joint account. That left me with credit cards to pay for a lawyer, but lawyers don’t take credit cards. It’s also hard to find a good one outside of urban areas. I was living on a peninsula, so the pickings were slim. I got a small personal loan and ended up wasting it on a gabby do-nothing lawyer. Lastly, few people seem to know what constitutes a “good” lawyer. How the hell do you know who is good?! I know the superlawyers website, but no one in my area (at the time) was on it. It’s way too easy to be manipulated into a corner and have no way out. I wish more people in the legal system understood this and offered some way for victims to protect themselves without having to provide an impossible up-front retainer.

    • Exactly chumpQueen! If ex has taken control over money and you live rural lawyers are few and many are pathetic and one has no ability to procure a big retainer fee. This is a direct route to divorce disaster ! I tried to learn the rules on divorce and go the cheap route but ex wasn’t going to agree amicably SO I spent every dime I had on a flunky attorney. Thank God for his legal assistant who should have Been the attorney , because old lawyer forgot or would not fight for my rights . I studied and reminded lawyer what to do but even then he flubbed. You see movies how the family attorney rushes in at drop of a hat, something I dreamed of ha! It would be nice if a service was in place to help those with exits from abuse and recovery. The therapists only prolonged the agony and exit and sucked money.

    • Every service is rated now. You can check what past clients have to say. I got an affordable lawyer. I checked him out on the internet and I called up and asked other lawyers about him. He had a crappy little hole in the wall office in a one man firm with one legal assistant. But he was a fighter. The other thing is that you need to be super assertive in advocating for yourself with the lawyer if you aren’t getting what you need. If they still do nothing, fire the clown and demand your retainer back.
      My brother recently had to do this with the lawyer handling my late mother’s estate, a lawyer we’d had no part in choosing. She sat on it and did nothing, but a threat to fire her and report her to the firm’s partners got her ass in gear fast.

      Your story illustrates why chumps need to squirrel money away in a separate account unknown to the fw, before the fw even knows what’s going on. What a bastard your ex is! That must have been tough.

  • Scorch chump. I went “scorched earth”, as you put it, and got all the assets. I certainly do not regret it. I’m delighted with it and it made losing my marriage much more bearable. Mind you, I don’t have minor kids with my fw. Are you saying your fw will sign away custody to you in return for less money? Forget about what he “promises” because his promise and a buck fifty nine will buy you a cup of coffee and that’s it. He’s a promise breaker, a law breaker, and a heart breaker. He’s going through your 401k? He can’t legally do that without your permission. That’s half yours. GET IT BACK. Get your equity in the marital home. You could tell him, through your lawyer, that you are willing to settle for just those two things, and not go after him for spousal and child support if he LEGALLY SIGNS AWAY his rights to the kids. Accept no promises. Accept only paperwork signed by a judge. You’re not entitled to any support because you worked for only three years? From the guy with a plane and a house in the Hamptons? WTF? Can’t be true. Ask a lawyer, not your abusive STBX, what you’re entitled to.
    This is madness, SC. Stop letting this nut job control you.

    I’m giving you a 2×4, and so is CL and so are the others, because you need to face the seriousness of this. He is not going to be fair or kind. Ever. The best thing for you, IMO, is to get away with your house, your 401k, and your kids, and none of you ever see this person again. He is that disturbed and it’s imperative that you escape. Don’t ever tell yourself the kids need their father. He is not a father. He is a psychopath and will only do them harm. I’m dead serious. This is the kind of person who is extremely dangerous.
    Face it. Integrate it into your consciousness. He. Is. Evil.

    I’m so sorry for your pain, SC, but this is how it is and the sooner you accept it, the sooner you’ll get past the pain. Godspeed to you in escaping this horror show.

  • I’m keen to share my story if it helps…

    I live outside the US and have for the past 20 yrs. In my country, it’s a strict 50/50 rule if you go to court – we are a “liberal” type of country. If you mediate, there are some creative things you can do. Therefore, I decided to mediate to see if I could get a slightly better deal. I have some regrets – going to court would have got rid of the FW sooner, BUT, my lawyer was worried that court would be emotionally bruising for me, given the extent of lying and manipulating my ex was involved with. Here’s an example: he told me to my face that he siphoned money from us for years to pay for his S&M sex toys and hooker habit. He said flat out to me that it was $400 to see a hooker. He’d been doing this for at least 15 years of our 25 year marriage. I found some paperwork after I kicked him out that appeared to be some small investment funds here and there I didn’t know about. I tried to get a forensic accountant, but the fees were at least $25k, and they told me quite plainly that they didn’t think I had enough evidence lying around to make it worth my while. I was thankful they didn’t just take my money.

    My lawyer said that, unfortunately in this country, judges simply don’t give too much of a shit if someone blew some of your cash on hookers and sex toys. She advised (as did another lawyer) that unless I had some real proof of the money he spent, and that it was pretty significant, I had no real case. My only “proof” was what he told me, and I had photos of the sex toys, which of course I could’ve gotten from anywhere. It appears that he did things like take a bit of cash out here and there while using his debit card – I could only catch him out if I had the receipts, which I course I didn’t because I never thought to look and he was always so messy and disorganised with his stuff I never would have found them any way.

    Fast forward to mediation, he sat across from us and lied and acted like a big victim. He pleaded that he “just needed to move on” and that he “feels guilty” and “it’s been so hard for him” blah blah blah. He lied, lied and then lied. I sat there and sucked it up. Because, ultimately none of his shit mattered. In this “no fault” country – no one gives a shit if you’ve been hard done by. Sooooo, we made our case that we wanted $100k in my favour, given the unauthorised stealing of me from the joint accounts. His lawyer said that if I didn’t have proof, then no deal. I put a dollar figure on the table, which was calculated on a 60/40 split, but I used child support as leverage. I have 3 years of child support coming to me, and he owes me about 10k in back support. But you know what? He was never, ever going to pay it on time. For the 2 years since I kicked him out, he has not given me one cent of support, and he’s done everything in his power to go through any process to try and not pay, or to get the amount lowered. I got told by the child support collector (tax dept) that they couldn’t get much from him and that if they could figure out where he worked they would garnish his wages. Long story short-I said if he gave me a good deal I would stop child support. He took this deal so fast! He only asked for a few things from the house and I said yes to all of them. If you add up the total package, I’m about $100k-150k ahead – about what he probably stole. I never would have got this deal in court – I would have been forced to sell the home, put a lien on his retirement savings and try and collect the measly child support if and when they could track him down to get it. The court process here doesn’t leave any room for negotiation – they really want people to settle in mediation if possible. I am definitely ahead because I get to buy the family home for less than my half and I get to keep my retirement, I don’t have to wait for his retirement and I don’t have to stress about child support any more. For me, this means that I don’t have to deal with him any more. I don’t have the stress of seeing whether the child support people managed to track him down and get money from him. He is not a father any way – he moved to another city and does sweet fuck all for his child.

    Every country is different – I love living here and I love the liberal attitudes but oh my god it is totally unfair here if someone else is actually at fault. This “no fault” system is brutal for those of us who have been royally fucked over.

    I think there is a balance to getting away from these assholes as soon as possible, and as far as possible but also fighting for what you deserve. I didn’t get what I deserved totally, but I got a bit more than half and I made it very clear that I don’t need him and his support. Any father worth their salt would have said, “but I want to support my child financially.” Enough said!

  • “Every country is different – I love living here and I love the liberal attitudes but oh my god it is totally unfair here if someone else is actually at fault. This “no fault” system is brutal for those of us who have been royally fucked over.”

    I so agree with you. No fault sucks! It’s just a way to streamline and save costs for the legal system, and not really to do with being liberal. That’s the bullshit they used to sell the idea, that it was about fairness. Fairness, my ass. It is not fair to leave the victim of a thief and a con artist with no legal recourse. If it was any other contract but marriage, you could sue them. Why should a marital contract be excluded? Argh! It pisses me off no end.

    • Totally OHFF,

      My lawyer told me a case she had in the past where the husband was making dirty videos with random women and selling them to pervs from their house. The wife discovered this because one day one of her children popped in a video and saw daddy having sex with a young woman. Now-here’s the kicker- in court, the judge was kind of like, “oh well, every one has their hobbies.” WTF? So my lawyer said that sometimes, judges will apply an “egregious behaviour” clause over a case and they’ll be more generous than 50/50. But, that didn’t hit the egregious! My lawyer didn’t think my case would either. You do wonder what in the fuck is egregious these days then? It so unfair and it pisses me off too. But I am sooooo damn glad I was able to come to an arrangement that I had some mandate over, even if it wasn’t entirely fair. Now the fuckwit has no ties to me!

  • I asked the FW to leave in Sept 2020, in the hope he wouldn’t. I filed for divorce in Nov 2020 in the hope he would ‘come to his senses’. I refused to meet with him when he asked in the hope that he would ‘run to me begging for forgiveness’ .

    I then put that that hopium pipe down.

    15 months later my divorce and settlement is just about to be finalised. I’m almost through that tunnel and I can see the light. Just paperwork to be signed and approved by a judge.

    I got a 72% share of it all. Did I want to ‘take him to the cleaners’…. My mum sure wanted me too, but I just wanted my 31 year financial investment. My solicitor had to eventually threaten litigation to get what is rightfully mine. Its cost me a pretty penny but its been worth it. I’m grateful that I have family who have been able to help me out financially because FW wanted to see me with nothing. This cost him his relationship with our 3 adult children, what a fool!

    I can see Tuesday… Its just right there!

    It’s been a terrible journey, one that I will NEVER endure again. I didn’t think I could do it but here I am and not just here but THRIVING, loving life. The strange and DDays are just the beginning it’s a tough and arduous journey but you get through it. Like a caterpillar into a butterfly ❤️

    Hugs to you all especially the newly chimed… You can do this. How do you eat an elephant? ONE BITE AT A TIME

      • Claire

        Thanks for your post, I too thought he would come to his senses and put the hopium pipe down after reading reality in LACGAL.

  • Since when is getting your fair share ‘taking someone down’ ?

    Sound like fear of a selfish manipulative tyrant to me

  • Scorched earth, sorry I’m a day late to this topic — that “build a life” aspect really worked and my days are full and happy at Meh.

    I fought the financial abuse. Went all the way to a 10-day trial when he tried to fuck me over (essentially offered me 5% of assets— 25 year marriage, Cp state- he earned 7x my income as I’d been a SAHM for 8 years mid marriage with 4 kids so my career suffered a huge set back). FW tried all kinds of evil fuckery pre-trial. Judge saw through him. At trial, judge awarded me 82% of EVERYTHING and said FW was still coming ahead with his future earnings. I got full custody to protect my kids, which was priceless especially in light of how devolved FW has become in the ensuing 7 years.

    Not one second of regret.

    You only get ONE chance to get your final judgment (either by stipulation or trial) unless something ultra extraordinary happens. Do not fuck yourself over at this juncture! Your future self will thank you for finally waking up and choosing YOU, which is never a bad investment. If you are awarded more than you need, give it to charity.

  • Make sure your lawyer is on your side and makes you feel confident about how they will help you. Bad lawyers make your case sound dire and like you need them but also like they can’t help you. Don’t be afraid of it. If you know friends who’ve had success and would recommend a caring lawyer try that. Also use my family wizard software for communications, do everything through that app and have a drop off at a public place where he can’t make a scene. Record everything in a notebook or through the my family wizard app. So sorry you’ve been through this sh*t. I feel for you!

  • Make sure your lawyer is on your side and makes you feel confident about how they will help you. Bad lawyers make your case sound dire and like you need them but also like they can’t help you. Don’t be afraid of it. If you know friends who’ve had success and would recommend a caring lawyer try that. Also use my family wizard software for communications, do everything through that app and have a drop off at a public place where he can’t make a scene. Record everything in a notebook or through the my family wizard app. So sorry you’ve been through all this. It will be better one day.

  • I was a stay at home mom 37 years , during that time he would say he worked so it was his money even though I told him it was our money. Marital money , I would ask him how he was spending our money he would tell me it’s none of my business , I told him it was He would say he was covering the bills that’s all I needed to know he would lie to me about how much he got paid each week ,He told me once if I wanted to leave he”d give me 1,000 thousand dollars a month that I could rent a room in a house and then get a job to support my self I look at him and said. No thanks Why would I do that when I have a home that’s paid off , I own half of it Which he argued with me saying he own the whole home , I told him he was wrong, He’s been wrong about a lot of things , which I find writing things down , keeping notes is helpful , Heaven forbid if I needed extra money for something he made it out like I was robbing a bank or something, and if he happen to give me the money. I wouldn’t hear the end of it . He would bring it up the next time kids needed shoes or something When it came to me and the kids money was tight. For him it was like he was rolling in dough. For now we’re separated, I worry about the financial part I don’t work I’m on disability , being a stay at home mom so many years I don’t get much social security , I do get a little of his but all together it’s not enough to live on , which he knows and doesn’t care , working on my ducks, Good luck hope you get all that you deserve and more

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