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  #1  
Old 10/09/09, 04:51 PM
AR Cattails's Avatar  
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Location: NE Arkansas
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What Should I Expect From My Divorce

My husband left me about 4 months ago. We will have been married 25 years this December 29th. He told me divorce was not on the horizon anytime in the near future. He said he would support me and, except for a 3 week period in which I received nothing, he has done very well sending me most if not all of his paycheck. The only problem with that is that his paychecks are now about half of what they use to be. He told me he would keep me on his group insurance at work.

Yesterday he called and said he's ready to move on and wants to start the divorce process. He says he wants to keep it peaceful so he can remember the "good times" we had. This is about the first nice thing he has said to me since he called and said he wasn't coming home to me anymore. He has thrown out many accusations against me as to why this is all my fault and actually believes he has done no wrong. During all the begging I did trying to get him to come back to me he even told me that if he hadn't left when he did or if he came back to me like I was wanting him to, that we would have made the news because he would have killed me and then himself.

So I have been looking for work which has been a disaster. No one wants a 51-year-old, very overweight woman, who hasn't worked in 25 years. It was both our decision that I be a sahm. So I'm scared beyond scared about how I'm going to live. He wants to stop sending me support. He wants me to apply for disability, medicaid and food stamps. I don't want to have to do that. I want a job. I also asked about him keeping me on insurance and he now says "I don't know". I mentioned the 401K and he doesn't expect to get into that. I said how he would probably have to support me even into his SS retirement years because we were married for 25 years and he's only about 10 years away from retirement. Uh, no, he doesn't think so.

So I'm lost and very scared. I found a lawyer in the phone book that I will go consult with on Monday morning. Only $25 for the consultation. By being late paying the light bill I will be able to pay that. I have no money otherwise. I'm not even getting enough money every week to pay the bills so I don't know if I will be able to pay for a good lawyer and I'm afraid that my husband will run all over me and I will get nothing.

Does anyone know what a sahm, after a 25 year marriage and her husband up and leaving her can look forward to in the divorce process this day and time.

Oh, also husband has said that I can have the house (which is no good, ceiling has already fallen through in 3 rooms amongst other things) and the 5 2/3 acres and he also says he will pay off the remainder of the truck loan (about $6,900). He says he is getting a loan using his 401k as collateral. Now if our divorce gets difficult he may take back saying that and fight for half of it.

If anyone has read this far, I appreciate it and could use your advice. I honestly don't know what to do and what to expect. I never expected to be here at this stage of my life.

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  #2  
Old 10/09/09, 04:59 PM
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"His" 401K is "Your" 401K also. Don't let him do ANYTHING with the money.

Normally my advice is to try to work things out, but you need to protect yourself financially and physically first.

Get the lawyer pretty quickly.

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  #3  
Old 10/09/09, 05:06 PM
 
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To my knowledge half of his 401k belongs to you by law, and he cannot borrow against it without your signature. Do you own the house and land free and clear? Can it be sold? Can you put a trailer on it and move into it? Can you start a work from home business or job? Do you have any children or relatives that can help you out? Do you have a food stockpile? Your attorney will be able to tell you what you can expect.

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  #4  
Old 10/09/09, 05:11 PM
 
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Since he left you and wants the divorce, make him pay for your attorney as well. I left my first husband after 18 years. I wanted a divorce, because I was totally miserable living with him any longer. We had 15 rough years, and I just couldn't take it anymore. He signed the divorce, but I agreed to pay for it. Ask the lawyer about that on Monday. Also, don't agree to anything without discussing it with your attorney first and don't SIGN anything either. I would also discuss with the attorney that he wanted you to stay at home and he supported you for the past 25 years and that now you are looking for a job and can't find one. My thoughts and prayers will be with you during this difficult time in your life. Blessings, firegirl

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Old 10/09/09, 05:12 PM
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Yes..you need to speak and retain and attorney. If you cant afford one then call legal services and they can refer you to someone that does pro bono work or someone that does it very cheaply. You should not give up anything or move out until told so by your own attorney. And do not listen to his if he has one. His attorney is only out for your husband not you.

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  #6  
Old 10/09/09, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seedspreader View Post
"His" 401K is "Your" 401K also. Don't let him do ANYTHING with the money.

Normally my advice is to try to work things out, but you need to protect yourself financially and physically first.

Get the lawyer pretty quickly.
I'd like to second getting that lawyer asap. State divorce laws do vary and I am not informed of Arkansas laws but generally speaking after 25 years of marriage you should get half of everything you have accumulated during the marriage, plus alimony until you should re-marry. Of course you are free to negotiate other terms if you are so inclined. Insist he pays for your lawyer too since he's the one wanting the divorce.
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Old 10/09/09, 05:16 PM
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the Social Security - since you were married more than 10 years, you can file against his numbers and if more than yours - you get 1/2 (I think that's the amount) of what he gets. It has NO impact on his receiving his SS when time is right. (Unless government changes something between now and then).

He's telling you what he can to keep you down and away from his = YOUR's too, assets.

I hope your lawyer is very good, and you get strong - you may need the gumption or get ran over.

Angie

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  #8  
Old 10/09/09, 05:21 PM
 
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You will more then likely get half of everything and get alimony for a few years, at least until you can get on your feet. More then likely he will be forced to keep you on his insurance too. When you are old enought for social security, it will be based on his income because you were married to him more then 10 years. Check with some of your local job placement gov't agencies. They have training programs for women exactly in your situation. You can get through this, its just a bump in the road. Remember that the economy really sucks right now and getting into the work force might not happen right away. So if you need to use some type of assistance, just treat it as a temporary situation and realize the economy is taking its toll on everyone. I have a friend who has a lot of education, skills and experience who can not get a job and it does take awhile right now. I agree with the above poster, make sure you ask for attorney fees.

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  #9  
Old 10/09/09, 05:34 PM
 
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Make sure you keep that appointment with the lawyer!
The 401K money is half yours and you need to talk to the lawyer right away about how to stop him from borrowing on it.
I'm sorry you are going thru this, really I am. But you do have to protect yourself financially.

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  #10  
Old 10/09/09, 05:41 PM
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Could you work in a call center?? Can you walk a bit, and try to lose some weight? You will feel much better. Do you have a local community college that can train you for a job?? What about working with the elderly, like at the place that sets up the elderly in apts and gets them nursing care (Here it is county, "Agency on Aging")
Are you alone?? do you have an older son or daughter that can help you with some house repairs?
Can you sew? Alterations, or maybe even halloween costumes?
One year, a neighbor friend was having some tough times, and his wife made and sold buckeyes. She bought the little boxes fudge come in, used wax paper, and sold them for $6 a lb. Delish.
Another lady I used to work with when I worked at an insurance company used to make butter /sugar frosted cut out cookies, and sold them by the lb. She did them for holidays, initials and such for a wedding or birthday. Back then they were $6 a lb also, but thats a while back.
Are you good with people?? Do you prefer to be outdoors?? What about animals?
Can you volunteer someplace (Like a nursing home, or the SPCA), you will gain some experience and confidence, and meet people to network with for jobs.

Are the 5 acres fields?? Can you rent them out to a farmer to grow hay or corn, or for grazing?
Just trying to come up with some ideas.

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  #11  
Old 10/09/09, 05:48 PM
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Get that lawyer and stop being sentimental as of now. My brother went through this a few years ago with his wife of 32 years. He had to pay her lawyer and she gets half his 401K and SS. He would not fight because he "LOVED" her and wanted her back. She really took advantage of him and he would not listen to any of us. Now, a few years downthe road, he wishes he had. You are going to have to fight for what is yours. After 25 years of marriage, half of everything is yours.

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  #12  
Old 10/09/09, 05:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rose2005 View Post
I'm sorry this has happened, and will be praying that you find the right lawyer to help you.

From what I know from friends divorces, do not talk to him about it. Talk to you lawyer instead. Hope you can both come out of this with what you both need.

Rose
Rose has given you great advice. Let the lawyers handle it. As far as the 401k, half is yours. I have no advice, just be strong and don't let him upset you anymore. Good Luck.
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Old 10/09/09, 05:55 PM
 
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I would also recommend a restraining order to keep him from calling, writing or contacting you in any way, shape or form, or keep him from approaching you at home or in public. He sounds like he is potentially dangerous. All communication from him should go through your lawyer, at least until everything is settled, signed, and ordered.

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  #14  
Old 10/09/09, 05:57 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southern NH
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He can take a loan out of his 401k without your signature unless you are an owner (as opposed to a beneficiary). He would have to pay it back with the interest rate. If he defaults the loan counts as an early distribution and is subject to taxes to the IRS and usually a 10% early Withdrawal penalty. We did this from my husband's 401k and I NEVER SIGNED ANYTHING but we made the choice together. Since I'm not an owner of the 401k my signature is not needed. This would directly impact your taxes if he defaults on the loan depending on how you file for that year.

Sadly you cannot go through a divorce thinking "he would never do that" about anything. I've seen the nicest couples have the ugliest divorces and I would have bet money "he/she would never do that" and guess what....they did that or worse.

Hugs to you, I'm so sorry you will be going through this.

Sara

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  #15  
Old 10/09/09, 06:02 PM
 
Join Date: May 2008
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You might look and see if the state has a Displaced Homemaker Program for ladies just in your situation(or widowed). They provide money for learning a new trade. While you're going to school, start walking or something to take the weight off. Missouri used to have one, I haven't looked for in the last few years.....
I also suggest Legal services and listen to what they say. I had a friend who divorced a couple years ago and she seemed determined to give that so and so everything he wanted even if it left her and the kids with nothing. Your husband is trying to bluff you out of what's rightfully yours in the SS, child support and insurance. Make sure you talk to your lawyer about him paying for school if the state doesn't have a DHM program or if you just want to make him pay

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Old 10/09/09, 06:57 PM
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I don't have any legal advice, but I truly feel for you and will pray for you.

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  #17  
Old 10/09/09, 07:20 PM
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Hugs and Prayers, I am so sorry you are going through this. I second Rose, stop talking to him and start talking to a lawyer, like someone else said since he wants the divorce make him pay for YOUR lawyer as well as his own. My Grandmother was a sahm and my grandfather left her for a younger woman after 25 years of marriage, he paid her alimony until the day he died, literally, she outlived him by about a year, and that last year after he passed she got his entire SS (his new wife also got the full amount, neither effected the other one), so you aren't totally desolate, you legally own half of *everything* and will most likely get alimony as well. My friend just divorced after 20 years of marriage and she also got half of his pension (military).

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Old 10/09/09, 07:24 PM
 
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You've been given what I think is very good advice. I just wanted to give you a hug ((((AR Cattails)))). I'm so sorry you are going through this, and I hope you find the strength to stand your ground and do what you need to do to come out standing on the "other side." Please take care.

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  #19  
Old 10/09/09, 07:44 PM
 
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#1 -- Go see the lawyer. If you don't like him or her, find another. It's important that you "click" with your lawyer, because he or she is going to be the most important person in your life until the divorce is final.
#2 -- Stop listening to your husband. I'd bet you $1000 bucks that he's been to see a lawyer already. "He wants to keep it peaceful, so he can remember the good times we had." Bull. He wants to keep it peaceful so he can bully you in how you split up your stuff.

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  #20  
Old 10/09/09, 07:46 PM
 
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Location: ND close to the MonDak border
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It happened to me at 44, I was married for 24 years when the divorce was final--yep all my fault, I ruined his life, blah, blah, blah. You will get 1/2 of everything he has by law. Be sure you get spousal support and health insurance. In ND, it is unheard of to get spousal support, but I got it for 3 years, go for more if you can and I found out that if I would have had a clause to have him pay me $1 a month after the time for spousal support was done so I could have reopened the case and I would have gone for medical insurance. SSI helps, but meager living, I did it until I got a small inheritance from my mother which ended my SSI. From the man at the SS office--when you turn 62, bring in your marriage certificate and your divorce decree and you do get half of his SS unless you remarry. I haven't looked any further than that because I have 10 yrs to wait, so I don't know if waiting until I am 65 will make a difference in the amount I will get. I agree with the others, get the best lawyer you can afford--keep your head held high and remember that you held everything together for 25 years, a SAHM is a very important job often not seen as such, but it is very important. You can do this--don't be scared, fear is what might take you down. You don't realize how strong you are and what talents are hidden in you--YOU CAN DO IT!! Don't let the lies he will come up with intimidate you. OH by the way--my ex's divorce to the second wife is final today--hmm he left for the love of his life, the only woman in the world that understood him--okkk the woman that drilled holes in the hood of his car and smashed his windshield when he hid in the mens room in a convience store while the store clerk called the police? Or the love of his life who tried to burn down his mobile home and had 2 loaded guns waiting for him when he came home mmm, the love of his life who had to put in the psych ward time after time and rehab while she went back to her first husband that she married and divorce twice. She waited until she hit the 10 yr mark, he filed, but she is cleaning house on him. Poetic justice. Hold that head up!! oh and my ex has come to family meals and to my house-because we have children together and he puts them in a bad situation--I won't make my children chose between him and I, its not fair to them, so even if he has a new girlfriend, they can come to my home and my family's homes for hollidays and birthdays.

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Last edited by Carolyn; 10/09/09 at 07:49 PM. Reason: clarifying ex
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