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Wife played her game too well. Divorce now seems like bad idea..

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relletreknit posted 7/11/2020 09:11 AM

My wife had decide to be SAHM to take care our kids (below 10 yrs). I had understood my role to be hard working father to strengthen family finances. It was sort of going ok but recently she started having tons of online sex secretly and finally now deep in affair with a guy. I found out, confronted and sternly asked her to stop but she is absolutely refusing to shut it down and not willing to reconcile at all!

Love my kids more than anything else and canít imagine settling for less than 45% custody. I have now talked to many lawyers and have gotten all kind of different opinions on my custody situation. The wife lawyer has convinced her that she can get pretty much sole custody, leaving with me supervised minimal custody!! So wife has asked me to shut up, keep working and let her do her thing. She is threatening that if I want to keep seeing my kids as much I do now then donít even think about divorce! She has always refused to go to work and wants me to her ATM machine.

I am scared to death about losing kids if she is right. I need your help, advice and experience. We are in no fault state and judges have very wide latitude unfortunately on child custody. She will definitely be primary but I was hoping 50-50 might be possible.

Wifeís lawyer will make following arguments to deprive me of the custody:

* I have been working a LOT and only seeing kids in weekends and holidays.
* Even on many weekends I work and see kids only few hours.
* Kids have allergies but wife has always deprived me of doctor visits as well as reports despite my ask, So I end up with less knowledge than her. They will use my absence in doctor visits as my lack of interest and inability to take care of kids medical needs.
* Despite my asking several times, wife has deprived me of PTA meetings and school reports. Again they will use this as my lack of interest (itís not!).
* I donít cook and havenít made any meals for kids myself. They will use this as my inability to take care of kids dietary needs.
* Wife does ton of activities for kids because she is SAHM and I have to work full time.
* I have been traveling a lot (3 months/yr) although not much travel in future. But judge will see past records, not future, I guess.
* Thanks to my work, we have good amount of assets so wife need not worry too much for financially after divorce even if she doesnít work.

I am super scared that she is right. Does these arguments work? Will I end up with token custody? If I file now, am I screwed?

What do I do? I am devastated that divorce is now bad idea and have to suck it up. PLEASE HELP, folks!!

Butforthegrace posted 7/11/2020 09:49 AM

Your WW is playing you. The longer you stay in a marriage with a sole breadwinner, the larger her spousal support (alimony) will be when you divorce. If you "stay for the kids", you'll then have 20 years of retirement savings you will be forced to split, and presumably your income will be higher, meaning you have to pay her more in alimony.

Get out now. Who cares if custody is 45/55? Custody is ALWAYS subject to modification upon motion by either party. It is quite common for the SAHM to get the lion's share of custody when they're young, but as they get older, that gets whittled down.

Meanwhile, you can get an order in your divorce that allows you to stop by the house and visit your kids whenever you want. You can then be in their lives as much as you'd like to be.

Jehuretired posted 7/11/2020 10:25 AM

She is playing on your fears, trying to win and keep the status quo. She wants things to stay the way they were. That's not unusual. Why be repentant if you can have your cake and eat it too? Find an attorney who is willing to fight for you and listen to them.

Cheating is a character flaw. Period. Do not expect her to act like an honorable person. Her children are not her priority. She is.

ibonnie posted 7/11/2020 10:39 AM

* Kids have allergies but wife has always deprived me of doctor visits as well as reports despite my ask, So I end up with less knowledge than her. They will use my absence in doctor visits as my lack of interest and inability to take care of kids medical needs.

Contact your child's doctor directly and ask for a copy of the reports. Inform them that there is a contentious situation between you and your estranged wife, so all tests results should be sent to both parents.

If you don't know who the allergist is, contact your child's pediatrician and explain you need to know the contact info for the allergist your child is seeing. They should have that info, as well as copies of allergy tests. You should alsp inform your child's pediatrician's office of your situation, and your contact info should be added to their account.

* Despite my asking several times, wife has deprived me of PTA meetings and school reports. Again they will use this as my lack of interest (itís not!).

Stop asking your wife. Contact your child's school and teachers directly, ask that your email and cellphone nunber be added to your child's contact info, and that BOTH you and your wife be sent ALL school updates/announcements/etc.

* I donít cook and havenít made any meals for kids myself. They will use this as my inability to take care of kids dietary needs.

I am a terrible cook, and my WS is a fantastic cook, so he does 95% of the cooking in our household. Regardless, I have a few meals I can make if I need to cook. Learn how to make some simple meals, like chicken nuggets, macaroni, frozen vegetables, scrambled eggs, etc.

Document that you're doing all these things, because you WANT to be involved. Where there is a will, there is a way, and even if you work and travel a lot, saying your WS won't tell you about a PTA meeting sounds like an excuse. Many schools post info like that on their websites, or have facebook groups or instagram pages where they post PTA info regularly, too.

Hippo16 posted 7/11/2020 10:42 AM


your info doesn't provide where you live


Cordell & Cordell: Fathers Rights Lawyers & Divorce Attorneys

look up via google

crazyblindsided posted 7/11/2020 13:10 PM

So wife has asked me to shut up, keep working and let her do her thing. She is threatening that if I want to keep seeing my kids as much I do now then donít even think about divorce!

What a very ugly thing to say to a BS. She sounds like she is personality disordered. She is hoping to bully you into submission.

You have received great advice and definitely follow through with what iBonnie said in her post. You want to be 10 steps ahead of your WS.

Bigger posted 7/11/2020 13:40 PM

What about your WW mental issues?
What about the time she takes away from kids to be online and to be with her BF?

Her attorney is clearly throwing every bit of mud at you in the hope some sticks. Some probably will, some will slide off.
Her attorney does not control the outcome.

squid posted 7/11/2020 14:29 PM

She is trying to bully you until you rollover and become a doormat.

The state decides what your involvement in your kids' lives will be, not her or her attorney.

Stop talking to her unless it's about the kids or finances. Any talk regarding the divorce should be done via the attorneys.

If she starts being combative re the D, tell her you will consult your attorney then walk away.

You mentioned in your other post that she has mental health issues. This could work very well for you. You may have to re-structure your life a bit. Less time at the office. Perhaps you could work remotely? But if you could show this through official mental health provider documents, this could be your arguing point.

Don't let them intimidate you any longer. Also, it would look bad in court if she implied that you didn't fight for 50/50 custody of your kids. Time to play tough.

Let your attorney fight for you.

nekonamida posted 7/11/2020 15:44 PM

The wife lawyer has convinced her that she can get pretty much sole custody, leaving with me supervised minimal custody!!

This won't happen unless you have a documented history of violence, drug abuse, and/or a lengthy arrest record that you're hiding. Even then, violent, addicted parents frequently get unsupervised visits especially if the evidence against them is only the word of their former spouse. It takes a lot for a judge to rule in favor of supervised visits so don't listen to your WW. If her lawyer is telling her that, her lawyer is lying.

Keep talking to lawyers and go with their advice. Ask them what would happen if you wait for your youngest to graduate high school. I'm betting it will be that you owe her more money in the D than if you get it over with now. Don't listen to a single thing your WW says. She's a liar and she's playing you. She's not to be trusted giving you accurate info on the weather let alone what a judge would rule in D.

OwningItNow posted 7/11/2020 15:54 PM

I have now talked to many lawyers and have gotten all kind of different opinions on my custody situation.

What did they say???? You only mention your wife's lawyer's comments. What did these others tell you?

And can I ask, did you speak to her lawyer yourself? Or did she tell you this?

My friend, this is one of the most heinous situations I have read--"Accept my boyfriend or I'll take your money and your kids."

With everything you've got.

This is the type of situation that will deteriorate into homicidal madness if you don't snap out of it and take back control over your dignity, take it back from her cold, bloody claws. You cannot accept these terms. Fight for what's right, please. How can you even hope to stay sane in a marriage with a venomous spider? So, so unhealthy for you.

blahblahblahe posted 7/11/2020 17:02 PM


You have control as you have the money, its really that simple.

First, hire the proper counsel, and create a proper plan and execute it without emotion. I suspect a proper attorney shall be able to spin her activities as an issue in relation to the children and the instability it will bring (so many men in their life etc.)

Next, simply stop funding her activities/life.

Next, make her life uncomfortable through exposure. Remember one can expect retaliation thus preparation and self-discipline are watchwords.

Split custody of course, Do not be afraid of judges, that is the past. Relax, and remember a real attorney is a key so a 10k attorney shall not do...

messyleslie posted 7/11/2020 17:20 PM

If her lawyer is telling her that than she needs a different lawyer.

I am trying to get sole custody of my kids with only minimal supervised visitation with my WH. He has documented mental health issues, has anger issues and addiction issues. I have been told pretty much by everyone that if he fights it that he will get unsupervised time. The only time a judge will give supervised visitation is if there are documented cases of abuse towards the children (I've heard stories of abuse towards the other parent not even being enough) or arrests for violent crimes or legal documentation of addiction but even that needs to show it impacts the ability to parent safely - like a DUI with kids in the car.

And even if a judge did grant supervised visitation there would always be a step up plan, basically saying if you do xyz then you will get more time.

And no parent is losing custody because of not going to PTA meetings or parent conferences. This type of stuff is not even on the radar. Neither is not making dinner or going to doctors appointments. Did you have someone you trusted do those things for you so that your children were cared for then you are good. Plus you will have a ton of time between when you separate and a judge or mediator hears your case to make a lot of dinners.

(and just FYI i'm on the board of my kid's schools PTA and we have like 4 moms that consistently come to meetings. I think I have seen a couple of dads when we have a speaker coming to talk about hot button issues, but other than that - most parents are not coming. If that was used as an indication of fitness as a parent something like 99% of the families at our school would be unfit.)

ChamomileTea posted 7/11/2020 19:05 PM

You might need to play the long game, kind of like what was discussed in your earlier thread. Let her think she's winning while you put your ducks in a row. Downsize the job. You'll have more time at home to create a record of care with your kids. Do some cooking. It's not hard to read the package instructions on mac 'n cheese. Document all the time you spend with them. Get a bathtime/bedtime routing going. Help them with their schoolwork. Take them on weekend day trips to outdoor locations where you can explore but still avoid COVID. Mostly... downsize. The job, the home if necessary, bills... everything you can. Shunt your extra cash into savings that only you can access.

The whole idea is to keep your powder dry until you CAN file that divorce. When it does come time to pull the trigger, you have a record of earnings which will result in less for her by percentage. You'll also have a firm history of productive parenting. If she doesn't hand over the doctor records, call the office and get a copy. Keep a constant diary of everything that's happening. Do an amiable type of 180, where she believes you are no longer interested in what she does.

Right now, you're working like a dog for nothing. So, work less, play with your kids more. And if she doesn't get the big house on the hill... she can go find some other chump. Maybe if she's bored and broke enough, she'll GTFO on her own.

Oh, and start carrying a VAR (voice-activated recorder) at all times. Check your local wiretapping laws of course. But if you had gotten that little diatribe on tape, where you're supposed to shut up, keep working, and let her have her online boyfriends... in an admissible jurisdiction you could have wrecked her.

Downsize that job, man. Downsize everything.

ETA: Make sure you talk to your doctor about stress management. If her attorney tries to claim you're working below your earnings rate, a medical order to reduce stress can support you.

[This message edited by ChamomileTea at 7:07 PM, July 11th (Saturday)]

20yrsagoBS posted 7/12/2020 12:55 PM

Dump the home internet service, drop her cell phone from your plan, etc.

Let her find the means to do her thing

OwningItNow posted 7/12/2020 13:47 PM

On July 5 you are posting in General about maybe staying for the kids and counselor says that can work, and then 6 days later you started this thread in Divorce. Seems like a lot is going on at home that you are not sharing. Your posts indicate a strong level of responsibility and commitment to others, shoving your own needs down as if you don't have any. In my experience (raising my hand here) this will lead to your own mental health struggles.

Are you ok?
How are you holding up?
You are putting so much on yourself, maybe too much.

[This message edited by OwningItNow at 1:48 PM, July 12th (Sunday)]

josiep posted 7/12/2020 14:41 PM

It might be wise to close all the joint accounts and put all the family finances in your direct control. You don't want her spending every dime nor do you want her running up debt that will then fall on you to pay.

When she needs to buy groceries or clothes, maybe much of it can be done online with you processing the payments.

Secondly, it might be a good idea to wear a VAR whenever you're with her. It will record your conversations and having them might help you remember the things she has said or threatened. If audio recording is legal in your state, the recordings might also help you refute her claims in court if it comes to that.

And, last but not least, perhaps it would be wise for you to cut back on business travel and how many hours you work. It serves several purposes. One, if it lessens your income, so be it because it will give you more time to spend with your kids. And from the sounds of it, you need that time to reconnect with them. Working less will also allow you to spend more time taking care of yourself. Exercise, meditation, prayer, hiking, taking care of your feet or scalp better, whatever, I'm just trying to mention a few random items that might spark a thought in your head.

Working less will also allow you to spend more time with your WW. That in itself might force her to curtail her extracurricular activities.

I could go on but you're a smart buy, I'm sure you can see the benefits of working less for the near future.

And start planning now to learn how to cook something. Maybe plan a fun meal with you and the kids cooking together. Pudding and Jello are super easy to make. Box mac & cheese is easy. Hot dogs are easy. You can Google for ideas of easy cooking with kids.

Best wishes to you. I'm really sorry this is happening in your life but please understand that everyone here has been through the same thing. We might have different stories as far as the details but we were all hurt the same way and we all recovered by doing the things we're told here. Some of us tried to do it our own way for awhile but in the end, nearly every single one of us learned the value of the advice, experience and strength that is shared here.

gmc94 posted 7/12/2020 17:44 PM

What did the LAWYERS say? They know your state and they know the laws in your state (and your area w/in that state - ie more rural areas tend to give the mom full custody.... not so much in an urban courtroom). Those attorneys are gonna have a better read on all this than some strangers on an Internet forum.

I'm with ibonnie as to taking charge of being an equal parent -NOW. Get involved and get involved ASAP. Tell the school that you wish to receive a copy of anything going home. Many schools have that stuff online, so register for your own account. Know the names of the teachers, the counselors, the doctors, the allergists, the school coaches, etc (if you get into a heated custody battle and don't know the names of the adults your kids interact with, it give an impression that you are not an active parent).
Same for the physicians. Most now have online portals to get all the info. Ask the doctors if they have that and how you can get your own separate access (login & password). If they say only one login per patient, email your WW for the login info. If she doesn't respond w/in 24 hours, email her again & again until you get it.

And you do this stuff not "only" bc of the potential custody battle. You do this stuff bc being an actively participating parent - whether or not you D - is best for your kids. Just stop letting your WW drive the bus on this front.

Get yourself a VAR and carry it with you at all times when your wife or kids are present. This is for your protection (bc both husbands and wives can get cray during a D - I've seen both men & women file bullshit adult abuse claims) and so that you can have evidence of keeping cool if she goes batshit.

Keep a calendar of everything. Written evidence of all interactions made contemporaneously with the event. She calls you an asshole? You put it in that calendar (you can create a separate, private google calendar for all of that).

WowItsReallyReal posted 7/12/2020 20:16 PM

Also, with all these ideas you've been given ( talking to lawyers, teachers, doctors, putting everything on a calendar, using a VAR, etc.) DO NOT tell her you plan to do these things, just do them QUIETLY.
IF you then have to ask for, say, a doctors office portal login info... just tell her that you'd like the info, thanks. By email... also, EVERY email you write should be written as if a judge was going to read it ( they may, someday). Keep all communications between you, too. Lock down your phone & PC.

My ex was the cheater, me the partially disabled SAHM...he cut my phone off, drained all our bank accounts/his 401k, & cut off all my medicine/grocery money after IHS, but BEFORE D was filed.
ēIt made my life VERY hard!ē
Know what? The judges didn't give a rat's ass. They did nothing to him for this, ever.

If your SAHM WW doesn't want to give up her AP(s) I fully agree you should start going shopping, or buying groceries & necessities online. Remove her phone, cut off her access to financial accounts.
Get credit alerts on Experian or Credit Karma and make sure she's not taking credit out with your name on it.
Do it all SWIFTLY & all at once.

Stop being anything more than cordial. Don't JADE. Stop financing her As. Let her do that, if she's so set on keeping that cake coming her way!

Your kids, learning how to be a fully involved "single Dad", & protecting yourself are TOP priorities right now.

You should really consider filing D soon after you take the steps above...

(I know this all sounds aggressive & harsh...but with the attitude she has, you're screwed if you don't).
I dragged my feet hoping my now XWH would come around, realize our nearly 30 year marriage was what he *really* wanted.
lol. No.
Waiting, pick me dancing, "standing" for my M did absolute nothing but F me over in the end.

aussiemel posted 7/12/2020 21:32 PM


This is the sort of bull shit that my mother used to do to my dad. Make him feel like he couldn't win, no matter what.
I remember you saying your WW has some mental issues, she's playing you. She doesn't believe that you will stand up to her.

Find the best attorney you can and follow the advice already given, contact the doctors and schools and add your details to their files. Get copies of EVERYTHING and don't inform WW that you are doing it.

It's time you stood up to her and did what's best for both you and your kids.

watching their mom, walk all over their dad is not teaching them good values.

Bigger posted 7/13/2020 08:07 AM


Been thinking about your post.
Your posts are so full of fear and so much looking for alternative solutions.
I hope I can alleviate some of your fears and work on some of your solutionsÖ

First of all: Divorce is controlled by laws, rules and regulations that might vary state-by-state but the general rule is that a) all money and debt incurred in marriage is joint and b) when you divorce itís tallied up and distributed as fairly as possible. The differences are what is considered marital assets/money and what is considered marital debt; do you keep what you brought into the marriage, what about inheritance and so on. It will take you all of 10 minutes to google that difference for your state.
Same applies for custody. If anything custody is even stricter to the law and for one to get 100% custody is extremely rare unless there are serious drug, mental or physical reasons to justify it.

That law also ensures that no matter what one spouse demands there is a process to ensure the other is heard.

Please understand this: The way the law looks at assets in a marriage is that the marriage created the conditions that made getting the assets possible. So if you have $$$$$$ in your retirement fund and your wife 0 the court will say that the reason you could earn so much was because a) you both DECIDED wife should stay at home and b) that allowed you the time to earn that amount. Therefore itís fair that she gets half.
Frankly itís that way NOW, only you and WW are one while married. Divorce and you are 2 and things are split.
So basically you arenít losing anything Ė itís the ownership that changes.

Then there is the ďequal splitĒ issue: Itís not as if your wife getís 4 dishes from the 8 dish cutlery-set. Itís more that you both leave with approx. half the value of the marital assets and debts. In the above example your wife could possibly get more equity in the house and you keep your pension. It boils down to math.

Then there is the way attorneys think and speak.
When you ask an attorney if he can win a case a good attorney will never give an outright yes. They will always warn of the pitfalls and how things might end. So, when you ask an attorney how your divorce might end he will give you a pessimistic picture: It might end THIS way. The same attorney Ė if he was confronting your wife and her attorney Ė might also be telling them that she wonít get anything at all. The truth lies somewhere in-between.
I guess thatís the spiel her attorney gave.

Best case scenario is where you have one or two realistic attorneys that suggest a reasonable and fair outcome based on the laws of your state, and you have two reasonable clients that listen to their attorneys. It then becomes an issue of who getís car A and who getís car B, rather than who gets everything and who gets nothing.

Your wife threw out all sorts of threats. Some of them wonít stick. You too have threats galore if you want to. Like her mental issues. Time spent online. The infidelity and the time spent on that. Chances are however that if those issues Ė and the ones sheís listed Ė are brought to a judge he will shake his head and throw them out.

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