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So what happened is this:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

X was trying to get large chunks of cash from me in the divorce settlement. But the only possible source for that would have been the condo I live in (whose down payment & mortgage payments I've paid without a single penny from him), & it's been shown to be significantly underwater at present. There's no other money; my very thorough discovery paperwork proves that.

On the other hand, there is significant marital debt, which X was largely responsible for running up but on which he has not paid a penny. I'm paying down these credit cards myself. In the meantime, since he moved out he has accumulated nearly $17,000 in credit card debt on his own new cards. In just over a year & a half. Uh-huh.

So he nevertheless proposed a settlement that would involve a significant payout from me beyond the token amount that Illinois law would award him from the retirement $$ I managed to save during the marriage, plus my retaining all the marital debt.

We responded with a generous offer: I do retain all the marital debt (which is shrinking), while he retains his personal debt (which is ballooning), & he gets the token retirement $$ &, when I retire, half of my pension $$ that accumulated during the marriage (this is also required under IL law). And that's it.

We really didn't expect him to say yes--but apparently his lawyer persuaded him that this was the best deal he would get. It means we don't have to go to trial (the initial trial-court date was coming up on March 27, & I was really dreading it, though my Lenten "don't worry" practice has really helped). It means that we don't have to waste $2,000 or so each paying our lawyers to fight over nothing. And it means that I can wash my hands of this very, very damaged person. (If he had been assigned any of the marital debt & then stopped paying on it, the banks would still have been able to come after me, & then I'd have had to go to court to get it straightened out.)

It's not fair & just, but it's the best possible solution for a very nasty situation. Some friends are going to organize a "We Love Ruth" party with live music to express their solidarity & raise a little $$ to help with my legal fees. And in the meantime, tonight I poured two little glasses of delicious tawny port so that my housemate & I could raise a toast to my impending freedom.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Sooo glad you can be done with this and move on! It's not fair by any means, but how sweet of your friends to have an "We love Ruth" party! AMAZING friends!
    1987 days ago
    Oh Ruthie Alleluia! So happy for you!
    2006 days ago
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    2006 days ago
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    Sucks that you even have to give him a penny, but it does sound like a victory to me! emoticon
    2007 days ago
    Yay for freedom! Yay for an end to all of this drama! I applaud you, Ruth, for keeping sane during all of this strife.. you are truly amazing and inspirational!!

    2007 days ago
    I'm so glad this is finally over for you!! I know that this has been a difficult time for you and I hope that you have some peace with the resolution, even if it isn't totally fair/just. Since I'm too far away to join the "We Love Ruth" party, please have a drink for me!! ENJOY your freedom!
    2007 days ago
    I also want to go to this "We love Ruth party"! I'm so glad that this all worked out... I know you still have a giant pile of to-dos left from him, but I'm glad it's all gone and settled.
    2007 days ago
    Sending you emoticon that this nightmare is over for you!
    2007 days ago
  • BUSYMOM911
    Sorry for your situation, but glad the end is near.

    My sister had the same thing.

    Half of her retirement went to her ex, too. (he got to keep his dairy cows with debt. Right after things were final, he sold it all and got that money.) She paid all the credit cards that had joint names, just to keep her name clear. Thank God that the Discover card was only in his name. He actually charged a pickup truck. Just brought it home one day. What lack of communication.

    Wish I could snap my fingers for you and make it all better. It's great that you are getting a lot of support. Have fun at your ;Ruth' party! You deserve it.

    2007 days ago
    A light at the end of the tunnel.
    2007 days ago
    Hey...wait a second...I love Ruth, too! I wanna come! =)

    I think it sounds like the best solution for you. I like the idea of you taking the marital debt, actually, because you don't have to have his irresponsibility hanging over your head.

    Hate the retirement split, but I guess that wasn't negotiable. I hope you don't have to do anything else to make sure he gets that part of the pension. I hope that is someone else's problem.

    And I am super-glad and super-grateful that you had such good representation! Hooray for an excellent attorney! emoticon
    2007 days ago
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