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Posted: 4/4/2002 8:17:40 AM EDT
I have been with the same girl for almost 5 years, and we have lived together and been engaged for about 4. We basically live as if we were married. Most of our checking account, credit cards and the mortgage are in both of our names (big mistake, I know). She has a gambling problem and I am thinking about calling it quits, because I don’t want to see her piss all of my money away for the rest of my life. She doesn’t recognize the fact that she has a problem, and thinks I am just nagging about how much she spends. How do I go about resolving the joint accounts that have an existing balance since we would not be technically getting divorced? Do I have any legal options to ensure that I don’t get taken to the cleaners? We make about the same amount of money so I don’t think that should have anything to do with it. What should I do if she is not cooperative and willing to work with me in splitting up our assets and debts? Thanks for the help.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 8:27:57 AM EDT
Well, providing there is no common law marriage laws she can hit you with , you have 2 options, just take your 1/2 of everything and split, or become such a load that she wants to leave you. I'd go with option number one, but if you really care about her there is a gamblers anonymous , tell her its that or you, if she dosen't take you then you are not losing very much.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 8:30:53 AM EDT
I don't have a problem just grabbing my stuff and leaving. The problem I think we will have is with the joint debt we have. Should the creditors be willing to split it up and just put half of it into my name and the other half into hers?
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 8:31:55 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 8:34:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/4/2002 8:34:41 AM EDT by rogerb]
It depends on who wants what, like the house. If you both want it , it's lawyer time (a good idea anyway). I believe you will have to refinance if one name is coming off the mortgage, but that is just a guess.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 8:36:27 AM EDT
You better get your name OFF anything she can run up & leave you obligated with. She can stop paying ANY portion of the mortgage & if you ever sell she can stop the sale & or get a portion of the equity (if any, she may have borrowed against already & you may owe that) Some creditors are willing to work with you if you talk to them. Their feeling are if she declares bankruptcy & drags you down too then they get 100% of 0 where they may be able to negoiate with you 100% of your half. Would know their attitude until you contact, but do NOT believe anythng they say. Get it in writting. They might get you to pay your half & then say "Now about this [u]other[/u] obligation you have!" Try Consumer Credit Consuling on your own at first.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 8:42:27 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 8:46:22 AM EDT
Few states are as "liberal" as Pennsylvania with regards to Common Law marriage, but her the conditions that have to be met are pretty simple; If you have ever represented yourselves as husband and wife, she will have standing under the common law definition of "married." If you've been very careful to use your own names on everything (though maintaining joint bank accounts can cloud the issue), you should be OK. I'm not a lawyer, but I had a frined who lived with the same woman for 14 years and they both explained to me what they had to do to avoid the legal appearance of being married, especially after they started buying property together.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 8:47:41 AM EDT
Some of this will depend upon common law marriage and possibly community propertly laws in your state. YOUR assets and debts (i.e. anything that was was yours before the relationship/marriage) are yours. Same goes for her assets and debts. Anything either of you acquired during the relationship/marriage belong to both of you. This gets fuzzy because of rules about dividends, interest, profits, etc. that are derived during the marriage from individual property from before the marriage. If you both have your names on a debt, the creditor can go after either or both of you. If you're (common law) married, it won't matter if both of your names on a debt; the creditor can chase either one of you for collection. Most creditors will [b]not[/b] be willing to split a debt. All they want is their money from any source that can/will pay it. You can get a lawyer (probably a good idea anyway) to draft an agreement between the two of you to pay your shares of whatever debt you share. But the creditor is not going to care about that agreement and it won't preclude them from coming after you if she fails to pay her share. It just gives you some backing for [b]you[/b] to go after her -- not a pleasant prospect.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 9:16:53 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Grin_N_Barrett: You better get your name OFF anything she can run up & leave you obligated with. She can stop paying ANY portion of the mortgage & if you ever sell she can stop the sale & or get a portion of the equity (if any, she may have borrowed against already & you may owe that)
View Quote
Agreed.
Some creditors are willing to work with you if you talk to them. Their feeling are if she declares bankruptcy & drags you down too then they get 100% of 0 where they may be able to negoiate with you 100% of your half.
View Quote
Creditors may be willing to work with you, but a creditor is never left with 100% of 0. Non-equity credit accounts these days are insured. If you default on it, then the person who extended the credit has to file an insurance claim. The more they claim, the more their insurance rates go up. That's why people with good credit get lower interest rates, as they are perceived as a low risk. Either way, the creditor is never left holding the bag. And in instances where there is an asset the asset becomes the property of the creditor via the methods of foreclosure and reposession. Most creditors will not seperate debt and are not legally obligated to if it was started as a joint account. My personal advice if you're seriously planning on leaving her: Start your own accounts, a checking and a savings, at two different banks than the one you use now and do not deposit any more funds into the joint account. Call as many of your creditors as you can and have all of the joint accounds cancelled immediately. They will still continue to bill you for any balances owed and interest, but no new charges can be applied to the account. The worst case scenario is you may have to eat this debt if she decides not to pay, but it's better than her running it up higher than it already is. Get in touch with a lawyer to find out what your legal responsibilities are, since common law marriage is the jurisdiction of the state you live in, and it varries between them. In some states, being engaged and/or living together gives you the same rights as actually being married. This is why it's never a good idea to live with someone you are not married to. You get very few of the protections and many of the liabilities. Good luck. God Bless Texas
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 9:27:52 AM EDT
I just checked and common law marriage is NOT recognized in my state. So that might be good..?
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 9:50:55 AM EDT
Try getting her some help first and if she refuses or has no desire to change then you should talk to a lawyer. If one or the other wants the house then you should refi your house and do a quit claim deed to remove the others name. Then split the equity between the two of you. I'm not 100% but I could find out I work in title insurance and see this daliy plus I work with several lawyers.
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 9:53:08 AM EDT
[img]http://images.ucomics.com/comics/mb/2002/mb020304.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 4/4/2002 9:53:42 AM EDT
The real trick is how to break up and still get [i]screwed[/i] [sex]
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