I know what it’s like to go through a divorce, and a rough, draining, expensive one at that. I’ll get to it in a moment but my divorce process and related activities essentially kicked off the beginning of my financial demise…. prior to my financial recovery and ascension into the better graces of credit scoring. There are divorce loans for women. There are divorce loans for men too… They’re called personal loans. But I wrote this for women to give a male perspective on divorce and also to reassure you that doing the right things for the right reasons and taking the higher road is always in the best interests of everyone, especially if children are involved. Divorce sucks.
The consequences of it all is what inspired me to start Loan Camel – to help others not make the same mistakes I made. You know – “Helping People Over the Hump” is me – it’s my tagline, my mission. I know I can’t change where I made mistakes but I can do better going forward. I can also help others do better, hopefully with fewer mistakes than I made. That’s my redemption – “I suffered so you don’t have to” – That’s my jam, man… I mean, woman.
What people forget, especially attorneys who practice family law, is that the entire idea of family breakup, the children, the memories, the common friends – all of this and more – can be emotionally devastating. It was for me. I hated that my parents and grandparents had decades and decades of marriage and I couldn’t give that to my young kids. I felt like a failure. I felt like I let everyone down. But that’s not how I should have looked at it nor should you. It’s better to divorce than to remain in an unhappy situation.
With that said, what about paying bills and paying divorce and attorney costs? I need money! I need help! Trust me… I have an army of shrinks… I’m a big supporter of their industry and if it helps… talk to a professional. And I had money problems too.
I’m very fortunate to have an excellent relationship with my ex-wife today and for much of the time raising our children as divorced parents. But it didn’t start that way. There was no craziness in our marriage except that we were just different and did not belong together. My ex-wife is very rigid and structured and I’m an ADHD, Jewish mess. For real, I’m all over the place and that drove her insane.
I did not personalize it, I chalked it up to I need this and she needs something different. Unfortunately, she was angry that I never changed. You know – like I never grew up I guess. She married me thinking she could change me and when I couldn’t be what she wanted she personalized it as if it was intentional. It wasn’t intentional. The marriage counselor told her it wasn’t intentional, it’s just the way I am. I don’t act frenetic and ADHD to be a jackass… I’m naturally this way. I won’t jump on chores, I won’t keep my area cleaner than you… I’m sorry. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to be married to me either.
But it wasn’t to be a jerk. I’m just a different person than she was and she never got this at the time. As a result, the divorce was a hostile and ridiculously expensive affair that benefited no one. And I knew this but it didn’t matter. There was no compromising and it cost everyone.
My legal bills were at least $30,000.00 and that was many, many years ago and we had very few marital assets at the time – a house, 2 cars and furnishings. My ex and I made the same income at our respective jobs. I offered to pay the child support amount set by the state, leave her the house, the furnishings and we each keep our cars. All I wanted was my 20 bottles of wine and my grandmother’s artwork. I begged her to get a mediator to handle it for us for $5,000.00 or less. She said no. I hope I’m not pissing you off. This isn’t a blame article, this is life as it unfolded for me.
The money piled up… for the lawyers. On top of it, I lost my job and had to move 250 miles away for employment to my ex-wife’s hometown. She was supposed to follow suit. I moved. She didn’t. My travel and hotel bills piled up. I never missed a bi-weekend pickup with my kids over a 10 year period. I drove thousands and thousands of miles. I moved 150 miles closer and did 2 round trips every other weekend to get them.
But the first 18 months were during the divorce process. I was lonely, I was sad, I was now in debt and I was on my way to going under financially. Emotionally, I was already wrecked. Not because of my ex-wife but because of guilt that I didn;’t do better for my kids. This was all unnecessary. I needed loan help but I didn’t know anything about that.
I bought a house but the debts were piling up. I had lawyer fees, ridiculous travel costs, hotel costs, just about everything and it was killing me. I had it all on credit cards. I made a 6 figure living, with a perfect payment history and – if you’ve read my About Us page – I walked into a lawyer’s office and walked out filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy. I didn’t need a bankruptcy. I needed a personal loan.
But I didn’t understand that and lawyer’s do what they’re trained to do. I should know. I am a lawyer. Just not a family lawyer or bankruptcy lawyer. You’d think I’d know better. I should have known better… but I didn’t. But I do now. I piled up more debt during the Chapter 13 as my take home pay was reduced with garnished wage payments that went to the bankruptcy trustee for 5 years.
I couldn’t manage my costs of living given the costs of seeing my kids far away and other shit that happens in life. Like for fucking really realz – does a car ever break down? Did my HVAC units at my house go “bye-bye” and “die-die”? Did I have extensive out-of-pocket medical bills? Do I like going out for sushi every so often? Real talk. These things aren’t considered when you are being put on a Chapter 13 creditor repayment plan. A personal loan saved me.
As I said in the beginning of this divorce loans for women article, a divorce loan is a personal loan. I’ll say it again for the people in the way back – A personal loan saved me. It helped me reorganize my debts the way they should have been reorganized without a bankruptcy and they allowed me to move my debts from high interest credit cards into one payment which was far less than what I paid monthly on 4 different credit cards. It also gave me a date certain payment. And yes, you can use personal loans for debt consolidation, for attorney fees and/or a combination on these things and others.
Loan Camel helps match borrowers with lenders through a system that recommends lenders most likely to approve an individual borrower for the best rates given their profile. You can go to our Personal Loans page here and check your rates without impacting your credit and then apply for a loan if you so choose. I was able to cut my monthly payment nearly in half. I also took a 5-year payment plan and paid my debts off whereas it would have taken me over 20 years paying credit card minimums.
You are not paying your debt off when you start the loan, you are moving it – and then you are paying it down. After a few months, you should also see an increase in your credit scores as you now have a lower percentage of your available credit being utilized. Do not pile up new debts on your newly available credit lines. I learned to budget and live within my means better. I learned to love my debit card. It’s empowering to pay cash with a debit card and not build debt. If you need to use your cards for an extraordinary expense, set a timeline to pay it off. I always try 90 days as my limit.
Do the right things for the right reasons. If you can work out an amicable divorce, that’s the best thing. If you can’t then be sure to mind your budget as best you can. If you get into trouble with your monthly credit card payments becoming too high and/or you need money for attorney fees or other major life needs, you can check your rates here without impact to credit on our Personal Loans page and apply here as well.
We can only do our best. Take it easy on yourself. What seems insurmountable now will be a feat accomplished down the road. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to provide them in the space provided below. You got this.