Work 2 jobs to pay hubby's debt? No way!
I am considering divorce. My husband is 64, on the verge of retirement.
I'm 20 years younger and working two jobs to pay off debt that was
built by both of us. The card was in my name only. I'm considering
filing for divorce in order to force him to give me some money toward
the outstanding balance. He's been putting all his money in investments
in his name only and I'm carrying the debt. Should I not pay it
at all and look for legal action?
Although divorcing over money issues is very common, I always have
a hard time getting used it when I hear someone is going down that
road. The loss of dreams, time and, yes, money is very sad
My primary recommendation is to try to communicate
with your husband about your level of frustration and his pitching
in to help pay the debt. You might gently (or not, considering the
stakes) remind him that the balance on the credit card is due to
purchases from which you both benefited and that you are working
a second job to keep up with the payments. Don't forget to look
at it from his point of view, as well. He may be paying for other
things and thinking he is doing his part in the marriage.
If you have already tried to reach an agreement with
your husband about paying off the debt, to no avail, here are some
suggestions. First, stop using the card. Second, get a new
card that you will use for just stuff that applies to you alone. Third,
ask him to get a joint card with you for future purchases that benefit
both of you.
I do not have good news for you regarding your idea of stopping
payments on the debt. Since the card is in your name only,
the one hurt most by not paying the bill will be you. It will negatively
affect your credit, not his. If you believe divorce is in your future,
you will want to protect your credit as best you can. Property,
assets and debt are split up in a divorce, so you need to be careful
and minimize any potential financial damage.
Let's look at what might happen if you stop paying
the credit card debt.
||Consequences of not paying:
I would encourage you to have a serious heart-to-heart
talk with your husband. At 64, I hope he would know that avoiding
marital conflict and divorce has real value. Plus, if he knows how
upset you are, and he really cares for you, a solution may be in
the offing. If he is an insensitive dweeb, contact an attorney if
you are seriously considering divorce and find out what legal recourse
you have to get your husband to pay his portion of the debt. In
the meantime, keep paying your credit card bill.
The Debt Adviser, Steve Bucci, is the president
of Money Management International Financial Education Foundation
and the author of "Credit
Repair Kit for Dummies." Visit MMI
for additional debt advice, or to ask a question of the Debt Adviser,
go to the "Ask the
Experts" page and select "debt" as the topic.