My Ex-Husband Was an Ass and Left Me Loaded in Debt. – Rachel

“Dear Steve,

A couple of years ago my husband and I divorced. When we did so, I held most of the debt from our marriage in my name [he had terrible credit] however he was the one making a huge salary 90k+/year.

Throughout our 10 year marriage I stayed home with our children [which I am extremely grateful for] while he was moving up the corporate ladder… Towards the end of our marriage, I went back to school-he was infuriated. He wanted me to stay home, that’s where he believed a woman should be. Our daughters were 8 and 10 yrs old at the time.

I did everything for our family- except work outside the home. Everything (ie. housework, cooking, errands, appts, laying out his clothes, yard work, snow removal, trash, home repairs..) and I promised to keep up my house work while going to school full time.

Still he was horrible to me so I decided to leave him- this made him crazy and our divorce was brutal. Knowing he had money and I didn’t, he used our children as leverage and threatened to hire a lawyer and take the kids from me if I went after him for half our marriage debt, and I totally believed him.

He is not a stand up guy, in fact, everything came before the children and I, work, poker, bar hopping. I could not let him take them, so I agreed to far less alimony/child support and took on all the debt. When the judge asked me why and if I was being coerced to do so I wanted to scream out YES!! But I was afraid that he would come back with an attorney if I did.

Three years later I am one semester away from a dual bachelor degree and minor.. and I am buried in my eyeballs with student loans etc. MY new debt I can handle, its mine and its relative to what I make. (BTW I am on state ins and have food stamps and free lunch for the kids-I make enough to barely get by) My children and I are happy and healthy and I love my new life-minus the debt collectors from my divorce debt.

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Unfortunately, I was already taken to court for 2 of the debts, once I went the other I had to skip, I had a doc apt for my Lupus, which is flaring up under all this stress. in court they determined that I was unable to pay and gave me a number to call to work out payment arrangements I could afford…huh?

When I called they wanted an absurd amount of money or they were going to take me back to court. So I skipped the next date for a different debt. they amounts are double what they were when I originally defaulted bc of interest etc. I want to make this right, and I am willing to send them whatever I can afford, but they will not work with me. What should I do, please help? Every time the phone rings my kids look at the caller ID and say, ” its an 800 number mom, don’t worry about it” But I do.


Super Hero - FemaleDear Rachel,

Your entire post-divorce financial mess appears to stem from a common problem, not being in the right mindset to deal with the debt. See How Do I Get Out of Debt Quickly? Change Your Mindset.

Frankly, you owe it to the kids and yourself to stop pushing this debt down the road and living on food stamps. Your stress, most likely lupus flareup, and hopelessness stems from one decision, not dealing with your debt in a healthy way.

It’s time to step up and think like a corporation and properly deal with this impossible debt, stop getting sued over it and stop any judgments or wage garnishments coming.

Seriously, the most responsible thing you can do for you and the kids is to go talk to a bankruptcy attorney, NOW!

If you don’t deal with that old debt now it is only going to get worse when the student loans ramp up.

Nothing good will come from delaying. Nothing.

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It’s time to stop living in the past and start living for the future.

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


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.
Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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