Friday, April 15, 2011


Not sure I discussed this yet, and while it isn't the most important thing going on, by far, it is still important.

So, X always liked being married to someone who made an engineer's salary.  Not so much the being married to an actual engineer.  But she liked the money part.  A lot. 

I'm a pretty non-materialistic kind of guy and I can live pretty cheap.  She was the one always buying unnecessary crap just because she could.  I had a financial plan that would have had us in an AMAZING place in a couple years if we could just have a little discipline - we would have had the house paid off before my eldest graduated from high school, would have never had to borrow money for vehicles, would have been able to pay just about any college tuition out there, etc.  That was my outlook on our finances. 

Her's was, and I quote, "In a family that makes as much as we do, nobody should ever be allowed to say, 'we don't have the money for that.'"  She would talk about how her friends husbands make SO much less than me yet let their wives spend whatever they want.  I would want to respond, "It's called 'debt', honey," but I restrained myself.  In any event, while I saw my earnings as the path to future security and ease and blessings for our kids, she saw it as a ticket to an unlimited supply of useless crap, crappy clothes, and stripper heels. 

This puts us in an interesting position here on this side of the divorce.  I make a bit more than 90% of our combined income.  She spends somewhere above 65% of our combined income.  Something has to give way here. 

When she first filed papers she said she wanted the house.  That's really OK with me.  A 2200 square-foot house is a bit more than I want to be paying for right now, and considering how much equity we have in it, she'll have to give me just about every other asset we have to buy me out.  So, I can come out with no debt (even mortgage debt), my 401k intact, and a LOT lower living expenses than she has.  That's good.

But because I make so dang much and she makes so little the alimony and child support are going to be through the roof.  Combined, we are looking at upwards of $25k to $30k per year.  That's not so good.  And that is even with the child support being held down a bit by the fact that I'll continue to pay the kids' private school tuition.  Which is another $12k per year I'm on the hook for. 

I keep running my numbers.  I'm living in this little, cheap, kind of crappy apartment.  My utilities are next to nothing.  I don't eat out hardly at all.  The only place I'm spending an excessive amount of money is gas for my truck, since my round trip to work is 30+ miles.  Even so, I'll be brushing up against the edge.  I have no idea at all how she is going to live.  Her expenses are a LOT bigger than mine and even with all that money I'll be sending her every month she'll still be living on a lot less than me. 

Financial tip for anyone out there thinking about divorce: after you divorce you are still going to be making the same amount of money but will now be paying for two places to live AND will have to pay a big chunk of change to lawyers.  These things are not good.  They are not conducive to future financial security.


  1. Ugh. I'm thinking I'd rather not go that route at all, that's depressing. As you say, it may not be the most important thing, but you do want to eat & have *some* ability to save and 'live' too.

  2. Great points...I still shake my head ruefully as I add up what the costs of our divorce has been, on both sides.
    (I need to work up my own post & purge that resentment rather than clutter up your comment box ;-) But tens of thousands of dollars that COULD have gone in the college fund instead were pissed away on lawyers, & invested in Ex's new farm & "new, improved"??? lifestyle...
    Really, it makes me feel more than a little sick at my stomach - what a godawful waste it's been!

  3. I guess that's why the old blues song says "It's Cheaper To Keep Her."

    I was just talking about divorce and the financial aspect the other day with my own wife and kids -- Trying to explain costs and money to children, as the topic of divorce comes up from the kids' friends. It just sounds like an expensive endeavor to me.

    I could also say that it all sounds horribly unfair, to have to pay her that much money, but what would be the point, right?