I've been reading a lot of posts lately where the poster is quite upset because their WS has filed paperwork to get sole custody, get all the money, get the house, get ridiculous amounts of child support, etc.
I know it sucks to read, and it is a shock, but try not to worry about it.
I was reading over old paperwork. After I filed, my ex argued with everything. He wanted sole custody and me to have supervised visitation. He wanted me to live in the same town he did, or pay for gas for him to get the kids from me, he wanted me to take all the debt. He wanted to be able to call them every day, from 8-8:15pm (which he had NEVER said to me before.) He wanted every weekend if he didn't get custody and a couple days a week.
He argued that I was an unfit mother because I was home schooling them, below grade level. Because we didn't eat much meat. Because we didn't celebrate Christmas. Because I was raising them in a "house of foreign religious doctrine" because my boyfriend was a Seventh Day Adventist. (For those unfamiliar with me, X left in 2008, and moved in with his mistress. He refused to file, because I was the one who wanted a divorce. He wasn't paying CS, I was going to school full time, and was NOT divorcing him without a lawyer. I filed in 2011, we'd been apart the whole time.) Oh, and once our son smashed his hand, and it bruised and swelled badly. I didn't think it was broken. I called Ex and said "come look at this, tell me what you think." So, he did. Said it was fine, left. In the paperwork, he said I refused to get our son medical care for this, and refused to allow him to take him to the hospital.
Anyway, fast forward. Never went to trial. Never went to mediation. My lawyer wrote up papers, sent them to him. His lawyer replied back with it looked ok, but X wanted CS reduced by $30/week AND to claim one kid on his taxes. I agreed and signed the paperwork the moment it was ready. 2 weeks later I was divorced.
What did X get?
*Almost all the debt from the marriage, that he had already defaulted on.
*No custody, I got sole legal and physical. He has visitation.
*A reduced CS amount (that I agreed to, because he doesn't pay anyway).
*The supposed ability to claim one child on his taxes. But, only if he is caught up within 30 days of his payments by Dec. 31.
*His mistress, who left him when he still didn't propose and couldn't blame it on me.
All he cared about was the money. He wanted to scare me, and it almost worked. Once you can figure out what they REALLY want, then you will be in a better position.
Obviously, some people are bound and determined to see these threats through, but...often they aren't. My ex went from wanting sole legal and physical custody, and supervised visitation for me to taking them 2 days a month and never calling them. In exchange for $30/week.
Stay calm, figure out what their bottom line is, and use it to your advantage. Me-29,Two boys, 10 and 8
It will all be ok in the end. If it's not ok, it's not the end
Happily remarried to a wonderful man (Aussie). I think I found the right guy and the right finger this time.