I gave my ex-wife 50% of my wages as upkeep to keep away from debt. She agreed to assist me pay for my bills – however she broke our deal
I have an irrevocable judgment against me. The creditors wanted to mortgage my wages, so I agreed to pay my ex-wife an alimony equal to 50% of my wages so that the creditors couldn’t mortgage my wages. We live together as roommates.
The agreement was that we would split the expenses, but she refuses to pay any expenses and is now hoarding all the money for herself. She pays her social security benefits.
She’s still pocketing over $ 2,000 a month. I am in debt every month and have had to use credit cards to pay our bills. When I talk about my financial dilemma, she says that legally this is her money.
What can I do ? Can I go back to court and try to change the maintenance percentage? I cannot go into further debt. I can’t ask her to leave the house because we’re both on the title. Please help.
The ex-husband & roommate
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You took a high risk – and it didn’t pay off.
You tried to play off the divorce court system to avoid debt, but your ex-wife decided she needed and / or earned the money more and decided to keep the handsome amount of alimony. It’s a tough break.
Whether it was an understanding (on your part) or an oral agreement between the two of you or not makes no difference. She is free to do whatever she wants with her upkeep.
With the help of your lawyer, you could go back to the divorce court and try to renegotiate your alimony. But you will have a lot to explain and the court would not approve your plan to avoid a lien on your income.
A reduction or change in maintenance is usually granted due to changed circumstances – for example, if your wife remarries or has increased her income significantly, or if your own income has decreased dramatically.
However, be careful when trying to keep playing the system. For example, if you decided to retire early, it would not be a valid reason as you would have to undergo an involuntary change in circumstances.
The law firm Eiges & Orgel may have a solution: “Real life together – that is, two partners now live together and behave like married couples instead of occasionally staying overnight – can also mean the end of maintenance payments.”
Has your divorce attorney agreed to your previous plan to give your wife 50% of your income in exchange for a living? That seems like an unusual arrangement. If so, this time find a new lawyer and tell him or her the unvarnished truth.
It may be time to sell your home, downsize it, and move on.
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