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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We originally talked about not involving lawyers. Then, she had a free consultation with one. I did as well... I didn't want to fight things out, but I wanted to make sure we both understood our options. One of things he suggested was that, if it was an amicable no-fault divorce (what we both had been aiming for at the time), then he could help us with the paperwork and the filing for a pretty reasonable flat fee (filing and court costs included).

Afterward, I thought it might be not be a bad idea to hire him in that capacity... A professional to make sure the paperwork all gets written and filed properly. Someone we'd hire just for his legal expertise. I explained this all to her two months ago, and she said fine. I hired him, and based on what my wife and I had discussed, he helped me write up a first draft of a pretty reasonable and fair divorce agreement, so we could have something down on paper to start from.

Basically, the first draft I gave to her to look over stipulates joint custody overall, a weekly 50/50 custody schedule (that was actually my daughter's idea), 50/50 split of expenses, reserved child support (neither pays, based on 50/50 custody and relatively equal incomes... neither of us can really afford to pay and still maintain a home for the kids), and since I'd be staying in the house I'd have residential custody over the kids but only for the purposes of maintaining their permanent address (it means they don't have to change school districts, even if she moves to a different one). We both keep our own cars and car loans, we both keep our own bank accounts, we both keep our own debts (credit cards, student loans, etc... I'd actually focused on paying off hers in recent years, so she comes out ahead, here), I'd get the house (my Mom helped with the down payment, I've been paying the mortgage, and it's several grand underwater anyway), there a 1972 WV Beetle that doesn't work right and is essentially up for grabs, and we split our retirement accounts 50/50 (a BIG payoff for her). These are all things that we had discussed two months earlier and that I thought we had come to a general agreement on.

And yet, after she looked it over, she told me that I was being unreasonable, that parts of the agreement were "wildly inaccurate", and that my "demands are totally unacceptable". I suggested we go over it and talk about what she doesn't like about it. That's when she said she was going to have her attorney look it over and that her attorney would talk to my attorney, etc, etc, etc...

Now, today I heard from a mutual friend, that my dear wife has been telling them that "[Pbar] thinks I'm going to leave the kids with him", and that she's going fight to keep the house, because she could afford it if I was paying her child support.

So, now she's done a complete about-face, gone back on what we'd already agreed on and wants to take everything and shut me out.

Un-****ing-believable.

:eek: :pissed: :cussing: :banghead:
 

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Those who wish for everything.....usually end up with nothing. Equal incomes, 50/50 custody.....she's getting a good deal on pension.....she has toxic friends at the hair salon telling her all kinds of stuff. It's like a hair dryer......all hot air. But this is a true version of her coming out. Never thought she would do that huh LOL Surprise
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
...she has toxic friends at the hair salon telling her all kinds of stuff.
I know exactly who the particular toxic friend is... and she happens to be a divorced, single-mom attorney. No wonder, eh?

But this is a true version of her coming out. Never thought she would do that huh LOL Surprise
Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it?

Now, I'm not a psychologist, but read through the blog entries from this website... http://www.shrink4men.com/index/ ...and it paints a fairly accurate picture of our relationship and our marriage.



Pb.
 

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Ah.....the toxic single mom. Let me guess.....unhappy and miserable and wants company. So they can sit at the kitchen table sipping tea and bash you and her ex H. Yeah what fun LOL

My D so far has been amicable.....if it gets nasty I have four aces in the hole I can pull out at anytime. Plan to play nice but if it gets dirty never show your hand until they have theirs.

I hope she comes out of her psycho ways before it is final but I'm to the point, I don't know if I even want to return. Rephrase.....I will not go back to the way it was six months ago. I still love her and always will but when we step in front of the judge.....I'm not her friend.
 
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Those who wish for everything.....usually end up with nothing.
I've had a few female friends who went into divorce thinking they'd get 'everything' and it never works out that way. I'd listen to them talk and just secretly giggle cause I knew no way in heck a judge would ever give them all that they wanted.

Their husbands were being more than reasonable but because these wives had to act up they ended up with LESS.

This also works in reverse. Knew a woman who cheated but her husband had to act a fool and he ended up paying MORE just because he was being unreasonable.
 

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Mav-And really destroys any hopes at one day maybe mending fences, if possible.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The crazy thing is, aside from some sentmental value, because my mother helped us with the down payment, I don't need to stay in the house. I don't really care about the stuff and the money, except as a means to provide for my kids. I've got a good job and I work hard, so I can always make more money and I can always buy more stuff. It's not that important to me.

What's more important is being there for my kids, and being able to provide a safe, happy, comfortable home for them while they're with me. And I want her to be able to do the same.

It's just infuriating that she's suddenly deciding to be all petty about it.



Pb.
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If I may suggest, being a relatively upwardly mobile person myself, would you consider discussing giving her the house in exchange for 50/50 custody? Also -she works right? So no alimony. I say this because you appear to have handled her A extremely well, and I would be extremely concerned in the effects of an attritious court battle on the kids. I have no idea how practical she is and whether or not she would accept and screw you over later (we had a mediator sign off on our plan to make sure neither party got screwed)

What I did was to give her the house under the condition that it was owned by the kids, and who ever was in charge of the kids got to stay there. I can't handle my kids moving from home to home, I really want them to have a measure of stability. (Our current agreement is to swap weekends, and I get two weekdays. It's mutual-ish, so she has the keys to my apartment and the option of staying there over the weekend while I watch the kids if she so desires. Also, legally we're still married so my situation may just be different).
 

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What I did was to give her the house under the condition that it was owned by the kids, and who ever was in charge of the kids got to stay there. I can't handle my kids moving from home to home, I really want them to have a measure of stability. (Our current agreement is to swap weekends, and I get two weekdays. It's mutual-ish, so she has the keys to my apartment and the option of staying there over the weekend while I watch the kids if she so desires. Also, legally we're still married so my situation may just be different).
Caladan- I'm interested in your arrangement here as shuffling houses is my concern also and we are negiotating currently. Can you please go into some more detail on this? What weekdays do you get? Thanks
 

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Caladan- I'm interested in your arrangement here as shuffling houses is my concern also and we are negiotating currently. Can you please go into some more detail on this? What weekdays do you get? Thanks
Hey Soca.

In general I get mondays and tuesdays - I have an agreement at work that allows me to leave early to get home. To be fair, we had this arrangement in place before the separation. Fridays are technically negotiable - if she needs to go out (hang out with friends, etc), then we work something out.

With finances, I pay daycare and the mortgage (our two highest expenses), but I do earn significantly more than she does, so I still give her some cash - she's the mother of my kids, and her wellbeing affects their wellbeing. It's a sacrifice I'm happy to make.

At the moment we're negotiating getting some work done on the house - it's a 3-storey, (well, two floors and an attic). The plan is to rent out the second floor and I'll move into the attic, that way the kids can see me whenever they want, and not just when we (me and her decide). Still a negotiation in progress though, we need to make sure we can both handle the fact that we're both likely to be hanging out with other people. No third parties sleeping over, that's an accepted rule.

I don't know what else you're interested in knowing - if you have more questions, please feel free to ask.
 

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Hey Soca.

In general I get mondays and tuesdays - I have an agreement at work that allows me to leave early to get home. To be fair, we had this arrangement in place before the separation. Fridays are technically negotiable - if she needs to go out (hang out with friends, etc), then we work something out.

With finances, I pay daycare and the mortgage (our two highest expenses), but I do earn significantly more than she does, so I still give her some cash - she's the mother of my kids, and her wellbeing affects their wellbeing. It's a sacrifice I'm happy to make.

At the moment we're negotiating getting some work done on the house - it's a 3-storey, (well, two floors and an attic). The plan is to rent out the second floor and I'll move into the attic, that way the kids can see me whenever they want, and not just when we (me and her decide). Still a negotiation in progress though, we need to make sure we can both handle the fact that we're both likely to be hanging out with other people. No third parties sleeping over, that's an accepted rule.

I don't know what else you're interested in knowing - if you have more questions, please feel free to ask.
Thanks Caladan! This actually gives me an idea. I wasn't so keen on the 2/2/3 as it has a 5 day stretch nor the 7/7. I'm thinking something like you have with Mon and Tue with me, Wed and Thurs w STBXW, and alternate places on Fridays with "family movie night" (which we still agreed to have) and then every other weekend.

I travel for work and tend to be out the second half of the week when I do. Her new place is right around the block 5 minute walk so we'd both be close by for our boys if needed.

I'm not sold on the two houses bit but something like this may work. Thanks for the info!
 

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Thanks Caladan! This actually gives me an idea. I wasn't so keen on the 2/2/3 as it has a 5 day stretch nor the 7/7. I'm thinking something like you have with Mon and Tue with me, Wed and Thurs w STBXW, and alternate places on Fridays with "family movie night" (which we still agreed to have) and then every other weekend.

I travel for work and tend to be out the second half of the week when I do. Her new place is right around the block 5 minute walk so we'd both be close by for our boys if needed.

I'm not sold on the two houses bit but something like this may work. Thanks for the info!
Glad to help.

We also have a one "family day" a month (or more) plan, which could be a day in the park, movies, dinner, swimming, whatever. I think it's a great idea.
 

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Pbar,

I'm new to all of this, but I've done a TON of reading, so take my advice with that in mind.

First, given what you've said, she has pretty much zero chance of grabbing the kids and the assets for herself and getting you to pay her alimony and/or support. At least in a no-fault divorce (I suppose she could try and go the fault route in Illinois... but I'll assume she doesn't have grounds for it).

If I were you, I'd be pissed too: you almost had an amicable and affordable divorce before this and now you may be heading down a rough road. Contested divorces are expensive, take forever, usually destroy any chance of maintaining a working long-term relationship with your spouse, and often take a severe toll on the kids. Who would want that?

She may eventually calm down and revert to the "let's just get this done" plan. You can hope. But if I were you, here's what I would do: take the high road (easier said than done when you're upset) and tell her something like "I can see you have some objections to the plan the lawyer drew up. But I don't see anything here we can't work through. Why don't we sit down and work out the details with a mediator. Mediation has an extremely high rate of success, and we will almost certainly be happier with the outcome than if we battle this out with lawyers. Plus we'll be done sooner, it will cost less, the kids won't have to suffer through a trial, and we can keep a semblance of civility in our relationship as coparents. The mediator is completely neutral and there are tons of them in the area. If you wanted to suggest one we could probably get started on this next week."

Note that none of what I say is a lie or a manipulation: it's all true.

If you can't get her to agree with the default 50/50 plan, then a mediator will help you tremendously because they will almost certainly steer her toward that same deal. And you don't look like the bad guy in that setting... she does for trying to take everything for herself.
 

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As scummy as family law is get a shark cutthroat atty. When I lived in cook county it made it a smooth one because he knew his sh!t. Carry a VAR on you while the both of you live together, sounds like she is trying to set you up jmo. Mine left me after confronted to om it lasted about a year according to my d. Now she's all flirty with me because I moved on and am dating again, oh well!
 

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PB-Isn't it a coincidence her g/f is..................a lawyer. I wonder who your W will use......hmmmmmm. Honestly, the attorney friend is lacing her up to take her case a rake in some cash. If your W is smart, she will see this pretty soon.
On another note, when the W starts getting snippy and hateful....I have seen it done hundreds of times.....they then suddenly get emotionally sentimental. I don't know when your D is but I'm guessing in about three to four weeks you might see that change. Does not happen all the time but more often than not. Then it is your call....I just say this because you do have children. Best of luck and keep posting!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If I may suggest, being a relatively upwardly mobile person myself, would you consider discussing giving her the house in exchange for 50/50 custody?
I would consider it, but...

  1. She doesn't make quite enough on her own to easily afford the current mortgage payment.
  2. She has a bad history of running up debt and then not paying it off. (I just spent the last two months clearing her bad accounts off my credit report.) I don't exactly trust her to keep up with the payments, especially while my ame is still on the mortgage.
  3. That also means she's got a ****ty credit rating. She might not be able to refinance it in her name alone and even if she can, she'll get crummy rates.
  4. She talks about being able to afford the house if she gets child support, but there's no guarantee that she'll get as much child support as she expects, and I'm pretty sure she's also not taking into account utility bills, insurance, taxes, repairs, and renovations.

So, while I would consider it, I don't think I would agree to it, unless there was some sort of guarantee in writing that she would keep up with the payments.

Also -she works right? So no alimony.
Correct. She makes less than I do, but not by much... and my extra debts make up that difference.

What I did was to give her the house under the condition that it was owned by the kids, and who ever was in charge of the kids got to stay there. I can't handle my kids moving from home to home, I really want them to have a measure of stability. (Our current agreement is to swap weekends, and I get two weekdays. It's mutual-ish, so she has the keys to my apartment and the option of staying there over the weekend while I watch the kids if she so desires. Also, legally we're still married so my situation may just be different).
Ah... "Nesting" is the popular term for that. You keep the kids in the same house, and the parents swap back and forth.

That's a tough one to make work. It's an option we considered briefly early on, but I don't think it'd be practical for us.



Pb.
 

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PB - what you and caladan are discussing is what's known as "nesting". i.e. the kids stay in one place and the parents move in and out.

This is great for the kids - but can be hard on the parents over a long-term. Also - you will go from supporting 1 household to potentially 3 living spaces. I know of a couple who share an apartment and take turns in the house. But you need a level of trust to do that. Could you share an apartment with your stbxw? Would she share one with you? If not - then you'll each need your own place.

My stbxw wanted to live in our house during separation - another option - but that just didn't work for me. We discussed nesting, but I refused to pay for an apartment (our home is paid off) and my stbxw did not want to split one. So in the end, my stbxw moved out. After all, she was the one who wanted more "freedom".

At first I had the kids except for every other weekend. After two months - my stbxw wanted 50/50 so now we are alternating weeks.

We exchange on Sunday. My kids (12 and 14) have adapted far better than I expected - kids adapt. Another idea when you go alternating weeks is to have Weds as the kids dinner night with the other spouse so that you both don't have to go 7 days without seeing your kids. My kids are too busy with practices after school to do this, so we go 7 days straight. I've adapted - it's amazing how much free time you have on your "week off".

Re: toxic divorced friends - These are the biggest problem in my case too. When we separated we had a parenting plan, we were amicable (considering) and everything was set. Within one week of separating, my stbxw was coming up with all sorts of "demands". Her toxic separated/divorced girlfriends were giving her all sorts of "advice". Ended up making everything VERY adversarial. So I have had to spend thousands on legal advice just to protect my interests.

Good luck.
 

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I would consider it, but...

  1. She doesn't make quite enough on her own to easily afford the current mortgage payment.
  2. She has a bad history of running up debt and then not paying it off. (I just spent the last two months clearing her bad accounts off my credit report.) I don't exactly trust her to keep up with the payments, especially while my ame is still on the mortgage.
  3. That also means she's got a ****ty credit rating. She might not be able to refinance it in her name alone and even if she can, she'll get crummy rates.
  4. She talks about being able to afford the house if she gets child support, but there's no guarantee that she'll get as much child support as she expects, and I'm pretty sure she's also not taking into account utility bills, insurance, taxes, repairs, and renovations.

So, while I would consider it, I don't think I would agree to it, unless there was some sort of guarantee in writing that she would keep up with the payments.



Correct. She makes less than I do, but not by much... and my extra debts make up that difference.



Ah... "Nesting" is the popular term for that. You keep the kids in the same house, and the parents swap back and forth.

That's a tough one to make work. It's an option we considered briefly early on, but I don't think it'd be practical for us.



Pb.
Fair enough.

I see things from the perspective that I'd rather suffer than let my kids suffer. I can tell you now, it's certainly not easy, but it's worth it. To me.
 

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PB - what you and caladan are discussing is what's known as "nesting". i.e. the kids stay in one place and the parents move in and out.

This is great for the kids - but can be hard on the parents over a long-term. Also - you will go from supporting 1 household to potentially 3 living spaces. I know of a couple who share an apartment and take turns in the house. But you need a level of trust to do that. Could you share an apartment with your stbxw? Would she share one with you? If not - then you'll each need your own place.

My stbxw wanted to live in our house during separation - another option - but that just didn't work for me. We discussed nesting, but I refused to pay for an apartment (our home is paid off) and my stbxw did not want to split one. So in the end, my stbxw moved out. After all, she was the one who wanted more "freedom".

At first I had the kids except for every other weekend. After two months - my stbxw wanted 50/50 so now we are alternating weeks.

We exchange on Sunday. My kids (12 and 14) have adapted far better than I expected - kids adapt. Another idea when you go alternating weeks is to have Weds as the kids dinner night with the other spouse so that you both don't have to go 7 days without seeing your kids. My kids are too busy with practices after school to do this, so we go 7 days straight. I've adapted - it's amazing how much free time you have on your "week off".

Re: toxic divorced friends - These are the biggest problem in my case too. When we separated we had a parenting plan, we were amicable (considering) and everything was set. Within one week of separating, my stbxw was coming up with all sorts of "demands". Her toxic separated/divorced girlfriends were giving her all sorts of "advice". Ended up making everything VERY adversarial. So I have had to spend thousands on legal advice just to protect my interests.

Good luck.
Cedarman,

I'm ambitious and perhaps a bit vain. I'll pay off the mortgage on this one in 2-3 years, and then I'll try and get another one in the area.

My kids are 6 and 7, with the 7 year old being quite a sensitive mommy's boy, he's an emotional magnet for any negativity within a hundred yards.

Then again, while she was the one who asked for freedom, I was pretty much done myself, so why not? We'd stayed married for the most part for the kids, trust me, "nesting" so far is a lot easier (though more expensive) than living together as man and wife.
 
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