Advise needed - Good soldier, bad spouse

I've been doing a little bit of searching through the NCO business and general search for anything that may relate to this just to get some insight and options as to which to check out.

I've a soldier in my section that came to inform me that he is having some marital issues with his spouse.

A brief record; this kid, as far as I've seen, has done just about everything to support and make his wife happy. When they first got married, he was having issues but that was solely personal issues between him and his wife and out side of the Army and his attitude didn't effect the work place at all.

With that said, I think it may have escalated from there as to what's going on now. He's an E-3 with less than 2 years in service. Has a 2013 Ford for himself and recently bought his wife a 2012 Chevy Cruze for her to get around and find a job. He recently bought and is paying monthly for her breasts implants and pays all the bills. She is bringing no sort of income for any of the recreational or luxury items she demands from him even at his low rate of income. After bills he has minimal funds for anything. He is a prime example of living paycheck to paycheck.

She recently "left" him and moved back to their home of record to "find a job" and explained to him, which he explained to me, that she thinks it's better for her to move back and find a job there because she cannot find a job here (Fort Bragg).

Anyways, he feels a divorce may be in the near future but what I want to know is what are his options as far as paying for all the bills they've piled up and if he's to pay her any money plus pay all the bills that she's collected in his name. Per Social Security, her name has not changed. She still holds her surname. All the bills and anything she's signed for since getting married, has the new last name. From his and my understanding, that's illegal.

Finance will tell me one thing but as experienced soldiers and ways to help this poor guy out, what do you think?

Areas of interest:
- His vehicle is under his name
- Her vehicle is under both names
- Apartment lease is under both names
- Implants are under both names
- Bills under his name

What acts and reliefs are there to help him as far as the second vehicle and the apartment if he were to get divorced?

What services are offered to help for counseling through Militaryonesource or ACS? I'm thinking of a referral to a finance advisor and marriage counseling. Although she's not living in the same state anymore, can he still do marriage counseling? What other options are their as he wants to seek a counselors advice.
Original Post
Go to your Chaplain and discuss the details. Most likely the Chaplain would want to speak to your Soldier.

Also, have him make an appointment with JAG. I am no Dr. Phil but it seems best this young Troop gets a divorce. Seems like he got married for the wrong reasons. I been with mine for 20 years and it has been work. Wink
Chaplain is involved and once he finished with this personal/medical appointments, he is to go speak with him.

I just don't want to narrow his options and make sure he seeks all the help and advice out there offered to soldiers. I think also, I don't want to overwhelm him that he doesn't feel he's able to seek the help so I wanted to pin point which route to take.

Thanks Chief, I'll be sure to double tap with him after he speaks with the Chaplain and ensure he knows how to go about the advice given to him.
Good advice from TheWiseChief. Overall, it sounds like you're going down the right path and getting all the info you can.

One thing to keep in mind about NC is that before a divorce can be granted, the couple must be legally separated for 12 months. Both parties will sign a document saying they've been separated for 12 months. Sometimes, both the husband and wife want the divorce "now" so they'll sign even if they haven't been separated for a year. That's not always the case though.

Make sure your Soldier talks to some reputable sources to find out exactly what his obligations will be during that separation period.

You might want to look into the rules regarding divorce in your Soldiers home state too.

I was in a similar situation many years ago and when the time came to actually file for divorce, I filed in my home state of AZ, which made the process much easier.

Information is power. I can almost guarantee his wife has access to the internet and knows how to use Google so she'll quickly learn from the interwebs how to bleed every penny from your troop. The best thing he can do is get informed.

Good luck.

Not to make light of his situation but what happens if he stops making payments on the loan for the implants Big Grin I really have no idea.
It may be irrelevant who's name is on anything. In many states all property is considered joint and divisible. Regardless, the collectors will come for him even if she is obligated by the court to pay (which is unlikely, as she has no income).

JAG won't be able to give him much advice beyond his military obligations; he will need a state certified attorney to proceed legally. Still send him to JAG if he separates or divorces.

The post should have some sort of financial planning courses (last time I took one was through ACS). Any soldier going through a separation should take one.

quote:
Originally posted by the cruiser:
what happens if he stops making payments on the loan for the implants Big Grin

His credit tanks, they garnish his wages, and he may lose clearance and earn an early separation.

filthyillness, Counsel this soldier deliberately. Make sure he knows his obligations and potential obligations. I would avoid giving advice on relationships or specifics on finances, but there is plenty you can present on military consequences alone that should be sufficient to motivate.

Any financial advice you give should be inquisitive in presentation, e.g. "Do you really need 2 cars?", "Have you looked into restricting your bank account?", "Can you move to a smaller apartment?", "How often are you eating out?". There is great potential here to make the situation worse than it already is. In his personal affairs, a soldier's decisions must be his own (at least he must believe they are his own).
quote:
Originally posted by Daddy Warcrimes:
It may be irrelevant who's name is on anything. In many states all property is considered joint and divisible. Regardless, the collectors will come for him even if she is obligated by the court to pay (which is unlikely, as she has no income).

JAG won't be able to give him much advice beyond his military obligations; he will need a state certified attorney to proceed legally. Still send him to JAG if he separates or divorces.

The post should have some sort of financial planning courses (last time I took one was through ACS). Any soldier going through a separation should take one.

quote:
Originally posted by the cruiser:
what happens if he stops making payments on the loan for the implants Big Grin

His credit tanks, they garnish his wages, and he may lose clearance and earn an early separation.

filthyillness, Counsel this soldier deliberately. Make sure he knows his obligations and potential obligations. I would avoid giving advice on relationships or specifics on finances, but there is plenty you can present on military consequences alone that should be sufficient to motivate.

Any financial advice you give should be inquisitive in presentation, e.g. "Do you really need 2 cars?", "Have you looked into restricting your bank account?", "Can you move to a smaller apartment?", "How often are you eating out?". There is great potential here to make the situation worse than it already is. In his personal affairs, a soldier's decisions must be his own (at least he must believe they are his own).


Maybe I misunderstood the OP but it doesn't sound like his troop needs to be "motivated". Counseling is a good thing but specific counseling (relationship, financial, etc.) is best left to professionals. Yeah, I guess you could sit him down in a room and tell him he may get demoted if his finances slip. But if this is a good troop, which the OP seemed to indicated, then focusing on getting him in touch with the right people before this situation gets worse is probably the best thing right now.

Good catch regarding the restriced bank account comment. I've known too many guys whose joint bank account was drained by a spouse.
One thing that I would suggest...if they do divorce, get the vehicle back that is in both of their names and sell his or get her to refinance the vehicle in her name only.

When couples divorce, it varies greatly from state to state how debt is divided. I have a friend who kept all of the debt and her ex has to pay her. Guess how much he's paid toward marital debt? $0.

Your young trooper is learning what will likely be a very expensive lesson.
quote:
Originally posted by the cruiser:
Maybe I misunderstood the OP but it doesn't sound like his troop needs to be "motivated".

The motivation I referenced was specific motivation to get the soldier's affairs in order. His responsibility to comply with spousal support policy and maintain qualifications (security clearance, etc.) should motivate the troop to move toward a more advantageous position (divorce, or reconciliation with improved financial discipline).

Wise actions on the part of this troop would include:
1. Restrict access to all savings, checking, and credit accounts. Request credit watches through available agencies.
2. Change banks and direct deposit, and not inform the spouse.
3. Move to more affordable lodging (and not inform the spouse; communication to be accomplished using the unit address and postal service). Also change phone number and email to force postal correspondence.
4. Sell both cars; arrange for more economical transportation (public transportation, carpool, or cheap vehicle as a last resort). He may need to take leave to take possession of the Chevy; and should probably confer with local law enforcement or an attorney prior.
5. Liquidate all non-essential assets (probably going to be living in the Bs soon anyway).
6. Cancel all non-essential services (including cable, home phone, internet, spouse's cell phone). Reduce essential services to minimal levels.
6. Employ any savings minus about $3k to pay down debt (all assets are divisible; debt will probably be awarded to the party with a job).
7. Hire an attorney (with the $3k from above).
8. Begin he divorce process
9. Obtain an interlocutory order.
10. Become advised on and comply with spousal support policies from JAG. Document all support contributions and obtain receipts where possible. Send checks through certified mail with the nature of support clearly indicated in the memo section. Offer no support beyond what is legally mandated.
11. Remain current on all obligations. Any surplus funds applied to legal bills first, followed by other debt. At the end of the month, his account should be as close to 0 as he can stand.
Agree with Daddy.

Soldier needs to get a lawyer IMMEDIATELY- the first consult is "free".. And He needs to do everything in his power to stop her from wrecking his life ANY. MORE.

IF she "comes around" he needs to keep an eye on things and be careful to trust her with money matters until she earns that trust back.

Side question- WHEN were the implants done? Women oftentimes start to get themselves "more presentable" when they think they're going to be looking for a love soon... Or maybe she already has one?? In SOME states if he can prove adultery on her part, the court will side with him on SOME things a little more...
Microsoft's SYNC system...It takes voice commands. I would have thought you would be all over that as a commo officer. Smiler

Edit: but half the time it gets the command wrong and you have to argue with your car.

quote:
Originally posted by AutobahnSHO:
quote:
Originally posted by Triwall:
Yes, but can you talk to your car? It's a lonely 35 minute drive I need someone to argue with lol.


HUH?? Smiler

I was just comparing "new car" payment vs. getting an affordable car....
quote:
Originally posted by Triwall:
Microsoft's SYNC system...It takes voice commands. I would have thought you would be all over that as a commo officer. Smiler

Edit: but half the time it gets the command wrong and you have to argue with your car.


Ahhhhhh LOL

I'm all about the geeky new tech just because, but haven't read much good about Sync...
(and personal issues have very much kept me from being able to afford anything other than really old cars... Pending divorce and a couple years of bill payment will fix that Smiler )
quote:
Originally posted by Corvette1140:
I just wanted A SHO like you...LOL.

Only with twin turbo, and AWD


Nice cars- but the original SHO was the fastest FWD in the world, came with a manual transmission ONLY, above 100mph could beat the 5.0 'Stang.. Big Grin

AND was the 3rd fastest 4door in the world. In 1989,
BMW M5= $50k
BMW 7series= $70k
Taurus SHO= $20k
as i have been in a similar situation the name not being changed per social security it is not illegal, using her married name on documents instead of using her maiden name on bills and such is just using an alias. he does however need to always keep a copy of the marriage license and her social security card as proof of both names.
quote:
Originally posted by filthyillness:
I've been doing a little bit of searching through the NCO business and general search for anything that may relate to this just to get some insight and options as to which to check out.

I've a soldier in my section that came to inform me that he is having some marital issues with his spouse.

A brief record; this kid, as far as I've seen, has done just about everything to support and make his wife happy. When they first got married, he was having issues but that was solely personal issues between him and his wife and out side of the Army and his attitude didn't effect the work place at all.

With that said, I think it may have escalated from there as to what's going on now. He's an E-3 with less than 2 years in service. Has a 2013 Ford for himself and recently bought his wife a 2012 Chevy Cruze for her to get around and find a job. He recently bought and is paying monthly for her breasts implants and pays all the bills. She is bringing no sort of income for any of the recreational or luxury items she demands from him even at his low rate of income. After bills he has minimal funds for anything. He is a prime example of living paycheck to paycheck.

She recently "left" him and moved back to their home of record to "find a job" and explained to him, which he explained to me, that she thinks it's better for her to move back and find a job there because she cannot find a job here (Fort Bragg).

Anyways, he feels a divorce may be in the near future but what I want to know is what are his options as far as paying for all the bills they've piled up and if he's to pay her any money plus pay all the bills that she's collected in his name. Per Social Security, her name has not changed. She still holds her surname. All the bills and anything she's signed for since getting married, has the new last name. From his and my understanding, that's illegal.

Finance will tell me one thing but as experienced soldiers and ways to help this poor guy out, what do you think?

Areas of interest:
- His vehicle is under his name
- Her vehicle is under both names
- Apartment lease is under both names
- Implants are under both names
- Bills under his name

What acts and reliefs are there to help him as far as the second vehicle and the apartment if he were to get divorced?

What services are offered to help for counseling through Militaryonesource or ACS? I'm thinking of a referral to a finance advisor and marriage counseling. Although she's not living in the same state anymore, can he still do marriage counseling? What other options are their as he wants to seek a counselors advice.

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