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The Devil is in the Details

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dbellanon posted 6/30/2013 19:13 PM

So my STBXWW might, just might be moving out this week, but it's still not certain. If she doesn't manage to get the apartment she applied for, I could be stuck with her until September. Frankly, It's hard for me to think of anything I'd like less. She's packing up her stuff though, in faith that she will be able to start to move out tomorrow. Let's all hope and pray.

She is leaving me the apartment and most of the stuff in it. Thank god for small favors, but the problem is that she won't let me forget it, and uses this fact as leverage in every other discussion that we have about the details of the separation. Not only that, but she feels entitled to be seen as "generous," for doing this. It's infuriating to hear her talk about how "nice" she is being (As if I'm going to give her that kind of affirmation after what she did). I'm having a hard time compartmentalizing her behavior during the divorce from the behavior that led to it, and I have to admit, I've let my emotions get the better of me more than once. My wife is doing a much better job of keeping her cool, even if she is being a cold bitch about most of this. I know I have to get a handle on myself, or else this could bite me in the ass.

Tonight's stupid fight was over cars. We have two cars, one with title in my name, and the other with the title in hers. She has grown attached to the one in my name, and insists that it's "her" car since she used it primarily to commute back and forth to school. She called up a hellstorm when I suggested that I should get that vehicle since it was titled in my name, and of course, as she always did, brought up the fact that she's leaving me most of the furniture, etc. Eventually I capitulated, but said that she should pay the title and registration fees associated with transferring the title on both of the cars. It was going to come up close to around $300. My argument was that it would have been free if we had just kept the vehicles in our names, but since she had insisted on switching them, she should bear the cost.

Well I'll be darned if that didn't result in her going crying to mommy, who then called me in a rage talking about how generous she had been to me all these years, and how she was mad at the way I was behaving, fighting over a measly $300 after all they had done, and after all the generosity my STBX was showing me. She threatened to cut off payment on my student loans (which, though they were in my name, were incurred to pay for my wife's schooling. Long story there). Unbelievable! They say they are being generous, but they're using their "generosity" as a weapon to get what they want.

So basically I was blackmailed into splitting the cost of the car transaction.

I feel like this kind of nonsense is happening almost every time we sit down to negotiate. Probably the only thing that is keeping us at the table is the knowledge that if we lawyered up we'd both end up in a worse position.

I feel like I'm just constantly being beaten into submission. I try to stand up for myself, but in the end, it's less trouble just to suck it up and give her what she wants. I'm so sick of this whole thing, and we still have so much to talk through. I want it to be done. I want her gone. This whole thing is causing me the most heartache and anger since DDay. I hate that our relationship has been reduced to squabbling and scrapping over money. I can't take much more of this. This needs to be over yesterday.

homewrecked2011 posted 6/30/2013 19:44 PM

I personally saw 3 different attys on free consultations. Actually one charged me 50. Anyway, it really helped me to sort out what I had to do.

I found out that in my state, the person having the affair gets 60% of debt, and 40% of assets.

I also found out that no matter what we decided, that on the day of the final hearing there is a paper that both attys have to fill out showing that everything was divided equitably. I think you should go see an atty asap just to run the whole thing by him. The 1st guy I saw said that for 500.00 he would prepare everything and we could go into his office to sign it all.

dbellanon posted 6/30/2013 19:48 PM

I should specify that we are trying for an uncontested divorce. I did contact a lawyer, but she said that since we weren't going through the adversarial process, what we really needed was a mediator.

And we are planning on seeing one. We're just trying to negotiate as much on our own before we do so that we can have as few sessions as possible and save money.

Take2 posted 6/30/2013 19:52 PM

Can you put a price on the furniture? Even ball park. This is a business transaction, as distasteful as that sounds, that is what it is at this point. Put a value - balance the spreadsheet. If one car is worth more than the other bluebook - there should be an offset.

and hint - don't take calls from you STBXMIL, she obviously isn't on your side.

It is infuriating, tedious and exhausting, no denying it!

dbellanon - What are you going to do when the D is final...?
Make a plan - to take a trip - or go camping - whatever it is that appeals and spend sometime focusing on that, making plans.

stronger08 posted 6/30/2013 20:16 PM

Bro, stop letting these people drive the bus. Bottom line here is that the student loan debt is in your name. And that's your responsibility. Her parents might be making the payments for you currently. But do you honestly think that after the D if final that will continue ? Do you see a pattern here ? She wants uncontested D and you capitulate. She wants your car and you capitulate. And to boot you allow her mother is boss you around as well. Man the hell up and tell the both of them to fuck off. You gotta do whats in your best interest here. If you allow this bullying to continue your going to get screwed. Do the math and find out what the law says your entitled to. If its in your best interest for her to have the car. Then give it to her. If not, fuck her. That's goes for all other assets and debts. Sorry for the harsh tone. But sometimes we all need a kick in the ass.

[This message edited by stronger08 at 8:17 PM, June 30th (Sunday)]

Dark Inertia posted 6/30/2013 20:26 PM

If the student loans that are in your name belong to your wife then this needs to be brought up to the attorneys. Sometimes one has to think of divorce as war or you are going to get sku-rewed.

dbellanon posted 6/30/2013 20:52 PM

The problem is that I don't have any real power here. We don't have the money to take each other to court in an adversarial process. The one way to make sure I really do get screwed is to get a lawyer and fight it out.

A legal battle over this would suck us both dry. The problem is that this fact is being used as a bludgeon as well. My mother in law threatened to call a lawyer tomorrow if I didn't start acting according to her definition of "reasonable." So in addition to enabling the affair and the divorce, my STBXMIL is willing to foot the bill for a legal action. Great! And then I'd be forced to either spend all my money (which is not a lot) on a lawyer, or else ask my family for help, which they would probably give, but not happily.

And frankly it's a stupid threat, because not only will it cost them a ton of money, but it's not exactly going to help the two of us reach a reasonable and fair agreement together. Still, I feel like if I push too hard, this could escalate very fast, and somebody could do something very stupid and destructive.

So I'm staying with the negotiating process for now, but I feel like they hold all the cards. They've already decided what they think is "fair," and if I fight it, then there's hell to pay. I don't have any recourse really. I can try to argue, but if we reach an impasse, they'll just threaten to lawyer up and make it harder on me.

In truth, the deal I'm being offered so far is not the worst deal in the world, and there are a number of ways in which I come out fairly well in it, but it's just the feeling of being out of control (which I have had ever since this ordeal began). This thing is really kicking my ass.

persevere posted 6/30/2013 21:05 PM

You are allowing them to have control. Just because you have attorneys does not make it adversarial, and it sounds like they are already making it adversarial. You would be better off with an attorney.

gonnabe2016 posted 6/30/2013 21:12 PM

it's not exactly going to help the two of us reach a reasonable and fair agreement together.

Letting your stbxww and her mom bully you isn't going to result in a reasonable and fair agreement either.....

DBell, if you are unable to tell these people NO, then a L is going to be worth his/her weight in gold to you.

**I'm worried about those student loans that are in your name.....**

dbellanon posted 6/30/2013 21:13 PM

By "adversarial" I'm not talking about the attitude, I'm talking about what legal process we go through to get the divorce. A contested divorce is going to be a lot messier and more expensive. As I said before, the attorney that I spoke to said there would be no point in having separate representation in an uncontested divorce.

I fail to see how going broke paying legal fees is going to make me better off?

dbellanon posted 6/30/2013 21:15 PM

As for the loan, the good news is that the loan is very small. Most of the student debt was already paid off. There's about $3300 left. I think that the worst they could do would be to have me pay half of it since I'm pretty sure that any debt incurred during the course of the marriage technically belongs to both of us, even if it is in my name.

gonnabe2016 posted 6/30/2013 21:19 PM

Ok. So how about this.....
Schedule mediation.
Stop talking amongst yourselves about who gets what. Both of you write your own *wish* lists of how you want things to be divided. I think the mediators typically want this kind of info beforehand anyway.
Go to mediation.
Once you reach an agreement, schedule a meeting with a L to look it over before you sign it.

As an aside....have you looked over your State's divorce laws? Fault or no-fault? Separate or community property state?

gonnabe2016 posted 6/30/2013 21:20 PM

I'm not so sure that bona-fide student loans are treated that way......

Phoenix1 posted 6/30/2013 21:36 PM

It sounds like you are basing a lot on what you "think" as opposed for what you know for certain regarding distribution in your state. I strongly encourage you to do your own research, which won't cost you a dime except your time. Knowledge is power in the horrible game! I would suggest that you A) find attorneys with free consults as you can glean a wealth of information just from those visits by asking pointed questions, and B) contact your court house as many provide "self-help" information so you can get a better understanding of what your courts expect of your uncontested divorce. For example, my state is an equal distribution state which means a value is placed on all assets and debts and it is divided up so the net value for each person is equitable. In my case, POS and I our working out our own agreement, and because I am taking on more of the debt, I also get more of the assets to offset it. Spend the time to place market value (not retail) on all assets so you can work on equitable distribution of the items in an objective manner. This is a business deal and you need to approach it as such. This will also make mediation much more productive if you go that route as well.

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