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Ugh. Watching a friend get divorced is eye-opening. The law has zero respect for the work of a SAH spouse. It has made me realize what a precarious situation I live in (my marriage is great but you never know). If DH left me, I'd get half of a house with not much equity and part of an underfunded 401k. He'd be better than fine because he would no longer be paying on my student loans. I'd need to find a new house and a career. He would just need childcare.

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I know I would be in a similar boat having homeschooled all these years. But, having seen what my brother went through, I can say that the local courts are a little bit better. I would get half of eve

This is why I say women need to have something to fall back on.  Divorce, death, illness, etc.....you truly never know what life will throw at you.   People have jumped on me for saying that, but it

Fairness has nothing to do with family court. What is best for kids has nothing to do with family court. I am so mad over what just happened to a friend I can't even speak. But as bad as it is for my

It is unfortunate that many divorces are ugly affairs.

It is also unfortunate that many women don't hire the attorney they need to ensure they get what they should because they want to be nice.

You can't be nice if the other party is insisting on bringing brass knuckles.

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I've watched several friends go through divorces in the last year. The SAH spouses, frankly, did not make out well. In one case the wife did get alimony but only because several people testified that her ex had told everyone for years that he would not allow her to work. And the alimony she got was very little. He has to continue it until she graduates from nursing school.

I now work significantly fewer hours than my husband a week so I can provide childcare at home. I probably would only get half equity in the house, and that isn't worth much. He would have equal access to my 401K so that cancels out that benefit. and he'd no longer have to worry about my student loans. I might get a little in child support, but since I'd have to go back to work full time and have as much earning power I doubt that would be much. We would split custody and placement 50/50 anyway.

So yes, in our case, DH would make out better.

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Divorce rarely is fair to any party completely and the poor kids almost always come out the biggest losers.

 

I am glad I stayed home and cared for my son even though after 26 years of marriage I was forced into divorcing my Xh and had no job. It was a risk....but staying home to care for my son is the single best decision of my life. And I know I came out much better than some in the divorce.

 

Some situations are so horrible there really is no other way. But when I hear people say they just aren't in love any more or some such variation.....I just want to shake them and tell them what is in store for them and their children.

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Ugh. Watching a friend get divorced is eye-opening. The law has zero respect for the work of a SAH spouse. It has made me realize what a precarious situation I live in (my marriage is great but you never know). If DH left me, I'd get half of a house with not much equity and part of an underfunded 401k. He'd be better than fine because he would no longer be paying on my student loans. I'd need to find a new house and a career. He would just need childcare.

 

This is why I say women need to have something to fall back on.  Divorce, death, illness, etc.....you truly never know what life will throw at you.

 

People have jumped on me for saying that, but it is really what I believe.

 

I am sorry your friend is going through this.

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I know I would be in a similar boat having homeschooled all these years. But, having seen what my brother went through, I can say that the local courts are a little bit better. I would get half of everything, and I would get something for my lost years of earning potential at an average rate for my career prior to children so essentially I would get a LOT more of his 401K than just half because that would be the only way he could pay it to me in a lump sum. Still it would be almost impossible for me to go back to piano performance and make the kind of money I made back then with so many years off, and being as rusty as I am.

 

I have always had a back up plan. Dh and I have a great relationship, and from my perspective I cannot imagine being put in this position, but I've seen enough bad situations out there, nearly always for the women, that I was determined to be realistic. I have kept my teaching license current, and maintained some other contacts. I could go to work for 4-H at the state level, moving to Lansing to do it, but that would okay too. I do keep an eye on music jobs in the industry so I know what kinds of positions are available.

 

Another thing that ties into this discussion is that even if one is just super self-assured that his/her marriage will never end by divorce, it can most certainly end by death, and in the twinkle of an eye. Ask my friend what happens when the police show up with a chaplain, and your whole world crumbles. (Believe me, it is never good news when the police chaplain knocks on your door.) She has ZERO job skills, and hasn't worked outside the home in years. They have some life insurance but not nearly enough, and things are quickly getting bad at her house - a home she is very likely to lose.

 

It pays to be realistic. I have always been very, very concerned about the extremist religious teachings that some ascribe to in which it is wrong to educate girls beyond middle school, or allow them to go to trade school or college...the stay at home daughters movement. That is so dangerous for them, and the parents that try to force this on their girls certainly can't guarantee what the future holds for their girls.

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There's no automatic right to alimony in the UK either.  Basic child support only supports the children, but not a house to live in with the children.  The state picks up the responsibility often, with money for basic housing and income support while the children are young.

 

Any occupational pension is split though, based on the length of the marriage.

 

I've gone back to work, and we have a rental property and some insurance.  If Husband died, I'd do okay.  If he divorced me, and the value of the rental property was halved, I'd need to be frugal, but I could still manage in a smaller house.

Edited by Laura Corin
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There's no automatic right to alimony in the UK either.  Basic child support only supports the children, but not a house to live in with the children.  The state picks up the responsibility often, with money for basic housing and income support while the children are young.

 

Any occupational pension is split though, based on the length of the marriage.

 

I've gone back to work, and we have a rental property and some insurance.  If Husband died, I'd do okay.  If he divorced me, and the value of the rental property was halved, I'd need to be frugal, but I could still manage in a smaller house.

 

It's the same here, if we divorced I'd be entitled to half my husband's pension and I think some other benefits as well.  I would be entitled to some spousal support, and probably between one and two thousand dollars a month child support.

 

I think in that scenario we'd probably sell the house, though we wouldn't earn much from it.

 

It would be ok, I might even be able to carry on doing childcare for my money, or I would get some other job which probably would not be high-paying, but it would do.  If dh kicked off instead, I'd get Canada pension which would be a big help.

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I don't see this as a divorce issue. Layoffs, Disability and death cause severe financial hardship as well. I think it's important to have skills, continue to update yourself. This is true for both working and no working spouses. Working spouses because some jobs become obsolete. there are many ways to fo this.

 

Do continuing ed to keep certifications for jobs previously held. Work a few hours a week part time or as a volunteer to stay current--I know someone who did bookkeeping and accounting a few hours a month for a local charity and was able to quickly get a job based skills and connections from that worked when her DH was laid off. Keep up previous professional connections--this is part of your network if you need to get back to work. Explore new fields if you think your old work was not a good fit or obsolete. Consider how stuff you may do as a hobby is marketable. Etc.

 

Be fully aware of family finances and investments--know what's there that can cushion the time it takes to get back on your feet and know based on what's there how much time you can take getting on your feet.

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My state has no alimony which is terrible for children. Sorry kids, your parents divorced so now you get to flit between two houses and, oh yeah, Mom has to go cashier at Target so make your own dinner. But, kids are resilient! They'll bounce right back!! BS.

 

Having the benefit of a SAH spouse should come with the requirement to support that spouse for X amount of time so he/she doesn't wind up destitute.

Edited by Moxie
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I saw it with my SIL as well. The judge made some rulings that were very unfavorable to her--including INCREASING the mutually agreed upon amount that she would have to pay for kids health insurance. Also opting to not compensating her for $10,000 of (credit card proven) expenses that BIL withdrew from their joint savings and blew on vacations with girlfriends while they were separated. 

 

I agree it's not just a divorce issue. My backup plan was that I could always go back to teaching because I was in a high demand subject. But in my location and at my age, that ship sailed far earlier than I anticipated. Teachers who stepped out of their jobs very rarely get back on after there age of 40 here.

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I think the longterm repercussions of choosing stay at home parenting, being a single income couple should be something both spouses fully evaluate. Not many people afford life insurance easily. Very few people purchase disability insurance. Longterm alimony has not been standard for a couple of decades. The most alimony I've heard in years lasts for five years, no matter how long the marriage was, basically it's long enough for the spouse to develop some marketable skills. Child support cuts off at 18 unless negotiated to a later date, even if a child has a lifelong disability. The U.S. has no real social safety net, so decisions like not working for pay need to be fully evaluated. It's nice to go with the simple "someone needs to be with the children" ideal, but you must consider that if you can't support the children you aren't helping them.

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Fairness has nothing to do with family court. What is best for kids has nothing to do with family court. I am so mad over what just happened to a friend I can't even speak. But as bad as it is for my friend, her kids are the real losers. Whenever you can't call out someone on their bad behavior and pretend that everyone contributed, when in fact one person had all the power and was a jerk and everyone else just reacted, it is not fair. Family court is supposed to be even handed, but IME it is often not fair at all. The most abusive jerks get unsupervised visitation, they get away with minimal spousal support and they go on to make new families.

 

If dh and I divorced I would be in a bad way for awhile, but I have marketable skills and great references. I would be okay. The losers would be our adult kids because neither of us would be in a position to help them out a little here or there. That is how the poor stay poor IME. Successful families stick together, not just by not divorcing, but helping each other as adults and being there as a support network. What divorce really does that hurts is destroys the support network for everyone involved.

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If dh and I divorced I would be in a bad way for awhile, but I have marketable skills and great references. I would be okay. The losers would be our adult kids because neither of us would be in a position to help them out a little here or there. That is how the poor stay poor IME. Successful families stick together, not just by not divorcing, but helping each other as adults and being there as a support network. What divorce really does that hurts is destroys the support network for everyone involved.

 

Interesting thought, and I can see this in families I know.

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What scares me most is disability. I doubt we will

Divorce, and we are covered well with life insurance, but my husband will probably wind up on permanent and at least partial disability, very soon. He has a shoulder injury it looks like he will never recover from.

 

I am very very glad my parents pushed me into being able to support not only myself, but a family as well.

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I saw it with my SIL as well. The judge made some rulings that were very unfavorable to her--including INCREASING the mutually agreed upon amount that she would have to pay for kids health insurance. Also opting to not compensating her for $10,000 of (credit card proven) expenses that BIL withdrew from their joint savings and blew on vacations with girlfriends while they were separated. 

 

I agree it's not just a divorce issue. My backup plan was that I could always go back to teaching because I was in a high demand subject. But in my location and at my age, that ship sailed far earlier than I anticipated. Teachers who stepped out of their jobs very rarely get back on after there age of 40 here.

Yup,

 

My sister proved that her EX ran up $20,000 in credit card debt - in her name, behind her back - keeping his mistress in an apartment across town and buying her jewelry. The court stuck her with the entire thing. Because they were married less than five years, she was entitled to nothing. Not one thing. She'd paid all of the house expenses and the property tax - proved that too. But the house was in his name, so the state she lived in did not consider it community property until five years. He divorced her year four. Nice.

 

She ended up declaring bankruptcy as she left with nothing but the clothes on her back since he'd emptied their bank accounts, hidden money from her, and threatened her with a gun when she tried to take some of her personal belongings besides her clothes with her. Oh, and the court didn't care about the gun waving incident or the neighbors who testified that he'd threatened to kill her.

 

Didn't mean a thing. They hadn't been married five years so she was entitled to nothing, and he could get away with everything.

 

At any rate, I am so very thankful she is out, has recovered, and has recently remarried. My new brother in law is a keeper, a good man, an excellent man.

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My state has no alimony which is terrible for children. Sorry kids, your parents divorced so now you get to flit between two houses and, oh yeah, Mom has to go cashier at Target so make your own dinner. But, kids are resilient! They'll bounce right back!! BS.

 

Having the benefit of a SAH spouse should come with the requirement to support that spouse for X amount of time so he/she doesn't wind up destitute.

I think to some extent this depends on whether both partners agreed that one of them would stay home.

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I think to some extent this depends on whether both partners agreed that one of them would stay home.

Nope. Because how easy would it be for him to say "I wanted her to work but she wouldn't get off her arse?"

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It's a he said/she said when it comes to the SAH parent thing. So short of having something in writing, I doubt it would matter.

 

Given what I've seen the past few years, I am beginning to think that pre-nups that spell out EVERYTHING are the way to go. Sad. Very sad. But yah, one almost needs one just to protect oneself from the legal system.

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Also, in many states, debt is split right down the middle irrespective of who accrued it. It is a great way for gamblers and cheaters to get out of a financial mess by giving half to an unsuspecting ex-spouse. This means the SAHM, not only loses future financial gain, she also gets sacked with whatever debt the hubby acquired. The entire family court system needs a big overhaul as it was set up, and most law written, by men.

 

Until then, all marriages should start with a prenuptial agreement and a SAH parent who makes sure his half is in a separate bank account. In addition, people need to understand that most actions of a spouse will cost them financially. That nice fishing boat bought on credit....well. Is that a risk one wants to take?

Edited by Minniewannabe
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I think what got me was that in her state since they were married less than five years she was not entitled to any of the equity in the house nor splitting of any other assets, but he could saddle her with all of the debt! What kind of insane thing is that?

 

Seriously, time to rewrite the laws.

 

Again, another reason I am afraid that I am in favor of pre-ups for pretty much everyone. Sigh...I don't like being that jaded.

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Nope. Because how easy would it be for him to say "I wanted her to work but she wouldn't get off her arse?"

My brother's wife does not wish to work. She said so herself many times before and after marriage. She also doesn't spend much so my brother's just above poverty level income is okay for them.

 

Hubby and I married in our home country where both of us are citizens there. Our divorce laws are different. SAHMs have decent protection there and can be SAHMs for life after divorce.

 

The legal age for our kids is also 21 under our home country and child support is extended past 21 if the child is serving compulsory militrary service or if the child is a full time student in a tertiary institution. If a child is working when he turns 21, child support stops.

 

Divorce laws for my home country quoted below

 

"The Court when ordering maintenance for a wife shall have regard to all the circumstances of the case including the following matters:

 

The financial needs of the wife;

 

The income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of the wife;

 

Any physical or mental disability of the wife;

The age of each party to the marriage and the duration of the marriage;

 

The contribution made by each of the parties to the marriage, to the welfare of the family, including any contribution made by looking after the home or caring for the family;

 

The standard of living enjoyed by the wife before the husband neglected or refused to provide reasonable maintenance for the wife;

 

The conduct of each of the parties to the marriage.

 

Such a Maintenance Order if granted will only expire on the death of the wife or the husband or upon the remarriage of the wife, as the case may be."

 

ETA:

Once a marriage is longer than 10 years, the standard of living takes precedence. So a wife used to a chef and chauffeur would get to have one after divorce paid by the ex-husband. Kids expensive activities would be included in child support.

Edited by Arcadia
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I think what got me was that in her state since they were married less than five years she was not entitled to any of the equity in the house nor splitting of any other assets, but he could saddle her with all of the debt! What kind of insane thing is that?

 

Seriously, time to rewrite the laws.

 

Again, another reason I am afraid that I am in favor of pre-ups for pretty much everyone. Sigh...I don't like being that jaded.

 

Yeah, we have some weird things like that here, which don't make much sense to me at first glance.  I wonder if they have something to do with different types of debt?

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It is unfortunate that many divorces are ugly affairs.

It is also unfortunate that many women don't hire the attorney they need to ensure they get what they should because they want to be nice.

You can't be nice if the other party is insisting on bringing brass knuckles.

I agree.  Divorce is terrible.  Even God said, "I hate divorce."

 

But if a couple is going to do this, why can't they at least treat each other fairly and with respect, especially given disparate abilities or income?    I cannot imagine fighting a spouse over money, and not just saying, "Here.  I want you to be fine. We loved each other for X years.  Let's just be fair about this and be good people for our kids (if any). "   I guess in my world, people just decide what is right themselves and don't need a judge to order them to do something fair. 

 

I've known people who have divorced amicably and just agreed on things that were fair for each party, and it is better for everyone, if it has to happen.  

Edited by TranquilMind
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Yup,

 

My sister proved that her EX ran up $20,000 in credit card debt - in her name, behind her back - keeping his mistress in an apartment across town and buying her jewelry. The court stuck her with the entire thing. Because they were married less than five years, she was entitled to nothing. Not one thing. She'd paid all of the house expenses and the property tax - proved that too. But the house was in his name, so the state she lived in did not consider it community property until five years. He divorced her year four. Nice.

 

She ended up declaring bankruptcy as she left with nothing but the clothes on her back since he'd emptied their bank accounts, hidden money from her, and threatened her with a gun when she tried to take some of her personal belongings besides her clothes with her. Oh, and the court didn't care about the gun waving incident or the neighbors who testified that he'd threatened to kill her.

 

Didn't mean a thing. They hadn't been married five years so she was entitled to nothing, and he could get away with everything.

 

At any rate, I am so very thankful she is out, has recovered, and has recently remarried. My new brother in law is a keeper, a good man, an excellent man.

Well, that's horrible.  I'm curious why he didn't put his wife on the house deed when they married?  To me, that omission would be glaring. 

 

I'm glad it worked out for your sister, ultimately. 

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I'm curious why he didn't put his wife on the house deed when they married? To me, that omission would be glaring.

My mortgage officer (California) thought that my name can't be on the house deed because only hubby's name is on the loan. He check with the loan dept at their regional HQ who said it is a non issue.

 

So it could be a dominating/controlling husband or a genuine mistake.

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My mortgage officer (California) thought that my name can't be on the house deed because only hubby's name is on the loan. He check with the loan dept at their regional HQ who said it is a non issue.

 

So it could be a dominating/controlling husband or a genuine mistake.

Anyone's name can be on the deed, though that event could possibly trigger the calling of the loan as an event of default.   Unlikely if paid on time long term though.  He could deed the house to the people across the street or to me. ;) 

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Maybe it's just the way our assets are structured but my husband would be taken to the cleaners if he divorced me. we also have hefty life insurance and his job has a killer disability policy (full time pay for 18-24 months after disability event and then tapering down wages as a percentage over five years).

 

Hopefully we never have to worry about *any* of it though. I love my husband and can't imagine him being gone, he's my best friend :(

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Maybe it's just the way our assets are structured but my husband would be taken to the cleaners if he divorced me. we also have hefty life insurance and his job has a killer disability policy (full time pay for 18-24 months after disability event and then tapering down wages as a percentage over five years).

 

Hopefully we never have to worry about *any* of it though. I love my husband and can't imagine him being gone, he's my best friend :(

Curious how you have "structured assets" in your favor?

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It pays to be realistic. I have always been very, very concerned about the extremist religious teachings that some ascribe to in which it is wrong to educate girls beyond middle school, or allow them to go to trade school or college...the stay at home daughters movement. That is so dangerous for them, and the parents that try to force this on their girls certainly can't guarantee what the future holds for their girls.

 

I so agree, although DH's relatives and many in our church are on board with the stay-at-home daughters movement or one of the other variations where education and independence are strictly controlled for girls.

 

Our society does NOT uphold the stay-at-home parent, period. Divorce, disability, and widowhood are all events that can send a stay-at-home parent into financial ruin or worse. I know of a homeschool mom who became homeless and lived in her car for awhile because of a minimal divorce settlement. Could her lawyer have done more? Maybe, but the local courts rarely award spousal support around here, and the assumption is that a healthy adult will be able to work and support themselves somehow. Even in fairly equitable situations locally, the mom and the kids usually end up in someone's basement or in an efficiency apartment. Then the mom works at the grocery store, cleaning offices, and driving a school bus. Really sad. And sometimes there just aren't assets to divide and/or the working spouse is really not making much as it is. 

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My state has no alimony which is terrible for children. Sorry kids, your parents divorced so now you get to flit between two houses and, oh yeah, Mom has to go cashier at Target so make your own dinner. But, kids are resilient! They'll bounce right back!! BS.

 

Having the benefit of a SAH spouse should come with the requirement to support that spouse for X amount of time so he/she doesn't wind up destitute.

 

 

It's sad isn't it?  The "benefit of a SAH spouse" is given no value in most state systems.  The concept of "lost income and earning potential" that some of us have given up to raise our children is basically not considered a real thing.  

 

I agree with Scarlett, I would and am doing it regardless of that fact.  But it's sad.

 

And yeah, I have a friend who has raised three kids (with full agreement from husband), husband takes off, she's getting nothing but half the house. Cause apparently HIS contributions (= dollars) were real, but hers were not.  

 

It's more about society than divorce.  

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And yeah, I have a friend who has raised three kids (with full agreement from husband), husband takes off, she's getting nothing but half the house. Cause apparently HIS contributions (= dollars) were real, but hers were not.  

 

It's more about society than divorce.  

 

Yes, that's it. Hiding your head in the sand and pretending otherwise just isn't wise IMHO. Saying that the church will take care of you is also an iffy proposition. A relative who was widowed told us that she only received help the first year or so, and then all she had was his life insurance and social security. Then ironically she married again, and he has always considered it shameful to have a wife working, so she never has. If he drops dead tomorrow, she'll be in the same boat again. After the church help runs out, she'll only have life insurance and social security because they have no savings and very little in retirement funds. And who will hire a woman in her mid-50's who hasn't worked in 25 years? She'll do well to make minimum wage.

 

Divorce, job loss, disability, and widowhood are real.

Edited by G5052
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Divorce isn't fair for anyone. A family members wife cheated and divorced him. She got the kids, the house, half of his pension, and close to 75% of his income goes to pay the bills and child support. He now has to live in an RV on family property because he can't afford anything else and he can't have joint custody because he can't afford two homes for the kids.

When the house is sold he will get part of it as an asset, but for now he is screwed and didn't get any choice in the matter.

Maybe we should get rid of the idea of no fault divorce. I think it was instituted in the hopes it would keep things from getting ugly during divorce but no matter what it seems to be part of the process.

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My marriage was never stable, my back up plan was that I kept us out of debt. I kept a running tally in my head of what our equity was worth, how much of the 401k I would get etc. mainly I had a mental mindset that said, "I can support me and one child on my own and I will do so if needed". I never wanted to feel trapped. Once you feel,trapped you are basically destroyed.

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Divorce isn't fair for anyone. A family members wife cheated and divorced him. She got the kids, the house, half of his pension, and close to 75% of his income goes to pay the bills and child support. He now has to live in an RV on family property because he can't afford anything else and he can't have joint custody because he can't afford two homes for the kids.

When the house is sold he will get part of it as an asset, but for now he is screwed and didn't get any choice in the matter.

Maybe we should get rid of the idea of no fault divorce. I think it was instituted in the hopes it would keep things from getting ugly during divorce but no matter what it seems to be part of the process.

Just a side question...why did he have no say in whether the home be sold and assets divided?

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Divorce isn't fair for anyone. A family members wife cheated and divorced him. She got the kids, the house, half of his pension, and close to 75% of his income goes to pay the bills and child support. He now has to live in an RV on family property because he can't afford anything else and he can't have joint custody because he can't afford two homes for the kids.

When the house is sold he will get part of it as an asset, but for now he is screwed and didn't get any choice in the matter.

Maybe we should get rid of the idea of no fault divorce. I think it was instituted in the hopes it would keep things from getting ugly during divorce but no matter what it seems to be part of the process.

I hear stories like this but I always feel like there is more to the story.

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I hear stories like this but I always feel like there is more to the story.

I don't want to speak for people who aren't here but my guess is that the xw convinced him into letting her stay in the house ' for the kids'. That put him in a situation where he can't afford to have a proper place of his own so he can have his kids half the time.

 

I see men fall for this 'be nice' ploy all of the time. Many times they think they can nice a cheating wife back to the marriage and they would do nearly anything to have a chance for that even if only because they don't want to lose their kids.

 

Anytime a spouse leaves you especially when a third party aka adultery is involved you need legal counsel. That doesn't mean you can't work it out without lawyers but you need to know what your rights are and the repercussions of your decisions will be.

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I think the longterm repercussions of choosing stay at home parenting, being a single income couple should be something both spouses fully evaluate. Not many people afford life insurance easily. Very few people purchase disability insurance. Longterm alimony has not been standard for a couple of decades. The most alimony I've heard in years lasts for five years, no matter how long the marriage was, basically it's long enough for the spouse to develop some marketable skills. Child support cuts off at 18 unless negotiated to a later date, even if a child has a lifelong disability. The U.S. has no real social safety net, so decisions like not working for pay need to be fully evaluated. It's nice to go with the simple "someone needs to be with the children" ideal, but you must consider that if you can't support the children you aren't helping them.

 

How is even possible that not many people afford life insurance easily?

 

We are in the process of updating our estate plans, and one of the things we did was take a new 500k 20 year term life policy on my turning-50-this-year-dh. It is under $80/mo. (He has excellent health.) The $1,000,000 20 year term we took out 11 years ago costs about the same since he was just 40 at that time. 

 

I'm sorry to be harsh, but it is simply the height of irresponsibility not to have adequate life insurance for your dependents. Work a little more, cut back a little something, but everyone should have life insurance if others depend on them and adequate assets are not yet in place to support them.

 

We took out our first life insurance policies when we had our first baby. Since then, we've reassessed policies (both life and disability) every few years and updated as appropriate. Simple term life insurance cheap as long as you are reasonably healthy and young. 

 

Yes, disability insurance is dramatically more expensive (but also dramatically more likely to actually be used). We do have it on dh, and it costs a LOT. I think the new supplemental policies I just got quoted for 4900/mo in coverage are around 250/mo in premiums. Yes, that's way more than life insurance. It is a lot. I can see that some families would really struggle to get disability coverage. Depending on your circumstances, it may or may not be critical or reasonable to pay . . . 

 

But, life insurance? That's a no brainer IMHO. 

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How is even possible that not many people afford life insurance easily?

 

We are in the process of updating our estate plans, and one of the things we did was take a new 500k 20 year term life policy on my turning-50-this-year-dh. It is under $80/mo. (He has excellent health.) The $1,000,000 20 year term we took out 11 years ago costs about the same since he was just 40 at that time.

 

I'm sorry to be harsh, but it is simply the height of irresponsibility not to have adequate life insurance for your dependents. Work a little more, cut back a little something, but everyone should have life insurance if others depend on them and adequate assets are not yet in place to support them.

 

We took out our first life insurance policies when we had our first baby. Since then, we've reassessed policies (both life and disability) every few years and updated as appropriate. Simple term life insurance cheap as long as you are reasonably healthy and young.

 

Yes, disability insurance is dramatically more expensive (but also dramatically more likely to actually be used). We do have it on dh, and it costs a LOT. I think the new supplemental policies I just got quoted for 4900/mo in coverage are around 250/mo in premiums. Yes, that's way more than life insurance. It is a lot. I can see that some families would really struggle to get disability coverage. Depending on your circumstances, it may or may not be critical or reasonable to pay . . .

 

But, life insurance? That's a no brainer IMHO.

I agree. And most people wouldn't even need 500k. I just re did mine and have 100k 20 year term.....it is for my son for the next few years and after that I will divide it between my son and Dh.

 

I have 50k on Dh and it would get me by until I could get my act together. He has more at work now but that would go if the job goes.

 

If my Dh lost his mind and left me tomorrow the house is mine and there is nothing else to divide.

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Having the benefit of a SAH spouse should come with the requirement to support that spouse for X amount of time so he/she doesn't wind up destitute.

This is nice in theory but in reality, most workers (male and female) just do not earn enough to support two households on one income. The women MOST likely to stay home while married with kids the longest are those who are just beyond poverty but for whom a second income while married would not over the cost of working (or even just pay for daycare). Those women provide real value to their families but when they divorce, it's not generally the case that their husbands earn enough to pay alimony sufficent enough to fully support two households. These women are also at a statistically higher risk for divorce than affluent couples. The median annual income is under $60K.

 

I agree wholeheartedly that women and children tend to fare far worse economically in the wake of divorce. And primary earners who can pay alimony to the spouses who stayed home certainly should. But for most women, it's not as simple as "he should pay".

 

Women NEED to be able to have their own means of support. Life is too uncertain to be unprepared. You can buy life insurance and disability insurance. You can not buy divorce insurance. Even if a woman stays home, it behooves her to know what she would do if she needed to earn a living and to keep education/credentials current and contacts warm if at all possible.

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How is even possible that not many people afford life insurance easily?

 

We are in the process of updating our estate plans, and one of the things we did was take a new 500k 20 year term life policy on my turning-50-this-year-dh. It is under $80/mo. (He has excellent health.) The $1,000,000 20 year term we took out 11 years ago costs about the same since he was just 40 at that time.

 

I'm sorry to be harsh, but it is simply the height of irresponsibility not to have adequate life insurance for your dependents. Work a little more, cut back a little something, but everyone should have life insurance if others depend on them and adequate assets are not yet in place to support them.

 

We took out our first life insurance policies when we had our first baby. Since then, we've reassessed policies (both life and disability) every few years and updated as appropriate. Simple term life insurance cheap as long as you are reasonably healthy and young.

 

Yes, disability insurance is dramatically more expensive (but also dramatically more likely to actually be used). We do have it on dh, and it costs a LOT. I think the new supplemental policies I just got quoted for 4900/mo in coverage are around 250/mo in premiums. Yes, that's way more than life insurance. It is a lot. I can see that some families would really struggle to get disability coverage. Depending on your circumstances, it may or may not be critical or reasonable to pay . . .

 

But, life insurance? That's a no brainer IMHO.

1. Not everyone can access term life insurance for low rates due to a prior medical condition. I have more than one friend who had cancer or a significant health issue in their 20s before they had kids and are now expensive to insure or even just plain uninsurable.

 

2. A sizable number of American families are subsisting on incomes that are too tight for $80 or even $40 a month. The median household income isn't all that high. If someone already making choices between medicine and food or shoes for the kid and gas for the car, insurance can easily fall right out of the budget.

 

I agree insurance is important but I am highlighting some very valid reasons why some don't have it.

 

We bought term insurance when we were *very young* and can thus afford it even on our now temporarily tighter income. But if I were shopping for it now, with a 36 year old husband who takes medication compared to when he was 24 and on no medication, the cost would probably be too high. We do also have coverage via my husband's work which is not costly but it's not a ton. Still, if we didn't have a very low rate on term we wouldn't be able to fit in what it would cost now, at least not until my husband graduates from school. Not everyone can get it via work though and if they do it's not going to be a very large policy, perhaps just 2-3x annual income. Which is still helpful and something but it's not going to cover college for a few kids or anything like that.

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For how long? Endlessly?

 

 

http://www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/spousal-support/alimony-guidelines-new-york

 

It depends on a lot of things. It can be for a fixed time (most common) or forever (less common)

 

Def while the children are minors and possibly beyond.  My friend got support and her kids were older teens, one in college.  She was awarded spousal support in NY while she herself went to a 4 year college to get a degree so she could support herself. Plus, her lawyer asked for and got (we think it was an oversight) 2 years beyond graduating from college if she wasn't employed full time in her field of choice.  Apparently he was pretty pissed off when he found that out. He had been counting down the days until she graduated from college.

 

She was over 40 and had been underemployed for their entire marriage, working as a "nursery school teacher" at church basement type pre-school. She had nothing beyond a high school diploma b/c she got married out of high school and then was having kids etc. She had wanted to go to college to become a teacher, but he never allowed it. And yes, the word "allowed" was used.  So she finally got to go and got her teaching certificate.

 

I have another friend who I think might have passed on support in exchange for the house. But she was already working. She didn't have to buy him out of his half of the house, just assume the mortgage and keep making the payments she was already making. But, tbh, I don't know the down and dirty details.

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I have life insurance, but do you really think 500k is really enough?

I live in a high COL area. My extended family is here. A 500k policy would not be enough to stay without a lot of help.

 

Additionally, we didn't have children until we were older. Policies get more expensive the older you are.

 

Another thing that 20 year term you bought when your oldest was born will run out before your youngest is out of high school or even middle school. By then you will be in you may be in your fifties and more expensive to insure.

 

When you purchase insurance, what are your goals. Is it to pay off the home? Pay for college? Get spouse training for a new career? What are you factoring in.

 

We have policies on each of us. They were purchased before our youngest was born. I wouldn't want to uproot the DC to go to a low COL area where we have no family support. Our youngest has disabilities. Dh is closer to 60 than 50. So, honestly I put all the factors together. There's enough if one of us dies before the term runs out for the other to get things covered without being homeless. But there are a whole lot of things there.

 

It is easy to say it's irresponsible not to have life insurance, but what amount do you need to have to be responsible.

 

The other factor is some people are uninsurable due to preexisting health issues. If my spouse were in that situation, I would have continued working in a more lucrative field. But some people don't make that choice.

 

Is it irresponsible not to have disability insurance, as well.

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I hear stories like this but I always feel like there is more to the story.

 

I don't think that's any more true than when the women is the one who gets screwed over.  There are places where the calculations have the husband giving well over half his salary to the wife and kids, even if he really can't afford to live off of it.  I've heard of cases for example where the husband was required to maintain the original amount of support after a job loss, even when the ex-wife supported his position, with significant problems for the husband.

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