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Green Decals 10-08-2012 03:10 PM

How to make it on your own?
My friend is really struggling right now, with one little one and another on the way in a few weeks, and a failing marriage. He is an alcoholic cheater, and she is a stay-at-home mom. She is only sticking it out because a) she thinks he will change and b) she can't afford to be a single mom.

She is slowly coming around to the "he won't change" reality but I would like some BTDT advice from some of you who have made it on your own, specifically how you left. They don't have a lot of money, at all, nothing "extra" at the end of the month, and they have a mortgage on a tiny house (both names), 2 car payments (both in his name), and credit card debt (all in her name).

Other than applying for state aid, which I have already discussed with her and which she would HAVE to do, how can she make it happen on her own? I mentioned putting aside a little cash every paycheck without him knowing, but she literally doesn't have the means with which to do so. They are strapped.

mixed_chica 10-08-2012 04:12 PM

Re: How to make it on your own?
Babysit for extra cash. She should be thinking about what kind of job she can get though when she leaves that would pay the bills. She should look into getting a job at a daycare or church nursery that would let her children go for free or discounted rate. She should babysit for now, save up some money and be constantly looking for work. When she gets a job, she should apply for all aid before leaving, including daycare assistance.

loni1090 10-09-2012 01:59 PM

Re: How to make it on your own?
I know there are online surveys to do, but it takes a bit of time to get money out of doing the surveys

Suzi 10-17-2012 07:36 PM

Re: How to make it on your own?
She does need to find some kind of work. If she needs to stay with her kiddos then babysitting is probably the best answer. If she could work at a daycare center that would help give her a little more freedom from her husband, maybe even grow her support system. I also think most future employers prefer employees that worked for a more traditional place instead of themselves. Selling items online can be nice because the money can be "hidden" in paypal.

They will likely have to declare bankruptcy, it sucks, my friend and her ex-husband just went through this.

She will need to submit all kinds of stuff to the lawyer to help with a child support calculation. Its been awhile for me but I was thinking they needed tax statements, a couple of paystubs, bank account statements, all that sort of stuff.

If she can't afford the house payment I would consider moving out first, that way she cant be stuck with it. She "should" get child support to help with it but if he is a deadbeat then I wouldn't count on it. She would still have her name on the loan to deal with but hopefully the judge wouldn't make her responsible for the monthly payments.

It doesn't matter what's in whose name unless it was obtained before they were married.

With the credit cards there are two ways to look at it. Usually they count the debt as when someone filed for divorce, so she may want to rack them up right before that. My ex was smart and went and bought a new washer and dryer right before he filed. So we agreed that his new washer and dryer had a value of $500 or something like that and later I learned he still owed on them, $1200, so he got me to help pay a good chunk of his new washer and dryer. Disclaimer: that is the only thing he did like that and I think I am mainly angry that I didn't get to ;)

Is custody going to be a no-brainer or will he have an argument for why he is more fit to parent the kiddos? Around here 50-50 is the standard, you really have to prove incompetence at some point to get something else (assuming both parties want custody). Cheating itself doesn't count against him in the parenting department unless he was neglectful of his children to sleep with other women.

MomMe3 10-18-2012 03:47 PM

Re: How to make it on your own?
Eventually she will need to get some type of job. She could try for something she can do while she has the kids (e.g. babysitting) but if her DH knows she has money coming it chances are that he'll expect it to go to the household and not for her to be saving it. That could cause problems itself.

I would advise your friend to contact a woman's shelter in the area. They are experienced and can give you friend advice. Applying for state aid may help her a lot. She may be able to get assistance with finding somewhere to live and rental assistance, and even money to pay for childcare while she works and/or is in school. Also, she may end up getting child support since generally when someone files for aid, they go after the NCP (non-custodial parent) for CS.

Like a PP said, it may be easier for her to move out rather than to try to hold onto the house. She may find a cheap place to rent (or get housing assitance) and then what happens with the house may become a part of the divorce, as well as the division of the other debts.

She can also see if there is Legal Aid in your area which can help her with filing for a divorce and custody of the kids. If there isn't, usually it's just forms and she can fill them out herself. Although, the clerks often can't give advice, they can tell you what other forms you need to do this or that.

necomama 11-06-2012 01:56 PM

Re: How to make it on your own?
A strong support system from family and friends will be how she makes it. Thats the only way my mom managed with 4 to care for. She HAD to get a job and it was hard, she worked 3 jobs really. She may not know how she will manage but eventually everything works out and you just carry on the best you can.

christinewith4 11-08-2012 08:48 AM

Re: How to make it on your own?
i went throught myself... my ex hurt us pretty bad but i was in such denial... and i was 100000% convinced id never survive as a single mom of 4 and have no family etc... he had cut me off from EVERYONE.

but im 3 yrs out now and 1st i babysat and now im trying to make it with just my business/boutique . ill post more later :)

samham 11-08-2012 09:18 AM

my first step was getting him out. I kept the house, filed bankruptcy on the cars and everything else. I used tax return for new cheap car.filed for food stamps and medicaid right away. As soon as he was out I was eligible. With food stamps, I was able to file for child support and for divorce for no cost. I am/was a full time student so I applied for grants that paid tuition, books and daycare. Everything helps. If she is afraid of of not having a good job, I highly recommend going back to school. A part time job helps too. Maybe she can join moms groups and do baby swap so she doesn't have to pay for daycare. If she is low enough income, she may qualify for child care assistance but she has to work to have it. The state aid is there to help, and as hard as it is to take it and swallow your pride, some times it is what is best for your baby. My X was an addict turned alcoholic and I was not going to raise my baby in that mess, especially after a year of hell with him. I took all help I could get to get us out of it. We are happy, healthy and moving forward but it is not easy, to get started or to get through.

christinewith4 11-09-2012 01:46 PM

Re: How to make it on your own?
I got daycare assistance while I went to college...

If I knew now what I didnt then: I would have opened a private, secret bank account and saved every penny I could up to that date. but I was in such denial- years of denial- I thought everything he did & said to us was really, truly MY fault. I came across a journal I wrote in 6yrs before he left... its sad... he was hurting us and now I know it WASNT me.

I was kept from all my family etc, so when he left I litterally had no one at all- just me, and 4 kids. He was so prepared- I had no idea. 3yrs out and depite him being "engaged" etc, he still goes out of his way to try to control me.

One big example is he(& his lawyers) put a clause in our custody order that states I can NOT leave my children with ANYONE but ME for more than 4 hrs, or he gets custody- this INCLUDES daycare, babysitter, family- even for work. And somehow they alloted me income (I was a SAHM for 10yrs) and he only has to pay about $400/mth in child support. (He has them about 10%)

So, I can not hold any type of job where I'd need to use childcare. (I went to school the 1st 1/2 of the kids' school day& only used daycare 1hr/day).

To date, I have done childcare to support us, but my 8yr old's special needs have made this now impossible now, except for "occasional care" which isnt often. (I now only have my online boutique- which, I'll admit, is terrifying-but I'm trusting God)

Childcare IS a great income maker for starting out as a single mom if it's something you (her) can handle. It's actually pretty easy to come up with enough expenses to not have to claim it as income. I got food stamps for a bit, and was flat out told it wasn't enough income after expenses to claim. (For family of 5 here, I'd have to make over $2800/mth before they wanted me to report it.) I thought I was doing GREAT til they told me that.:giggle:

Living debt free is another HUGE one. Do NOT use credit cards etc when you have no $$ already. There are free stores and food banks to help with emergency stuff- go there for food, clothing etc, and use your $$ for things like gas, car insurance, rent, etc etc.

BUILD A SUPPORT TEAM. Online, in person, ANYWHERE & EVERYWHERE. If not in a church, find a great one who is willing to help. Find moms groups. Even try Craigslist for possible area groups. & There lots of helpful groups on "Yahoo groups".

Do you have "211" there?? If not, look up United Way and ask for help! They can direct you to everything you need.

Hope I helped a little... :) Im 3 yrs out and SOOO THANKFUL Im out. That 13yrs now feels like not much more than a bad dream...

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