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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 06-28-2015, 03:09 PM
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Default Help! Separation questions

Hi,

I have some questions, and very confused despite retaining a lawyer for a separation between my STBXH and I. I'm getting extremely stressed out and I feel like I have no support. I'm at the end of my wits, and I just want some answers!

Some background information, we have 2 young children, one daughter and son who is autistic and I make about 30K more in salary. We are sharing custody even though he barely spends any time with the kids. He is delaying when I want to get away from all this nastiness. My daughter is crying from the fights and my son is acting out and I am barely holding it together. He is being very passive aggressive whenever I ask him for anything. Everything is starting to get to me. On top of all that, he has been in an EA with my best friend for a year. I cry everyday at this complete betrayal.

My STBXH along with his parents own a cottage in the United States. When his parents bought it 5 years ago they just put his name on the ownership. He didn't pay anything. Am I entitled through equalization to get a share of this? I don't have any information as he kept the deed to himself and I don't even know where it is.

I had talked to 2 different lawyers on free consultation with my work benefits program and they both said no. My current lawyer whom I retained said I am entitled of one half of my STBXH's share.

What is the answer here? My lawyer is very harsh to me. He keeps telling me to keep it together and I'm trying. Maybe I'm too sensitive but he talks very rudely to me.

Also, my STBXH's lawyer is currently drawing up the separation agreement. He however is delaying and I don't know why? Is there a reason why he would delay? My lawyer doesn't seem to think it is a big deal. What benefit would it be to delay things? I've already given my financial disclosure and my STBXH hasn't even started! It's been 3 months and nothing. Do I ask for it and give him a deadline?

My STBXH also wants to move near his family but it would be very hard on me because I would have to commute to work from a long distance if I lived there. But the problem is I can't find a school to accept my son until next year! Right now we are living separately in the same house. It's so hard. He texts my ex best friend right in front of me. I cannot live with this for an entire year!
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:20 PM
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I think you should take a deep breath, and relax - I will tell you why.
1. My ex-wife was sending naked pictures of herself from my daughter's bed while my daughter was in it with her (sleeping) to her married cousin half-way around the world and other people had other crazy things. It happens all the time, every day, every minutes... Just move on and be happy things ended when they did. You can check the forum talkaboutmarriage.com I found it every enlightening when I first got separated, most of the advice is spot on. Marriage is disposable unfortunately and the quicker you get used to it the faster you move on. Always tell yourself that it could have been worse (there is a guy who's wife had 3 kids all from different dads and he never knew till they got divorced)

2. You make 30k more salary than him so financially you will be better off.

3. 2 lawyers have already answered you, so you have your answer.

4. I don't see what the big rush is, there is no need to rush unless there is a status quo which you don't like,

5. You have 2 kids, they'll do crazy things, its no big deal. No point crying over spilt milk, I think acetone will remove permanent marker (time to hide those permanent markers, huh!)
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:38 PM
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Hi Links,

That is horrible and I'm so sorry that you had to go through that. That's just disgusting.

I may be financially better off but we don't have much savings. Our home is our savings and my STBXH has wracked up his debt buying a BMW, cameras, and gadgets. I would sometimes catch him with some new toy and he would get extremely defensive. He has opened up his own credit cards and I may have to pay for that through equalization! He gets to live with his parents rent free while I go live in an apartment with 2 kids as my parents live in the UK.

My lawyer said that I was entitled to his share of the cottage. I have nothing for retirement. I think he is taking his time so he can make the separation agreement to his advantage. I don't have the money to defend against all this if he is living at home.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:46 PM
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two lawyers said you have no entitlement to that property your ex got, one said that you are entitled to half of it.

Unfortunately some unscrupulous lawyers say whatever you want to hear and they just want to generate conflict. Conflict, disinformation is their bread and butter because then you will fight for whatever you think you are entitled. That will generate billable hours for your lawyer.

It is tough - but at least you can get rid of a false "best friend" and a bad husband at once.

It's is going to be better, but it takes time. Sometimes a long time.
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Old 06-28-2015, 03:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSlang View Post
I have some questions, and very confused despite retaining a lawyer for a separation between my STBXH and I. I'm getting extremely stressed out and I feel like I have no support. I'm at the end of my wits, and I just want some answers!
You found the right place then!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSlang View Post
Some background information, we have 2 young children, one daughter and son who is autistic and I make about 30K more in salary. We are sharing custody even though he barely spends any time with the kids. He is delaying when I want to get away from all this nastiness. My daughter is crying from the fights and my son is acting out and I am barely holding it together. He is being very passive aggressive whenever I ask him for anything. Everything is starting to get to me. On top of all that, he has been in an EA with my best friend for a year. I cry everyday at this complete betrayal.
Separation and divorce are about facts, not emotions. You provide too many emotions here and not enough facts. How long were you married? How old are the kids? Are you both employed full time? Would either of you be able to carry the house on your own, or do you have to sell it?

This is, emotionally, going to be one of the hardest things you've ever gone through. I hope you have family, or other friends, or a therapist you can go to for support. But you have to be able to set that aside when you deal with the facts for divorce, both with your lawyer and your ex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSlang View Post
My STBXH along with his parents own a cottage in the United States. When his parents bought it 5 years ago they just put his name on the ownership. He didn't pay anything. Am I entitled through equalization to get a share of this? I don't have any information as he kept the deed to himself and I don't even know where it is.

I had talked to 2 different lawyers on free consultation with my work benefits program and they both said no. My current lawyer whom I retained said I am entitled of one half of my STBXH's share.
Did this cottage purchase happen prior to your wedding? If so, you definitely have ZERO share.

If it happened after the wedding, things don't look good either. Since your husband didn't contribute any money to its purchase, it was basically a gift from his parents. By the fact you don't know where it is, I assume you've never been there, so it wasn't ever used by you as a family. So it's a gift from his parents that was never comingled with the family, and therefore exempt from equalization.

I suspect your current lawyer is encouraging you to fight for a sixth share because that way he draws out the separation process and gets more fees from you. When you get conflicting opinions like that, it's wise to analyze where they are coming from, and do your own research. Two lawyers with nothing to gain told you one thing, and a third lawyer with a lot to gain told you something different.

However, you could use it as a negotiation point. Insist on going after the cottage share unless he concedes something in return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSlang View Post
What is the answer here? My lawyer is very harsh to me. He keeps telling me to keep it together and I'm trying. Maybe I'm too sensitive but he talks very rudely to me.
Just as I encouraged above, you need to keep your emotions out of it. Your lawyer may not be doing it very tactfully, but he's trying to keep you on the facts from the sounds of it. He's not a therapeutic ear, he's just trying to get his job done. You'll waste a lot of your money if you just cry unproductively in his office. Get counselling if you have so much trouble that you can't use your expensive lawyer appointment time effectively.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSlang View Post
Also, my STBXH's lawyer is currently drawing up the separation agreement. He however is delaying and I don't know why? Is there a reason why he would delay? My lawyer doesn't seem to think it is a big deal. What benefit would it be to delay things? I've already given my financial disclosure and my STBXH hasn't even started! It's been 3 months and nothing. Do I ask for it and give him a deadline?
Delay tactics are common if the other side has something to gain from it. It must be to your ex's benefit that you are living together in the same house with things undivided. Right now, he has the shared custody he appears to desire, but you are doing the bulk of the childcare work. Right now, he is still benefiting from your greater financial contribution. Right now, he doesn't have to look for a new place and go through the effort of moving. Right now, he has you to do the things you've always done, and his affair partner for his other needs. Right now, he has no reason to hurry things up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SSlang View Post
My STBXH also wants to move near his family but it would be very hard on me because I would have to commute to work from a long distance if I lived there. But the problem is I can't find a school to accept my son until next year! Right now we are living separately in the same house. It's so hard. He texts my ex best friend right in front of me. I cannot live with this for an entire year!
Usually, the stability of the children is a paramount consideration in separations. If you don't want to move them, don't agree to it. He would have to take you to court where he would have to prove to a judge that there are better reasons to live where his family is than to stay where you are now. Is there a school there that would accept your son? That might be a factor.

You definitely need to speed things up. Do what you can to make his life in the shared house less pleasant. Don't make him supper when you cook for the children. Cancel the cable and internet. There are lots of ideas for how to encourage a slow ex to get things moving. One thing I would suggest is to prepare HIS financial statement FOR him. You probably have a fairly good idea what the family finances were like, and optimistically guess at the things you don't know. Prepare the separation agreement based on those 'high' numbers in your favour and he might be faster to come up with the financial disclosure of the true numbers.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:26 PM
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Sorry for what you are going through.

Are you sure it's your EX who is delaying and not his lawyer?

I retained a lawyer 6 weeks ago and all we have done is exchanged financial statements. It is MY lawyer who is being slow because "another urgent matter has come up unexpectedly". Frustrating!
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:28 PM
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Links, Bithunter, and Rioe,

Thanks for your help. I am trying to calm down.

Hi Rieo,

We have been married for 9 years, my daughter is 8 and my son is 6. It's been very hard and I even had to cut my maternity leave short because we needed the income when he was working part time. He is a teacher and now works full time. My lawyer told me that I am entitled to pension as equalization as well. With housing prices the way they are, I can't afford to carry our mortgage and pay for daycare expenses. I supported him while he was becoming a teacher and he not only took away years from me but my ex best friend as well. I feel so alone.

The cottage was purchased by my inlaws after our marriage and we have never been. It is in Arizona and I really don't care to go as his father is openly verbally abusive to his mother and was physically abusive in the past. Doesn't he have to prove that he didn't put any money into it? I know that he is nervous about having to pay equalization for it and I've told my lawyer that.

I am intimidated by my lawyer and I don't like how he talks to me. He has no bed side manner so to speak and I always feel like I've lost something whenever we communicate. I'm so hurt and confused right now and I have no one to turn to with my ex best friend gone. He has all the support in the world and my parents are in a different country. What should I do when dealing with my lawyer? I don't want to spend thousands of dollars down a road that leads to nothing regarding the cottage.

Right now, my STBXH and I don't talk and he doesn't even look at me. I am so hurt right now and I wish he would just talk to me nicely. He either completely ignores me or we fight. I feel so lonely and abandoned. I am trying to find an apartment and new school in our area. I am so embarrassed to tell people I am getting a divorce. I feel like a failure.

I will try to see what his financial statement is like but I am betting that he has hidden credit cards everywhere.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingstonmomof2 View Post
Sorry for what you are going through.

Are you sure it's your EX who is delaying and not his lawyer?

I retained a lawyer 6 weeks ago and all we have done is exchanged financial statements. It is MY lawyer who is being slow because "another urgent matter has come up unexpectedly". Frustrating!
Hi Kingstonmom,

I don't know. My lawyer is wondering what the hold up is well but I think my STBXH is dragging his feet on disclosure. Probably embarrassed at the amount of credit card debt that will have to come to light!
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:58 PM
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SSlang: sorry to hear of your situation. I understand about the embarrassment of divorce. Once you start getting substantial bills from your lawyer you will find the embarrassment part dwindling and anger/frustration part increasing.

curious - how did you happen to hire the lawyer you have now? Have you had to give the lawyer a large retainer?
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:59 PM
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Well, if he won't disclose the credit card debt, I guess you won't have to take on half of it! Don't even go looking for those statements.

Again, I suggest you prepare a guesstimated financial statement for him, and prepare a separation agreement accordingly. If he doesn't like it, he'll have to disclose his finances properly. Right now, he has zero incentive to do anything to hurry it up.

If your ex is nervous about paying you out for the cottage, tell him you won't go after it if he drops his idea about moving the children to his parents' city. He can move if he wants to, but the children would stay in their same area with you. Less upheaval for them too.

You should have a lawyer you are comfortable with, who you can trust. If you find yours rude and you can't understand what he's explaining to you, maybe you should find a different one.
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