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  1. #1
    jeepxjman is offline Junior Member
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    Wife with no job?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Washington State

    My wife of 8 years and I are currently separated, and planning to get divorced. We were in dire financial straights before our split, with most all of our bills going to collections, and my wages have been garnished for the last 2 years. Right now, we share about $21,000 in debt between us, in joint accounts.

    My question is, how can I separate the financial burden, when she has just quit her job? All she wants to do is file for bankruptcy, but I make over $100K a year, and would be left paying the monthly debt, if we file Chapter 13.
  2. #2
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepxjman View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Washington State

    My wife of 8 years and I are currently separated, and planning to get divorced. We were in dire financial straights before our split, with most all of our bills going to collections, and my wages have been garnished for the last 2 years. Right now, we share about $21,000 in debt between us, in joint accounts.

    My question is, how can I separate the financial burden, when she has just quit her job? All she wants to do is file for bankruptcy, but I make over $100K a year, and would be left paying the monthly debt, if we file Chapter 13.
    You make over 100k and only have 21k in debt? Someone with a 100k salary should easily be able to handle 21k in debt. Where is your money going? Are you paying on a mortgage that is more than you should have taken on?

    You need to figure out why you are in dire financial straits and take the necessary steps to downsize.

    Why are your wages garnished?..what are they garnished for?
  3. #3
    nextwife is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    You make over 100k and only have 21k in debt? Someone with a 100k salary should easily be able to handle 21k in debt. Where is your money going? Are you paying on a mortgage that is more than you should have taken on?

    You need to figure out why you are in dire financial straits and take the necessary steps to downsize.

    Why are your wages garnished?..what are they garnished for?
    Good grief. I make a fraction of that and have no debt, and 80% equity in my house. Dude, you REALLY need to re-examine your spending and priorities.
  4. #4
    jeepxjman is offline Junior Member
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    I just spent the last 4 years bailing out her parents, their mortgage, their property taxes, monthly household bills, you name it. We sold our house 3 years ago wh3en I made $65K a year, after my wife quit her $55K a year job, due to stress. We were forced to move in with her parents, since we were paying their bills anyway. My kind heart finally gave out, and I've been separated from my wife, and the situation, for the last 4 months. I have no legal ties/contracts to pay their bills.

    I realize I can afford to just keep paying the $800 a month I've been getting garnished, but in fairness, my wife helped accumulate the debt, and is bound to pay a portion of it back. She was never garnished, having worked 4 different jobs, in the last 3 years.

    p.s. She's a drug addict, and an alcoholic, should've left sooner, I know.....
    Last edited by jeepxjman; 07-02-2009 at 06:56 AM. Reason: text missing
  5. #5
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepxjman View Post
    I just spent the last 4 years bailing out her parents, their mortgage, their property taxes, monthly household bills, you name it. We sold our house 3 years ago wh3en I made $65K a year, after my wife quit her $55K a year job, due to stress. We were forced to move in with her parents, since we were paying their bills anyway. My kind heart finally gave out, and I've been separated from my wife, and the situation, for the last 4 months. I have no legal ties/contracts to pay their bills.

    I realize I can afford to just keep paying the $800 a month I've been getting garnished, but in fairness, my wife helped accumulate the debt, and is bound to pay a portion of it back. She was never garnished, having worked 4 different jobs, in the last 3 years.

    p.s. She's a drug addict, and an alcoholic, should've left sooner, I know.....
    Does that $800.00 service the entire 21k of debt?

    In any case, the reality of things is that if the debt is in your name, you are likely going to be stuck paying it. The creditors are not a party to your divorce and are bound only by the loan/credit contracts. Even if the judge orders your wife to pay 1/2, if the doesn't the creditors are simply going to continue to come after you.

    You could easily spend more in legal fees trying to chase her for the money than you would gain.
  6. #6
    jeepxjman is offline Junior Member
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    The $800 is basically one debtor at a time, that's what my payroll people tell me, they only allow 1 company to garnish me, and when they're done, they move on to the next waiting in line. The garnished amount is based off my disposable income. I pulled credit reports, found we only owe $21,000, so filing chapter 13 would be pointless, and only further damage our credit scores.
  7. #7
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepxjman View Post
    The $800 is basically one debtor at a time, that's what my payroll people tell me, they only allow 1 company to garnish me, and when they're done, they move on to the next waiting in line. The garnished amount is based off my disposable income. I pulled credit reports, found we only owe $21,000, so filing chapter 13 would be pointless, and only further damage our credit scores.
    I suggest that once the divorce is finished, and you know exactly where you stand financially, that you start disposing of some of that debt outside of the garnishment process...or ask your employer to up the amount garnished in order to clear it out faster.

    However, you also should check and see if what your employer has in hand for garnishments matches your credit report.
  8. #8
    jeepxjman is offline Junior Member
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    It's an embarrassing situation to be in, never thought I'd be here. I get the legal notices from the attorneys that represent the debtors, and the garnishment is very slow to pay the total amount due.

    I'm in a good place now, and don't have any bills outside the garnishment, other than living expenses, household bills, rent, car insurance ect, no car payments, or revovling credit accounts/credit cards. Maybe I should just grin and bear it, and absorb the debt, since I make decent money, but it sure is hard to stomach**************
  9. #9
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepxjman View Post
    It's an embarrassing situation to be in, never thought I'd be here. I get the legal notices from the attorneys that represent the debtors, and the garnishment is very slow to pay the total amount due.

    I'm in a good place now, and don't have any bills outside the garnishment, other than living expenses, household bills, rent, car insurance ect, no car payments, or revovling credit accounts/credit cards. Maybe I should just grin and bear it, and absorb the debt, since I make decent money, but it sure is hard to stomach**************
    I know its hard to stomach, but you will get your credit back faster, in the end, if you handle it yourself. Just be glad that you are getting out from under the people who were dragging you down financially.
  10. #10
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    I know its hard to stomach, but you will get your credit back faster, in the end, if you handle it yourself. Just be glad that you are getting out from under the people who were dragging you down financially.
    That's true and probably good advice.

    HOWEVER, he should also ask the court to order stbx to pay half of the debt. Even if he's going to end up paying it, that will give him the ability to collect if she gets a good job, wins the lottery, etc.
  11. #11
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mistoffolees View Post
    That's true and probably good advice.

    HOWEVER, he should also ask the court to order stbx to pay half of the debt. Even if he's going to end up paying it, that will give him the ability to collect if she gets a good job, wins the lottery, etc.
    Oh absolutely. I did not intend to imply that he shouldn't ask that it be ordered...just that he shouldn't count on it being paid.
  12. #12
    Ronin is offline Member
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    $21K debt is not that much, and less than the balance many folks owe on their car debt. At $800/month it should be paid off in less than three years, unless the garnishments include exhorbitant interest rates and other costs and fees, which they probably do.

    Best scenario is to pay everything off with a lower interest loan which could put the payments well under $500/month for five years. However, when the credit is such that garnishments have been levied, that is probably not an option.

    If all of your wife's debts are jointly held with you, and you are already on the hook to pay these off, it would not make sense for her to file bankruptcy. She would be far better off riding this out for three more years or so until you have paid the debt.

    A lot of married couples mistakingly assume they need to jointly sign for all debt. Although lenders certainly encourage this, it is not always required, or advisable, even on home mortgages. Even if the couple never gets divorced, a well structured debt management plan can help them ride out any unplanned issues such as job loss or business failure. It is possible for a spouse to file bankruptcy and leave the other spouse unscathed.

    Given the disparity in income and the rather low debt, I personally would not bust an unemployed or marginally employed ex's chops over 10K, and just commit to paying it off and moving on.
  13. #13
    mistoffolees is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin View Post
    Given the disparity in income and the rather low debt, I personally would not bust an unemployed or marginally employed ex's chops over 10K, and just commit to paying it off and moving on.
    Note that the wife quite a $55 K job 3 years ago - so she certainly has plenty of earning capacity to take on her share of the debt.

    Maybe you're more forgiving than I am, but I'd certainly ask the court to assign her half - particularly since he went so far out of the way in supporting her family.

    Granted, I might not be very aggressive in filing for contempt, but I'd want it on the books.
  14. #14
    jeepxjman is offline Junior Member
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    It helps that my estranged wife has already moved in with a guy, is carrying his baby, and is building a new life. Hopefully it will motivate her to end this peacefully, and she does agree that some of the bills are her responsibility.
  15. #15
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeepxjman View Post
    It helps that my estranged wife has already moved in with a guy, is carrying his baby, and is building a new life. Hopefully it will motivate her to end this peacefully, and she does agree that some of the bills are her responsibility.
    Congrats on becoming a father again. Are you suing for custody of the child your wife is carrying? Are you suing for child support? Are you prepared to pay child support?
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.

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