I know this is a hard topic to put in a box, with so many variables, but any help would be great. Thank you.
The path to salvation is narrow, and as difficult to walk as the razor's edge
Sorry just finished the asset division and still licking my wounds.
What did I do wrong? The biggest mistake was trying to reason with her and share my feelings. Like telling her it was going to really hurt me to take certain things in the divorce. Guess what? She took them. I had a good lawyer that told me let him handle things and stay out of the emotions. Very tough to do but on the times I did do that, it helped. Understand the law for your state/county. Make sure your lawyer knows what a good deal looks like. If you don't have good feeling about a lawyer, don't use him/her. Some are sharks, some get things to move along quickly, some are not worth it. Depends on what you want at the end of the road. Good luck.
LISTEN to all advice and use your head (NOT YOUR HEART) when bargaining. Remember...when it is all over you can reflect with your emotions but the divorce is a business transaction. Remember that and you will be ok.
1) If you have kids, get a L. If you own a house or other large assets, get a L. It is expensive but it is worth every penny to ensure that you get things done right.
2) Spell out custody and visitation in minute detail. Down to the time of drop off/ pick up, where it will take place, who is responsible for transportation, etc etc. At all cost AVOID vague language such as "As mutually agreed upon by the parents". Spell out who gets what visitation for school holidays and summer vacation, when who has to inform who about vacation plans, etc etc. Be anal about getting this level of detail into the agreement. If you and stbx have a good co parenting relationship then you do not need the level of detail. Just because it is there, you do not have to enforce it if being more casual works. However, if you and stbx do not have a good co parenting relationship, then having this level of detail will save you so much grief.
3) If you have kids then you will likely have joint legal custody. This is different than physical custody. It is very rare to get sole legal custody. What joint legal means is that you and the other parent make joint decisions about the kids medical, school, and other major life decisions. Make sure that the D agreement spells out exactly what happens if you cannot agree and spells out exactly who is the tie breaker.
4) Do not trust your stbx to be a "nice" person and to do the right thing. If your stbx was trustworthy then you would not be posting here. Yes, they might be. Or they may get a bug up their but and decide that making your life hell is their new form of entertainment.
5) Don't poke the bear. Don;t amp up the drama. And don't pet the drama llama. No good can come from antagonizing your X. That does not mean you should be a doormat, just don't be an ass for the sake of being an ass.
I never have to refinance the house. I had to let him claim one child on taxes each year.
I don't get alimony -- I opted for extra 401K funds. It worked for both of us.
See if you can get it where x is not allowed to have any lover spend the night when your children are there...it's standard in my state.
You can google "judge browns standard visitation" to see what is standard in sc. Your state is probably different, but it'll give you some ideas of what you might ask for.
I think it is worth fighting for to have the final say in decisions affecting your children. My XWH tried to talk my child's speech therapist into dropping child from speech bc he was tired of paying for it.
Oh well. I would say "live and learn" but I don't plan to ever need that particular bit of knowledge again, lol.