Author Topic: How to separate finances?  (Read 9019 times)

FiguringItOut

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How to separate finances?
« on: February 24, 2014, 02:18:03 PM »
Hi.  I am planning to divorce my husband at some future point in time.  Right now I am thinking about 2-3 years from now.  The reason I am not filing now is because of the financial situation and childcare situation with our children.  Basically waiting couple years makes a lot of financial sense.

As for now, I'd like to do a legal separation but remain living in the same house.  If I can figure out how to live in separate residences I'll do that in a heartbeat, but so far, after 3 months of number crunching, I don't see it happening.

Right now all of our finances are completely joint.  If we do legal separation, we need to separate finances as well.  I'm thinking that for standard bills/expenses I would be giving him my portion of the bill and he can pay the whole thing. 

But what about variable expenses like groceries and general household stuff?  Should I just pay my portion of it regardless of how it comes out at the end of the month?  Is there a better way to manage it?  We take turns shopping and cooking weekly?  What would make the most sense?

Also, the family right now is on his health insurance.  Should I be paying him back for half of it (less taxes)?  Or just the incremental of insuring him and kids vs insuring the whole family including me?

What other things do I need to consider before taking this to the next step?
He was made aware that I am eventually looking to get a divorce, but has chosen to enter a perpetual state of denial.  So right now I am not sure what to expect once I seek legal advice and make this our new reality.

As a background, we have no savings (one, but not the main, reason of why I am done with this marriage), a mortgage neither one of us can afford alone, student loans, and a car loan.  We have minimal 401k savings from prior jobs. Mine is around $50-60K, his is probably around $130K or may be a little higher, but not by much.

I am earning about half of what he is earning.  I have a potential to almost double my income in about 2-3 years, hence the wait, but I need to get certain professional licenses and few more years of work experience.  I have signed up for classes for my licenses starting in the spring.  My current job provides needed work experience.  Also, we have a live in nanny which we cannot stop due to my work schedule and kids' ages.  In 2 yrs younger will be old enough where we can get rid of live in and just have part time sitter in the afternoons.  Currently, my commute is disgusting - 1:45 one way, 5 days a week, and it's costing me close to $300 and I get $130 back in transit cost reimbursement.  This is all using public transportation.  He is driving about 15 miles to work one way.  We have two cars, but one car stays with the nanny to drive kids around.   

Speaking of cars, because we basically have to share 2 cars between 3 drivers, he and I end up sharing one car most of the time.  How do we figure out how much gas I need to pay for?  During the week he usually drives me to the train station in the morning and either he or nanny pick me up in the evening. In addition, I drive car for my own needs some evenings and sometimes on weekends.   Should I be figuring out mileage for these trips?  I would hate to have to pay him back for at $0.50 per mile which is corp reimbursement rate.  But how do I split gas costs?  I am assuming I will be paying half (or whatever %) of the insurance cost and car maintenance and car payment on one of the cars.  Where we live is a fairly spread out suburbs, so everything is drivable and such. 

I need to get this whole financial issue resolved and separated.  I took over all of family finances about a year ago, because I got tired of always stressing about not having any money and never being able to save anything.  Overall it's been good.  I was able to pay off 2 credit cards and cash flow something that we would normally end up charging on the credit card. 

But I am tired of constantly having to check on him and his spending.  I don't want to be responsible for his finances any more.  I don't want to keep reminding him that we each have on ly $40 of personal spending money a month because that is all I can squeeze out of the budget.  I am tired of having to disguise most of my sinking funds that I've been funding since summer because he will try to justify spending everything he can get him hand on.  I am literally checking bank and credit statement multiple times a day and question every single charge and I am tired of it. 

I am hoping that in couple years my earnings will increase, the child care costs will decreased tremendously, and in this time I will figure out what my next steps are going to be.  For now, I feel that I have no choice but to continue living as we are.  Separating finances would be helpful for me though as I think it should reduce the mental strain I am feeling. 

DollarBill

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2014, 09:06:22 PM »
It's hard to give you advice without $$ figures but from the sound of it seems like your both in a pickle. I don't know your reasons for a divorce but if there is a remote chance that a family therapist could help, then I would go that route. I think anything is possible if you put in the work...unless there is some abuse issues.

Talk about your finances together and have a come to Jesus meeting to live within your means.

Things to think about:
Getting a closer job (Could save $600 a month)
Quit job, stay home with kids, get rid of Nanny, get rid of one car (Saves $600 + Nanny Cost + Car cost)
Divorce is mad expensive (Especially with kids)
Both of you would most likely have to file for bankruptcy (Bad credit + Lose your ass on the house)
Then each of you would need a new place to live
Separate health insurance
Would still cost a lot to take kids back in forth
If he's still racking up debt then do the separation and have them note all debt. Both of you are on the hook for everything you've spent so far


 
 

secondcor521

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 09:14:21 PM »
Sorry to hear about your tough time.

I have a couple of ideas/suggestions/comments:

1.  If or when you do get divorced, you'll get child support according to a state-established formula, which will probably be based on your income, his income, and the relative proportion of the time the kids are with you and with him.  I'd suggest calling your local district court and ask them...they should be able to give you a number pretty easily.  Then I'd suggest you budget now based on that number.

2.  Legal separation exists in some states, but you'd want to again probably ask your local district court about how that works.  This sounds like what you want -- it would give you the separation of finances (and a custody order for your kids) that you want but you two would still be married.

3.  Financially speaking, the more you make, the less child support you will get.  If you're going to be making more later, it may make more financial sense to get divorced before that time (although your ex may also be able to ask for a reduction in child support when your income goes up even if that is after the divorce is final).

4.  To expand on item #1 above, the court doesn't sit down with every couple and go over their budget line item by line item and decide who owes whom for what.  They'll ask what he makes, they'll ask what you make, they'll ask how many kids you have, they'll ask who pays health insurance on the kids, they'll ask who wants to claim the kids on their taxes (don't know how this applies to a legal separation), then they'll shove that all into a spreadsheet, and out will pop a number.  They'll then ask if there's any super extenuating circumstances why that shouldn't be the number, then that will be the ordered amount.

All the above is how it worked for me in my state.  You should talk to either the court or a family attorney to get the facts for yourself in your state, since laws do vary from state to state and people on the interwebs are quite frequently incorrect about things.

It does help with the financial stress of having a partner not on the same page.  My ex and I did not agree about finances, and after the divorce I was really glad to have that agreement in place that said I was obligated for $X.

But also note that divorces are themselves quite stressful and can add new stresses that weren't there before.

Good luck, and I'm sorry that things are not going well for you and your marriage.

kelly1mm

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2014, 09:28:06 PM »
Sorry to hear about your tough time.

I have a couple of ideas/suggestions/comments:

1.  If or when you do get divorced, you'll get child support according to a state-established formula, which will probably be based on your income, his income, and the relative proportion of the time the kids are with you and with him.  I'd suggest calling your local district court and ask them...they should be able to give you a number pretty easily.  Then I'd suggest you budget now based on that number.

2.  Legal separation exists in some states, but you'd want to again probably ask your local district court about how that works.  This sounds like what you want -- it would give you the separation of finances (and a custody order for your kids) that you want but you two would still be married.

3.  Financially speaking, the more you make, the less child support you will get.  If you're going to be making more later, it may make more financial sense to get divorced before that time (although your ex may also be able to ask for a reduction in child support when your income goes up even if that is after the divorce is final).

4.  To expand on item #1 above, the court doesn't sit down with every couple and go over their budget line item by line item and decide who owes whom for what.  They'll ask what he makes, they'll ask what you make, they'll ask how many kids you have, they'll ask who pays health insurance on the kids, they'll ask who wants to claim the kids on their taxes (don't know how this applies to a legal separation), then they'll shove that all into a spreadsheet, and out will pop a number.  They'll then ask if there's any super extenuating circumstances why that shouldn't be the number, then that will be the ordered amount.

All the above is how it worked for me in my state.  You should talk to either the court or a family attorney to get the facts for yourself in your state, since laws do vary from state to state and people on the interwebs are quite frequently incorrect about things.

It does help with the financial stress of having a partner not on the same page.  My ex and I did not agree about finances, and after the divorce I was really glad to have that agreement in place that said I was obligated for $X.

But also note that divorces are themselves quite stressful and can add new stresses that weren't there before.

Good luck, and I'm sorry that things are not going well for you and your marriage.

You are assuming that the original poster (OP) will get custody of the child(ren).  That may be a mistake.  Especially if the OP is the one to leave the marital home and/or the child(ren) are in school and the husband is remaining in the marital home/school district.  The nanny actually hurts the OP's chances of getting custody (especially if he keeps the nanny), because it shows that the OP was not the primary care taker of the child(ren).  The OP may well have to pay child support, not receive it.

Obviously the Op may have information not put forward in the post above that can change things, but I though it good to point this out.  For the remainder of your post about the calculations for CS, you are correct.

bikebum

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2014, 10:25:41 PM »
For groceries and other things like that, my gf and I have a log on the fridge. When one of us spends money on something for both, we write it in the log and note who paid. At the end of each month we add it all up and one of us pays the other the difference. The person who pays needs to remember to enter it in the log or they may not get reimbursed.

For driving, maybe estimate the gas cost per mile and keep track of how much you drive. Only pay half of it if you are both in the car. You could keep a record for a month or so, and then assume it will be the same so you don't have to keep tracking it. The IRS 55 cents per mile or whatever it is includes all car costs (depreciation, maintenance, I think insurance too). So if you pay the IRS rate and split those other car costs you are paying for things twice.

FiguringItOut

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2014, 08:11:16 AM »
Thank you for the replies. 

secondcor521, I plan to go see an attorney in the spring and will then figure out how and what is done here.  Then I will have a much better idea of what to do next.  For now, I am just trying to get as many things on the list to discuss/think about as I can, so at least I know that I am covering all basis.

kelly1mm, I am afraid that you may be right on a lot of points you make.  I am still figuring out how all of this will work regarding kids and custody.

bikebum, thank you for some pointers. 

To add a bit more details to the picture - our incomes right now are 65K (mine) and 120K (his).  We bought house about 6 years ago with 20% down, but due to market and such it lowered in value.  If we sell now we will lose most of what we put into it.  We have about 45K of student loans (15K mine, 30K is his) - I paid off my undergrad loans before we got married.  Current loan is from grad school.  He still has both his undergrad and grad school loans.  And also one car loan 18K.  The second car was bought for cash.  No other debts.  But also no savings.  The 2K I have sitting in the checking account I can't even call savings with clear consciousness.  It's just pitiful. 

We live in high COL area (burbs of NYC).  I commute in to the NYC daily.  I am tied to my job for couple more years before I can safely switch for another job closer to where I live and with higher pay.  Changing jobs now will only set me back professionally and actually diminish my earning potential.  Ideally I am thinking of staying in this job up until we get officially divorced and settled on division of assets, such as they are, and finalize the child support.  Then I will look for higher pay position with shorter commute.
He drives to his local office.  Up until last spring he was also commuting to NYC, but was transferred to the local office about 15 miles from the house.  Due to kids ages and school hours we need a live-in to do the drop off and pick up to/from school and then take kids to their afterschool activities.  Once the younger kid moves from elementary school to middle school (1.5 years) then they can go to/from school on their own and we can get rid of live-in nanny and get part time sitter for after school. 

As for the house - I can't afford it on my own.  If I had his income, I would be able to afford it just barely and be extremely house poor.  The way he handles money he can't afford the house on his own either. Chances are it would have to be sold, even if at a loss of our down payment.  Not sure yet how I feel about that, but that is more of an emotional issue then financial, as regardless of what will be happening, financially we will be set back tremendously and start from scratch (which is not far from where are now anyway). 

The bottom line is that the divorce will happen, there is no turning back, I am done with this marriage and he knows it.   I am just tring to figure out a way to do this with the least amount of damage to our financial future and kids' emotional state.




















Sweet Betsy

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #6 on: February 25, 2014, 08:33:02 AM »
I am sorry to hear about your marriage difficulties.  You are going through a very hard time. 

I definitely concur that you need to talk to a lawyer.  He/she could possibly see a way for you to start divorce proceedings now.  I don't know if this is on the table for you...but during the next 2-3 years while you are working in NYC could he have  a larger share of the custody?  You could move in closer to the city and focus on your career. With the commute that you have right now you are barely seeing your children during the week anyway. 

CommonCents

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2014, 08:48:20 AM »
Sorry to hear.  :(

2.  Legal separation exists in some states, but you'd want to again probably ask your local district court about how that works.  This sounds like what you want -- it would give you the separation of finances (and a custody order for your kids) that you want but you two would still be married.

Check and make sure you apply for legal separatation and still live together.  I will add that even if you can legally, I suspect this would be much harder on the kids (to see tension b/w parents, as you work through these issues).  I'd suggest trying to work it out or actually physically separating.  Talk to a counselor though.

Are you really really sure you need a live in nanny?  How many kids do you have and what ages?  I'm just wondering if you could hire a college student to do some of this driving and be able to get rid of the live in nanny.  That's likely a large part of the financial issues right there.  Honestly, I think sharing a car with an ex would be incredibly tough, so perhaps you need to sell the cars to buy 3 cheaper ones.  (Or find a nanny with a car.)  Can you bike to the train station?

Are you looking to separate to wake him up?  Or are you 110% you are done trying?

FiguringItOut

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2014, 09:14:53 AM »
Sorry to hear.  :(

2.  Legal separation exists in some states, but you'd want to again probably ask your local district court about how that works.  This sounds like what you want -- it would give you the separation of finances (and a custody order for your kids) that you want but you two would still be married.

Check and make sure you apply for legal separatation and still live together.  I will add that even if you can legally, I suspect this would be much harder on the kids (to see tension b/w parents, as you work through these issues).  I'd suggest trying to work it out or actually physically separating.  Talk to a counselor though.

Are you really really sure you need a live in nanny?  How many kids do you have and what ages?  I'm just wondering if you could hire a college student to do some of this driving and be able to get rid of the live in nanny.  That's likely a large part of the financial issues right there.  Honestly, I think sharing a car with an ex would be incredibly tough, so perhaps you need to sell the cars to buy 3 cheaper ones.  (Or find a nanny with a car.)  Can you bike to the train station?

Are you looking to separate to wake him up?  Or are you 110% you are done trying?

I am 150% sure I am done.  After 3 years of trying to work this out and 2 years of couples' therapy which didn't help - I am done.  There is no waking him up. 

Nanny - we tried sitters 1.5 ago for about 9 months.  We went through 4 of them in that time and one of them (the last one) actually robed us to the tune of $4,000 cash that we had in the house, hidden in our bedroom among our personal things.  Police claimed that they couldn't do anything as I had no proof that I had cash or that she took it.  Anyway, I am very leary of dealing with sitters right now.  Our live-in is an au pair under contract and here via goverment agency on au pair visa.  We would have legal recourse if anything were to happen.  It's expensive though, and would free up a ton of cash when we are done with live-ins.

Kids are one in middle school, the younger one is in elementary school.  We don't get school busses b/c we are too close to all schools.  Younger one is required to be dropped off and picked up by an adult.  Older one can walk to/from by herself (1/2 mile from the house, safe walking route, crossing guards, etc), but right now is driven b/c nanny is driving the younger one anyway.   

I am still trying to figure out if there is a way to live separately and definitely will talk to a lawyer about it.  But I am afraid I can't afford anything on my salary.  I would need to rent a 3 bedroom place (or 2 bedroom and I will live in the living room) and it is a min of around $1,600 that I can tell from rental websites/craigslist.  If I were to leave kids with him (it hurts to even type this), I could prob rent a cheap basement appartment or even a room for around $800, but it would be very close to a rat hole.

Sharing car - we are doing it already, not sure how much harder it may get, unless he starts going out more and we will be having conflicitng social schedules. Right now I am the only one who socializes outside the home.  On the weekends we have both cars about 90% of the time as nanny doesn't use our car on weekends.  I am about 120% sure he would not agree to sell cars and get 3 cheaper ones.

I really want to talk to husband about all fo this, but I am afraid to start this conversation before talking to the attorney.  Once I have consulted, I will talk to him and figure out what I'm dealing with as far as his train of thought.  The tension in the house is ok for now.  We seem to be able to get along (at least on surface) better now since I moved into a guestroom about 9 months ago.  Before that it was a lot worse.  Now we are civil to each other and deal with parenting relatively well.  He's a great father and is very hands on, so I have to give him that much. 

Sweet Betsy, I thought about giving him larger share of the custody for now, but once again, I need a legal advice to see how it will affect me and kids in the future. It hurts to think about it though.



Villanelle

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2014, 09:28:41 AM »
Does the YoungerKid have a friend as school whose parent could pick up and drop of your kid as well?  It sounds like you don't live very far away, so that wouldn't be much to ask of someone, and you could sweeten the deal by offering to throw a few bucks at them for gas.  Then your nanny wouldn't need a car, or at least not every day. 

And if you had pick up and drop off sorted out, would you still need a nanny or is the time at home short enough that the older kid would suffice as supervision?  (Or perhaps you could get a sitter for just a couple hours.  I know you said you are hesitant to do this, but your plan for 2 years from now includes a sitter, so I am not sure why doing it now is different than doing it later as far as theft and trust goes.)


FiguringItOut

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2014, 09:39:13 AM »
Does the YoungerKid have a friend as school whose parent could pick up and drop of your kid as well?  It sounds like you don't live very far away, so that wouldn't be much to ask of someone, and you could sweeten the deal by offering to throw a few bucks at them for gas.  Then your nanny wouldn't need a car, or at least not every day. 

And if you had pick up and drop off sorted out, would you still need a nanny or is the time at home short enough that the older kid would suffice as supervision?  (Or perhaps you could get a sitter for just a couple hours.  I know you said you are hesitant to do this, but your plan for 2 years from now includes a sitter, so I am not sure why doing it now is different than doing it later as far as theft and trust goes.)

We need someone driving both kids to after school activities.  Right now I don't have anybody I can ask at school to help with drop off and pick up, but I can look into that for next year possibly.  For the au pair, we are under contract with the agency, so if we drop her, we will save on the weekly salary we pay her, but will lose the agency fee we paid to the agency, and would still have to pay the afteschool sitter.  So it may be a wash for us or gain that is not very significant.  I will look into this and crunch numbers when I can concentrate on it.  Thanks for the suggestion.

A lot of this will have to wait till after April regardless as I am in the middle of busy season at work and work.  Until that is over I won't have time for anything.  Hence why I push consulting with attorney till later spring also.

MayDay

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2014, 10:11:45 AM »
I understand you have a contract and can't just get out of it. 

But having a live-in nanny when your kids are in school full time is insane. 

Get rid of her at the end of the contract and find someone who has kids in the same school who will do before school and after school care.  They have to exist because most parents don't have live in nannies.  The school itself may offer before and after care, for that matter. 

What are these activities that are so important that you pay for the activity and for a live in nanny on top of that?  Are they really so important that you are prioritizing them over getting out if a bad marriage two years sooner?  Unless your kids have special needs and it is therapy, you are crazy!  Let each kid pick one activity a year, that they have a friend in, and ask the friend's parent what you can pay them to drive your kid too. 

FiguringItOut

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2014, 11:52:36 AM »
MayDay, yes, I know it's crazy.  I used to be really good with money before I met husband got married.  Then he sucked me into his spending with no remorse world and I have been trying to get out of it for years now.  We've made some really dumb financial decisions, to say the least.

I will be reassessing kid's activities for the next year.  Right now older one has a standing doctor's appointment one day a week, girl scouts once a week every other week, and her only other activity is on Saturdays, so we take her there, not nanny.  Older one is begging to take music lessons too.  We haven't said yes yet, but if we will agree, it will be on a weekday. Younger one has one sport twice a week and her second sport used to be on Sundays.  But now she switched and will have second sport also on 2 weekdays, so she will have something 3 to 5 days a week.   The second sport is only for this spring.  Her first sport she will keep going forward as it has been a great activity for her and she has passion for it.  In addition to all of this, nanny takes them to the pool or ice skating or reller skating when they all are in the mood, but this doesn't happen often.

CommonCents

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2014, 12:28:17 PM »
I still don't see why you can't drop them off in the morning before you head out to work.  You can (as suggested above) have a college aged sitter pick them up and ferry to their activities.  The lessons also don't have to be weekdays - I took private lessons and sometimes they were weekdays, sometime weekends.  Look around, maybe don't use your usual person.  After the spring and contract end, reconsider the second sport.  You seem to think you are locked into using a nanny, and I challenge you to see how to make it work next year without one.  It doesn't sound like you can afford her, divorce or no divorce.

FiguringItOut

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2014, 12:52:51 PM »
I still don't see why you can't drop them off in the morning before you head out to work.  You can (as suggested above) have a college aged sitter pick them up and ferry to their activities.  The lessons also don't have to be weekdays - I took private lessons and sometimes they were weekdays, sometime weekends.  Look around, maybe don't use your usual person.  After the spring and contract end, reconsider the second sport.  You seem to think you are locked into using a nanny, and I challenge you to see how to make it work next year without one.  It doesn't sound like you can afford her, divorce or no divorce.

We can't drop younger one at school because I leave at 7:30 in the morning, hubby drops me off at the train and goes to the office. Because of dropping me off he is in the office ealier than he needs to be, but even without me he needs to be at work by 8:30.  Kid's school starts at 9:15am and there is no early morning program.  We need someone to be home in the mornings to get kids ready for school and then take younger one there. 

I will be revisiting all these items after nanny's contract is up, which is not till November.  And we still have 1.5 years of elementary school.  After that once they are both in middle school it will be easier.  Middle school starts at 8am and they can walk there.  Plus if the weather is bad, hubby can drop them off before heading to work.  And I will be using second car to get to the train station. 

We can afford the nanny and still comfortably in the black at the end of the month.  But we are not saving much.  Or rather, out of about $1000-1200 that we have left at the end of the month I am funding various sinking funds and such and holding on to the rest of the cash.  I figured we will need money for lawyers in the very near future. 

Like I said, we've done a lot of stupid.  I am hopping to be a lot smarter going forward and actually get some serious financial backbone. 

MayDay

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2014, 01:07:16 PM »
So they are both in multiple activities, and begging for more?  SAY NO!  If the oldest wants music, either find something for a weekend, or make her choose between music and her current weekday activity. 

Again, I get that you have the nanny until Nov.  That is done.  But come November, find a SAHM in your neighborhood and ask her to take your younger DD to school in the mornings for 25$ a week.  Yes, your DD will have to be ready and out the door earlier.  Oh well, that is life.  She can eat breakfast at neighbor's house (negotiate that into the fee). 

Ice skating, roller skating, etc after school?  In addition to multiple days of organized sports and activities?  When do your kids get to just relax and play? 

Look, if it is worth it to you to continue to live with your STBX for 2 years, fine.  Your life, your priorities.  It just seems like you could find your entire apartment rent by getting rid of all these activities and the childcare you need as a result of them. 

MayDay

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2014, 01:08:16 PM »
Also, if they are both girls, surely they can share a bedroom in your future apartment?  2 bedroom apartments are much cheaper and easier to find. 

CommonCents

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #17 on: February 25, 2014, 01:20:45 PM »
I still don't see why you can't drop them off in the morning before you head out to work.  You can (as suggested above) have a college aged sitter pick them up and ferry to their activities.  The lessons also don't have to be weekdays - I took private lessons and sometimes they were weekdays, sometime weekends.  Look around, maybe don't use your usual person.  After the spring and contract end, reconsider the second sport.  You seem to think you are locked into using a nanny, and I challenge you to see how to make it work next year without one.  It doesn't sound like you can afford her, divorce or no divorce.

We can't drop younger one at school because I leave at 7:30 in the morning, hubby drops me off at the train and goes to the office. Because of dropping me off he is in the office ealier than he needs to be, but even without me he needs to be at work by 8:30.  Kid's school starts at 9:15am and there is no early morning program.  We need someone to be home in the mornings to get kids ready for school and then take younger one there. 

I will be revisiting all these items after nanny's contract is up, which is not till November.  And we still have 1.5 years of elementary school.  After that once they are both in middle school it will be easier.  Middle school starts at 8am and they can walk there.  Plus if the weather is bad, hubby can drop them off before heading to work.  And I will be using second car to get to the train station. 

We can afford the nanny and still comfortably in the black at the end of the month.  But we are not saving much.  Or rather, out of about $1000-1200 that we have left at the end of the month I am funding various sinking funds and such and holding on to the rest of the cash.  I figured we will need money for lawyers in the very near future. 

Like I said, we've done a lot of stupid.  I am hopping to be a lot smarter going forward and actually get some serious financial backbone. 

Have you looked into early morning daycare?  One poster on here did that I think, for extra cash each morning.  Would need to find one that would be willing to transport the kids to school.  But its again, requiring a bit of outside the box thinking.

I know above you seem to blame your husband for his spending leading you into debt and keeping you there as the root issue in your marriage.  While he may be unwilling to change attitudes and habits, it seems to me that it involves both of you, if you are also unwilling to reconsider what I (and others) see as one of the biggest ongoing money pits, the nanny.  For example, could he work alternate schedules (in early 2 days a week, in late 3 days a week), letting him drive the kids 3 days a week and then you just need to line up drivers the other two days.  Can you co-share the nanny?  You may have thought of all of these options, but I'm trying to brainstorm to give more options come Nov.

.22guy

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2014, 01:34:53 PM »
My advice is that if you are really done, just do it and get it over with. 

You aren't doing yourself, your husband or your children any emotional favors by dragging it out.

secondcor521

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2014, 01:45:27 PM »
kelly1mm is right about the child custody...it could go the other way.  The best thing to do is to consult with a family law attorney in OP's jurisdiction who can give her some idea of what is typical (although the attorney will likely go out of their way to make sure OP understands that anything can happen in mediation and/or court).

In my jurisdiction, shared legal and physical custody is the norm as long as both parents are average people (i.e., no felonies, child abuse, etc.).  And also in my jurisdiction child support is usually paid by the higher breadwinner to the lesser breadwinner, because that usually also goes with having the kids a lesser percentage of the time.  Finally, it's not officially or supposed to be this way, but Moms often get preference over Dads in terms of custody.

Anyway, a visit to a family law attorney will give the OP the best understanding of what is the likely range of outcomes.

CanadianMustache

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #20 on: February 25, 2014, 02:01:44 PM »
I don't know how 401k s work. We have rrsps, but would it make sense to use that money to pay off some or all of your debt?

I'm sorry you're in this position, but if I were in your shoes, I'd be worried about divorce adding to the debt.

If your kids are in school all day is the nanny also doing all your household chores during the day?

Villanelle

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2014, 07:27:18 AM »
The agency fee is a sunk cost at this point.  Don't throw good money after bad.  If the monthly cost of a few hours of before and after school care that you absolutely need (bare minimum!) is less than the monthly cost you pay a nanny, you are better off going with the sitter, even if you've paid a zillion dollar agency fee.  That money is gone, so it is irrelevant to the picture now.  Only look at bottom line monthly dollars. 


FiguringItOut

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2014, 09:50:52 AM »
I want to thank everyone for your replies.  I certainly have a lot to think about now to map out my near future and to move forward with my life. 

I will be around reading and may be asking some questions as I go along and I am happy to have found this community.

One big thing I realized is that even though I've been a lot better with my money prior to marriage (not MMM level, but good enough where I had my 401k, paid off my student loans, traveled and had some savings), over the year of marriage I have definitely gotten converted to husbandís lifestyle as oppose to converting him to mine.  This is definitely something I will need to work on going forward.

MarkM

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2014, 10:21:58 AM »
My advice is that if you are really done, just do it and get it over with. 

You aren't doing yourself, your husband or your children any emotional favors by dragging it out.
This x 100.

I'm trying not to be judgy (we've all got our issues), but it's hard for me to fathom "planning a divorce 2-3 years in advance".  If you have already checked out on your husband emotionally, mentally, physically, etc you need to end it.  It's not good for anyone.  Even if you don't care about your husband, it's going to take a toll on you and your children while you milk this thing out.

DollarBill

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #24 on: February 26, 2014, 11:29:39 AM »
I still can't figure out where all the income is disappearing to???
$185K income
$45K student loans
$18K car loan
This seems manageable, even with a Nanny!

Baron235

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #25 on: February 26, 2014, 12:02:09 PM »
One thing to consider is quitting your job and taking care of your kids.    He makes enough to support it and the savings you will get from staying at home pretty much will offset your lost salary plus you get the huge benefit of raising your kids.  You can always go back and earn more later but your kids will be gone sooner than you realize so don't miss this chance to spend time with them and as they get older you can go back to work. 

Also, if you have space for a live-in nanny I assume you could downsize your home pretty easily. 

MayDay

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #26 on: February 26, 2014, 12:10:35 PM »
One thing to consider is quitting your job and taking care of your kids.    He makes enough to support it and the savings you will get from staying at home pretty much will offset your lost salary plus you get the huge benefit of raising your kids.  You can always go back and earn more later but your kids will be gone sooner than you realize so don't miss this chance to spend time with them and as they get older you can go back to work. 

Also, if you have space for a live-in nanny I assume you could downsize your home pretty easily.

Yes, a great solution for someone who wants 150% out of a marriage is to quit her job and depend 100% financially on someone who is not responsible.  Also excellent role model for her daughters to stay in a crap marriage!

Baron235

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #27 on: February 26, 2014, 12:19:07 PM »
One thing to consider is quitting your job and taking care of your kids.    He makes enough to support it and the savings you will get from staying at home pretty much will offset your lost salary plus you get the huge benefit of raising your kids.  You can always go back and earn more later but your kids will be gone sooner than you realize so don't miss this chance to spend time with them and as they get older you can go back to work. 

Also, if you have space for a live-in nanny I assume you could downsize your home pretty easily.

Yes, a great solution for someone who wants 150% out of a marriage is to quit her job and depend 100% financially on someone who is not responsible.  Also excellent role model for her daughters to stay in a crap marriage!

She can still get a divorce and have child support and then go back to her job.  She is already living off her husband's income now since most of the cost is childcare eats up her salary.  It may be what is best for the kids.  Going through a divorce is hard enough and then to have be raised by a nonparent doesn't make it any easier.  Those kids probably need their mom now more than ever. 

 

FiguringItOut

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #28 on: February 26, 2014, 12:25:09 PM »
DollarBill - I could post my budget, but you all will laugh me out of here.  The expenses are trully stagering and shocking.  A lot of it s tied to the house (we are house poor basically), plus other luxuries that are just that - luxuries.  Not sure I am brave enough to post it here.  Besides, as long as I am in this house, I can't cut/reduce these any further.  In the past 9 months I have cut/reduced everything I could without causing major fights in the house.  Some of them are locked and other he just won't let me cut.  Once I'm out of the house and marriage - I plan to do much better.  Not much savings in this time since I was agressively paying off couple credit cards over the Fall and Winter.  The credit cards are done with are completely paid off as this this month (send final payment last week). Only one medical bill is left and I will have it paid off in March. So now I can start stashing everything I can to prepare for legal fees and moving out.  Also, what ever we had left over I basically moved in to various sincking funds right now to make it seem like an expense or very near future expense so that it's not sitting available to spend.  If it is just cash sitting there - it will get spent.

MayDay - THANK YOU!  I'm never sure how to respond to these posts/comments when the advice is something that the person finds suitable for themselves but is a complete contradiction to what I am dealing with.

MayDay

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #29 on: February 26, 2014, 01:12:01 PM »
One thing to consider is quitting your job and taking care of your kids.    He makes enough to support it and the savings you will get from staying at home pretty much will offset your lost salary plus you get the huge benefit of raising your kids.  You can always go back and earn more later but your kids will be gone sooner than you realize so don't miss this chance to spend time with them and as they get older you can go back to work. 

Also, if you have space for a live-in nanny I assume you could downsize your home pretty easily.

Yes, a great solution for someone who wants 150% out of a marriage is to quit her job and depend 100% financially on someone who is not responsible.  Also excellent role model for her daughters to stay in a crap marriage!

She can still get a divorce and have child support and then go back to her job.  She is already living off her husband's income now since most of the cost is childcare eats up her salary.  It may be what is best for the kids.  Going through a divorce is hard enough and then to have be raised by a nonparent doesn't make it any easier.  Those kids probably need their mom now more than ever.

Oh just stop.  Seriously with this shit?

Baron235

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2014, 01:45:11 PM »
One thing to consider is quitting your job and taking care of your kids.    He makes enough to support it and the savings you will get from staying at home pretty much will offset your lost salary plus you get the huge benefit of raising your kids.  You can always go back and earn more later but your kids will be gone sooner than you realize so don't miss this chance to spend time with them and as they get older you can go back to work. 

Also, if you have space for a live-in nanny I assume you could downsize your home pretty easily.

Yes, a great solution for someone who wants 150% out of a marriage is to quit her job and depend 100% financially on someone who is not responsible.  Also excellent role model for her daughters to stay in a crap marriage!

She can still get a divorce and have child support and then go back to her job.  She is already living off her husband's income now since most of the cost is childcare eats up her salary.  It may be what is best for the kids.  Going through a divorce is hard enough and then to have be raised by a nonparent doesn't make it any easier.  Those kids probably need their mom now more than ever.

Oh just stop.  Seriously with this shit?

I'll change that.  I did not mean raise but I typed it in a hurry.  I apologize.  Bottom line not having parents around much during the a divorce will be very rough on these kids and not working to help your kids is the exact thing a role model may do.  She is showing them what is truly important to her: her children.  Your job is never more important than your kids and if you need to change your job or quit to make sure you kids are coping with a tough time than so be it.  Things will work out. Is this the right decision? Maybe or Maybe not.  The only wrong decision would be to not consider it and discuss it with your lawyer.  It could actually put her in a better spot if she wants custody of the kids. 



« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 02:49:14 PM by Baron235 »

sheepstache

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Re: How to separate finances?
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2014, 02:24:36 PM »
One thing to consider is quitting your job and taking care of your kids.    He makes enough to support it and the savings you will get from staying at home pretty much will offset your lost salary plus you get the huge benefit of raising your kids.  You can always go back and earn more later but your kids will be gone sooner than you realize so don't miss this chance to spend time with them and as they get older you can go back to work. 

Also, if you have space for a live-in nanny I assume you could downsize your home pretty easily.

Yes, a great solution for someone who wants 150% out of a marriage is to quit her job and depend 100% financially on someone who is not responsible.  Also excellent role model for her daughters to stay in a crap marriage!

She can still get a divorce and have child support and then go back to her job.  She is already living off her husband's income now since most of the cost is childcare eats up her salary.  It may be what is best for the kids.  Going through a divorce is hard enough and then to have be raised by a nonparent doesn't make it any easier.  Those kids probably need their mom now more than ever.

I think people who are suggesting she quit her job are missing the part where she said
"I have a potential to almost double my income in about 2-3 years, hence the wait, but I need to get certain professional licenses and few more years of work experience.  I have signed up for classes for my licenses starting in the spring.  My current job provides needed work experience."

This is classic sacrifice in the short term for big returns in the future.  Different careers are different, but some of them are easier to drop out of than others.  It sounds to me like this is not the kind of job she can drop out of.  Plus, she is still going to have kids 2-3 years from now; they're not going to disappear.

Also, Baron, I don't know that you meant it this way, but your last sentences were kind of insulting.  Really?  A parent who works is a "nonparent"?  (oh, looks like somebody already mentioned this, didn't mean to pile on.)


I have a different opinion from those saying to get it out of the way as quickly as possible.  Unless you and the spouse are actively screaming at each other, the kids are probably not over-concerned with the tension.  They notice, sure, but they've got bigger things going on.  Someone gave a good explanation once: As an alternative to shared custody, there is "nest" custody, where one home is maintained for the kids and the parents share it one at a time.  E.g., mom has the house during the week, then leaves on the weekends and dad comes in.  It rarely works out, because it's so disruptive for the parents.  They have to change their whole routine and schlep all their things back and forth  and...well, guess what, it's disruptive for the kids too.  And a child is even less good at the time and social and belongings management required than an adult. 
I'm by no means presenting this as an anti-divorce argument, but just to say that the stability of maintaining the home and household for as long as possible is probably a benefit rather than a disadvantage, if it's either.  Especially if there is also a financial benefit as you're saying.

As to the financial side of things (this being a finances forum, after all), I don't know much about divorce, but will your proposed solution relieve you of liability for debts that he acquires going forward?  If not, I would be very nervous about him running up credit card debt without your knowledge in the next couple years.