My Ex Purposely Ruined His Credit To Avoid Paying Alimony

What tipped me off to his fraudulent plan.

parents going through divorce battle Freeograph / Shutterstock

“Mom,” says my son. “Something was deducted from my bank account and I reported it to the bank’s fraud department.”

I listen as he fills in the details. 

“That’s odd,” I say. “A car loan was debited from your account?” 

“Yes,” he says.

“That’s not a case of typical fraud,” I say. “People don’t attempt to steal money from someone with a car loan that can be traced back to their bank with their account information. They would be easily caught.”


“What do you mean?” asks my son.

“How much did you say the dollar amount was?” I ask. “And what bank held the loan?”

My son repeats the information.

I begin to connect the dots and it worries me. The bank in question is where his father’s car loan is held. The amount in question is close to his Dad’s car payment. I know this because these details were disclosed during our divorce.

My son is named after his father.

“Your name is the same as your Dad’s,” I say. “You need to call the bank and explain that you and your Dad have the same name and you both have accounts there. And then you need to explain the other bank in question that debited the car payment is where your father’s loan is held. You need to determine if they debited the money from your account because they couldn’t get it out of your Dad’s checking account. You need to know if this is actually a car loan attached to him.”


We hang up the phone.

I’m confused.

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Why would my ex-husband not pay his car loan? He has a ton of money — money from our savings, retirement, and business that he hid during our divorce. I can’t figure it out. Why is he ruining his credit again? 

Purposely ruining his credit was a deliberate tactic he used to appear broke during the divorce.

I ruminate on this information but I’m dumbfounded.

Then the bells and whistles go off. 

I realize what my ex-husband may be up to if this is indeed his car payment that’s being debited from our son’s bank account.

I divorced a severely financially abusive man. He elongated the divorce for five excruciating years to avoid paying child support and made other financially abusive moves. He was relentless in his pursuit to leave me with nothing.


He made me several promises.

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

It’s a pledge he kept.

The next promise was written in a letter during our divorce. 

My husband said he would pay me alimony for ten years but he wanted the five years he wouldn’t divorce me to count against that.

Bear in mind, I created a business with my husband and was a 50% owner and President of our company. T

he money I receive monthly may ‘technically’ be called alimony but it’s the earnings of a business I helped build since our twenties.

The amount is about 75% less than what it should be because my ex-husband lied, manipulated, and lowered the business income. He also hid all of our savings and retirement.


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My son’s phone call alerted me to the calendar.

It was now months before the five-year anniversary of our divorce.

Hence, the ten-year vow he had made.

My ex-husband called me a little over a year ago. He talked to me like he was chatting with a buddy. He said he was going to stop the alimony payments. It was outrageous. I couldn’t believe his words. I told him he couldn’t stop paying me it was in a legal document.

“Oh yes I can,” says my ex-husband. “All you gotta do is go before the judge and say judge I’m a broke man. I’m gonna retire. I’m broke. I can’t pay her anymore.”


My ex-husband has always planned on retiring early. He’s been talking about it since we were first married. At the same time, because he’s got plenty of money he’s not necessarily in a hurry especially since he’s still young to retire.

But multiple times during the divorce he threatened me with bankruptcy. And then once our divorce was finalized he was in immediate contempt of the divorce, refused to make the first alimony payment, and wouldn’t cooperate with selling the house. He said he was going to declare bankruptcy on the house.

It’s the signature of some of the divorced men in his industry.

It’s how they leave their wives with nothing.


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We had put money into our home before the market fell and we had little to no equity in it. He had neglected to pay down the mortgage over the years to again make us look like we had a high mortgage and no money. He also sold our two investment properties when I tried to get him to separate for the first time.

All the financially abusive dots were connecting.

A debit from our son’s bank account potentially indicated he wasn’t paying his car payment.

Just as he had done during our divorce.

The vow to not pay me for more than five years post-divorce. The phone conversation where he told me he would stop making the payments and claim to a judge he was a broke man in order to get out of it. 


My ex may soon claim this one disgraceful thing to avoid alimony: Bankruptcy.

At least I have been tipped off to his plan.

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Colleen Sheehy Orme is a national relationship columnist, journalist, and former business columnist. She writes bout love, life, relationships, family, parenting, divorce, and narcissism.