The Marriage Loophole
Not every marriage is meant to last. For example, meet Harold and Debbie: their marriage was not one of love, but rather one of financial benefit.
As Harold’s current wife, who we’ll call Julia, tells it on Reddit, they wed when Harold was just 19, while Debbie was a little bit older. They were young and broke. Harold was in college and Debbie couldn’t afford to go. While Harold was able to get some grants and loans because his parents were poor, Debbie’s estranged father made “too much money” in order to qualify for financial aid. So, Harold and Debbie did what they had to do to rig the system: they got married so Debbie was no longer financially dependent on her parents.
Harold busted his butt working in commercial real estate full time while going to school part time. With Harold’s income, combined with grants and loans, Debbie was finally able to go to school and they graduated at the same time. Even though Harold and Debbie weren’t really in love with each other, they still stayed together for a few more years after college. Harold started making some decent money and was able to move up in his career. They were able to buy and sell their first home as well as buy a second, nicer home. He was also able to afford to pay for brand new cars for the both of them. Eventually though, Harold and Debbie decided that they just weren’t content with being in a passionless marriage anymore and mutually decided to split.
However, even amicable divorces can still be a hotbed for drama, especially when it comes to spousal support. At the time of the divorce, Harold really stepped up to the plate to provide for Debbie, even though she would never do the same for him. That would eventually all change and Harold’s ex-wife would soon be exposed for the entitled, self-absorbed person she really is.
An Amicable Split
At the time of Harold and Debbie’s divorce, Debbie’s job didn’t pay much. Harold, being the nice guy that he is, decided to give Debbie quite a lot as part of their divorce agreement including: all the furnishings in their home (which he paid for), half of his savings and retirement accounts (even though she had never opened a savings account prior because she spent pretty much all of her leftover money on shoes and clothes), and agreed to finish paying the remainder of the lease of her very nice SUV (which was in Harold’s name).
Considering the fact that Harold and Debbie’s state did not require alimony to be paid, and only a split of commingled assets, Harold was pretty generous. They filed their divorce simply through a firm that does uncontested divorces at a low cost. 90 days later, they were divorced and ready to move forward into the next chapter of their lives. Harold started dating his Julia and Debbie started dating her current husband, who we’ll call Jeff. According to Julia, Debbie’s new husband was “a spoiled brat who was given everything by rich mommy and daddy, including his house and car.” He still had access to a credit card that his mommy and daddy paid for and was even an old acquaintance of Harold’s before he and Debbie split.
Despite Debbie’s newfound financial security via her in-laws, she still left her car payment to Harold. After all, that was part of their divorce agreement. That was all about to change.
A Change In Career
About two years after the divorce, Harold was ready to make another change in his life: his career. He really wanted to take a different position in the industry he was already working in. In the long term, the new job would be much more lucrative, but starting out, it meant having to take quite the pay cut. He would start out at $0 for at least four months, then his compensation would gradually increase, eventually surpassing his previous income.
Because Julia’s income couldn’t cover all of their bills alone during the transition period, some financial changes needed to be made. She was in need of a new car and while she was able to handle hers and Harold’s car payments, she didn’t have enough to cover Debbie’s $500/month car payment. Harold decided that since Debbie was now remarried, it was unnecessary for him to keep paying for her car and he should be able to take the car back and give it to Julia so she didn’t have to buy a new one. Harold read his divorce decree and as it turns out, the car payment wasn’t written into the decree as “alimony,” even though it would likely be treated as such. He met with his lawyer and both agreed that this new arrangement would be possible and fair, and that they had a good chance of winning.
Let’s Settle This Civilly
Harold called Debbie and explained the situation to her and was unsurprisingly met with some pushback. When he asked her for the SUV back, she gave a flat-out “No” and ended the conversation.
Harold called her the following week to ask again. This time, he let her know that if she still refused, he would be taking her to court. Debbie and Jeff talked about it and still refused to give the car back. Harold even gave them an alternative; she could keep the car, but they would have to take over the payment. Debbie and Jeff still doubled down on their refusal, so there was only one option left: court. Harold’s lawyer helped him get set up with a plan that wouldn’t require representation, so the next day, he went to the courthouse and filed a complaint.
A few days later, Debbie called to see if she and Jeff could meet with Harold and Julia and work something out without having to go to court. Harold was thrilled! He figured she had finally realized that the car payments were basically alimony and it was a little weird that her ex-husband was paying for her car even though she had remarried. Unfortunately, she still hadn’t seen the light.
The night the two couples met, Debbie and Jeff proposed a solution: Harold would turn in the $500/month SUV and exchange it for a new car, cheaper car that was only $250/month and give it to Debbie. Harold and Julia didn’t even pretend that they were interested in the offer. Between the penalty fees of terminating the SUV’s lease at early and starting over with a new car that had a 36 month lease, this would have actually cost Harold more than what he was paying now in the long run. It was a big, fat NO from them.
Harold gave Debbie and Jeff one final offer: he asked that they take over the car payment until he has a steady income. He even said he would share his pay stubs with them so they knew he wasn’t trying to short them. He told them that once he was making the same amount of money he was making at the time of his and Debbie’s divorce, he would resume paying for the SUV.
Harold was really trying to be as reasonable as possible. He wanted to make this work without having to get lawyers and the courts involved, but Debbie still wouldn’t budge.
She told him, “Well, I talked to a lawyer, and he doesn’t think you have a snowball’s chance in Haded of winning in court.”
Left with no other options, Harold told them, “Okay, have a goodnight. Bye,” and Debbie and Jeff left feeling like they had won this battle. Little did the know, the war was only beginning.
Court Is In Session
On the day of court, Harold showed up ready to plea his case. Debbie? Yeah, she was nowhere to be seen.
By the time their case got called, Debbie still hadn’t shown up, but the courts wait for no one and the show had to go on. The judge read over Harold’s complaint and listened to what he had to say.
All the judge had to say in response was, “I don’t think my ruling would be any different had she shown up to court, but we’ll never know. I hereby declare a default judgement in favor of the Plaintiff.”
Following the session, Harold received a printed copy of the judgement. While he held the document in his hands, he hatched a revenge plan that would make getting his car back from his entitled ex-wife even sweeter.
Plotting His Revenge
He called Debbie, let her know that she won the case, and told her to hand over the keys. Debbie thought he was trying to pull a fast one on her, told him to bugger off, and hung up.
Then, Harold went to the car dealership to order a new set of car keys. Obviously, there was no issue here because he had the VIN and the car was in his name.
After everything was settled at the dealership, Harold ordered a tow truck and requested a police officer to be present at her place of employment at 3:45 the next day, which was right before she was supposed to get off work.
Harold was finally going to get his car back and he couldn’t wait to see Debbie’s face as this all went down.
It’s Payback Time
At 3:45 the next day, Harold met up with the tow truck driver and the officer in the parking lot of Debbie’s work. The officer looked through Harold’s court documents and had them verified. They located the SUV and loaded it onto the truck. Then, Harold had the tow truck driver park the truck right outside the doors of Debbie’s office, so she could see it waiting for her when she got off her shift.
Minutes later, Debbie walked outside to find her precious SUV strapped into a tow truck and froze in her tracks.
She screamed at Harold, “You can’t do that!”
Harold just handed her the judgement as the officer just looked at her, shrugged, and reiterated what the court’s judgement said.
“But I talked to Joe!” Debbie continued, “He said you didn’t have a snowball’s chance of winning…Those were Joe’s exact words…Snowball’s. Chance…” Her voice was slightly cracking at this point.
Harold was quiet for a second while he was trying to figure out who Joe was. The way Debbie kept mentioning him made it seem like he knew him, too. He couldn’t think of any lawyer they knew named Joe. However, there was their old mortgage broker…
“Joe. Joe?” Harold asked, “Like our mortgage broker, Joe? Your ‘lawyer’ is a mortgage broker?”
“Yeah, he said that it wasn’t written into the divorce decree as alimony, so you couldn’t take it just because I got married,” Debbie said defensively.
Harold laughed and looked at Debbie straight in the eyes in said, “Well, the judge may or may not have agreed with you and Joe, but since you never showed up to court, you lost your opportunity to find out.”
Debbie’s jaw hit the ground. She was speechless.
Harold shook the officer’s hand, thanked him for his time, and told the truck driver to meet him back at his house.
He said goodbye to Debbie who was still in complete shock. As Harold walked away, Debbie yelled back at him, “How am I supposed to get home?!”
Harold called back at her, “Call that loser of a man you call a husband that was okay with his wife’s ex-husband supporting her.”
When Harold and the driver met back at the house, the driver couldn’t contain his laughter. When they finished everything up, the driver looked at Harold and said, “That was the best thing I’ve ever been a part of on the job.” He even gave Harold a nice little discount to make up for having to be married to such an entitled brat – a cherry on top of the perfect payback.
Moral Of The Story
After it was all said and done, Julia was finally able to sell her old clunker and she took over the payment for Debbie car. Harold and Debbie’s divorce was no longer amicable, but at least he and Julia were able to get married, have a baby, and live happily ever after without ever having to worry about Debbie and Jeff’s drama ever again.
The moral of this story is pretty clear: pay for your own stuff, because let’s be honest, it’s pretty sad if you’re still relying on your ex to pay for your car each month. Also, don’t be an idiot and always show up if you’ve been summoned to court…even if your non-lawyer tells you the plaintiff doesn’t have a chance at winning.