So it's a done deal. Very long. Very.
I am finally and irrevocably divorced as of this week.
My [ahem] ex-husband has walked away Scott free from $643, 892.00's worth of debt. See, although MD is a community property state, they can't divide anything except secured loans. i.e. property.
Well, the last he knew, both my pre-marriage condo and my home are well underwater. Way underwater. As in no equity, or the banks should come take them away. So, unless he was allowed to walk away, he wanted to sell the properties, putting me, our cats and dogs out on the street with no place to live, with still debt left over.
He demanded to know why he should take debt when he had nothing to show for it.
Even the mediator was shocked at his (what?) horrible-ness. "She didn't do this alone," he said.
Now, throughout these meetings, my lawyer sat with the discovery sitting in front of him on the table. 50 hours of scanning 20 years of financial documents, even those showing the debts excused or forgiven.
His lawyer never, ever, asked to see it. Didn't even glance at it. Nor did my scamming ex turn to me and ask for debt totals or if we actually owed the amount he had in writing from several years ago. He was so determined to get out of responsibility for a problem he was 1/2 of. He kept scornfully insisting the numbers continued to change. The mediator sarcastically asked him if he'd ever had the concept of interest explained to him.
But if he'd just asked, I would have told him. I'm very honest and far too open, I guess. No secrets here! My lawyer pinched my leg because he had essentially told me to keep my big mouth shut and do not VOLUNTEER anything. So, I didn't.
The separation agreement was signed. He signed off all claim to the houses. His lawyer demanded no mention of the debt claim was not in the agreement. ("Don't open that can of worms," he insisted.)
I went to court on Monday and was declared liberated. My sister and I went out and drank mimosas, then hours of Campari, then dinner and Irish beer. Yes, I was tanked. Paid for it all day Tuesday, I must say.
The thing is, without handling the disposition of our debts in the separation agreement, it left it open for me to sue him in civil court. If I decide to, and if I have the energy. The mediator set it up this way on purpose, I understand from later conversations. He didn't try to dissuade his lawyer.
The 2nd thing is that because of my 2nd mortgage on MY house being forgiven, I'm one of few people in the U.S. with only one mortgage. This gave me about $100,000 of equity in the house, just based upon our original purchase price.
He didn't know a $55,000 personal loan was dismissed by Bank of America. Gone. Not even BOA's lawyer knew why, but gone.
He didn't know $17,000 was past the statute of limitations in Maryland, and BOA couldn't collect, so they wrote it off.
Granted, if there were $100K in equity, splitting that still wouldn't have covered his half, but it would have satisfied his really slimy soul.
I am confident my lawyer did everything he could. I have no questions about whether or not something would work or not. This is a nice feeling. I also found out my lawyer is a former State's Attorney and apprenticed years ago under the mediator.... Can you say Good Old Boy's Club?
Altho I find my ex to be a major loser and a pretty good con artist, unlike him, I don't spend my time changing his girlfriend's poopy diapers and sitting around until she wants to go somewhere. And that includes the potty. I have freedom.
I'm still deep in doo-doo, but I have a wonderful, unexpected lightness on my shoulders that he can't force a sale for nothing. I have something for retirement, which to this point, I did not. I'll still work until I die. But I'll kill myself in my own home.
Thank you for celebrating with me.
The single, propertied Christine