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How much money is enough?

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frigidfire86 posted 3/17/2014 13:42 PM

I've been building up my stash of money for when I'm ready to file. So far I have about $15,000. I don't know what "enough" is. For those who were able to do the same, how much did you set aside for yourself? How long did it take? Was it enough or not even close? What did you use it for (lawyer, living expenses, moving, etc)? Isn't my H entitled to half when it comes to D? Any tips/advice you can share?

[This message edited by frigidfire86 at 1:43 PM, March 17th (Monday)]

GotPlayed posted 3/17/2014 13:59 PM

I didn't as things kind of blew up in my face and STBXWW was unremorseful/NPDish. So I'm running it off credit, unfortunately. I'll be able to pay it back once separation of assets happens - I'm good at budgeting.

But so far I've spent about $5k-7K moving out, and another $6K+ in lawyer fees, and it's only the beginning (plus it's going smoothly). I work, so I'm not counting living expenses.

IANAL, this is just from my experience. But here goes:

When I talked to my therapist he mentioned that in his clients' experience the entire joyful experience costs about $14-18K per person in the couple (so x2 for both of you). That money usually comes off the marital estate one way or another.

In California, from the date of separation all moneys can be assumed to be each others', unless you put it in a joint account. So make sure at a minimum your account has your name only, and if you work, talk to your L about changing your paycheck to a separate account as soon as you file.

Is your H entitled to half? Maybe. But you can ask H to cover legal costs as part of the filing, and pay for the legal costs out of that account. You have to disclose all your accounts as part of your assets and liabilities (again, here in CA) as part of the initial filing. So everything will be out in the open. Don't hide anything, but you'll be allowed to continue using that money for living expenses.

What "enough" means also I think depends on whether you work or not, and whether you're moving out or kicking him out (be prepared for him to not want to leave). Living expenses can quickly eat up that amount, especially if you're the one moving out (in my case, all my furniture is IKEA cheapest available, my cutlery is from the dollar store).

So far in my case we've had close calls, but it's been amicable-ish. I expect things to get really tough on the asset split. We're not there yet but almost.

Can you be a little bit more specific on your case? Your From: Says Germany. How much are living expenses over there?

frigidfire86 posted 3/17/2014 14:26 PM

I'm a SAHM and have been for 7 years. I'm working on finishing my degree before I file so I can get a decent paying job.

We're living in Germany, but only because he's in the Army and it's where we're stationed. He's a resident of Wisconsin and I'm a resident of North Carolina, although my family is in Minnesota so I may move back there. I haven't quite figured that part out yet so I'm not sure in which state I would file.

The money I have saved is in an account under my name only. We also each have mutual funds with the exact same amount of money in them both.

I don't know if you or anyone else could answer this question, but I've seen others post on here about how they paid for their spouse's education and it was taken into consideration when they divorced (I remember reading it, but not any specifics). If I'm using my H's GI Bill to pay for my degree and I file when I'm done, is that going to screw me over somehow? I wish JAG would do more than give crap advice about things I already know...or there was a U.S. lawyer here I could talk to. Being overseas sucks when it comes to divorce.

We own a house together that we're renting out and owe too much on to make any money if we sell, especially after realtor fees.

Other than that, we each only have a small student loan, and I assume we'd be responsible for our own. We have no other debt or assests, other than some small things that I really don't care about (his guns and my jewelry).

GabyBaby posted 3/17/2014 14:33 PM

If I'm using my H's GI Bill to pay for my degree
I'm not an expert, so you should double-check, but I dont think this will count against you.
The GI Bill is one of the benefits of being military/military spouse, so he himself isn't paying for it.

crumbs posted 3/17/2014 15:12 PM

That link might help answer your GI Bill question. I'm sure there are other similar sites for other states that might help you get some general ideas that are unique for military divorce.

As for financials, again I can only share what's happened to me here in Florida. Here you can move up to half of your assets into an account that's only in your name to pay for living expenses and legal. But yes you do have to disclose that and it's figured in the final asset/debt tally.

I was able to cash out a small retirement account & a whole-life insurance policy that was pre-marital for a total of about $13,000. While that did cover setting up an apartment (I moved out) and the retainer for an attorney, it certainly won't cover the entire legal bill. Like GotPlayed, I took nothing from the house so everything had to be purchased--the UPS guys hated me! I also work and cover my living expenses without any support thus far from TBX (3.5 years into the process), but it's a struggle. He's been ordered to pay my legal & child support, but hasn't yet.

You should have it easier with any support ordered. I guess another question you'll want answered is who pays for you and your child(ren) to return to the US?

You may want to try and find an attorney from your home state who specializes in military divorce and see if you can get a phone consultation.

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