Protecting myself financially and socially?

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SeaBreeze

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Protecting myself financially and socially?
« on: July 26, 2021, 07:09:27 PM »
I've been quietly planning an exit strategy from uNPDh for the past 5 of 20+ years together. I usually post on Committed to Working on It and Common Behaviors here on OOTF while I bide my time and watch/wait for the right time to leave.

uNPDh may be escalating that moment's arrival. Can't go into TMI but..he's planning to take on a well-funded party, and over a controversial *conspiracy theory*. This could ruin his career, livelihood, reputation... I'm not exaggerating to say this could draw local media attention, maybe even wider exposure thanks to the Internet. Which apparently is his GOAL so H can then file a LAWSUIT. One which he thinks he'll win, but IMO he stands to lose EVERYTHING.

I'd think he was just shooting off his mouth, as PDs and grandiose Narcs are prone to do, but let's just say he enacted a minor version of a similar scenario ten years ago and lost his job at that time as a result. He quickly recovered with a new job in a new city, and though I disagreed and was angry when it happened, I stayed with him and took over the moving plans, found the new house, etc so I at least had SOME control over the fallout.

This time around, I've firmly stated, once (no JADE) that I think it's a very bad idea and I won't support him, but it's his choice to do whatever he thinks best. To which he curtly informed me that's exactly what he's doing and he didn't ask for my opinion. (Obviously...)

So today I'm researching local divorce attorneys and scheduling a free consult next week to discuss options. I want to protect and legally distance myself -- socially, professionally and yes financially -- if/when this latest insane s*** hits the fan. That, and I really just can't stay married to a person like him anymore.

I actually divorced him 7 years into the marriage, but back then we had shared custody of minor children, while I had limited assets and options. He was also more hostile and aggressive when we were younger, and I was still partly in the FOG, so for various reasons I remarried him within less than a year.

20+ years in... Only one kid left at home who's age 19 now. I'm completely OOTF and worked hard to build up assets and resources. uNPDh is more passive/aggressive and covert in his older age. But I'm well aware he could go hot when he realizes I'm leaving, hence the exit strategy.

Any advice from others who've separated and divorced amidst similar scenario? The leaving part, I've got figured out. But how do I best extricate myself from the fallout of his grand scheme??

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Protecting myself financially and socially?
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2021, 07:51:02 PM »
I'm sorry that you're in this situation. One of the primary motivations for me to get a divorce was protecting myself from things my husband and his family did that could have hurt me financially and legally. State laws vary, so I won't advise you on specific things other than that you should collect (i.e., make copies of and have access to) information about all assets owned by you and your spouse and be ready to immediately start separating accounts or whatever else a lawyer recommends.

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pushit

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Re: Protecting myself financially and socially?
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2021, 08:28:50 PM »
Definitely check with a lawyer on this, but in my jurisdiction they draw a hard line on the financial situation once the divorce is initiated.  What I mean is this - when you file a divorce, all assets, bank accounts, etc. are frozen and you can't make changes to them.  Furthermore, after the divorce is finalized and maintenance (alimony) has been agreed upon, that doesn't change afterwards no matter what happens. 

In my situation that was part of my decision making.  My wife (at the time) was in a downward spiral and having serious trouble at work.  She was hinting towards restructuring our lives, by her staying home with the kids and me becoming the breadwinner, we downsize, etc.  At the time she made more money than me, and had been steadily employed with a high paying job for many years.  I was already OOTF and wanted out, this helped make my decision.  There was no way I was going to agree to her idea and then have our divorce be settled years later with me paying her maintenance.  So, I filed while she was still doing okay in her job.

So now, my situation is set moving forward.  She could win the lottery, I could become poor and homeless, whatever....and we can't go back to each other for money because we've already settled the finances and maintenance.  My gut feeling is that is what you may need to do, go ahead and file and freeze everything before he makes a foolish move that affects you both. 

My lawyer explained to me that while you're married it is assumed that any decision one party makes is agreed upon by both parties, so you're both responsible.  Buying houses, expensive cars, etc. is all shared responsibility while married.  Once someone files for divorce, that separates the decision making of each party.  With all the financial uncertainty my exPDw was bringing upon us at the time, I couldn't file fast enough once he told me that.

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Happytobefree

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Re: Protecting myself financially and socially?
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2021, 11:49:40 AM »
To add to the above advice, check with your state on separation laws.  For me, I had to live separately w/no intimacy for 30 days before I could file for divorce.  There is no "legal separation" here, so that filing date is extremely important.  Anything purchased after that was not considered community property.

The minute that 30 days was up, I filed for limited divorce and then we hammered out a separation agreement dividing up assets and finances.

Good luck to you!  I hope you're able to jump off that sinking ship soon!