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Divorced and homeless in Colorado: one woman's story

When one is contemplating divorce, the horror stories (real or imagined) can begin emerging. Perhaps a Denver husband had to sell his business to pay off his ex-wife. Maybe a Littleton mother was given sole custody but ignores her children. Or you hear of a Boulder County woman who ended up homeless after a bad divorce.

The last one is true, according to news sources. A Boulder County woman went from middle class to homeless within a few months after her common-law husband allegedly ended the couple's six year relationship.

Because they were unmarried, perhaps the woman's former husband believed he was allowed to simply take her off the lease to the townhome and close her access to the checking account. The 52-year-old woman says she was given one week to move out. She placed her items in storage and, lacking a job or access to the couple's bank account, she stayed with friends and relatives.

Divorce leading to homelessness for women and for men is not an uncommon story according to the former director of Boulder's Bridge House, a day shelter for the homeless.

In today's slow economy, the Boulder County woman was unable to find a job and is apparently applying for jobs for which she is overqualified. She quit her previous job at her former husband's suggestion.

The silver lining in this story is that the 52-year-old has been able to collect $1,200 per month as temporary spousal support. Because the couple was not married, the woman had to prove that her former mate treated her as his wife in insurance applications and in other ways.

Divorce can be an emotional experience, as well as a financially tumultuous one. For anyone contemplating divorce, it is probably a good idea to consult with an experienced legal professional to make certain that your options are made clear and your rights are protected.

Source: Daily Camera, "Bad divorce thrusts Boulder County woman into homelessness," Erica Meltzer, May 27, 2012

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