Steps to Separation

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2005
Steps to Separation
22
Thu, 12-26-2013 - 5:08pm

I have finally decided that's it time to divorce.  Marriage has been bad for many, many years and now it's not bad - it just isn't anymore.  Neither of us seems to even care whether it's good or bad so it's obviously time for the one to become two again.  I have not discussed this with husband yet.  Waiting on Christmas to be over and things to calm down.

,But I have a financial issue that I need some thoughts on.  I teach three colleges part-time and also work one Saturday a month at an antique mall (virtually no income frorm this).  The teaching is on a contract basis by semester.  So if the term is over, I have no income.  I rarely teach in the summers.  But when I'm teaching I am legally obligated to those schools and really can't accept any other full-time job.  So I can either not sign the contracts for spring term starting in a couple of weeks.  This would mean that I would have to stay in this house with husband until I find another job.  Who knows how long that would be - unemployment %s here are very high.   OR I can sign the contracts and move out when I'm ready and take a huge risk that I will have a job come mid-May.  I have applied for a few jobs over Christmas break however since it is Christmas,. most employers aren't fooling with this now.  They will wait until after Jan 1.  I have to start signing contracts around Jan 6.  So most of those employers won't make a decision before I have to sign my contracts.  So would you sign the contracts or not?

I also want to know what do I need to do know to begin preparing for this.  I am going to go ahead and clean my closets and try to sort through some stuff.  I've sort of looked for houses to rent.  Not having much luck with this.  But again, I know that some of them will become available after the first of the year.  So any suggestions about what to start doing to get ready for this.  We've been marrised 33 years and our lives are very entangled!!

Thanks for any input that you can give.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-26-2013
Thu, 12-26-2013 - 6:03pm

33 years married? look, you have to talk to him about the situation. maybe the east going through something, I recommend you to talk to him and tell him every detail of what you feel to have if they can reach a solution, if not answered then you will have to make the decision to divorce, but otherwise speak and tell However, maybe find a solution.luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Thu, 12-26-2013 - 6:26pm

Hi;

Wow I totally remember you and you're story and so happy you have decided to finally cut the ties and move on from your so called marriage..

So I wouldnt worry so much about the money because you will find your way... If you have been surviving like this for so many years with your husband then you will survive without him.. Most likely you will thrive....What I would suggest is getting a lawyer on retainer no matter what.. Go to a lawyer and get a consultation.. The first one is usually free..  Just to see what your options are.. If all of the assets are split and there could be many... House, savings, pensions, 401 K, social security, alimony,etc.etc.  You will be fine.

I would keep the job you have and keep looking for others.. Its better to have some money coming in than none even if its seasonal or whatever..... That will atleast keep you self sufficient..and if possible you can keep saving and saving something for an apt. and when the time comes you will have some extra money.. Go on a quest to save as much as you can .. You can also read books on divorce and seek out sep. and divorce support groups.. They helped me alot when I was going t hrough my divorce... I would also check into women;s groups as they give strength to people going it alone.. There must be help out there but you need to find it..Try not to go this alone because it might start to wear you down... There is srength in numbers.. LOL .. Seek out support from family and friends and children..

That is good that you are cleaning out the closets and all.. Keep purging all the things you dont need.. Have a garage sale, sell on ebay , craigslist... Get rid of your old life and old things because now you are starting new....

There are many places to live affordable.. Maybe room mate situation, studio, closer to your jobs.. When you start moving forward the Universe will provide and all will fall into place..

Good Luck and I wish you the best!!!

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 12-26-2013 - 8:22pm

Unless he is abusing you, and you are in fear of rape or death, it is STUPID, STUPID, STUPID to divorce at this point.  Can you support yourself?  Do you have your own, affordable health, vision, hearing, & dental benefits?  Can you take care of a house, a car?  Do you have sufficent PENSION--to last for 25 years??  If the answer to any of these questions is NO, do not get divorced.  Live as roommates.  Sleep in your own bed.  Share bills & chores.  Keep up the life insurance, and stay married for the benefits.  Don't aggravate your husband enough to divorce YOU. 

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 12-26-2013 - 8:40pm

<<<When you start moving forward the Universe will provide and all will fall into place..>>>  That is the most ridiculous thing anyone has ever said. 

Older women have much higher rates of poverty than older men. Poverty rates for women 65 and older are nearly double those of men in the same age group.... In 2001, the poverty rate for men 65 and older was roughly 6 percent, compared with 12 percent for women. By 2009, those rates had edged up to 7 percent for men and 13 percent for women.
 
Older singles are more likely to live in poverty than older couples.The poverty rate for couples 65 and older is just 4 percent, compared with almost 16 percent for single men in that age group. And older single women are especially vulnerable: more than one in five single women 65 or older — 21 percent — live in poverty.


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 12-27-2013 - 5:02pm

Well this is the big info missing from this picture to see whether Freeatlast or Sabrtooth are on the right track here--all you talked about is your income which I would guess isn't huge unless you are a tenured prof, which you don't seem to be.  What is your DH's income?  Since you've been married a long time, you are entitled to alimony--is he still working?  How many years til retirement?  You could either be in your 50's or a lot older, depending on when you got married.  What are your other assets?  What you really need to do is consult a lawyer to figure out what your financial options are.  Then you can figure out if you can afford to get married.  I don't really see the point of continuing to live an unhappy life as roommates for the rest of your life unless your fianncial situation is so dire that you have no other choice.  Sure you aren't being abused but you also won't be happy either--you don't necessarily have to get divorced if you will lose out on things like health ins (if you're close to 65 you'll be going on Medicare anyway so that point might be moot).  You will also need to start going through financial things.  Make sure before you tell your DH you get copies of your income tax returns for the past few years, statements about retirement plans, a copy of his paychecki, etc.  You will need all that info to take to the lawyer.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2005
Fri, 12-27-2013 - 9:56pm

He knows there are problems and I've tried talking to him about the problems.  My husband has a mental illness OCPD and I can't talk to him about anything these days.  It's a long story and I really don't want to go into it all but I've suggested counseling and he won't go.  I am not telling him about my plans until I am able to follow through because living here is miserable enough.  It would be H*ll if he knew.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2005
Fri, 12-27-2013 - 10:05pm

Thank you for your support.  I had to know that I had done all I could do and I truly know that I have now!!  I also had to come to terms with this in the context of my faith.  I am probably not all the way there yet but I am getting there.  I realize that God wouldn't want either of us to be miserable and we are.  I also know that IF divorce is a sin that it's no different from any other sin I've created and it will be forgiven.  And I believe that my family will at least not condemn me like they would've a couple of years ago.  I will have a battle with one of my grown children but we will get through it.

I talked with a lawyer a couple of years ago and he suggested that I wait until the housing market improved.  I believe it has.  I doubt that I could get alimony but I do have rights to half of everything, including his retirement and could probably get him to pay for my medical insurance for a while. 

Again, thanks for your support.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2005
Fri, 12-27-2013 - 10:20pm

Sabrtooth,

I would get half of his retirement and half of everything we have which would be enough to purchase a small house.  I wouldn't have any medical insurance but per the lawyer, it could be arranged that he would have to pay for coverage for a period of time until I could get settled better.

While he is not physically abusive and possibly not mental abuse but I know that we are both miserable.  We have tried the roommate thing you suggested for several years now and it's just not working.  I am tired of being snapped at over every little thing or being questioned about anything I want to do.  Our daughter had six miscarriages (two sets of twins with separate miscarriages for each set)  in the past year and wanted me to come visit for a few days before Christmas.  He was furious with me for spending the money.  Our house is paid for.  We have 4 cars, 5 boats, 2 tractors, 2 riding lawn mowers, a four wheeler and a motorcycle -- all paid for -- but I can't buy a plane ticket to visit our daughter!!  I get questioned every time I make a trip into town - we can't afford the gas - it's a 20 - 30 minute drive and I usually make it once a day but I'm not intelligent enough to decided if the trip is worth the gas money. Unless our children are home, we haven't eaten a meal together in probably 8 months.

I do understand and appreciate your concerns about poverty and finances.  And I have those same concerns but I just can't live this way any more. 

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-20-2005
Fri, 12-27-2013 - 10:39pm

Musiclover - I am 52 and he is 54.  My income varies depending on the number of courses available for me each year.  In the past 5 years, it has ranged from 18,000 to 27,000 with no benefits.  His income is around 69000 but may change as his job is being phased out and he will either take early retirement or be reassigned in September.

A couple of years ago, I talked with a lawyer and was told that I probably wouldn't get alimony but would be entitled to half of our assets and half of his retirement.  He also thinks that husband might have to pay for my medical insurance for a period of time until I can get on my feet.  I should have enough to be able to purchase a small home and IF I can keep the income around the 26000 range I should be okay but that would just be okay.   I would need a permanent full-time job with benefits to be able to retire at a reasonable age.  I'm also very, very concern about the fact that from semester to semester I am not guaranteed a job.  All classes are offered to full-time faculty first and then the leftovers are offered to me so if government spending on college grants, financial aid, etc. is cut and enrollment drops, then I am out of a job.  That scares me!!!

Toward the end of last term, I applied for several jobs but have not received any type of call.  If I sign the contracts for the upcoming spring, I will be legally obligated to stay employed in the part-time teaching jobs until late April or early May.  Then I know I won't have work until mid-August.  I can save some money for the summer but really need more stability than this. 

If I don't return to teaching this spring, I can go ahead and start trying to find that full-time job now rather than in May.  But if I don't find that  full-time job, I will have burned my bridges and will not be able to go back and will therefore have no income at all!!  I'm also afraid that if I don't leave this house soon, I will get scared again and stay.

Anyway thanks for your support!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sat, 12-28-2013 - 11:05am

I think that given the situation it seems more prudent to take the teaching jobs now and work on finding a full time job to start in May--it will take time to get your resume done, go on interviews, etc.  So I don't think you will be able to do that in a couple of weeks and then you'll be stuck.  I don't understand why that lawyer told you that you wouldn't get alimony considering it's a long term marriage and you have a big disparity in income.  In MA, the new standard for alimony is 30% of the difference between the 2 incomes and if you have been married for over 20 yrs it's indefinite--the problem is that if he does retire, then I assume his pension will be a lot less.  Maybe you should get a 2nd opinion.  Good luck to you--I know it must be scary to think about divorce after being together so long but I can understand why you want to do it.  As far as sin, I don't think that God would want anyone to stay in an abusive situation--it's not like you want a divorce for frivolous reasons.  Even the Catholic church, which is pretty anti-divorce, allows annulments in certain situations.

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