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post #136 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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Yeah you can't BS too much or you'll lose credibility with the court. You could run this by your attorney, and say "well what if I just forget to put this down, or this...". You can't actually ask them to do something unethical but if you coach your answers carefully you can get an idea of what you could get away with, without ruffling too many feathers.



If nothing else, if it works in your favor, why not take a 10 year average? If you are even asked, you could always say "I thought that would be more realistic given the ups and downs of my profession".



Don't get me started! Posts like this trigger me, having been through a highly contested divorce and seeing how unreasonable and unpredictable the courts can be.

Too late. Yeah, you want to leave those types of decisions out of the hands of a man or woman in a robe who probably didn't spend more than 20 minutes reading the details of your case and is probably biased, lazy, uncaring and possibly even corrupt and making a decision based on which opposing attorney played golf with them most recently or contributed more to their re-election campaign.
I am dreading the next steps!!!! Was your divorce very confrontational @browser? and did you make any mistakes I can learn from?

We are Currently still civil and I can only hope it stays that way if we progress further but the system itself seems to cause conflict and make you take action, when the children are involved I really don't want a strained relationship or a battle we should be able to both walk away with decent amount of assets and both be heavily involved with the children and would be so much more pleasant for all if we didn't have huge amounts of resentment and contempt for each other.

I have been feeling so good but today has really messed with my head.


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post #137 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 02:54 PM
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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I am dreading the next steps!!!! Was your divorce very confrontational @browser? and did you make any mistakes I can learn from?
Oh boy is that a loaded question.

The easy answer. My divorce was extremely confrontational, highly litigated with numerous court appearances over 3 years that culminated in a 3 day trial that only ended after 3 days because the judge wisely took the attorneys into chambers and said something like "You've sucked your clients dry for over $250k in combined legal fees for no good reason because they won't get anything more than they would have if they settled this thing 3 years ago, let's end the bleeding now, here's a settlement offer that I STRONGLY advise your clients accept. It reflects what I will ultimately decide anyway and you should have recommended this to your clients 3 years ago but you didn't because you are selfish greedy pigs".

The tougher question, did I make mistakes.

Looking back at the whole thing, I didn't handle things as efficiently as I could have, at first she came out swinging and I sat there ducking the blows and not taking the initiative, I unsuccessfully tried to negotiate a settlement with my exwife numerous times during the three years, and I allowed things to get to the point where we were in extremely high conflict which gave the attorneys even more control.

But then again I don't think there was anything I could have done about it. Once my exwife had the initial consult with her attorneys, all control was lost and the outcome was predetermined based on the dynamics of the people involved, mainly her manipulative, highly skilled attorneys and her inability to realize we were both being taken advantage of.

All I can suggest is try to keep things civil and think of the entire thing as a business deal and try to remove emotions from the process as much as you can, and work towards the common goal of getting this over with as inexpensively and as quickly as you can will minimum collateral damage to your children and to your finances. Don't allow yourself to get into the mindset where you're thinking "how could the person I married do these terrible things?" because they are no longer the person you married and may have had children with, they are now an exbusiness partner who has no regard for your wellbeing. One mistake I made was to get into a very negative depressed state of mind where I thought my life was basically over and I'd never recover from the devastating lost of my relationship with my children and the huge financial losses. I was mostly wrong. Things were never the same with my children, and I did lose a LOT of money but I've more than recovered the financial losses and ironically met a woman who has about the same net worth as what I paid to my exwife. My relationship with my daughters was never the same however.

If your ex is amenable to mediation then try to go that route, but if they're completely shut down to the point that the attorneys are handling everything then hold on tight, hope for the best but expect the worst. Don't take everything your attorney tells you at face value. They are interested in making money, that's their primary goal. Know the laws in your state. Know the judge and how they tend to rule. Determine what is a realistic settlement -best and worst case scenario- so you know what is worth fighting for and when it might be time to accept what you might have previously thought is a very unfair offer.

One tactic often used by divorce attorneys is to give their clients unreasonable expectations, which becomes a sense of entitlement. "My attorney told me I can get $2000 per month in child support and 5 nights per week with my kids" so that becomes their reality even if it is not the typical award in their state. All it does is keep the two parties in the ring fighting for something they cannot realistically expect to obtain. When it's all over the attorney will simply say "the judge made an unfair ruling, here's my final bill".

If possible make your ex aware of these things so they too might rethink their expectations. The longer the litigation, the more expensive it gets and eventually even the most conflicted parties finally realize they're spending far more than they will ever hope to recoup and they throw in the towel. Obviously, the sooner the better.

Last edited by browser; 03-14-2017 at 03:12 PM.
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post #138 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 03:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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Oh boy is that a loaded question.

The easy answer. My divorce was extremely confrontational, highly litigated with numerous court appearances over 3 years that culminated in a 3 day trial that only ended after 3 days because the judge wisely took the attorneys into chambers and said something like "You've sucked your clients dry for over $250k in combined legal fees for no good reason because they won't get anything more than they would have if they settled this thing 3 years ago, let's end the bleeding now, here's a settlement offer that I STRONGLY advise your clients accept. It reflects what I will ultimately decide anyway and you should have recommended this to your clients 3 years ago but you didn't because you are selfish greedy pigs".

The tougher question, did I make mistakes.

Looking back at the whole thing, I didn't handle things as efficiently as I could have, at first she came out swinging and I sat there ducking the blows and not taking the initiative, I unsuccessfully tried to negotiate a settlement with my exwife numerous times during the three years, and I allowed things to get to the point where we were in extremely high conflict which gave the attorneys even more control.

But then again I don't think there was anything I could have done about it. Once my exwife had the initial consult with her attorneys, all control was lost and the outcome was predetermined based on the dynamics of the people involved, mainly her manipulative, highly skilled attorneys and her inability to realize we were both being taken advantage of.

All I can suggest is try to keep things civil and think of the entire thing as a business deal and try to remove emotions from the process as much as you can, and work towards the common goal of getting this over with as inexpensively and as quickly as you can will minimum collateral damage to your children and to your finances. One mistake I made was to get into a very negative depressed state of mind where I thought my life was basically over and I'd never recover from the devastating lost of my relationship with my children and the huge financial losses. I was mostly wrong. Things were never the same with my children, and I did lose a LOT of money but I've more than recovered the financial losses and ironically met a woman who has about the same net worth as what I paid to my exwife. My relationship with my daughters was never the same however.

If your ex is amenable to mediation then try to go that route, but if they're completely shut down to the point that the attorneys are handling everything then hold on tight, hope for the best but expect the worst. Don't take everything your attorney tells you at face value. They are interested in making money, that's their primary goal. Know the laws in your state. Know the judge and how they tend to rule. Determine what is a realistic settlement -best and worst case scenario- so you know what is worth fighting for and when it might be time to accept what you might have previously thought is a very unfair offer.
@browser One mistake I made was to get into a very negative depressed state of mind where I thought my life was basically over and I'd never recover from the devastating lost of my relationship with my children and the huge financial losses - this is the mindset I am heading to and it is scary.

I need to figure out how Spousal support is calculated and see what a fair settlement would be, child support is easy since it is a state calculated formula and I hope I can negotiate an average income, paying legal fee's is at digression of the judge so I am at their mercy for that and the spousal support. Currently both down for mediation but I have a feeling she will not take my response well rejecting Spousal support, Honestly I would be fine paying a 'reasonable' amount but wanted to discuss off record without judge/lawyers input so had to accept or reject there was no other option.

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post #139 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 03:30 PM
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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- this is the mindset I am heading to and it is scary.
Don't be your own worst enemy. Let your wife occupy that position, it's only temporary.

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I need to figure out how Spousal support is calculated and see what a fair settlement would be, child support is easy since it is a state calculated formula and I hope I can negotiate an average income
Spousal support is usually factored in after child support is deducted from your gross income, don't forget that. After spousal support ends, child support usually goes up again. That can either be included in the settlement, or you can go back to court in the future when she sues you for more money. The more important issue is the duration of spousal support, on a long term marriage it can really add up although most states are leaning towards shorter duration, few award lifetime support nowadays.

Don't forget things like who is paying for college, medical expenses, that sort of thing, usually it's a pro-rata share based on income. If your state doesn't require you to pay for college, then don't put it in there even if you intend to cover those costs. You want to be paying because you want to not because a court orders you to, and those expenses could be HUGE depending on where the child may choose to go.

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, paying legal fee's is at digression of the judge so I am at their mercy for that and the spousal support.
Truth is you're at the mercy of the court for everything. The judge doesn't always follow the guidelines, in fact they can come out with some completely unpredictable decisions to the point that you have to wonder about bias, collusion and even corruption.

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Currently both down for mediation but I have a feeling she will not take my response well rejecting Spousal support, Honestly I would be fine paying a 'reasonable' amount but wanted to discuss off record without judge/lawyers input so had to accept or reject there was no other option.
You have to protect yourself legally when you answer her petitions so you did the right thing there, if you are in mediation you could make it known that you'd be willing to provide spousal support in exchange for, say a fast settlement but if you're going to be spending thousands on legal fees, then sorry that offer is not on the table.. that sort of thing.

You said earlier that custody is usually 50/50, I hope for your sake this is correct but it's rather unusual. Most states consider the wife to be the primary caregiver and the husband is given visitation which is typically every other weekend and one evening per week. If you would like to pm me your state, length of marriage (12 years?), relative incomes (not amounts just if you make a lot more than she does), I can check an excellent source and tell you if I think your expectations are realistic.
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post #140 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

@browser I PM'd you.

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post #141 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 04:10 PM
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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@browser I PM'd you.
I responded.

Given your state and the relative incomes, unlike most guys entering a divorce, you are in very good shape.

I'm almost envious.
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post #142 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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I responded.

Given your state and the relative incomes, unlike most guys entering a divorce, you are in very good shape.

I'm almost envious.
@browser Income not relative currently she is about 25% of my income she has potential over next couple years though to get to the same level but we will have potentially settled and moved on at that point.

I guess I can count myself somewhat lucky that fingers crossed I shouldn't be completely broke but the entire situation is still awful to be involved in.

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post #143 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 04:28 PM
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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@browser Income not relative currently she is about 25% of my income she has potential over next couple years though to get to the same level but we will have potentially settled and moved on at that point.
As I responded in pm perhaps you could stall the divorce until she got that huge pay raise but it might not be realistic. At the least perhaps consider revisiting the alimony in the future, and asking the court to modify based on her increased income. Make sure there isn't something written into the final decree that says "alimony is nonmodifiable".

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I guess I can count myself somewhat lucky that fingers crossed I shouldn't be completely broke but the entire situation is still awful to be involved in.
You don't realize how fortunate you are, living in a state that almost always awards 50/50 custody and ties child support to the number of days the child spends with each parent, along with the fact that your wife works and will soon be making a lot more money.

There's almost nothing the lawyers can do to provoke their clients towards protracted litigation, there's almost nothing to fight over.
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post #144 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-14-2017, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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As I responded in pm perhaps you could stall the divorce until she got that huge pay raise but it might not be realistic. At the least perhaps consider revisiting the alimony in the future, and asking the court to modify based on her increased income. Make sure there isn't something written into the final decree that says "alimony is nonmodifiable".



You don't realize how fortunate you are, living in a state that almost always awards 50/50 custody and ties child support to the number of days the child spends with each parent, along with the fact that your wife works and will soon be making a lot more money.

There's almost nothing the lawyers can do to provoke their clients towards protracted litigation, there's almost nothing to fight over.
I feel lucky currently, this morning I wasn't feeling so good but just the situation itself feels very suffocating.

I have good/bad days and good and bad hours but you guys on TAM always seem to be able to take me to good with your support, encouragement, knowledge, experience and feedback.

You will probably see me back on here over the next few days having a bad day again but I am trying to have more good honestly

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post #145 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

OK First MC tonight wish me luck.

She had a huge meltdown yesterday at the children and seems to be falling apart and not coping well at all. Couple Quotes while she was screaming, cussing and crying which seemed to come out of nowhere.

"I just want to runaway" " I don't want to be a Mom right now" " I almost want to get divorced so I can have some time to myself" after this I found her lying in the closet crying on the floor once I had put the Children to bed.

Not sure what to do, would it be bad to call MIL and have her talk to her confidential to see what's going on, I feel like she is in some sort of breakdown at times but then comes back around the next day, regardless of if we stay together or not I need her to be in a good place for herself and the children.

Could this be just stress of the Divorce or something more?


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post #146 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 09:39 AM
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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OK First MC tonight wish me luck.

She had a huge meltdown yesterday at the children and seems to be falling apart and not coping well at all. Couple Quotes while she was screaming, cussing and crying which seemed to come out of nowhere.

"I just want to runaway" " I don't want to be a Mom right now" " I almost want to get divorced so I can have some time to myself" after this I found her lying in the closet crying on the floor once I had put the Children to bed.

Not sure what to do, would it be bad to call MIL and have her talk to her confidential to see what's going on, I feel like she is in some sort of breakdown at times but then comes back around the next day, regardless of if we stay together or not I need her to be in a good place for herself and the children.

Could this be just stress of the Divorce or something more?
She is no longer your concern in many regards. However, your children are your concern. So here's what I would do.

I would talk to her about her melt down. Ask her where that came from and why she was crying on the floor. You could suggest she see her doc about some temporary meds to help either anxiety or depression, or just to get an eval. I would approach this as you are concerned for her.

Then I would tell her that the meltdown in front of the kids is not acceptable. She is entitled to be upset during the divorce process, because we all are. But she is not to take it out on the kids. If she needs to get away for a few minutes or hours, you will be happy to step in with whatever is needed to watch the kids, make meals, etc. But she has to find a way to not have these raging episodes in front of the kids.

I would also talk to her mom and just tell her you are concerned her daughter is not coping well, but you obviously cannot be deeply involved in helping her due to the circumstances. So you're asking her mom to be aware and to be whatever help she can.

Aside from how it impacts your kids, you are in the process of becoming completely extracted from your wife's future. She can make whatever poor decisions she wants, and she can engage in bad behaviors, as long as it doesn't impact your kids. So stop feeling responsible for taking care of her.
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post #147 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

Oh one thing I forgot to add.

W asked me if I filed a response and I told her yes so she asked to see a copy and I told her that since I filed a response we are now being ordered to court and will also have to do early resolution management conflict and speak with either a judge or attend court ordered mediation, she did not think that was the correct but I assured her it was which she seemed a little shocked about, she then mentioned we can just cancel and if we decide we don't want to do it then we can just withdraw our petition. I really have no idea what she is thinking or wanting and I don't think she does and I am not sure what I am either.

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post #148 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

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She is no longer your concern in many regards. However, your children are your concern. So here's what I would do.

I would talk to her about her melt down. Ask her where that came from and why she was crying on the floor. You could suggest she see her doc about some temporary meds to help either anxiety or depression, or just to get an eval. I would approach this as you are concerned for her.

Then I would tell her that the meltdown in front of the kids is not acceptable. She is entitled to be upset during the divorce process, because we all are. But she is not to take it out on the kids. If she needs to get away for a few minutes or hours, you will be happy to step in with whatever is needed to watch the kids, make meals, etc. But she has to find a way to not have these raging episodes in front of the kids.

I would also talk to her mom and just tell her you are concerned her daughter is not coping well, but you obviously cannot be deeply involved in helping her due to the circumstances. So you're asking her mom to be aware and to be whatever help she can.

Aside from how it impacts your kids, you are in the process of becoming completely extracted from your wife's future. She can make whatever poor decisions she wants, and she can engage in bad behaviors, as long as it doesn't impact your kids. So stop feeling responsible for taking care of her.
Thanks @Thor, I really do not want to rock the boat anymore but feel like I have to do something since she is going to be 50% responsible for the children and they do need a Mom. It's really hard to talk to her about these things but I will see if I can find a good time to approach it since I do not want it to end in a loud disagreement because this stuff usually gets diverted back as an attack on me.

I will probably call MIL at the weekend and ask her to not mention we spoke but to check on her and offer a little support to see if that help. Last night seemed like the problem was not me but the children and her life in general which she wanted away from, she seems to just want to be single and have no responsibility at all.

Maybe this happens in all Divorce cases but she ignores anything good I brought to the marriage and focuses on some really minor complaints that are usually exaggerated 10 fold and will not change because we are not together.

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post #149 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:12 AM
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

She has no idea what she is thinking or wanting, either.

Your wife is lost. She is unhappy. She is likely depressed. She wants to run away.

None of this has anything to do with you, but because she has frustrations over things dealing with you, you have become the "reason" in her emotional mind for all of her unhappiness.

Here is the thing, brother. There is likely room to salvage your marriage. However, you have to want to, and you will have to take a strong leadership role in such a rekindling. It will require that you simultaneously enforce boundaries while being incredibly compassionate and empathetic. It will require that you continue through the marriage without your needs being met for a sustained period of time, say 6-18 months or more. It will not be easy, and it will get harder for a sustained period of time before it has any hope of improving.

If you have no interest in that, I would continue with the divorce. In fact, you may have to divorce her in order for her to see that you are not the source of her being unhappy. Even then she may not see it is a problem of her own making. What I am saying is that you could choose to try to save the marriage and still fail because she continues with the denial of her being the problem with her own happiness.

What do you want to do, brother?

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Oh one thing I forgot to add.

W asked me if I filed a response and I told her yes so she asked to see a copy and I told her that since I filed a response we are now being ordered to court and will also have to do early resolution management conflict and speak with either a judge or attend court ordered mediation, she did not think that was the correct but I assured her it was which she seemed a little shocked about, she then mentioned we can just cancel and if we decide we don't want to do it then we can just withdraw our petition. I really have no idea what she is thinking or wanting and I don't think she does and I am not sure what I am either.

"Our ability to feel joy is directly related to how much pain we are willing to feel." - Mavash.

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for." - Bob Marley
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post #150 of 673 (permalink) Old 03-16-2017, 10:16 AM
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Re: Entering Divorce proceedings

Divorce is hard, complicated, can be long, expensive, requires lots of back and forth and patience. There are those who think it's just a piece of paper, a lawyer, and a bag of money and others know that it is a process.

I bet she does want to run away, because it's proving to be more work than she'd anticipated. Where her head is at is really not your problem. Yes, the kids need their mom, but it's HER responsibility to take care of her mental and physical health.

Life be hard! Maybe it's the best lesson she's in the process of learning.

"If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you'll be unhappy for the rest of your life."

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