Bare­foot In­vestor

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - MICK'S PICKS -

Bare­foot,

So I get a mes­sage from my wife at 2am while she is in Mo­rocco (find­ing her­self): “I think I’m go­ing to move to Mo­rocco, I’m so sorry.” This re­ally was not ex­pected, nor in my plan for the fu­ture. Now I am hav­ing to deal with all the fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties on my own, with­out a sec­ond in­come. I have a hal­fren­o­vated house, our com­bined debts, and now le­gal fees to deal with the sep­a­ra­tion. I am 34 and earn­ing good money ($140,000), but it feels like I’ve caught an STI from an over­seas hol­i­day I didn’t even take!

James

Hi James

It sounds like your ex-wife took the “Eat, Pray, Dump” tour! Se­ri­ously, I can’t imag­ine what it was like to get that text — you must be go­ing through hell. And while it prob­a­bly feels like you’re the one here in Aus­tralia clean­ing up the fi­nan­cial mess, you are both re­spon­si­ble for see­ing this out. So a cou­ple of prac­ti­cal things: if you haven’t al­ready shut down any joint bank ac­counts, credit cards or re­draw fa­cil­i­ties, do so im­me­di­ately. Also, keep good notes on your fi­nances, and en­gage a fam­ily solic­i­tor. You don’t men­tion kids and, given your age, it sounds like it may have been a short mar­riage. This will be taken into ac­count, and should make things much sim­pler in com­ing to a fi­nal prop­erty set­tle­ment. Ob­vi­ously you are fac­ing a fi­nan­cial set­back, but at your age, and with your in­come, it’s some­thing you will over­come. So think hard about whether you want to keep the house or sell and make a clean break … your ex-wife cer­tainly has.

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