My Ex Forged My Name On A $50,000 Loan During Our Divorce

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woman getting divorce

I married my college boyfriend. A nice Catholic guy I met in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I thought we had the same values on account of us both having to wear those plaid uniforms in elementary school. I remember the things they taught us about right and wrong because they sounded a lot like what my mom taught me. 

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I don't think my Scranton sweetheart remembers any of it.

Crazy, I know. 

Yet I thought I had married a decent man.

Then I met this new guy who was also apparently my husband during our divorce — and he was not such a good guy. He used divorce as an excuse to do illegal things. Evidently, all’s fair in love and war — at least wherever he was raised. 

My own husband forged my name on a $50,000 loan.

This is considered grand larceny which is a felony.

Initially, it was a lower amount and it grew exponentially because he didn’t make payments. But it’s still grand larceny and It’s still a felony, long before the interest kicked in. It sounds unbelievable, doesn’t it? That someone would do this, let alone get away with it.

All because he was angry and trying to win a certain divorce outcome. 

Do I know why he did it? Yes. He forgets what he told me during an arrogant moment.

But this is his fabricated story. He claims had "no idea" they were going to put the loan in my name. It must have been an accident while he was submitting the paperwork. Kind of a good story. But it’s hard to feign ignorance while using someone else’s name because it requires FILLING in all of their personal information and forging their signature.

Pesky details, I know. 

And there’s one other thing. 

His story might hold water if he hadn’t admitted in writing to the forgery when he warned me not to tell anyone or if he hadn’t taken out several credit cards in my name and signed my signature on other documents. Or hid money from the business I helped him build.

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He was upset when I told him I was thinking of leaving despite ignoring my cries to work on our relationship. I was surprised by the words that exited his mouth. I thought they came from a place of pain that turned into anger. I didn’t believe he would carry through with them. Again, Catholic schoolboy and all.

“If you leave me I’ll make sure there’s no money and you work for the rest of your life.”

Followed closely by:

“Who would leave the Golden Goose?”

The money became a divorce weapon.

His best friend turned wife turned business partner turned mother of his children had crossed him. In his mind that is. And he would leave no stone unturned. He would lie, cheat, and steal to leave me with nothing. 

He even ruined my credit for good measure.

But that wasn’t enough. 

He wanted to leave me in debt. It’s diabolical. Severe emotional and financial abuse during an elongated divorce wasn’t enough. Destroying my credit until I was unable to qualify for housing or credit cards to meet any emergency expenses was still not enough.

Claiming I was no more than an employee turned mom when I had built the business with him was not enough. Lowering income for support is not enough. Leaving me with zero savings and retirement because he started hiding money as soon as I expressed my unhappiness, not enough.

My husband’s actions were deliberate. 

At that arrogant moment, he told me he didn’t think I had carried my weight. Being a woman who took advantage of him and a lazy stay-at-home mom and all. Again, in his mind. This was his version of reality.

Not the truth.

Sadly, there aren’t true consequences for forgery, theft, and illegal activity in divorce — not even a felony.

In divorce, these types of crimes are not viewed with the same scrutiny. They fall under the "spouses behaving badly" category. They get their hand slapped but that’s about it. 

My husband had to take responsibility for the loan because I had proof he had done it.

He had to pay off one of the credit cards he had taken out in my name.

He had gotten such an early start to the divorce financial abuse the other card he had stopped paying for and had been written off. His strategy was to take out cards and make it look as though I was a big spender and had run him into the ground. 

I guess he didn’t think the stay-at-home mom would be wise enough to figure that out.

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Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist, and former business columnist.