Stash some cash to prep for divorce

            Posted on Jan 29, 2017 
 

Stash some cash to prep for divorce

Q

I suspected my husband was having an affair, so I hired a private eye who got photos of him and the newbie coming out of a bar, walking to a fancy hotel and immediately going up the elevator. I assume they’d already checked in, if you know what I meant.

When challenged, my husband fessed up. He said he’d break up with her and go with me to a marriage counselor.

But his break up didn’t last long. Neither did my patience. He doesn’t know I know about his resumption of extracurricular activities. So I have some time to do some divorce planning, but what should I do first?

A

Before walking down the divorce aisle, you need to build as large a stash of cash as reasonably possible. You’ll need money to pay basic necessities such as food, clothing, expenses for you and any children living with you, gas and repairs to your car, and so on, including legal fees.

Go to the bank which has your joint checking and savings accounts. Assuming your accounts let you write checks and withdraw savings, withdraw all the money from each joint account. Next, immediately deposit the money into a new saving and checking account in your name only.

Immediately keep as many receipts as possible. Also keep a reasonably detailed written list of your use of that money. That’s the best way to cut short a claim that you are hiding some of the money.

You need to do this because it can takes six to eight weeks between the time you filed for divorce and appearing in court to ask a judge to order your husband to pay alimony and child support. Besides, his bottom line doesn’t change. He’d still have had to pay alimony and support. Any money left at the time of divorce will be considered part of the marital estate.

Of course, I don’t know your husband. But even if you believe he’s basically a nice guy - who just happens to mess around – don’t take any chances. If you don’t follow this advice, your husband could try to starve you out to put pressure on you to settle for something less than fair.

Don’t worry if your husband huffs and puffs, yells and screams that you “played dirty” by putting money aside. By accounting for the money, you make clear you weren’t trying to hide assets. Divorce judges know the money was a joint asset and that you need to take care of the house and children.

To paraphrase Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), a Roman statesman who courageously supported Pompey against Julius Caesar: “A person of courage is also full of faith.” You, too, must have courage and have faith that there is life after divorce.