Author Topic: Discussion Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing  (Read 18354 times)

Online Mitzpah

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Discussion Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #60 on: November 18, 2015, 11:27:01 AM »

Really liked your well expressed thoughts.

As a sometimes teacher, I can really understand what you are saying here

I'd like to suggest that maybe some LBSes are still emotionally devastated and what some view as hiding their head in the sand is the only option they have available for protecting themselves from a situation that is emotionally overwhelming. And rather than being silly perhaps they're still not able to comprehend the scope of the change the MLCer has undergone.

It's relatively easy to stand in a position of recovery and urge the LBS to do the rational, logical thing. It's difficult to hear, much less implement, when you're still standing on the edge of the cliff. One of the problems teachers sometimes have is that they forget what it's like to be new and not know anything so they address the student from a higher level than the student is prepared for. That's why PhDs often make poor teachers. They're too far removed from the beginning student.

Rolling over comes before crawling which comes before walking which comes before running. In other words, don't push the newbies too hard. Some of us are still fragile. And for some that fragility might still apply after 2 or 4 or even 6 or more years. We're not all the same. We all have our own baggage we're dealing with and might not be ready to hear the message that makes so much sense to you. First rule of writing, consider who the audience is.

M 58
H 58
S 27
D 24
BD 13 Dec 2010
Divorced 27 Feb 2015 (30 years marriage)

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11

Offline LisaLives

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Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #61 on: November 18, 2015, 11:36:30 AM »

I don't think we ever forget, either, I feel like I can still recall every minute, even clearer now that I am more recovered since calling back the memories is no longer debilitating, but surreal.  But we also know, having traveled the same road and ignoring the same advice, and seeing our friends from this and other forums get devastated, we know the potential costs. 

Just last week, another forum friend cried to me.  She is six years out and three years in D and bankruptcy court.  She waited too long to protect herself and her H and OW took EVERYTHING.  She will be leaving her multi-million dollar manse with nothing but her clothes--she will even lose her jewelry to pay debts she incurred from back child support he somehow will get out of paying... 

And that thing about default divorce, my SIL got served while she thought they were in R.  He told her to just ignore the papers.  Luckily she made it to an attorney the DAY before she would have lost everything, including HER family's business, and her mother's house...  She also lost a lot, but fortunately she made it to the courthouse in time and hired a great attorney.  But, when they are at their worst is usually when they file and fight, and the LBS is so unprepared...   

The emotional devastation is bad enough, I hate to see the number of women and the kids who are also left financially devastated--that should be considered criminal...  Love and light, ll 
The best thing about banging your head against the wall for so long is that it feels so good when you finally stop...

BD 1/16/10
D Final 7/21/11
exH married OW the next week and moved across the country to be with her... 

LL CHOSE to live happily ever after...

Offline Thunder

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Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #62 on: November 18, 2015, 11:53:23 AM »
Lisa, I too have talked to a few people who were so devastated at the time of BD they could only stand still, like a deer in the headlights, and lost everything.

It pains me to hear something like that happening. 

I think we definitely need to be gentle with newbies (I don't believe there is one person on here who forgot what it felt like), but I think it would be a disservice not to warn them of some of the pitfalls that can and do occur.

I try to explain to them getting legal advice does not mean filing for divorce...or not standing.  It was one of the first useful bits of advice I received when I joined this wonderful site. 

As far as going NC.  There is a great article on here that explains when to use it and when not to...and why.  It should never be used as a weapon.
A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

Offline LearningIamOk

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Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #63 on: November 18, 2015, 07:41:14 PM »
I remember, all too well, crying for months in the shower. I remember thinking how could he do this to our family. But he did. In the beginning, he told me I could HAVE the house. When the divorce was in process, he changed his mind and wanted me to take over the equity line AND pay him $80k. I had to fight really hard to keep the house. I ended up taking on the equity line. I still worry about my financial future and xH has bought a third condo and has kept the first two to rent out. I don't have that kind of security. I'm not bad off, but what could have been a really comfortable retirement is no longer in the stars for me. I was the one cheated on, and after 33 years of marriage, my retirement dreams were ripped out from under me.

I get it that the Newbies don't want to hear anything about a D. But not knowing your rights and TRUSTING the MLCer to be fair are setting yourself up for disaster. I will always be sorry that I am divorced and couldn't pull it off. However, I am glad that I was encouraged to learn my rights. I felt the Forum members who did encourage me gave permission so I wouldn't feel  that I was doing something "illegal" concerning the Forum stance on being pro marriage and anti divorce. If it hadn't been brought up, I would have believed myself to be a traitor to the ideals stated on here.

Like Thunder, I try to explain that getting legal advice doesn't mean filing for divorce. But it's useful to surround yourself with many varying opinions and ideas on how to proceed. I did well enough, but those who won't look at the possibility of a D can end up broke.

Offline OldPilotTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #64 on: November 24, 2015, 05:18:44 AM »
Posted today by RCR on Blog

Financial Protection While Standing
November 24, 2015
Divorce is an unfortunate reality of MLC marriage. Most of you who come to this site come here because you do not want a divorce and it is my goal to help Standers. But I don’t want to lead you on; divorce happens and it may happen to you. I don’t like that and of course you don’t like it; you don’t want to hear/read it; you don’t want to think it…and truth be told, you don’t want to face it. Me neither, but sorry, that’s tough; we need to face it as a possibility.

I am not going to ask or advise you to prepare for divorce. Or rather, I am not going to ask you to act with that as your motive. But the great thing about Standing and Mirror-Work is that the things you need to do to save your marriage are the same things you need to do if you choose not to Stand and they are the same things you need to do to protect yourself—Standing or not. So a checklist for what you need to do to protect yourself financially can be preparing to divorce if that is your intention, but your motives may be to assist your Stand rather than being anything to do with divorce. Same actions; different intentions. Financial protection is for both of you. By avoiding financial ruin yourself and possibly curbing your MLCer’s spending you could be preventing your own future resentment and giving your MLCer greater financial stability to return to.

Financial Protection Checklists
This site is a resource for Standers. I have tried to arm you with information about MLC in order to help you understand your spouse’s crisis, now I want to arm you with some basic information to enable you to initiate the process of protecting yourself; you must be your own advocate. I don’t want to give you an exhaustive list of the important things to do in order to protect yourself because exhaustive lists become…well, they become exhaustive and many will just skip over them or become overwhelmed. But I do think it important to provide a short starter checklist. What you can and cannot do legally varies worldwide and this is a global forum. The recommendations are considerations which may not apply to your situation or they may not be possible legally in your area. Consult an attorney to learn your rights and what you need to do to protect yourself, your finances and by doing those things you will also be protecting your marriage for reconciliation.

The first checklist was posted at the forum by Ready2Transform. I compiled the second list from moderator suggestions and a variety of websites.

Financial Protection: Questions to Ask Yourself

Financial protection is for you and your marriage.
Financial protection is for you and your marriage.
Is my spouse contributing to mortgage/rent willingly?
Is my spouse contributing to the support of the children willingly?
Do I have transportation?
Has my ability to provide basic needs like food/utilities/school expenses for the kids changed?
Do I have my own bank account, or am I totally dependent on a joint account that I could lose access to?
Do I have my own means of taking care of phone/insurance and should those suddenly be revoked?
Is my spouse accruing debts that are also my legal responsibility, but not to my benefit?
What’s my career status and what needs to happen to earn a wage that would cover all of this?
Should I to return to school so that I will have the ability to support myself and my family?
What’s my base level monthly incoming/outgoing, with and without my spouse?
Financial Protection: Things To Do

Consult with an attorney to learn your rights and what you need to do. Many attorneys offer a free initial consultation.
Open your own checking and savings accounts. Consider using these as your main accounts or at least start putting money into them.
Open your own credit card accounts. Consider freezing joint credit card accounts to avoid being responsible for MLCer spending. (This may not protect you if Community Property is the law).
List all known assets, liabilities, real estate holdings, and business interests
Gather important documents: financial, assets, debts, income…
Monitor your credit reports and shared bank accounts and credit cards for inconsistencies; continue to monitor these throughout the crisis
Do you need to update your will and insurance policies? Maybe not now, but keep this in mind.
Separate your Internet connections: stop using and close shared accounts; credit cards are often linked to these accounts for easy purchasing.
Stop sharing gadgets
You are afraid of what your MLCer will think and do if you take action to protect yourself—like getting an attorney or removing their name or yours from shared credit cards. Do you fear your MLCer will Monster even if you express the idea that you need financial protection. Will they become angry and lash out at you? Will it shock them and they will fear losing you and lose their own secret hope of a return? These are some of the basic fears that keep LBSs from protecting themselves; they don’t want to upset their MLCer even more.

Fear drives a lot of LBS actions and inactions. MLCers are unpredictable and you need to do what is best for you and it is impossible for what is best for you to be bad for your Stand. Some LBSs are afraid to detach because of how their MLCer might react. Not detaching is bad for your Stand. How can failing to protect yourself be good for you?

EmpoweredChuck Monstered when I mentioned I would get my own lawyer. I told him I’m sorry you feel that way, but that’s how these things work. There are some things that your MLCer will force you to respond to—such as divorce action. Complete inaction in such an event just gets you divorced without getting a say about what you will leave the marriage with—like shelter, your children… I know this is scary—really, I do and I know that many of you just aren’t ready to take protective action and nothing anyone says will change that; only experience will change it and you will do what you must when you are ready. I get that and accept it, but some of you will read this and be ready to take action and for those not ready, maybe you will come back to this when you are ready. Protecting yourself is part of empowering yourself and Standers need their power.

Divorce Quickly OR Drag It Out
I’ve said it before and will repeat myself: Standing is risky. Standing and being divorced are not mutually exclusive. Standing and initiating a divorce are not mutually exclusive. You can Stand during and after divorce even if technically you were the one to file. Please don’t take those words and twist them; in no way am I saying you should file for divorce. But it is important that you know what you are getting in to when you choose to Stand. Many Left Behind Spouses who are several years past Bomb Drop have determined that in the beginning when an MLCer is both feeling guilty and desperate to escape they may be more inclined to offer and sign a fair and equitable settlement, giving you financial protection with little argument. Waiting a few years into the crisis may see a dissipation of guilt or a greedy and pressuring alienator and they will fight more, increasing the conflict and contentiousness of the divorce proceedings which results in a higher court and attorney fees as well as you receiving a less equitable settlement—many will not care about your financial protection when deep in Replay and Angry Monster.
Standing is risky.

What I don’t know is how common it is for divorce to create a psychological barrier to reconciliation—for LBSs and MLCers alike. Personally I believe reconciliation is more possible if the Standing spouse maintains an open line of communication regarding their Stand (overtly or covertly communicating their Stand) so that an MLCer who becomes interested in returning senses that the door is open. If you choose to Stand and divorce quickly—because you respond to divorce action or initiate it—are you risking a greater chance at reconciliation? If you choose to not divorce quickly—by not filing or contesting to drag things out—are you risking your financial protection and loss of shared marital assets?
Standing is risky.

If legal separation is an option in your area, that may provide you with the financial protection you need while avoiding a divorce. Does that mean I advise it? No; I advise you to consider your situation dynamics, what your MLCer is providing and what you need along with what you are ready and willing to do.

Chuck filed for divorce a few months after Bomb Drop—soon for an MLCer. He stopped that legal process even faster and from then on neither of us took any legal action regarding our marriage. He did not go MLC crazy regarding finances, so I felt secure in my financial protection. As a Clinging Boomerang who very much wanted my approval and to be in my life I did not want to scare Chuck into believing I was not Standing which could thereby lead him to throw it all away in despair and become fiscally irresponsible. The danger of course is that many of you assume that your MLCer will be like Chuck and so you take the risk that I did. It will pay off for some of you and for others you will lose big. And I still did a few things to protect myself. I got a lawyer before he filed for divorce because I knew it was coming and needed to learn what I would need to do in response and I opened a savings account in my name only; my checking account was already in my name only. He did not learn about the account for a few years, so there was nothing for him to Monster about. He was upset when I said we were not going to share a lawyer; he Monstered at me and I hung up on him and did it anyway. Being upset that I was getting my own lawyer seemed to me one of those absurd things MLCers complain about that make no sense and to be honest, I gave his anger no thought other than to shake my head in bewilderment.
Yes, Standing is risky, but doing nothing in the name of your Stand is more risky.

Offline Shining Star

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Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #65 on: November 24, 2015, 06:06:45 AM »
If you are still married, but your husband lives in an apartment does that change whether you are still connected financially.  I am in Virginia.  He took his paycheck, which is much larger than mine and opened a separate account.  I do not have access to this account.  He does put a generous amount in my account every month, which essentially pays the monthly bills with some left over for me.  I have a good job and have been saving my money - in case I eventually lose what at this point is informal spousal support.  I don't think Virginia has a legal separation, but I don't know if all that we have accumulated in the past 10 months, whether it be his or mine, is joint property.  I probably made a mistake by letting him take his paycheck out of the joint account because now I can't see what is coming in for him.  Does a mediator require both parties to disclose all their assets/bank accounts?  I told him yesterday when I saw him that I wasn't ready to make anything final, so he could just stop talking about it.  I told him to keep depositing money into my account and I would let him know when I was ready.....  It is a very small way for me to have some type of control.
H:56, I am 54
BD: March 2014, Left Sept 2014, Back Nov 2014
Left again in February 2015.  Asked for D on 9/22/15
Said he was "sure" he wanted a D in Dec 2015; 
Admitted long term affair - May 14, 2017 - says he is in love with the "symptom" but wants to build a relationship with me with "clear expectations" WHATEVER THAT MEANS!  Settlement Agreement signed 9/20/17.
Divorce final 3/14/18.
NC - by choice - 1/2018

Offline stayed

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Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #66 on: November 24, 2015, 06:29:45 AM »
You need to consult a lawyer forever sad!  This forum is Global, we don't know all the legalities for every state and country.  All we are trying to do is make you AWARE that not knowing your legal rights is very dangerous.  As said before, Legal Firms often offer "free consultations", which will give you the bare bone facts about legal entitlements. 

We strongly advise that you educate yourself. 

Married 42yrs.
Reconciled July 5, 2006

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Offline OldPilotTopic starterTopic starter

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Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #67 on: November 24, 2015, 07:00:42 AM »
Forever Sad

It is MHO that all your assets and your liabilities are joint as long as you are married.

So if he spends all his money on the OW or anything else that is YOUR fault,
since it is joint since you are still married.

I agree with Stayed - contact a lawyer and protect yourself.

Quick story - I have a female friend from another forum who got divorced in NJ, which is very pro women and anti men(as some male LBS's from this forum can attest) she was told by the judge that the fact that her husband stole all of her retirement(300-400 thousand dollars) and then lied about not having a job was HER fault.
That she should have been more aware of what he was doing.

To this day she is financially ruined and her husband has lots of money.

Please protect yourself.

Offline Rollercoasterider

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Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #68 on: November 24, 2015, 07:03:45 AM »
Community Property States
New Mexico

So Virginia is Common Law

Common Law
property acquired by a married person during marriage is the property of that person separately, unless the person agrees with his or her spouse to hold the property jointly.

Community Property
property acquired by either spouse while married becomes community property. Property acquired before marriage, as well as property inherited or received as a gift during a marriage, is generally considered the separate property of the recipient spouse.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 07:17:33 AM by Rollercoasterider »

Offline Medusa

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Re: Financial Checklist and Legal ramifications of Standing
« Reply #69 on: November 24, 2015, 07:21:28 AM »
FS, listen to Stayed: consult a lawyer.

VA does not have legal separation per se. What happens is that the details of possible/presumed divorce are hammered out, and that is the basis for the divorce. Also, we are an equitable distribution state, which means they look at the salaries of both and distribute equitably. For example, in my sitch, STBX makes 91% of our joint income, so he will get a much larger share of the debt and gets to pay quite a bit in alimony.

If you were married more than 20 years, you should get alimony for life. My lawyer said that's pretty much automatic. Although there is no legal formula for figuring out alimony, most in NOVA use what's called the Fairfax formula. There are tons of resources about that online.

I don't want you to think that consulting an attorney automatically means divorce. It doesn't. But I learned the hard way to find a divorce attorney. You get what you pay for. Mine is expensive, but she really knows her stuff. Also, a lawyer will be able to get him to disclose everything. A lawyer can subpoena. One of those "professional" mediators can't.

FS, please do not go the professional mediator route unless you have a lawyer at your side the entire time. I agreed to it, and the final document that guy wrote isn't even consistent with VA law. What my lawyer told me is that she tries to get everyone into mediation, but the lawyers are present and the mediator is a retired judge. She will not do it any other way. If you do elect to go private mediation, please let me know--I don't want to see you wind up with the same idiot I did (who cost STBX $10K and the entire document has been thrown out). Mediation of that time doesn't work with an MLCer because it involves honesty. I caught mine in many financial lies during the process. Ultimately, that was the biggest mistake I made during this process.

Stayed is right that many legal firms will offer free consultations. I'm sorry to say that doesn't seem to be the case in our area. I had to suck it up and pay. I did a ton of Internet research before settling on my current attorney, and I talked to paralegals on the phone before making an initial appointment.

If you want the name of mine, PM me. I'm not sure if she still works in your area (she's in Fred) as far as having an office, and I know traveling that distance is an issue for you. But if she can't help you, she might have suggestions.

OP, Virginia law gets really weird about assets because we area one to the states that still allows fault divorce. Assets remain assets for the duration of the marriage, no matter what they buy, so technically, in my case, the diamonds I saw on OW's hand are partly mine (yeah, I certainly want those!  :o ). His townhouse mortgage is not in my name, but I still have a claim to it because he bought it while we were married. And yeah, if he is now a partner in that airplane, I get to claim it S's an asset, too. My lawyer tells me, though, that normally the state is pretty reasonable about debt, especially when infidelity is involved. She said that fr the date of separation, often debt is considered his and hers. The problems come in with joint debt, like credit cards. So whatever charges mine has rung up on his personal card are his problem and mine are my problem.

So FS, this is why you've got to seek legal advice. It's unbelievably confusing, especially in a state where divorce for infidelity is still allowed. Doesn't mean the divorce is going to happen--it just means you've got to get yourself protected.

Married 29 years. Divorced 12/7/16.
BD March 2013
D24, S22, Canine
Moved out November 2013
Bought townhouse for him and OW December, 2014
Mediation began April, 2014, completed June, 2015; round of mediation completed August 24.
My status: done and indifferent

That's was some f*cked up sh!t! I don't ever have to do that again!

Why are you holding on to that? How is it serving you?

One does not make the trip to he!! And back without acquiring transferable skills!


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