2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?! - Talk About Marriage
Considering Divorce or Separation If you're considering divorce or separation, this is the place to talk.

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

My husband and I are currently at a crossroads ... one road is the road to the dissolution of our marriage, the other is the road to us staying together. Currently, we're pointing towards dissolution, but haven't moved down the path yet... There are a lot of things at play contributing why we're at a crossroad, but I don't want to get into that right now.

A little background -- my husband and I have been together for almost 10 years, married for almost 3. We have an 11-year-old daughter (technically my stepdaughter, but I've raised her since she was 2), and an 11-month old son together. We've had a rollercoaster of a relationship - extreme highs, and some low, lows. All have stemmed from his fear of commitment (his parents divorced when he was 16), and also my anxiety & dependence. I come from happily married parents, so the "D" word is very frightening. Our 11-year-old has been with us for the majority of our relationship, so he's also questioned whether or not we'd be together if she wasn't with us full time... we have both agreed, though, that she is here, so we can't look at that as a factor. She does see her biological mom a few times a month for a few hours at a time.

Also, my husband and I have talked at length about this and are on the same page that we wouldn't screw each other over. Should we go down this path, I really do think we can amicable.

So, here go my questions...
1. How do you begin to wrap your head around all of this in general? I'm absolutely devasted... on one hand, I want to be happy for myself, and I want him happy, but also be in an amazing marriage/partnership and it hurts so bad to think it might not be with my current husband. We've been through so much together, including a separation back in 2010 and we came back to each other when I didn't think that was going to be possible. Currently, we're seeing a therapist.

2. Custody... I can't even imagine sharing my children, especially my son who is so young! I never thought I would be in this position to even have to worry about this, but here I am. How do people do this? How do you deal with this and not care what other people (i.e. family and friends) think? I can tell you right now, I would NOT do alternating weeks... I couldn't. I have mapped out a few different options for this, but I hate all of it! I don't want to share!

3. Who gets the house? If I'm being honest, neither of us can comfortably afford our house by ourselves, and selfishly, I don't want to be the one to move out... but that said, my husband makes more money that I do (not my too much, though). He thinks he can, but I am not sure he really realizes what it would take. This is our very first house that we bought in May, right before **** hit the fan. And with daycare, and everything else, I am not sure I could afford more than a two-bedroom apartment when I would need 3 bedrooms.

Any input would be greatly appreciated! TIA!

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone?
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 08:23 PM
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Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

When you say that you guys have agreed not to screw each other over, it makes me wonder. Look, you are about to divorce. Trust is out the window. You should read this advice I came across on divorcetennessee.org It explains what you need to have on your side. I don't really think any of those items on the list are only tennessee inclusive. But the advice on there will help get your priorities in order before you divorce. It can get nasty. Get prepared. Take in the advice you hear from every outlet and put it to use. I would start with #1 on the list, it will be the best place to start.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 08:50 PM
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Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

I had a very amicable divorce. I didn't fight her on a lot of things and made it more than fair for her, for the kids sake. I paid $7k for our two attorneys. From separation to divorce, it took 6 months until it was finalized. I have two kids under 6. They are doing pretty good considering the life they knew was ripped upside down. It really helps if the parents can co-parent and not talk bad about the others.

If neither of you can afford the house then it gets sold and equity or debt gets split 50/50. Child custody should be 50/50. You'll have to come up with a schedule but there are many schedules defined, just google them. If you two can come up with a reasonable parenting plan, that's the best thing. A judge needs to sign off on it, but they very much like for the parents to decide on this and not go to court.

Sorry you're going through this. One year later, I just bought an engagement ring for the woman of my dreams. There is life after divorce.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 09:07 PM
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Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

Hi RLC,

Sorry to hear of your troubles. When I start to feel overwhelmed, I start to make plans.

It's painful, but when things were bad with my H, I started to visualize what life would look like if we were going to divorce. I wanted to de-sensitize myself to the possibility. I thought about what I would do to ensure/increase my income and lower my spending. I looked for potential homes/apartments. I work from home, so I, too, would have needed a 3 bedroom, or a 2 bedroom where one of the bedrooms was large. I thought about what I could have done to make a 2 bedroom work, if necessary. I had plans and contingencies.

I also tried to focus my mind on what I would be gaining, rather than what I would be losing. I would have lost time with our son, but I would have gained time for me. I would have been able to go extend my friendships and interests. I would have gained time to tackle things that would help my career. I'd have had time to hit the gym and increase my time for running. I imagined what I could do to enrich my life. Losing my marriage would have created a terrible deficit and I knew I would have had to rebuild, so I tried to cast my thoughts forward, like you might cast a fishing line. What would my new life look like? What would I do to start over, what would I want my life to look like?

Also, I was prepared to speak with several attorneys. I had selected them and had their contact info, and I had a plan to pay for consults. I absolutely did not want a divorce, but I wanted to be prepared in case it needed to happen. I did not want to let fear rule me, so I thought out and planned out. I prepared.

Thankfully, my h and I were able to turn things around. In our case, we had one major issue that was creating all our other problems. My husband knew that I was ready to leave over it (although I doubt he knew the extent to which it was already planned), and he resolved it.

Your head is spinning right now. You don't know what is going to happen and you don't know what your future will look like. Get legal advice so you start to gain knowledge of what, realistically, you will have as far as financial support and custody goes. Then, start imaging that future, and in particular, try to think about positive things. It's not to deny the huge and tremendous loss that will occur if you end up getting divorced; it is to also acknowledge that there is happiness and good things out there as well.

Think about what you would want your life to look like. I don't mean getting a new man or a new relationship; I mean getting a bucket list of sorts together. As a single person with free time, what are the things you love to do? What are your interests? What are the things that make you, yourself as an individual and not you yourself as Wife or Mommy, make your heart sing?

These kinds of things are very hard to think about when your heart is broken, so you might only be able to think about it for very short periods of time. But start. Start getting your brain to consider yourself as an individual. Start making your brain believe that there are good things ahead in the future, and that you will still be a valued person even if you are no longer married. Think about being a strong woman and what it will be like when you wake up each morning without worrying about fighting, without worrying about your H and your marriage. At some point, you will wake up happy to greet the day and without fear and anxiety. That day is coming, if you plan for it. Plan to either resolve the problems in your marriage, or get out of the marriage, so that you can get to peace and stability. You have power to make sure that one way or the other, the issue gets resolved.


If you can do these things, you will be able to act mostly from strength. You will make much better decisions. Hopefully, you will not need to divorce. But you will give yourself a stronger start if can act from your plans, rather than react to what is going on.

"Happiness is only the cart; love is the horse."- George Vallliant, long-term director of the 75-year (and continuing) Harvard Grant Study, on the primary contributor to a happy life.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 09:22 PM
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Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

On one hand you say you expect to have an amicable divorce with no one screwing the other one over.

Then you say you won't be able to alternate weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RLC View Post
I can tell you right now, I would NOT do alternating weeks... I couldn't. I have mapped out a few different options for this, but I hate all of it! I don't want to share!
The seeds of extreme conflict have already been sown. The child has 2 parents both of whom have equal rights to the care and raising of the children (assuming no neglect, abuse, drugs etc).

You're already being unfair and this thing hasn't even started yet.

You sound like my exwife when our marriage was disintegrating. "I just want to be fair and have enough to live comfortably".

She remained unemployed for the entire duration of the divorce and at one point was asking for $13000 per month in support, yes that's $13k. She didn't want me to have more than alternate weekends with the kids and did everything she could to turn them against me.

The divorce cost over $250,000 in combined legal fees over 3 years. Our finances were largely devastated and my relationship with my kids forever affected for the worse.

When you divorce, especially with assets and children, the gloves come off.

Yours already have, you just don't realize it.

Last edited by browser; 01-23-2017 at 09:27 PM.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-23-2017, 10:14 PM
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Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

Maybe you should merge your two threads?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 12:28 PM
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Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

You need to accept the fact that you WILL be sharing custody on a somewhat fair basis with your H. How fair the split is depends largely on where you live. Your son is not just YOUR child (many women seem to have a propensity to see it this way) - he's your H's child too. If you get nasty about it, it'd be easy for your H to ensure you never see your stepdaughter again.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 12:50 PM
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Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

It seems that you really don't want to divorce due to all that would happen and the finality of it all. All the situations you mention in your questions are all reasons I'm not divorced right now. The main thing is the finances. Since the one who moves out has to afford a 3 br apartment to be able to share custody and neither can afford the house by themselves, the house would have to be sold and split between you. Even with this, there's no guarantee that your incomes would accommodate two complete households. Are the issues that bad where you have to divorce? is there a chance to reconcile your differences? This process will devastate both of you financially, is it really worth it?

"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 12:52 PM
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Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by browser View Post
at one point was asking for $13000 per month in support, yes that's $13k. She didn't want me to have more than alternate weekends with the kids and did everything she could to turn them against me.

The divorce cost over $250,000 in combined legal fees over 3 years. Our finances were largely devastated and my relationship with my kids forever affected for the worse.
This precisely why I haven't done it. It's not worth all the financial devastation.


"I've paid double for every transgression I've ever made and that motel and that boat are little to ask for"
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 01-25-2017, 01:28 PM
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Re: 2 kids ... finances ... what do I do?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RLC View Post
2. Custody... I can't even imagine sharing my children, especially my son who is so young! I never thought I would be in this position to even have to worry about this, but here I am. How do people do this? How do you deal with this and not care what other people (i.e. family and friends) think? I can tell you right now, I would NOT do alternating weeks... I couldn't. I have mapped out a few different options for this, but I hate all of it! I don't want to share!
This part makes me ill. You children have more than one parent. It's extremely unfair and selfish of you to not want them to have a relationship with their father. Would you prefer your H bailed out and moved over 1000 miles away and left you to deal with everything...kids, house, emotions, etc. And, you will be sharing custody unless there is something like drugs or alcohol or a danger to the kids.

And, who cares what other people think? It's your life.
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