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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 11:27 AM
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My wife and I separated 8 months ago after 22 months of marriage. She has a child from a previous marriage and has recently settled with him to get some child support but not according to the guidelines. We do not have a separation agreement yet as she wants everything, just give my furniture, etc I brought into the marriage. The matrimonial home was purchased by her however I know I have some right to the equity, however she thinks I shouldn't get anything. She is threatening to take me to family court to get child support as a step dad if I don't agree to her terms, basically walk away. There is approx $50 thousand in equity in the home.... after real estate fees to sell it and lawyers fees to fight it... is it worth it? What are your thoughts?
Re: Assets & Debts

My advice.... avoid court like the plague. If this gets stretched out for even 2 years, you're looking at at least $20K in legal fees, if not more.
Make a spreadsheet of all assets and debts on both sides (yours/her share of home, other assets, credit card debts, loans, etc.) If after all is balanced between you two, you stand to get $20K, then there are your legal fees if you got to court. Same for her. Which means you both end up with nothing and lawyers get the money. Now, if the equity in 22 months went up $200K, that's a different story.

Attempt to discuss with her the balance on the spreadsheet. See if she will see reason. Offer to walk away from your share of home and furniture equity if she picks up a credit card debt. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. You might have to walk away from the home but it will save you thousands in $$$ and stress later.

As for the boy.... view your relationship with him as separate from your relationship with your ex. Reflect on your relationship with him. Put yourself in his shoes. Will he be hurt if you disappear one day? How strong is his attachment to you? Little kids (under 6) heal fast but older ones (7-15) take separation pretty hard (academic research). How much will he gain by having you in his life emotionally? Will that mean you and his mom will be at each others' throats and will this be good for him? Is his dad a positive, constant presence in his life? Would you be ok with being a buddy in his life, someone he can talk to when he needs it? When you've weighed those factors, decide what you ultimately want to do. Offer it to your ex. You're of course entitled to go to court to fight for what you want. Just be aware of what you might lose in the process.

Cheers,
KayD
  #22 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 12:23 PM
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My advice.... avoid court like the plague. If this gets stretched out for even 2 years, you're looking at at least $20K in legal fees, if not more.
Depending on the situation the $20K is quite low in my opinion. It is amazing what some people will fight over. Plates, dishes, children's clothing, etc... Penny wise... Pound foolish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayD View Post
Make a spreadsheet of all assets and debts on both sides (yours/her share of home, other assets, credit card debts, loans, etc.) If after all is balanced between you two, you stand to get $20K, then there are your legal fees if you got to court. Same for her. Which means you both end up with nothing and lawyers get the money. Now, if the equity in 22 months went up $200K, that's a different story.
Furthermore, separate the equalization from the custody and access dispute. Don't try to leverage equalization as a negotiating tactic ever with regards to custody and access. You don't have to settle everything in the matter in one fowl swoop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayD View Post
Attempt to discuss with her the balance on the spreadsheet. See if she will see reason. Offer to walk away from your share of home and furniture equity if she picks up a credit card debt. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. You might have to walk away from the home but it will save you thousands in $$$ and stress later.
Depending where you are in the litigation. The other party in the matter may have gotten bad advice, taken the other party to court and racked up a significant amount of costs to resolve standard stuff.

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Originally Posted by KayD View Post
Little kids (under 6) heal fast but older ones (7-15) take separation pretty hard (academic research).
Supporting research would be appreciated.

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Originally Posted by KayD View Post
You're of course entitled to go to court to fight for what you want. Just be aware of what you might lose in the process.
Family Law is not about a "fight". So many ill advised litigants are told it is a battle, war, etc by negative advocate solicitors who rack up bills. Family Law is about families... Not fighting. If you go in understanding that it is a dispute resolution process you can come out alive. If you go in fighting, you will leave fighting, continue fighting and make things worse.

No one ever likes what a judge hands down as a decision.

Good Luck!
Tayken
  #23 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by sgh77 View Post
I'm ready to move on with my life but it does irk me that I've invested $24K in mortgage payments over the 3 years. The child's father told him he didn't have to listen to me since I'm not his Dad and I know my ex would fight to not allow me any access time as she tried to change their agreement to get sole custody and failed... so that's in my favor... I think she is bluffing.....
Thanks for hearing me and the advice...
If you divide 24K by 36 months (3 years), you paid $666.66 a month, some people pay double that to rent a one bedroom apt. Consider yourself lucky.
  #24 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 01:51 PM
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Take Mark's advice. Consider your $24K 3yrs of very cheap rent and move on. What kind of debt (credit cards, loans) are we talking about here? If you can make a clean break by giving her $5K to pay off "your half", TAKE IT! It's a good deal. Just make sure you get that letter from her, signed in front of a lawyer & notarized that she will not go after you for CS. Start your life again and try not to make the same mistakes twice That's the best kind of gift anyone can get.
  #25 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 02:12 PM
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Start your life again and try not to make the same mistakes twice That's the best kind of gift anyone can get.
Life is a series of experiences. Some are better than others. Considering the other person you were married to as a mistake may not be the best way to think about it. Feeling proud about it also may give someone temporary relief but, if kids are involved it is never good to see the other parent as a "mistake". Were the children mistakes then?

Always remember that when you are in front of a judge that person is thinking: "These people were married at one time. Committed to each other. Had children together. What the hell happened?"

Good Luck!
Tayken
  #26 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 02:17 PM
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Hang on Tayken... no one said anything about labeling a person or kids...
I'm referring to his actions that led him down this road. Everyone makes mistakes in relationships, regardless if they turn out well or badly. It is, however, the ones that turn out badly that give us the presence of mind to re-evaluate our past actions and an opportunity to not continue making the same mistakes.
  #27 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 02:23 PM
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Hang on Tayken... no one said anything about labeling a person or kids...
I'm referring to his actions that led him down this road. Everyone makes mistakes in relationships, regardless if they turn out well or badly. It is, however, the ones that turn out badly that give us the presence of mind to re-evaluate our past actions and an opportunity to not continue making the same mistakes.
Again, one would question if you are projecting blame on the other party that "that led him down this road". What role does the other party to the matter play in everything? Every separation and divorce is between two people. It isn't a one-sided dump from one party. Everything is weighted on the balance of probability.

"It's All Your Fault!", William Eddy

Good Luck!
Tayken
  #28 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 02:26 PM
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Also, we all make decisions with the info we have at the time. That does not mean we make good decisions all the time. Often these decisions reveal themselves to be "not so good ones" or "mistakes" as we get more information or realize the consequences of said decisions.
I separate the child/spouse itself from the actions leading someone to make the child/marry the spouse. Children/people are not mistakes in and of themselves. However, the person who made child/married the spouse could have made a "mistake" if they made the child/got married for the wrong reasons or if they chose not to contemplate the consequences of their actions where the consequences were reasonably foreseeable.
Cheers.
  #29 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 02:28 PM
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No blame. We are responsible for our own actions, no one else's. You cannot change how others treat you but you can change how you react to the treatment.
  #30 (permalink)  
Old 08-03-2012, 02:37 PM
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Also, we all make decisions with the info we have at the time. That does not mean we make good decisions all the time.
What influence does others have on the decisions one makes though? What drives one's function though is the question. Their "emotion" or "rational thought".

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Originally Posted by KayD View Post
Often these decisions reveal themselves to be "not so good ones" or "mistakes" as we get more information or realize the consequences of said decisions.
This is what differentiates a successful relationship and one that will fail. When you look at your partner with this kind of perspective many people are unable to solve their problems and it continues into their divorce. They seek vengeance before the court.

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I separate the child/spouse itself from the actions leading someone to make the child/marry the spouse.
How do you do this? By contemplating your mistakes and only focusing on what you "feel" to be a mistake?

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Originally Posted by KayD View Post
Children/people are not mistakes in and of themselves. However, the person who made child/married the spouse could have made a "mistake" if they made the child/got married for the wrong reasons or if they chose not to contemplate the consequences of their actions where the consequences were reasonably foreseeable.
Agreed, many highly conflicted people, (namely Cluster C) marry someone for safety, security, to be protected, and form dependent relationships. When the other person tries to detach form this person they can quickly be the object for which they blame their insecurities on. They quickly become a "mistake" or a "bad idea" and the cycle of projecting blame starts.

One would ask anyone talking rationally about their matter before the court... What mistake did you make? Judges often ask this question of litigants... Their answers are stunning at times.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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