Thursday, November 6, 2008

Family, Divorce, and Money

I'm beyond livid. Words cannot fully express how frustrated, hurt, disappointed I am with both my parents right now. On one side, I'm glad I'm grown with a family of my own-so I'm somewhat removed from the b.s. that has come with their impending divorce. On the other-since they have both done stupid things (which by themselves are not so bad, except when combined and put towards one another, become down right illegal and stupid), I'm now stuck in the middle.

Here's the short version. My mom finally filed for divorce a month ago, nearly 3 years after my dad told her e was leaving her, staying put in Chicago, and not coming back to CA. In the month since getting served with divorce papers, my dad sought and obtained legal counsel. He started to sift through the myraid amount of paperwork, starting to go through financial documents, to assist in getting stuff put in order to make everything short and sweet.

Fast forward to today. I got a phone call from my dad, in panic mode-mind you, he's never been one to panic. After obtaining a credit report, and some other documents, my dad found out my mom did some horrible stuff. Opened up credit cards w/ his name on it. Cashed out all their stock and bonds. Obtained a home equity line of credit, and maxed that out. Oh, and she also maxed out whatever credit cards they had in both their names, previous to her opening additional joint cards (which I'm assuming are also maxed out). The grand total so far-a minimum of $60,000-none of which has turned up in their joint bank account. My dad has no clue where the money is, but the reality is he needs to pay his attorney a retainer of $5000 so she can file proceedings against my mom, in regards to the divorce, and all this financial garbage. The downside-In doing all this damage, my mom did not leave a penny for my dad to retain legal counsel. This is a nightmare, considering my dad recently lost his job and only has his unemployment check to help make ends meet in Chicago.

My dad called up myself and my other siblings, seeing what we can offer. I knew my add was in deep trouble, because that's not his style-and know it was a major blow to his ego to call us up.

My predicament-I'm so beyond pissed at my mom, I don't know what financial help I can offer my dad, since we're trying to get ahead, not get further in debt. The lawyer will accept checks or credit card numbers, so that gives us the option of putting some of his retainer on our credit cards. Not ideal, but at least it wouldn't tap out our savings. My dad raised us-he may not have won Father of the Year awards, but damn it, he did what he could-was the breadwinner while my mom was a SAHM for 20+ years, not to say it wasn't what they both wanted, but damn it, why do this to each other? Ugh....

I spoke to R about this mess. We're going to look at our own numbers and see what we can afford to give. Honestly, I'd rather put my share of my dad's retainer on my own credit card and have him pay me back, than let R and I deal w/ this b.s. We're looking at a min of $750 each between myself and two of my younger siblings (the youngest is barely holding it together now, covering rent and his used car expenses), snce my dad thinks he can get $3000 from a side job.

I know my mom never saw a divorce coming after being msrried 30 years, and always being a SAHM, but still to do this? Its beyond unbelievable, and this has made me lose respect for my mom-ugh. I swear, this just gives me more reason to have some level of self sufficiency-I don't ever want the rug to be pulled out from underneath me like this.

1 comment:

Jilse said...

I am absolutely shocked by what you said your mom has done to your dad. It's totally unforgivable in my eyes. It's time for her to grow up and act like an adult here, not a child and throwing big money blowing tantrum on your Dad's dime.

I really hope that your dad is able to get the legal counsel that he needs to clear this all up, and I hope the court/judge has your mom penalized for her role in this. It's harsh to say, but really who does this?

I feel really sad that you're having to deal with all of this. What a horrible place to be put in. Hugs to you!