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4 Way meeting and selling the house. Advice needed

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KeepOnMovin posted 6/17/2014 11:26 AM

So, I finally, FINALLY got a 4 way meeting set up day after tomorrow! It isn’t mediation, but it IS something. I’ve been begging for some progress since February. She refuses to negotiate directly with me, and that’s fine. (I’m not trying to bully her in any way, and I have been completely transparent. She just has no original thoughts on what she needs. She’s only concerned with what she can get.)

Since she wouldn’t negotiate directly with me, i requested and got a hearing date. it is July 11th.

So, we are in agreement on custody and financial assets. The only things we don’t agree on are child support, disposition of the house, and alimony.

Child support: DS 12 spends equal time with both of us, DS17 stays with his mom 100% of the time, while DS19 has aged out (I support his college expenses 100%) MY offer was one kid 100% and one kid 50%, and I continue to pay for DS19’s college expenses. She is asking for two kids 100% of the time with her, even though DS12 is only there 50%. It amounts to about $200/month more I would be required to pay her.

She wants me to buy her out of the marital home by paying her 50% of the equity, and me taking on the rest of the mortgage. Back in March, I was fine with that, and proposed that initially. But they never negotiated, and I have since decided to sell the house. I really no longer want t the house. It’s too big for just me and a 12 year old 50% of the time, and it’s in a place I really no longer want to live. I was “taking one for the team” with respect to the house.

So, she’s livid. Now, accusing me of dragging this out. She does not agree the cost to sell the house should come out of the settlement (realtor commission, inspection findings, and some needed painting and bathroom vents required for HUD or FHA loans). She thinks I’m ‘screwing her over’ by not just paying her for half of the equity. Her reasoning is she hasn’t lived here for the past year (of the 10+ that she did live here), and I make more money than STBXWW. To me, it seems only fair that she can pay 50% of the costs to sell the house, if she want’s 50% of the proceeds.

And finally. Alimony. Initially, she told me she wanted no alimony. She just wanted out and did not want to “take me to the cleaners.” Well, her thoughts have changed. She wants 150% of my annual salary (total) over the next 10 years. She has been working over the past 10 years in the profession for which she got her degree (teaching). Plus, I paid for education and took care of everything so she could get her masters degree, during the last years of the marriage.

My first two attorneys advised me she would most likely be awarded no alimony since she has a good job based on her training, and the sizable settlement amount (about $500,000 from my 401k, pension, and other assets). However my current attorney told me, the assets have nothing to do with it, and the salary discrepancy between the two of us, and length of the marriage (21+ years) will determine alimony spousal support. He said if he were representing her he would ask for 100% of my annual salary (total) spread out over 7 years.

I want to sever all ties to her in the worst way, and cannot imagine paying her alimony over the next 10 years. Seems like a long time for somebody who has used their education and worked while married, has a job, and has an opportunity to make even more money (a 50% raise over what she makes now).

Also, my attorney advised me against having any kind of language in the decree with respect to selling the house. He said to get it sold before the divorce, or buy her out. Me trying to sell it after the divorce gives her all the leverage. Since she must agree on the selling price, she can insist any offer (post divorce) is too low, and can basically keep me stuck in the house until she’s either tired of messing with me or wants her part of the equity.

So for the time being, I am sort of stuck. I have chosen not to spend any of my money on things required to sell the house because I may not be able to recover those. I plan on bringing estimates to the meeting Thursday to see if I can get at least negotiate buying her out at a cost that takes into account the required improvements.

Any advice on selling post divorce? Horror stories welcome.

sunsetslost posted 6/17/2014 19:13 PM

No advice, sorry. Just wanted to send strength and support.

KeepOnMovin posted 6/18/2014 16:52 PM

Thanks Sunsetslost. I appreciate the support.

I really need not worry so much about money. I can always make more. i think i am just wrestling with some anxiety about what the future holds. I just need to hear some reassurance.

I know things will all work out for the best in the end. k

devistatedmom posted 6/18/2014 17:02 PM

Ok, I'll take a stab. Here's my understanding of how it works. At your 4 way meeting, take with you a couple of assessments from real estate brokers stating what you can sell the house for. At the meeting state this is what it can be sold for. I am not going to keep the house. I would like to get it on the market on (state date). If she refuses without anything useful (wants to send a broker of her own for a quote is reasonable, she may want to make sure you didn't tell these people to low ball it) then tell her you will ask the courts to force the sale.

My understanding is, if neither spouse wants to keep the house, then it's sold. Period. She can't keep you there forever. She doesn't think she should have to pay half the fees? Then she doesn't get half the equity. Also, I'm willing to bet that you have paid all the mortgage and other expenses since she moved out, correct? Then technically, she should not get any of the additional equity from the past year. So, I would say you will "overlook" the part that she didn't help pay the household expenses and give her half the equity after the costs of selling are done.

She won't agree? Go to the courts. She can't "make" you buy her out.

KeepOnMovin posted 6/18/2014 21:43 PM

Thanks devastatedmom. I don't rattle around in this house pining away for her and remembering the good times. but it will be a relief to get a fresh start.

it has been frustrating because she bristled at everything i have suggested that needs to be fixed (items suggested by two realtors who visited the house). I hope we can agree to the outstanding items tomorrow.

I am so mentally fatigued. i may agree to about anything, just to be done.

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