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.