Originally Posted by UpnDown
It will be hard on them, but you have to think about how much this will open life up to them. There are clearly several downfalls to splitting up a family, but if you and your ex (once the dust settles) can co-parent the children effectively then they will be better off.
I suggest you start looking into your rights when it comes to the children and custody. It's what I did. I checked out a few 'divorce companies' (although I do not plan on using one of them) and got some good insight on how to interact with her and how to protect myself. I also contacted a lawyer to ask for basic advice (he suggested mediation before lawyering up) and I also went to Legal Aid even though I did not qualify but I was able to get tons of booklets / family law information.
Things like joint custody, shared custody, sole custody. Who will have primary physical custody, will you guys be splitting it depending on who lives where and when? (such as if they are with you, you are primary caregiver, when they are with her, she will be).
What kind of schedule are you guys going to do? 50/50, 60/40, weekend only visitation etc. Then you have to think of the rotation, if it's 50/50 (like we are going to hopefully do), then you have to think of 1 week / 1 week, or 2/2/3. Will you guys be able to have it set out once a month or twice a month that you can spent separate time with the kids individually? (giving them that special 1 on 1 time with each parent).
These types of things might be hard to do and the pill a little bitter to swallow, but take it from me, you will feel a lot more empowered about your situation once you have given yourself the knowledge YOU DESERVE to know.
Also, it isn't about 'getting the best of her' in the long run, of course you want the upper hand but being vengeful will not serve the kids any good.
I don't know where you live, but I just finished a 2 part course that is required by the Canadian Government in order to qualify for there supported mediation (and the court will require it anyways if it goes that far).
I highly suggest contacting your government office and sign up for it. I personally already knew 90% of what they told me and everyone else there but it only made me feel more confident about what I have been doing and the knowledge I obtained on my own.
Call me a fool and a hopeless romantic but I'm hoping that she comes to her senses and realizes that I'm not as bad as she has made me out to be. We have agreed to make this a separation for the time being and will not be pursuing divorce right away. Granted I don't expect to wait indefinitely. I've made a commitment to myself to not date or otherwise be involved with anyone until I know without a shadow of a doubt that I have lost all hope of us working out. But I will in the time being work on me so that I get back to that man that I used to be. I gave up so much for her, I gave up friends, hobbies, dreams and desires because she thought they were silly and irresponsible. I now have children so that means some of those dreams won't become a reality plus financially I'm very limited to what I can do but I will at least revisit those dreams.
As for custody we plan on 50/50. I trust she will be fair and has thus far proved me right. I could make this an ugly situation but I don't want to do that, not only that but she works for a rather large law firm and has extensive legal experience herself. In particular she has over 10 years in family law which could potentially spell hell for me, not that I would just roll over and take it if it went that way but honestly no reason to open a can of worms if we can be civil about it. Like I've mentioned before I still love her very much and I don't want to hurt her.