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My Husband is Horrible About Dealing With Money. Grand Schemes and Debt is All We’ve Got. – Marie

“Dear Steve,

My husband and I are married for 4 years now, have 2 kids and one on the way in a few months. When I married him he made it seem that he is financially stable and ready for a family.

But when his cash cow business was shutdown right before we got married things spiraled into insurmountable debt. Basically he has been unemployed for 4 years and has only operated and owned busineses.

So the past 4 years he has tried to form businesses that never materialized and put us in a lot of debt with friends, family, and investors, and business partners.

We filed for CH.7 bankcruptcy a few months ago jointly, because he had a lot of judgements, liens, tax liens, and business debts he accumulated before we were married, and that has been a nightmare.

I thought it would give us a fresh start, but now the bankcruptcy began and we are faced with 3 adversary complaints and have to seek new counsel (bankcruptcy ongoing for 4 months now). New counsel said th at most liked the adversary complaint of one of his investors will not be discharged.

So basically even if we file for CH7, there is likelihood that $400,000 of it is non dischargeable. So we will be up for a long haul in paying that down. My husband hasn’t made a penny now in his new venture, and we are surviving on borrowed money from family.

Is there hope for this situation? I feel so sucked in, and I had nothing to do with any of this debt, but my name is on everything.

I love my husband and we have 2 beautiful children and a baby on the way and I feel as if my health and mental well being is on the line.

I am seriously depressed, pregnant and pray constantly for a miracle in the business dealings he has been working on and nothing seem to be clicking. What drastic changes must I do to help him realize that his investments and financial irresponsibility is going to affect our future.

We dont own anything. But the thought of owning anything seem so dim now with 400K of debt following us for the rest of my life. Will me divorcing him help me start fresh? I only want just so i feel more secured that his future dealings wont hunt me. I do still want us to live together but just not the financial obligation. Or is it too late now.

Marie”

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The Answer

Dear Marie,

Thank you for your open, honest, and very touching question. I can feel the pain, stress, and some hopelessness in your statements.

It seems to me what we have here is the tale of two worlds.

On one side we have the husband and father who you love and adore.

On the other side you have a businessman who may have been involved in some sketchy behavior if he is unable to discharge his personal liabilities in a chapter 7 bankruptcy. I’m positive there is much, much more to that story that maybe even you are unaware of.

People can fundamentally change, but not many do. It would be unclear what more you could do, other than leave him to pursue your own life for you and the kids, that you have not already done. I’m confident you’ve already expressed how his actions have impacted the quality of life you all have. If not, you should but do it in a way where you express your feelings about the situation, not accusations at him.

At his core, your husband sounds like a gambler and willing to take big risks for big rewards. Not all bets are winners and more often than not people chase a bad thing down the rabbit hole hoping for a different outcome.

If you came to see me and sat down to discuss this matter, the first thing I’d do is give you a big hug. It sure sounds like a hug is needed situation.

But most importantly I’d share with you my opinion about what might be the best path for you.

My Husband is Horrible About Dealing With Money. Grand Schemes and Debt is All Weve Got.   Marie

As tough as it sounds I think, for the sake of the kids, I’d ask you to round up your best friend and most trusted confidant and go see both a divorce attorney and a bankruptcy attorney. I’d talk to the bankruptcy attorney about the reality of you being able to discharge your personal liability under the situation. While creditors are chasing him, it is questionable if they would chase you.

The divorce attorney consultation would be important to investigate shielding yourself and your innocent children from his irresponsible behavior. His actions are not fair to you, the kids, your friends, and family.

Divorcing him might not be necessary but if you wanted to go for maximum insulation and avoid future financial surprises, setting yourself up for an independent life would be a logical and reasonable path to investigate.

And of course it might go without saying, never sign anything jointly for him until he proves to you in the future he can be trusted financially. Even then, I’d be hesitant. The truth is that not everyone can be trusted financially.

This advice might sound harsh and cold but it is really given out of love for you and the kids. Just remember, there is nothing that prevents you from maintaining a relationship with him once you’ve insulated you and the kids from his bad financial acts.

You can share a future life together but isolate his bad financial behavior so it stops with him.

You need to become the family super hero and save both you and the kids from this terrible situation.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

My Husband is Horrible About Dealing With Money. Grand Schemes and Debt is All Weve Got.   Marie
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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.

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