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Divorce/Separation :
stbxWW Getting Aggressive in Divorce

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 sleeplessinSTL (original poster new member #78728) posted at 11:22 PM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

So my STBX filed for divorce on June 1, I found out about her affair August 2020. We did counseling etc and she restarted her affair with the guy (15 years older than us, we're 37) in the winter/spring.

We both have lawyers and during this process I haven't really exerted any sort of pressure despite her trying to do so and filing motions to have me leave the house (never has been any violence...barely any verbal arguments either), and trying to only allow me 5 out of 14 days with my son. Luckily the judge didn't see any reason to make me leave and said 50/50 custody.

She is moving to her luxury apartment this weekend. I made an offer to buy her out of the house at a reduced $ but she wants her full equity, even though she makes 3x what I do (in a job that I found for her...she's a doctor)

We have a few issues to sort out:

- House - seems like she's just gonna leave me with all the work to get it ready...and take half the proceeds

- Private School - she chose a very pricey private school for our son (like....>$20,000 / year). He's in 1st grade and we live in a great public school district and there are other Catholic private school around that are like $5,000. I believe she wants him to go there because of her ego / image of having him go to such a pricey school. I've said she should pay for it then, she's says is 50/50 even though our income is like 75/25 (her/me)

- Child Support - the standard form for my state says based on our incomes I should get a nice size payment, but if she can include school is drops MY child support PAYMENT a lot.

MY QUESTIONS...

Thus far I haven't had my lawyer really exert any pressure, just stand ground on child custody and me not leaving the house. She has tried to exert leverage a few times, my lawyer wasn't worried and nothing came of it, and now she's trying again.

I've resisted exerting pressure because I thought if we're to have a cordial relationship later for our 7 year old son, it's better.

But she's doing this stuff anyway, and she acts like I'm the one who did so much wrong (when she had an affair for 2 years - there are things I could do better but nothing anywhere close to the level of an affair).

If this is where we are at right now... in your opinions....is there any hope of a cordial relationship later? Or I should turn my lawyer lose?

I'm starting to think she'll never give in on anything and will continue to exert pressure because if she doesn't get everything that she wants, then she can't tell herself that she didn't do anything wrong. I think she's also mad that all of our college friends, some of the neighbors, her mom, etc have sided with me.

Thank you for your help!

[This message edited by sleeplessinSTL at 11:23 PM, Wednesday, October 13th]

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BlueRaspberry ( member #76065) posted at 11:26 PM on Wednesday, October 13th, 2021

sleeplessinSTL, you state

If this is where we are at right now... in your opinions....is there any hope of a cordial relationship later? Or I should turn my lawyer lose?

Why do you care about a cordial relationship? Your STBXW doesn't care. Once you divorce and have established a child custody plan, you'll never have to deal with her outside childcare issues. Turn your lawyer loose and get everything you can. You are in the fight of your life and your STBXW isn't taking prisoners. It is time to play to win.

[This message edited by BlueRaspberry at 11:28 PM, Wednesday, October 13th]

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HalfTime2017 ( member #64366) posted at 12:26 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Let the lawyer loose. You cant fight fire with twinkies. Under the law, she is going to have to coparent correctly, or else she risk going back to court.

Since she makes 3X what you make, you should ask for alimony and child support. On the school thing, I'd fight that all the way to court. Present your case, by providing school records and test scores and let the judge know you were willing to have your son going to a private school, just not that expensive one, and prove to the court that the education is similar. YOu should win that as well b/c she cant just force you to pay for whatever she wants. Private schooling is not something that a kid must attend, its a very much would live to have, not a must have.

posts: 1174   ·   registered: Jul. 5th, 2018   ·   location: Cali
id 8693060
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 sleeplessinSTL (original poster new member #78728) posted at 1:36 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

BlueRaspbery

Fair question

Why do you care about a cordial relationship? Your STBXW doesn't care. Once you divorce and have established a child custody plan, you'll never have to deal with her outside childcare issues. Turn your lawyer loose and get everything you can. You are in the fight of your life and your STBXW isn't taking prisoners. It is time to play to win.

We have a 7 year old son and I read somewhere that having a good relationship with your ex is best for the kids...

[This message edited by sleeplessinSTL at 1:37 AM, Thursday, October 14th]

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 sleeplessinSTL (original poster new member #78728) posted at 1:41 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

HalfTime2017

Let the lawyer loose. You cant fight fire with twinkies. Under the law, she is going to have to coparent correctly, or else she risk going back to court.

what would be examples of coparenting incorrectly? She kept trying for like 9 out of 14 days saying I'll have issues getting him to school and other things, which is ridiculous. Even after the judge said 50/50 she was still trying to get more than 50/50 custody and her lawyer said "we'll go with 50/50 and see how it goes" so I'm worried she's just going to say my son is having a hard time and she needs more custody. She has in my opinion made my son overly dependent on her - she goes into the bathroom with him still (hes 7) brushes his teeth... has him sleep in bed with her every night...


Since she makes 3X what you make, you should ask for alimony and child support. On the school thing, I'd fight that all the way to court. Present your case, by providing school records and test scores and let the judge know you were willing to have your son going to a private school, just not that expensive one, and prove to the court that the education is similar. YOu should win that as well b/c she cant just force you to pay for whatever she wants. Private schooling is not something that a kid must attend, its a very much would live to have, not a must have.

Won't qualify for alimony based on my salary in my state.... but I do for child support. Yah I'm going to fight this tooth and nail.

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Thumos ( member #69668) posted at 1:59 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

I don't understand why you aren't getting alimony she owes you.

"True character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure. The greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation, the truer the choice to the character's essential nature."

BH: 50, WW: 49 Wed: Feb.'96 DDAY1: 12.20.16 DDAY2: 12.23.19

posts: 4329   ·   registered: Feb. 5th, 2019   ·   location: UNITED STATES
id 8693073
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fareast ( member #61555) posted at 3:35 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

sleepless in STL:

Don’t confuse the need for a civil relationship with your STBXWW as coparents with a cordial one. Your best path forward is to be civil, the same as you would be to anyone trying to sell you an extended car warranty. No contact except for child reasons or finances. And learn to grey rock. Become an emotionless blob that won’t be manipulated into engaging with her. She is the type who is going to have a need to keep you as an enemy. Don’t be surprised at her continuing hate. Get a custody agreement and a schedule and stick to it. Good luck.

Never bother with things in your rearview mirror. Your best days are on the road in front of you.

posts: 2826   ·   registered: Nov. 24th, 2017
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Marz ( member #60895) posted at 3:50 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

We have a 7 year old son and I read somewhere that having a good relationship with your ex is best for the kids...

Nope, you can coparent effectively by communicating by text or email only. That is your best path.

posts: 6704   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8693082
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Marz ( member #60895) posted at 3:52 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

learn to grey rock

posts: 6704   ·   registered: Oct. 3rd, 2017
id 8693083
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ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 6:18 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

We have a 7 year old son and I read somewhere that having a good relationship with your ex is best for the kids...

You don't really have much control over that. You've already seen that your STBX cheater has NO PROBLEM with screwing you over. From her affair right through to her attempt at full custody, she's shown you that keeping a good relationship with you is NOT a priority for her. You're trying to control something here which isn't really in purview. You can't make her be a decent human being. You can be as nice as you want, but it's NOT going to make her into a better mom. She's clearly got her own agenda and it doesn't include a parenting partnership with YOU.

I agree with these other guys, type in the words, "gray rock psychopath" into your browser and read the articles you find. Learn to present a smaller target in whatever communications you have to have with her so that you're "speaking softly" and allowing your attorney to "carry the big stick". Have your attorney go after as much as you can get. And don't feel like you have to agree to the 20k school just because your STBX thinks it's best. She needs to PROVE that it's best.

Make sure you're doing your homework and not just relying on your lawyer. Check out some Dad groups too and look for emotional support and resources. It's NOT the 1970's anymore. Dads have a voice in court now. And if your attorney isn't sharp enough, don't be afraid to go interview another one. Remember that it takes a real change in circumstances to get back into court if things aren't what you want, so do your best to get as favorable a settlement as you can. Consider also asking for assistance with additional job training since your incomes are so different. Shoot the moon, right? That way, when they come down, you're getting the stuff you REALLY care about.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 6:36 AM, Thursday, October 14th]

posts: 4590   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016
id 8693090
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Walkthestorm ( new member #72157) posted at 8:19 AM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Treat this as a bussiness tranaction. Set your feelings and future worries aside. Don't engage with her one on one about the divorce at all. Let all communication go through your lawyer and be cordial with her during exchanges regarding your son. Make sure to save all your communication in case she throws in accusations etc.

You playing nice is no guarantee she will be nice in return. Don't count on it.

posts: 40   ·   registered: Nov. 26th, 2019
id 8693094
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grubs ( member #77165) posted at 5:06 PM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Treat this as a business transaction. Set your feelings and future worries aside. Don't engage with her one on one about the divorce at all. Let all communication go through your lawyer and be cordial with her during exchanges regarding your son.

^This. Make sure you get as much in writing now as possible. It won't just be schooling that she tries to bankrupt you with. Make sure you define what big ticket items are split, how they are split, and what approval process for the other spouse looks like.

posts: 789   ·   registered: Jan. 21st, 2021
id 8693128
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Bigger ( Guide #8354) posted at 5:25 PM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

Point out that the expensive Catholic school might one day mold your son’s life-views on infidelity, the sanctimony of marriage and the eternal nature of marriage. Might have to convince her not to home-school him after that!

Having a good coparenting relationship with your kids parent is important. That doesn’t mean going to the zoo together or even liking each other. It’s more about being civil, being able to attend the same parent-teacher meeting, sitting in the same hall during recitals, not having 2 confirmation parties (one for each family) and not making his possible eventual wedding about you and his mom. You two don’t need to be friends or even enjoy each other’s company. You just need to have a good coparenting relationship.

Regarding the house issues and such: Of course with your attorneys agreement then maybe have the house valued "as is" and have the realtor also value it if you got it properly prepared for sale. If there is a notable difference then use that as a base to value whatever work falls on your shoulders.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

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id 8693131
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 10:22 PM on Thursday, October 14th, 2021

A few comments that might seem contradictory but the key thing, I think, is to get them to be compatible, not contradictory.

1. Be a grey rock. That means, be completely unemotional with your STBX regarding all of this, including parenting. Don't let anything that she or her lawyer does bother you... and if you fail at that, then certainly do not let anyone other than your lawyer know that what she is saying or doing bother you.

2. Listen to your lawyer. If you don't like what your lawyer is saying, then get another opinion and/or another lawyer.

3. Getting along with your STBX *is* best for your kids.

In most cases, emotions are high during divorces and people do ugly and mean things. Let her do ugly and mean things (again, don't react if they hurt you) but you should avoid doing ugly and mean things. Hopefully, the emotions will calm down and the two of you can get along well enough to co-parent.

If the strong emotions continue for the long-term (like in my case), then you need to continue to be a grey rock (i.e., don't antagonize her) while maintaining your boundaries. Learn to say no, politely and firmly. She'll want to argue and yell and demand an explanation. You don't have to argue, yell, or give her an explanation. No means No, you know?

4. The laws about child support and alimony vary significantly from state to state. I don't even fully understand the laws in my state and I am now fully divorce (we went to trial) and I am in the middle of an appeal. Here again, listen to your lawyer.

5. You are in the negotiation phase of your divorce. There are laws to guide in you and your STBX in these negotiations, but an out-of-court settlement provides an opportunity for the cheapest and best divorce that you can get. I can't imagine that a court would require that you send your son to a $20,000 per year private school, for example, but that is something that you could agree to during negotiations. So, figure out what you legitimately want as part of this divorce and figure out what you are willing to allow to slide over to the other side.

6. Hopefully, your STBX is not a full-blown crazy-ass narcissist. Mine is. The fact that your STBX blames you for the demise of the marriage when she had an affair is not encouraging. At the same time, it's 100% reasonable that she would not give you a "I make more than my ex-husband" discount on the marital home. That is, you need to check your entitlement at the door too. You get half; she gets half (at least that's the theory).

Me: BH, age 47
Her: WS, age 44 (multiple EAs and PAs)
D-Day: August 30, 2016

Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.

posts: 5117   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8693207
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Tigersrule77 ( member #47339) posted at 12:45 PM on Friday, October 15th, 2021

I agree that having a reasonable relationship with your ex is best for the kids, however, like a M, it takes two parties respecting that relationship. So far, your STBXWW is showing you that she has not intention of that. She is focused on herself, not your son, and she will attack you in any way she can to have what she wants.

It is time for you to start protecting yourself. If your lawyer is suggesting certainly legal approaches, which may be aggressive, you should certainly consider it. As long as it doesn't go against your nature and it is legal, proceed. Don't go to a gun fight carrying flowers.

posts: 1532   ·   registered: Mar. 27th, 2015   ·   location: Maryland
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k8la ( member #38408) posted at 8:39 PM on Monday, October 18th, 2021

Cordial comes after battle wounds heal - not during the war.

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id 8693849
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 10:06 PM on Monday, October 18th, 2021

We have a 7 year old son and I read somewhere that having a good relationship with your ex is best for the kids...

I am a child of divorce. When I was younger and my mom and dad still had to do in-person trade-offs after his weekends, my dad would walk in to my mom's house and look over her head and completely ignore her. My mom, on the other hand, would always say hello and act civil to him.

He didn't try to have a good relationship with my mom for my sake, but she always tried and kept on trying no matter how shitty he acted to her.

Point being, no matter what your stbxww is doing doesn't stop YOU from maintaining a civil relationship with her for your child's sake. And believe me when I tell you that you acting decent to and about her speaks volumes about YOUR character and your kid WILL take note of it.

edited for spelling

[This message edited by EllieKMAS at 10:07 PM, Monday, October 18th]

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"Being weird is just a side effect of being awesome."– Unknown

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