No, don't go it totally alone without an attorney. At the very least, you need to be advised, 1 -2 hours. Yes, you don't have to make it contentuous and appear in court with dozens of motions and cross-motions but you need to be advised.
I think Brewster probably has it just about right but you need to hear it from a licensed attorney.
It's not as simple as "alimony negates child support" and she walks away.
No. Nadda. Zilch.
Alimony nowadays is only usually offered as a temporary set-up until the other spouse can get back on his/her feet or if there is a wide discrepancy in incomes like you are a famous cardiothoracic surgeon and she is a housewife.
YOu aren't to support your lame-brain spouse the rest of her life because she wants to be a drunk. And if you don't like what I am saying. . .well. . .all the more reason to have an attorney repeat what I just said to you in plain English.
When you are divorcing, you aren't thinking straight and your attorney is there to think for you.
So any offset would generally only be applied for 3 years at the most usually if let's say you made 75K/year and she made 20K part time.
Point is no judge is just going to let her walk away and say, "Well. . .nice knowing ya. . ." She at least has to send you a damn check every week even if it's a little to start.
See my point? No judge is going to certify such an arrangement unless you totally agree to it, which why should you? What's in it for you?
She can at least get a damn job and send some child support towards you or offer to watch the kids and you pay her instead of daycare. . .make some reasonable offer on the table.
Remember. . .this is a business transaction. Treat it as such.
My H treats me badly. The kids see it, and I have to change my situation. However, he won't go. I have even told him that we will figure out how to have 2 homes together. He won't budge. The reason I'm still here is SOLELY because of the kids.
How do you get through your evenings without the kids?
Okay, I may jump around a bit on this answer but that's exactly what I wanted - to have 2 homes together and maybe going as so far as to "trade" when we were with the kids.
My kids, esp. my oldest, saw how I was treated badly by my ex and was even to the point of apologizing for her behavior towards me.
My idea of parenting in the home is for her to exit 80-90% of the time or at least be in her master bedroom studying for her masters when I am there doing baths, homework, and making lunches. SHe could certainly go to the library to study, get a haircut, food shop, go out with friends, something. In other words, be "nanny-dad" at times.
Anyway, to answer your question - it was difficult at first but you get used to it. I don't know - the mind is a funny thing. I am embarrassed to say sometimes I go through the day and then at the end I sort of remember. . ."Oh yeah, I have children" :embarrassed:
And when she brought her boyfriend in within a few months, I was really threatened and depressed. Now, I dunno. . .I am kind of confident that no matter how lame of a father I may be, I am still their father and the boyfriend can't compete.
I am not sure if I am skirting your question but I guess the answer is - what choice do I have? I did know this before I left her so I knew the consequences. I guess I also focus on the fact that it's a lot of damn work and I am off the hook on that since she won't let me in @ nights/weekends to participate.
Maybe I am being irresponsible (she would say I am) but again, I'm not schlepping them around various nights of the week. Just not doing it now until I am stable. I have decided my relationship with my sons is changing and I am taking a more long term view.
My circumstances are kind of extenuating also in that I have a wide variety of ages - 13, 7, and 2. The 13 and 7 year old don't really want to come with Dad because the whole time is about the 2 year old. I happen to agree with them.
I don't think visitation/parenting time should be like "serving a sentence".