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Traditional Divorce?

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Abbondad posted 6/16/2013 10:42 AM

Hi Everyone,

I want to start a new thread outside of my other to garner some fresh responses (including of course from those who have been responding to my other thread) on the specific details of traditional divorce.

At this point I am leaning heavily toward traditional divorce. My wife has always been adamantly opposed to it, fearing that a judge will determine custody and our children will be dragged into the courts. I do not want this either. I want them kept out of this. I do not believe we will disagree on custody matters. (Of course with my WW you never know.)

(Nice of her to be concerned about the children after she has destroyed our family.)

And of course there is the financial aspect. Do all traditional divorces go to trial? We don't have much money or a complicated financial,situation: around 100k in savings, a mortgage, no debts.

The reason why I don't want mediation or collaborative is simply, I do not trust my wife. She can be nasty, cold, irrational. I want to be protected in every way.

Advice from anyone who went through the decision to ultimately just file? Did it end up costing you a ton? What are the advantages?

Thanks so much. I want to get this rolling.

Oh, and my wife makes twice as much as I do. Does this,mean she automatically be the one to pay child support?

ButterflyGirl posted 6/16/2013 11:05 AM

Do all traditional divorces go to trial?

No. My understanding is that a lot of judges will try to force the parties to come to a compromise or send them to mediation so that they don't go to trial..

My D is costing me a ton, but I've heard of many that can cost as little as a couple hundred bucks. You admitted in your other thread that you think she has a personality disorder, which my STBX has as well, and that's the problem and the cause of all the wasted money. This means that they are not logical, they may try to hide stuff, they may try to get you to agree to things that are not in your best interest, they don't follow the rules, etc.. This is when things start getting expensive since we cannot alone force them to follow the rules and need backup from our attorneys for help, which costs money..

Oh, and my wife makes twice as much as I do. Does this,mean she automatically be the one to pay child support?

My understanding is no, she won't automatically pay child support based on that. Florida uses a worksheet that you can find online. It's all based on incomes and the number of overnights you each will have. Some things like healthcare premiums and childcare expenses will be added to the formula as well.

Spousal support is a different story, and it sounds like she will owe you that.. Please don't bow to her wishes or let her tell you you are being unfair or mean by asking for what you are legally entitled to..

ETA: Here is the website I used to get an idea what child support would be. You can read about it, then click on "Click Here to Calculate" and start filling in the numbers and it will keep calculating things for you as you enter them..

[This message edited by ButterflyGirl at 11:44 AM, June 16th (Sunday)]

HeartStings posted 6/16/2013 11:26 AM

My lawyer told me that 95% of divorces get settled before going before a judge.

Your situation does not sound complicated. Just file and have your lawyer and her lawyer work it out. It's in her best interest not to prolong it so her lawyer fees don't mount up.

SBB posted 6/16/2013 11:27 AM

Go talk to several lawyers - a few from collaborative and a few traditional. Tell them what your STBX is like. Tell them what you see the agree looking like. They'll tell you if your expectations are too high/low.

See an L ASAP and start the ball rolling - knowledge is power.

We all want to do it as quickly and cheaply as possible. I've spent over $30k trying to stay out of court and trying to reach the minimum I would get in a courtroom. He would have spent about the same. There's not much to split in terms of assets and he earns more than double what I do.

I shouldn't be surprised - he fucked me over in our M so of course he would fuck me over in D.

The saying here is "Don't expect in D what you didn't get in your M" - we should also say "DO expect in D what you did get in your M".

Nature_Girl posted 6/16/2013 12:29 PM

If she has a PD, please accept that this will probably be a "scorched earth" divorce. At this point I don't think it's possible to divorce someone with a PD and not come out severely burned. Also, get both "Splitting" and "Divorce Poison" and start reading them.

gonnabe2016 posted 6/16/2013 12:36 PM

AD, you can't avoid court....however, you CAN avoid a trial.

You MUST file the papers and show up in court for administrative types of issues (setting a timeline for what needs to be done when and whatnot). And then all your paperwork will need to be submitted and then once that occurs, then the divorce will be finalized by a judge.

Judges do NOT want to be the ones that split your shit up and decide who gets the kids and when. The whole system, in my area anyway, is designed so that the spouses are able to decide everything on their own.....and just use the court to formalize the agreements.

So you will file the papers with the court.

Then you can go to your jurisdictions website or your L for advice and recommendations of the things you should consider when considering the custody/visitation issue and sit down or email or whatever with your WW about the issue and try to reach an agreement. If you can't reach an agreement yourselves, then a mediator may be used.
As long as you and your WW come up with an agreement on your own or through mediation....then a judge will never weigh in on it and your kids won't even have to know about it.

And then the same cycle repeats for everything else.

If you and your WW can reach agreements on your own or through mediation, then the judge will just sign off on it.

The ONLY time that a judge will get involved is when you guys cannot agree on an issue. So if you agree on EVERYTHING except for how much of her 401k you are going to get......then the judge will ONLY decide on the 401k issue. Judge isn't going to comb through everything else and change what's already been decided by the 2 of you.

Sultan has been a total pain in the ass to deal with, divorce-wise. But we sat together in mediation, without our L's, and hammered out a custody/mediation agreement in 3 or so hours because we weren't going to *fight* over the kids. Plus, it was in his best interest since he probably *got* more kid-time by 'playing nice' with me than a judge would have awarded him.

Divorce does not HAVE to be a huge battle. It can be as easy or as hard, as cheap or as expensive, as the 2 parties make it.

Just don't sign any agreements without running them by your L first.

roughroadahead posted 6/16/2013 14:48 PM

I think domestic relations judges' sole purpose in life is to keep divorces out of their courtrooms. They are happiest at their desks, signing off on agreements

The complexity of your D will depend on how complicated your assets are. If you really just have a 401(k), investment accounts and such, there will be well established rules to divide them. You can predict with reasonable certainty in most cases what the judge would rule. It gets trickier with large asset divorces, owning companies and things like that.

You can probably go to the domestic relations court web page in your county to find information about custody. Mine has a standard schedule for visitation available for download that is usually the starting point. You might find the same, although given the update on your other thread, you may want to devote more of your time/money to the custody issue than to asset division, for example.

[This message edited by roughroadahead at 2:49 PM, June 16th (Sunday)]

karmahappens posted 6/16/2013 16:17 PM

Hey AD

I have followed your story, but don't know much about D, so I apologize if I am out of line.

I think your wife may have a PD, but she isn't stupid. The affair is going to be played by her with you initiating sex from other men with her, open marriage etc etc.

If the two of you had/have online accounts looking for "fun" or any hook-ups I would clean that stuff up and make your online appearance neat and tidy.You don't need her bringing copies of your online profile(s) to her A....

She can have a field day making you the bad guy...IMO.

Take care.

Abbondad posted 6/23/2013 11:17 AM

Hi, Everyone,

I am still trying for mediation. My wife is balking at the divorce overall--coming at me with love-bombs, talking of our future, etc. No action as far as ending her affair. (Old news if you have been following my other thread.).

In any case, I am moving ahead with mediation.

Here is my question:

My wife has always made twice as much as I do: I make 60k, she has always made from 100-120k.

So I assume she would pay CS and some alimony. (Not permanent, as we have only been married ten years.)

Here's the situation. She just lost her job. She is planning to train for a new career in which she would be earning probably less than me for the first time.

Will this matter when it comes to CS and alimony? Or would this be trumped by the fact that for the last (at least) five years she has earned and has the capacity to earn in the six figures?

Thank you!

roughroadahead posted 6/23/2013 12:10 PM

Typically, if she makes more than twice as much as you, she would owe spousal support. Standards vary by state or even court, but around here (not Florida) she would owe a couple of years.

Child support is owed to the custodial parent regardless of income disparity. The amount varies based on a number of factors, but if she is the primary physical custodian, she will not pay you CS. Even if a token amount, the court sees CS as the non-custodial parent contributing to the financial support of the child. As much as is possible, the court would like the children's lifestyle to remain unchanged. Even though you make less, there is still a difference between $120k and $180k for a household. Sometimes if custody is split 50/50, no support is owed. Again, I'm not in Florida, consult your L for the situation in your state.

As for the job, it depends on the circumstances under which she lost her job. Courts can and do impute income based on the earning potential of the party rather than what they are actually earning. Even SAHMs can be imputed full time minimum wage. Of course, various factors can come into play and lawyers can argue all day long about why that rule should or should not apply.

[This message edited by roughroadahead at 12:11 PM, June 23rd (Sunday)]

freshstart78 posted 6/23/2013 12:16 PM

Hey everyone! I'm fairly new to SI and I'm in the very beginning stages of divorce. My STBXWH and I are trying to go about it, at least for now, with just the 2 of us working it out. My STBXWH gave me his "proposal" 3 weeks ago. We have been married 22 yrs and ive been a SAHM for the last 13 yrs. I was fine with about 90% of it except the # of yrs he wants to pay spousal support......his offer is 4 yrs. He makes good money and his future earning potential far out ways mine. I seen a lawyer last week and he explained to me how they figure SS. He said the # of yrs STXWH was offering me is on the low end...which my gut was already telling me. Over the last few months I drastically changed my behavior towards him. I no longer accept or set myself up for his game playing. I only discuss kids and money....I'm super nice with our interaction but cut him off as soon as he starts in with our old "song and dance" routine ....u know the one.....cake eating, "I miss ur friendship" blah blah blah. He has told me repeatedly that he would never let me go without or end up struggling.....I'm suppose to believe this coming from someone who crushed my heart, made me doubt the last 25 yrs of our lives together, etc. As u all know its a crazy feeling to care for someone and yet know what they r truly capable of. So I am coming up with a counter offer on the# of yrs and using the info the lawyer gave me. If he refuse to compromise....which is what I'm all about with this.....or starts his intimidating and bulling I will walk away and then be forced to go with plan B. All the insight on here and seeing how everyone supports one another is do comforting.

Phoenix1 posted 6/23/2013 14:01 PM

In my state we have the option of going divorce or dissolution. The only difference is that one party disputes in a divorce or it is for fault, and if mediation cannot resolve it will go to trial. In a dissolution, both parties agree to the split and either you can work out an agreement between yourselves or between lawyers and even with mediation.

CS and SS both have guideline formulas specifically to allow the parties to agree easily as those guidelines allow for a rubber stamp for the judge. If you go outside the guidelines, the judge will review for overall fairness and equity. SS is rarely for more than a few years here, and it is primarily given to allow the receiving spouse to go to school or receive training to improve their own livelihood after the split. CS is based on actual earnings or earning potential, unless factors can be introduced to demonstrate that potential is not likely in the future, and it is only paid to a spouse who has greater than 50% of physical custody throughout the year.

But every state is different. If you can both agree to your state's guideline formulas it will be much easier and faster, and judges prefer that. If you try to veer too far off the guidelines (without truly compelling reasons) it can backfire on you if a judge thinks you are just trying to be vindictive or greedy. Regardless, this can all be hammered out between lawyers, if you are both willing to do that. Just be prepared to negotiate and know what you are willing to concede before you start negotiations. Judges want to see it fair and equitable...

Good luck!

cjonesjag posted 6/23/2013 16:47 PM

OH GEEZ...she just lost her job? Do you know any of the details with that situation?

Abbondad posted 7/19/2013 08:00 AM

Thanks, Everyone.

Here is the situation.

(We live in Florida.)

My STBXWW is taking a very high-paying job (twice what I earn) which she will keep at least for awhile.

We both want 50/50 custody.

However, because of the travel demands of her job, realistically she will not be taking them 50% of the time. It would probably end up more like 60/40 in my favor.

But she wants to avoid a considerably higher CS payment so she wants to keep it at 50/50 on the MSA.

My question: is CS based on number of overnights OR earnings, or are they both taken into consideration?

I don't think it's fair that she will not really have 50% custody yet pay as though she does.

Should I just go for 60/40?

Again, she can afford it! If she decides later to take a much lower-paying job, then what happens to CS?

Thank you!

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