Imagine your life is in your own hands for the first time … when you are in your early 40s.
This is what happened to Sonia Delgado after telling her husband that she was going to get a divorce. She had fantasized about the moment for a long time; During their 30-year marriage, her husband had been the standard “money boss”. But they kept arguing about how he handled money. He struggled with poor credit and they were chronically in debt and at times relied on relatives and government aid for financial assistance.
In the final years of the marriage, Delgado had become the main breadwinner, working as a high school teacher. She wanted to separate her money – and her life – from his. Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake” was on the radio when she was driving away from her house after telling her husband that he would receive the divorce papers.
“I can’t explain it,” she said. “It was like a spirit of happiness filled me and I started to feel so healthy.”
But the amusement should be short-lived. When Delgado and her lawyer started negotiating the divorce, Delgado found out that her ex-husband was demanding alimony, and he wanted him forever. Alimony is money paid to an ex-spouse after a divorce. Most divorces have no child support at all. But if, like Delgado, you make more money than your spouse, you may be legally required to give him financial support for a period of time. In some states, such as Florida, where Delgado lives, you may be required to pay permanently.
Her ex wanted a starting sum of $ 600 a month. At the time, it was almost a third of Delgado’s deductible.
On this week’s show we hear Delgado’s story, learn the history of child support, and explain how it became such a sensitive political issue for so many Americans.
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