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Ask Dave

Go After Her Instead

Donnie's his wife left him. He closed their checking account and opened a new one. She continued to write checks, and now he's being chased for the money.

QUESTION: Donnie in Tampa is a truck driver, and a few months ago, his wife left him. She took everything. He closed their checking account and opened a new one. She continued to write checks, and now he’s being chased for the money. Dave helps Donnie see what he needs to do to put his life back together.

ANSWER: Tell them to call her. You closed the account, and she continued to write checks on a bad account, and that’s on her. She’s writing checks on a closed account, and that’s not on you.

You’re not having just some sense of bad luck … your wife left! That’s a major explosion in your life, not something that makes you feel like you can’t get ahead. You feeling like you can’t get ahead doesn’t apply to a divorce situation. Going through the divorce, you’ll deal with day-to-day things that make you feel like you just can’t get ahead, but I suspect you’ll have to look for a different kind of way to drive a truck where you’re at home more.

I think you attorney can undo some of this. The stuff she took from the house wasn’t all hers, so the court can force her to return some of it along with half the value of the car and some things like that. You need a divorce attorney to represent you in this divorce.

You’ve had a major mess here that you’ve gone through, and you’ll have to just break all of these problems down. List them and figure out which problems you can fix first. It probably starts with something like putting a bed in a room or food in the cabinets. It starts with you reassessing your career choices and what you can do to get some assurance to get off the road so you are near your kids more, because it looks like you’re going to be the custodial parent.

This was an atom bomb dropped into your life, so of course you’re going to be reeling. When people go through stuff like you’re going through, it may take you five years or so to turn some of this around and get to the other side of this and have all the details wrapped up.

Hopefully not, but it won’t happen in 10 minutes.

You’ll just have to continue to work the problem. You’ll look up a year from now, and you will have made huge progress in putting your life back together, and in two years most of your life will be back together. Keep making yourself lists of things you need to work on and mark them off as you knock off that particular goal.