Love & Money — Ben & Jen Get Divorced — When Your Assets End Up in The Hands of The Other Woman

Jennifer Thompson
8 min readSep 30, 2021

Divorce is financially and emotionally a stressful event. Knowing how to navigate your finances during this time will help minimise the collateral damage that can result from the divorce.

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“Money may not buy love, but fighting about it will bankrupt your relationship” — Michelle Singletary

Ben and Jen

Ben and Jen had been married for over 20 years and had two teens. They decided to separate. Six months later, they sold the family home, and Jack bought a new house. He put his new girlfriend, Sarah, on the title.

Ben claims he met Sarah a month after splitting up with his wife. Jennifer relayed a very different version of the story. But that’s not the point of this article.

What was surprising was that Jack put his new girlfriend on the title of the new house without her putting a dime into it.

As an advisor, I would advise getting to know someone for a while before adding them to the title to your house!

Jen and Commingling of Her Inheritance

When Jen’s grandmother died a few years ago, she received a large inheritance from her. Jen used a large portion of it to pay down the mortgage on the home she and Ben owned.

It sounded like a great idea at the time. It’s common for people to want to pay down debt when they receive a large sum of money.

People don’t generally go into marriage with the idea of splitting up. However, by using her inheritance to pay down a property she held jointly with her husband it resulted in her commingling an asset that was just initially hers (the inheritance) and now became part of an asset she held jointly with her husband (their home).

This is unfortunate. The question is; would Jen’s grandmother have left her $500,000 if she knew that half of it was going to end up in the hands of her husband?

Jen and Ben Get Divorced

As part of the divorce settlement, the family home had to be sold and the proceeds were divided equally. Michelle did not get a cent more even if she did put more towards the house!

Jennifer Thompson