Nearly Six Long Years – Debt After Divorce

A Table broken under the weight of post-divorce debt

Rebuilding After Divorce

Following yet another move from state to state, my marriage came to an end. Leading up to the divorce, I was able to pay off all debt, aside from a mortgage. On a “positive” note, the mortgage was assigned to my former spouse.

During and following the proceedings, the judgement resulted in half of my retirement account being transferred to my former spouse. The judge ordered a pretty tight timeline to come up with a fairly significant sum for my former spouse. Add to that, paying lawyers, and the debt mountain was reborn.

Going from $0 in the hole to nearly $100,000 in debt was a gut punch.

Situational Awareness

The biggest problem to overcome is the monthly outflow to cover the debt payments. Since the divorce has been finalized, market conditions have changed. These changes have caused my income to come down by tens of thousands of dollars per year.

I am going to document as I continue paying down my debts, while also increasing my retirement investments and savings amounts.

Some have a philosophy of getting rid of all debt over X% before starting to save or invest. This does not align with my point of view.

The habit of saving and investing is a very important one to get up and running. Kicking the can down the road month after month, year after year, until the debt payments are gone hurts. To leave so much time in the market as a “kick myself in hindsight” type thought.

My Current Debt Situation

At present, I am sitting at just over $61,542.94 in debt. This breaks down to nearly $1,800 in required monthly minimum payments (RMMP). This aggregation of debts does not include my vehicle. I am going to refinance from a lease to a loan before November. This will increase the debt by about $30,000.

For most, a lease may not make sense. My employer subsidizes our lease payment, which made it a better option at the time of first taking possession of the car.

Back to the debt & RMMPs… While minimums are approx. $1,807, I do not only make minimums overall. I have a strategy to pay things down efficiently, focusing on increasing monthly cash flow, over just about anything else.

I am human though, when I have a debt that is smaller, with a higher APR, so I attack and remove it from my life. While this is a little counter productive, I am still human.

At present, my monthly debt payments are sitting at approx. $1,900 per month.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Personal Loan A / Balance $21,758.32 / APR 6.98% / Minimum $720.00
  • Personal Loan B / Balance $21,237.46 / APR 15.24% / Minimum $479.44
  • Credit Card A / Balance $8,604.42 / APR 17.99% / Minimum $244.00
  • Credit Card B / Balance $5,902.00 / APR 19.99% / Minimum $231.40
  • Personal Line of Credit / Balance $4,039.75 / APR 14.59% / Minimum: $102.19

Holding Myself Accountable & Paying Off This Debt

There are times that I feel the weight of the debt, as it will be here for sometime. Short term thinking gets people into trouble. Making impulsive purchases all the time is not a helpful way to pay down this debt mountain.

For those reading this, I say thank you.

I look forward to digging myself out of this debt and answering questions, if they are asked.

At present, I anticipate being out of my non-vehicle debt by the first quarter of 2027. Three years. Thirty six months. 156 weeks. 1,095 days.

Whichever way I look at that amount of time, there is an endpoint in the far distance.

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