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Reged: 01/15/09
Posts: 217
Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help
      01/08/10 07:55 PM

Unfortunately, I don't know a lot about Texas law in this space, just a little familiarity based on my own experiences. Here are some thoughts:

1) The financial debate with judges and lawyers will be much easier for you so long as you are paying child support. (I assume you don't have a 50/50 split of parenting time.) Unless you are paying child support, NO ONE wants to talk to you about money. Even if there is NO court order for support, try to give her something for the KIDS. NO CASH - checks only with Child Support in the Memo line. Send the checks via certified mail. If she chooses not to sign for the letter and it is returned, keep it, don't open it and take it to court hearings wiht you. Take the cleared checks to every court hearing and mediation.

2) Her lack of knowledge for the biz debt is NOT a defense. Believe me - lawyers have seen numerous divorces where the WIFE ran up 10s of thousands of dollars in debt that only surfaced at the time of divorce. Just remind the mediator or lawyers when they start trying to shove the debt down your throat. My ex did it to me. She got 3 or 4 credit cards without my knowledge. She stayed at home and checked the mail each day and intercepted the bills before I could see them. She would buy stuff and keep it at her parents home. Believe me - I was held accountable for 50% of that debt. Lack of knowledge is not a defense. I certainly think this is true if you accumlated the debt in good faith - to earn a living - and not reckless spending. Demonstrate to the judge how you accumulated the debt and that it you were making good faith business decisions and she gets to own it.

3) If you are talking to her about these issues, then STOP. Wait for mediation, mentally think through what she will ask for and what your defense will be. Make some notes if you have to. Example - Mr. SADAD, we want you to pay her separate estate for the dog groomer. Well, Mr. Mediator, I cannot pay that, she should have groomed the dog herself. Ms. Selfish had full control of her funds and decided to use those funds to improve her standard of living. It is an expense of which the marriage received no benefit. This is not an expense that I am responsible for. The dog could have lived without grooming. Not a life or death situation. If she continues down this path, she is going to spend more in legal fees then she would ever possibly recover pursuing nickles and dimes.

4) Learn the word NO. I wish I had used it more. Be willing to say NO everytime they ask for something you do not want to give.

5) Always have an alternative. You don't want to come across as an obstructionist, so always counter offer.

6) Did you file your divorce as "at fault"? If so, you should push the infedelity button. I understand that infedelity can be used for an "unequal" divsion of the estate. If you cheated, she would certain ask for 100% of the assets and 0% of the debt. You should do the same but to get relief from a judge, I think you will need to have filed "at fault" and not irreconcilable.

7) Money seems to be a priority for her. That gives you leverage. Use it to get more time with your kids or other benfits. You can choose whether or not to give her money in return for something else.

How long have you been married?

How long has she stayed at home?

What is her profession?

Does she have a degree or professional certifications?

8) Her ability to work and make a living WILL play into a judges decision about how to split the estate. If she is just hangin out waiting on a settlement and not looking for work, then a judge might be inclined to let her spend her separate funds. Be prepared to demonstrate that she is being lazy and highly qualified to make a living. The economy is bad, but there is plenty of evidence that unemployed are construction and manufacturing workers. Not necessarily nurses, accountants, sales people, etc. Do you have a copy of her resume? Get one.

9) If you have been married more than 10-years, you may be asked to pay alimony (spousal support) up to 3-years. This might be another tool she uses to get her separate funds back.

From talking to several lawyers and my mediator, the judges in my county (DFW area) are very conservative about separate estates. I think the lawyers I have spoken with would say that she has commingled her assets or used them for her own personal living expenses and she will not get them back.

Do you have any mediation or court hearing dates scheduled?

You never know someone until you divorce them.

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Entire topic
Subject Posted by Posted on
* Separate, Community, Commingled? Help sadad 01/03/10 12:30 PM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help CuriousGeorge   01/06/10 02:00 PM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help sadad   01/06/10 05:34 PM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help CuriousGeorge   01/07/10 09:54 AM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help sadad   01/07/10 11:55 PM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help CuriousGeorge   01/08/10 08:41 AM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help sadad   01/08/10 06:03 PM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help CuriousGeorge   01/08/10 07:55 PM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help sadad   01/09/10 07:48 AM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help CuriousGeorge   01/09/10 01:23 PM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help sadad   01/09/10 02:44 PM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help CuriousGeorge   01/10/10 10:32 AM
. * * Re: Separate, Community, Commingled? Help sadad   01/10/10 03:25 PM

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