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My Husband is a Financial Advisor and Our Finances Are In Crisis. – Kathryn

“Hi Steve,

I need help, and I don’t know where to turn. Stay at home mom with three children, ages 7, 2 1/2 and 15 months. My husband is a financial advisor and our finances are in absolute crisis!

My husband opened a branch of a very well known financial institution almost three years ago. Since that time his income has been unpredictable to say the least. I have been at the mercy of his hours and having to babies at home, have been unable to work myself.

I’ve always known it was incredibly tight, but recently have come to realize that we have maxed out every credit card, our line of credit at the bank, and are at the end of our overdraft in the bank account. There’s still a debt owed to his parents from before we got together as well. All of this together puts us over $50,000 in debt! Even worse, if we default on any credit payments, he loses his license to do the job that is our family’s only income!

I don’t know where to go from here. I’ve asked him (pleaded is more like it) to put a deadline to making the business work, and in his defense, it IS making more money than it used to, but I can’t see how we’re going to survive. Even one bad month will KILL us, as we have absolutely no room to even think about saving any sort of “rainy day” fund!

Half the time the credit card payments leave us with no money for FOOD! I just can’t figure out what to do next. Do I insist on him pulling the plug on his business, when it is finally showing signs of “making it” and the job market is not very promising, or stick it out and pray? We need to plug the holes in the dam…It is absolutely drowning us, and my husband’s response is that everything is going to be fine and I’m not thinking clearly. I want an action plan, and he wants to hope. Do you have any suggestions?

Kathryn”

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The Answer

Dear Kathryn,

First off, here’s a big hug for you. What a mess, huh?

In relationships there is usually a saver and a spender. In fact savers tend to attract spenders or spenders attract savers. It’s kind of an opposites attract thing. This is an important factor to understand at times like these. While you might be absolutely stressed, afraid and scared, he just might not be. That’s not a function of reality, just more the way you each approach money.

Ultimately the best solution to this situation is going to come from a negotiated settlement between the two of you as partners in your relationship. His position of “let’s not worry” is not a balanced approach when you factor in your worries or concerns.

I don’t want to sugar coat this for you, this has the potential to turn out to be a real mess. Just one unexpected event can land you in deep financial trouble. The position you are in now with to savings or emergency fund is simply not safe.

In fact, as long as he let’s this situation roll over him, if it ends in failure it will potentially lead to depression for him which will make it harder to get up, dust himself off, and move forward.

But from his point of view I see a guy who is proudly trying to be a provider for his family, he’s struggling to make his business work, and I’m sure on one level it is very difficult for him to deal with being a failure right now with his personal finances but yet putting on a good show of being a professional financial advisor for others.

At some point the truth that the path you are on now may not be working must be dealt with. My personal fear is that with all the cards maxed out and the overdraft gasping for breath that an expectation you’ll recover from this mess may have passed.

To recover you not only need to be able to live and save within your income but also be able to may enough more to dig yourself out of this hole.

With kids at home and unexpected events always on the horizon it is really not responsible or safe for you not to have at least $2,000 is a savings account to cover emergencies. Otherwise expenses land on credit cards. And I’d be confident in betting that a part of that credit card debt is from making ends meet each month.

My opinion is the best approach is going to come from a negotiated settlement. Your opinion matters here and it is perfectly reasonable to draw a line in the sand and say that unless X can be achieved, we need to stop this train wreck and take a different path.

For you X can be as simple as needing to save $100 a month and live within your income without using credit or overdraft to get by.

Over the years I’ve had many clients that were CFPs (Certified Financial Planners), accountants, financial advisors, etc. They all tend to feel the same thing when faced with this situation; denial and guilt.

By the way, the typical emotional stages of debt: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.

As far as the “everything is going to be fine” approach, it just sounds like denial to me. The reality is that the business has been unprofitable for some time and that it will take years and years to dig out from the debt and high interest rates you are probably being charged now.

I think this is the moment that the ship is sinking and bailing is keeping it afloat, just barely. Do you gamble on more bailing or abandon ship to save the passengers?

Please let me know what happens. I really want to be here for you on this journey.

Big Hug!

My Husband is a Financial Advisor and Our Finances Are In Crisis.   Kathryn
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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Kathryn

    Hi Steve,

    Good news! I’ve been accepted to the program here that will start me on my way to a medical career. Now my biggest concern is making sure I qualify for the student loan I spoke of in my earlier email. I’ve checked my credit score and it is 660. I’ve found some incorrect payment information that has reported me as paying over 90 days late three times in the past two years on a store credit card that was closed four years ago! I’ve already contacted the creditor and they have confirmed that the information is faulty and are sending me documentation to support the correction. Do you have any idea how much this will impact my score when it is rectified?
    My greatest worry, however, is about a collection for $2332 that is set to fall off in June. I’ve read that there is an extra 180 day period that can be added, and that will push it’s “disappearance” back to a time where the loan officers will be reviewing my credit! Is this a real possibility? Also, when I spoke to the financial aid office at the school I was told that they could see “beyond” my credit report, so they may see the collection issue. I’m stumped! I don’t know if I should do everything in my power to somehow pay off the debt in the hopes that it will be more favorable, should it become an issue, or if I should wait and appeal the decision should I be denied based on an improved ability to repay my loans. (This is actually one of the reasons they list as valid for appealing) I would appeal based on my now-treated disability that formerly hindered my organizational and prioritizing abilities and now does not, and the fact that I have not been in charge of my finances as a stay at home mom, which forced me to rely on someone else to support me…the very REASON I am going to school…to make sure it NEVER happens again! What do you think Steve?

    Thanks!
    Kathryn

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Kathryn,

      Congratulations. My advice would be for you to just have a sit down conversation with the financial aid folks at the school. They are not there to judge you, there job is to close the deal and get you financing.

      Once the credit bureaus are notified of the update it will appear on the files instantly and your credit score will be adjusted. It would be best if the creditors notified the bureaus directly but if they don’t and send the documentation to you to forward you should except it to take 30-45 days once the credit bureaus get it.

      Keep me posted.

      Steve

  • Kathryn

    Thanks Steve,

    Don’t worry about me taking a victim role…I know that noone makes my decisions but me, and although I’m certainly angry at my husband, I am more angry at myself for not being more proactive in my own life. I’m choosing to learn from the mistakes I’ve made and use my experience to go forward with more awareness.

    It’s funny that you should mention the idea of becoming a physician assitant..I was researching it this morning! It is a new field in Canada and the projected growth rate is astronomical! The total time spent to reach that goal would be very realistic. I would still be able to work in the field of mental health, in the areas that I am really passionate about (the very human part).

    The one thing I do have to figure out before applying for my loan is my credit report/score. I have already received my report and have started the process of correcting real errors, but overall it actually looks decent! My unresolved issue falls off about a MONTH before I apply for my loan! I think that right there is a good indication that now is the time to make big changes :-) One thing I could use some help with, however, is how to get my credit score. I keep running into walls because I am not the primary cardholder on any credit card. This, according to those I am speaking with, makes it impossible to get my score. This doesn’t sound right to me. There HAS to be some way to get it! I really need to make sure things look decent when I’m reviewed for the loan. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Kathryn

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Kathryn,

      Did you try Equifax of Canada? Click here.

      Having been in the medical field myself I always thought being a physician assistant looked intriguing. It gave you great responsibility and patient care opportunities without all the massive headaches of being a physician. It’s worth a close look at as a goal.

      Steve

  • Kathryn

    Hi Steve,

    Thank you for your consistent replies. When so much is up in the air, and I often feel at a complete loss, your sound advice regarding my situation with my husband (the finacial advisor) and possible solutions has been at least one thing I can count on to be consistent :-) I’ve taken your advice, as well as that of a friend of mine (whois also an advisor) to my husband. Although the forecast is pretty clear he refuses to see what others have pointed out in black and white. The situation is that even with me working at a bar 3-4 nights a week and him having his best month ever CONSISTENTLY for the next six years without deviation it would take us 6 YEARS of payments at $1,500 a month to get to zero. This is taking into account that we would have no room for activities for the children, any sort of family life or savings to speak of. It would also tank my aspirations of going to school to finally be able to build something for myself (and for our family).

    I have to say that I am devastasted, but not wholly suprised that he would put his “career” in front of our needs. It has always been this way, under the delusion that he is doing all of this for “us”. In the past 3 weeks I have had to go to social services to inquire about support and I can’t even describe the injustice I feel that I am having to grovel while he walks around in his suit and goes to his swanky office. I am beyond trying to work things out at the moment, and simply want an action plan to make sure I (and my children) are never forced into this situation again.

    After many nights of no sleep trying to figure out what I can possibly do, I believe I’ve come up with a great course of action. I have inquired with the college, the University and the medical school in my city, as well as the financial aid office. I am eligible to attend school as early as September to start on the path towards a career in medicine. Although I don’t believe it is realistic for me to plan 10 straight years of schooling and rotations, I have found that I can get a practical nursing degree in three years. After that I can decide whether to work (starting at a salary of $45,000) in a field of high demand, or continue with school.

    Financially, due to my situation as a seperated parent, I am eligible for up to 30,000 a year in student loans with complete forgiveness over $7,000 per year. This will include child care (that is subsidized down to $100 per month), living expenses and a very low tuition rate and materials fee that together come under $6,000. I have worked out many different scenarios, and although the idea of adding debt to an already debt ridden situation may seem ludicrous, it actually works out in the best way possible! I can get my degree, be independant (finally!) and actually REDUCE our living costs in the meantime. (We are spending roughly $25,000 a year on things above and beyond the mortgage..paying back 7,000 per year at the end of my total study period is a drastic reduction!) So, as I figure it, instead of working for 7 years as a bartender with three young children and a terrible marriage (good LORD!), I can get guaranteed income to take care of myself and the children while working towards a better future. Here is the financial breakdown:

    Bartending @ $400 per week x 52 weeks = $20,800 per year x 7 years = $145,600 + additional Canadian child benefit of 3,000 per year (married) = $166,600
    $166,600 – ($25,000 x 7 re: expenses outside of mortgage ) = $ – 8,400

    deficit of $8,400 in living expenses, depending heavily on my husband, and living under the gun

    Nursing degree : debt of $21,000 after three years (no interest accrued during study period, then 3% on a go forward basis

    $37,382 salary ($45,000 after tax) x 4 = 149,528

    + additional Canadian child benefit of 6,600 per year x 7 = 46,200
    149,528 + 46,200 = $195,728

    $195728 – $21,000 (loans) – $25,000 x 3 (living expenses) =

    surplus of $99,728 and a CAREER that is in high demand and half way to my goal of Psychiatry.

    * I realize this is a rather crude breakdown, but it’s pretty evident which one works out better.

    All of this being said, I have checked into our debt load, and EVERYTHING is in my husband’s name, so those debts won’t keep me from getting the loans. Also, with my steady “income” to go to school, he can do what he will with the business and a large amount of financial obligation is lifted from his shoulders for an extended period. (I feel better about my “part” in the debt, knowing that this isn’t leaving him “high and dry”, but actually gives him more room to possibly make it with his business.)

    What do you think, Steve? I think this may be the best thing that ever happened to me, wrapped up in the most painful experience I’ve ever had.

    Thanks Again!

    Kathryn

    P.S. Sorry it’s so long!

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Kathryn,

      Thank goodness you live in Canada. Those amazing benefits to help you restart your life would not be available here in the U.S. Go Canada!!!

      I’ll stand behind any plan that allows you a path towards happiness, financial security, and to close the door and resolve the current situation you are laboring under. The nurse first step seems totally logical. Many nurses have decided to continue their training and become physician assistants, doctors and I’m sure psychiatrists.

      My desire and wishes for you are to break the cycle, either with or without the cooperation of your husband. But, and this is the big but, I don’t want you to adopt a victim mentality here. Charge forth towards opportunity with the understanding that the past was not what you wanted. Don’t be a victim, take charge and seize a better future. Part of the better future is going to be coming to terms with your relationship. Don’t live in anger.

      Big hug.

      Steve

  • Kathryn

    Hi again Steve,
    This is Kathryn from “My Husband is a Financial Advisor and We’re in Crisis!” I’ve been checking out all the options to deal with the large amount of debt in my marriage. Because claiming bankruptcy is out of the question (for now at least) with my husband’s profession, I’m wondering what you think of refinancing our mortgage? We’ wouldn’t be able to borrow much on it (about $18,000 at best), but after fees it would still give us enough room to pay off the two highest interest credit cards (at 25% and 19.9% respectively). The proposed refinanced mortgage is actually at a lower rate than the one we have now (3.75 % vs. the 5.05% we got 3 years ago). Our mortgage payment would go DOWN by about $60.00 and our credit cards would stop accumulating interest. Also, the ridding of two credit card payments would take us down by over $400 a month in our monthly expenditure. Do you think this is a good idea? Another question that goes along…If we’re very close to being eligible for the refinancing, but need to have 2-$3,000 down on the mortgage, would it make sense, to you, to use additional monies to pay off more of the mortgage as to procure eligibility? Thanks again for your help, Steve! I’ve been raving about you to everyone! I really admire what you’re doing for people.

    Kathryn

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Kathryn,

      Thank you for spreading the word about me and the pat on the back for my work. I appreciate it.

      As I sit here and ponder your question I’m left with a nagging concern about your situation. Recently you mentioned your husband was going to look for a new place to live and that you were separated.

      Getting a new mortgage is expensive in fees and charges so before you launch into doing that I really think you first need to make sure your relationship is healed and in recovery. Are you back together now? Is this month better than last month financially?

      It just seems that unless the other issues are addressed the last thing you need right now is more debt and obligations against the house, especially if you ultimately split. While the interest rate may be lower by refinancing you need to keep in mind that in an unstable situation there is a significant cost of converting unsecured debt against the house with the mortgage. With a higher mortgage, the house can be more easily lost if there was a change in income, like in a divorce.

      Steve

  • Kathryn

    Steve,
    I was reading one of your articles, regarding credit, and you spoke of a time period of seven years being the amount of time it takes for former “bad credit behavior” to be removed from a credit report. Is this only when you have settled the debt seven years before? I have a cell phone bill from 2002, that is the big black mark on my report. It is for about $1,600 and has never been paid. I have ordered my credit report already, but want to know what I should do to rebuild my credit. Also relevant is that all of the debts in my marriage, including mortgage line of credit, car payment etc. are in my husband’s name, not mine, so those things shouldn’t affect my credit, as far as I know. I should mention that I’m in Canada, too.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Kathryn,

      In Canada bad credit accounts are automatically purged after six years. The best thing you can do to rebuild your credit is to get back in the credit game and have new, good credit reported about you. Right now your credit report just appears as if you fell off the earth. Go get a secured credit card that reports to the credit bureaus and use it. Pay the balance off in full each month to avoid running up debt. If you want to get things moving along quicker, get two secured cards.

      Debt in your husband’s name and not joint accounts, don’t involve you.

      Steve

  • Kathryn

    And the water gets murkier….Actually, Steve, my husband already IS receiving medical treatment. We BOTH are! One of the biggest reasons for all of this mess is because the two of us have ADHD. I don’t know how much you know about it, but contrary to popular belief, it can really destroy your life if it goes untreated. Because ADHD is primarily a disorder of the executive functions (in the prefrontal cortex of the brain) it wreaks havoc on prioritizing, decision making, time management, short term memory, etc. It’s like having a swiss cheese brain! Example: I have an IQ of 142, an EQ of 132 and have accomplished many things in my life (like appearing on Saturday Night Live after moving to New York City within 6 weeks, winning a child support battle across national boundaries while basically doing the case myself at 21 with no money and up against a soap star who denied everything, and surviving a childhood that would make most people hate the world and only made me want to help the hurting more). Until I was treated for ADHD, however, it took every ounce of my energy and concentration just to remember things! Although I had a large amount of potential, it was absolutely useless, as I didn’t know when my brain would function and when it would basically “short out”.

    You mentioned the idea of a spender and a saver. Unfortunately in our relationship, both of us were somewhat unrealistic with money. For years I really didn’t get the mess we were in and when my husband tried to explain it to me, the numbers may as well have turned upside down and backwards! On top of that, because he was sometimes impulsive in his spending, ADHD, (when he wasn’t being a complete dictator about even getting school supplies for the kids because we “didn’t have the money”) it confused me about the money we really DID have. DID we or didn’t we? It’s been a nightmare! He’s wanted me to “get it” for a long time, but has been unable to see that he’s been part of the problem too.

    When I left him, three weeks ago, because I absolutely could not live with his untreated ADHD symptoms (completely ignoring me, hyperfocusing on the business, staring at the tv all day when he WAS home (source of stimulation..ADHDers are constantly seeking stimulation to focus their minds), being irrational because he often misunderstood what I was saying as his attention span is nil if he’s not interested) he finally addressed the issue and started taking the right medication. It’s like he’s finally here on planet earth and not spinning around it! I knew it would happen.. it happened to me! For the first time in my life I really feel like I can access what I am capable of, and I’m not afraid to go it alone if I have to. I have no issues with pride. My children come first and everyone has to start somewhere right? I’ll do any odd job I can and work myself to the bone to get things in order…as long as it is short term, and not expected of me for the indefinite future. I still have aspirations to become a psychiatrist. Just as your experience with bankruptcy motivated you to help others, I can not think of a better way to give back to the world than to help work the kind of miracles for others, that changed my life.

    I’m thinking that the “line in the sand” is that the business must steadily cover out bills and my income (whatever it may be) will make up the living expenses and debt above and beyond the minimum payments. If we can live on a strict budget (that I’ve already worked out) and use any additional funds to pay things off we may just make it. I also want to make sure a safety fund is in place. What do you think? Does this sound like a logical plan to you?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Kathryn,

      Give it a try, the worst it can do is fail.

      Just focus on getting a firm foundation with some money in an emergency fund and living within your income. If you can do that as a first step then it might just be possible to build a good foundation here.

      Please keep me posted as things move along. I have great hopes for you.

      Big hug.

      Steve

  • Kathryn

    P.S. After REALLY evaluating our debt it’s actually closer to $100,000 including our new van (that I didn’t want to get!) That’s not including our mortgage which has $120,000 to go.

  • Kathryn

    Hi Steve,
    Well, I sent him your response and it pushed him over the edge. He didn’t show up tonight, when he was supposed to watch the kids and four hours later he called and said my “little note” had humiliated him to the point of not being able to look into his children’s eyes. I’ll leave that alone for now, as his behavior is a whole different ballgame, but I wanted to update you. I think you were very helpful. I really am looking for any way I can think of to make things better, in fact today I applied for a night job bartending. It’s been a while, but I can go back if it means digging out of this mess and not putting our kids through hell. The thing that I’m noticing now, though, is that the more I reach out for help with the money issues or question the handling of things, the angrier he gets. I know he’s humiliated about where we’ve ended up, but as our future and our children’s future depends on us taking reality on, I can’t accept the “bury our heads in the sand” approach. Any tips on dealing with someone in his situation (ie: not making things worse, but also not allowing old patterns to continue)?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

      Kathryn,

      The question is if he feels bad that we are talking about it or bad that it is what it is. The mark of a true hero is not that you find yourself in a bad spot, but that you can suck it up and do what needs to be done to fix the situation. We all make mistakes. This is a moment for him to shine and to be your hero and the hero for the kids.

      I applaud your pursuit of income but I just want you to be careful and think about what is best for you all as a collective unit. My worry is that your being out of the home at night will just avoid an opportunity for you two to work together in a helpful way with the kids in a loving environment to deal with this situation.

      Please don’t take this the wrong way, but the first step to a happy ending here is for the two of you to run together, not apart. And if he is not willing to work together with you to deal with this situation heads up then thats a whole different situation that involves your relationship rather than your finances.

      For your own information I think you should find a local bankruptcy attorney and go talk to them for free about what bankruptcy would mean for you. You can click here to find a local bankruptcy attorney.

      Without any real expectation that you can either make ends meet or dig yourselves out your choice is to pay for the mistakes of the past for years to come or seek a fresh start for the kids. No need to put them through years of hell just because he might be too proud to admit defeat. Armed with that information you can help your husband to see a path out.

      I hope your husband can see the situation is unfortunate but not fatal. This is a crossroad that has been faced by millions of people. Think about the families that grew up for generations as farmers in Oklahoma and then the Dust Bowl period hit, wiping out farming and forcing those families to pack belongings in their trucks and leave to seek out new homes and new careers.

      When I hit the wall in my life I went from running a medical practice with 45 employees to starting my own real estate company and being my own boss, a dream of mine, to getting people coffee in some of the worst temp jobs ever. I hated it, I did what I had to do.

      How did I deal with it? Well I had to move my wife and three year old daughter in with my parents. Otherwise we would have been homeless. It was a difficult time in my life. I was depressed and lost but I got up everyday and did what I could to put one step in front of the other to make things better. I was in no frame of mind to go look for a new corporate job or run another large medical practice. I was done with real estate. So I went and applied at all the temporary agencies and took every stinking job they could send me on.

      Activity breeds opportunity and out of those temp jobs I become a full time employee at IBM and loved that job, oh yeah, till they eliminated my department. But by that time I had finally learned that life is all about change and dealing with it.

      So the lesson learned by the Oakies that fled the Dust Bowl and me is that his recovery is not going to start till he can see reality, accept it, and he’s willing to fight for a better future. Until then he’s going to be stuck in those early emotional stages of debt I mentioned in my first answer.

      The best thing you can do now is probably to stay home and be a great parent for the kids at night. Come to an agreement preferably with your husband to draw a line in the sand and if that line is crossed then seek protection through bankruptcy and start over.

      These turbulent times can break apart relationships and end in divorce or they can make them stronger. I was lucky, it made my relationship with my wife stronger.

      But the hard fact is that it sounds like even if you left him and he is not willing to deal with the reality of his situation that he could not afford to pay court ordered child support to care for his kids.

      The situation is bad and Kathryn you are at a crossroads. What is it you want to do if he is not willing to deal with this? Is it going to be ego first or kids first, that is his question?

      Steve

      • Kathryn

        Hi Steve,

        Okay, here goes…there’s some more background information that makes things even MORE complicated (if that’s possible.) We already ARE separated. I left about three weeks ago for a few days with the kids, until he found a place to stay. The reasons for leaving were not directly because of the finances, but I’m sure the stress of them has had a large impact on our relationship. He is seeking help to rectify some of the “wrongs” that caused me to finally pull the plug, so I’m not walking out of the relationship yet, but it’s really confusing to even try to figure out what to do because there are two distinctly different routes that could happen Ie: If we go from separation to divorce, then I don’t even know what debt would be mine. All of our debt, excluding one credit card (with a balance of about $6,000) is in his name. Our mortgage, three credit cards, line of credit, his personal debt and our car are all solely listed to him, as I ruined my own credit almost 10 years ago with a cell phone bill, and it’s never been taken care of. (This is another bone of contention for me…$2,000 that has just sat there for years, while all sorts of things were bought, and my credit didn’t seem important enough to settle.) So if we really split, would the debt be shared? also, if we don’t split for good, what options are there…can debt be transferred to me? I’m not the one with the license and my credit is shot, as far as I can see, anyway. Can I claim bankruptcy if the debt is transferred? My husband is not nearly as in denial as he was. He’s actually rather depressed now. I see this as a good thing (although I don’t like to see him feeling so terribly) Now we can take reality on, I hope. As far as the bartending, it would be Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. We’re already not spending that time together (and haven’t been for a LONG time as he’s at work all the time), and I think in either situation (together or apart), it’s better for me to have some money I can count on. I think a large part of why we’ve failed so far was because of my own inability to contribute financially with back to back babies. There’s been no steady income we can depend on, even though my husband’s income has not been terrible. It’s driven me absolutely mental to look on and not be able to do much of anything, as I’m not what you’d call a sit back and watch type of person! I’ve looked at the finances and it does seem possible that if the business continues on the upswing (as it has been) my adding an extra $2,000 a month could make a huge difference. What do you think?

        P.S. I really do appreciate your input on this. It helps to feel like someone cares and also understands the issue.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org Steve Rhode

        Kathryn,

        I see. Thanks for sharing.

        You need to encourage your husband to go see his doctor and talk about depression. There are some excellent therapies, including medication, that can help to deal with that. The faster the depression is under control the more strength he can muster towards the business and relationship. Help him to get that addressed and it will help much of these other issues as well.

        Unless you live in a community property state of Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington or Wisconsin then the debt in his name is his alone and can’t be transferred to you. If you were to get divorced a divorce agreement does not transfer legal ownership of debt, it’s just an agreement on who pays what. And all debt can be addressed with bankruptcy so that’s not a worry for you even in a divorce.

        Now more than ever we need to concentrate on rebuilding your credit. If you have not looked at your consolidated credit report and score you need to do it now. The link for the consolidated credit report is the same one I use for myself.

        If your $6,000 credit card has been paid on time then that helps your score. What I’m most concerned about is what might be reported about you that is negative and bringing the score down. We know there is at least one account out there that must be dealt with. With the possibility of you being out on your own, a sexy credit score is important.

        The income now sounds like a good thing but not knowing what your husband’s other issues are I’m worried that it might still create a difficult rift but you seem assured it won’t, so go for it.

        I hear what you are saying about the inability to contribute financially but I strongly disagree. I think you’ve contributed financially in more meaningful ways than bringing home a paycheck ever could. The value of the years you’ve put in at home with the children is massive. If you look at how much it would cost to hire someone to provide all those services it would be huge. Because you did those services you essentially brought that value of income into the home since it did not need to be made and paid to someone else.

        If I could turn back the clock on anything here it would have been to make sure that while he was bringing home an outside income that it was managed at home by both of you. You both would have been on the same page as far as bills, obligations, and saving. This way you could have been partners in financial affairs. He would have contributed his outside income and your your inside income into the marital pot and you would have managed that together to avoid surprises.

        Steve

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