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Divorce Support This forum is for discussing the emotional aspects of divorce: stress, anger, betrayal of trust and more.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-18-2014, 10:22 AM
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Default 20+ years and now she doesn't love me?

She announced that she wanted a divorce 3 months ago because she doesn't love me. I don't feel the same way and for the past 3 months I have tried to show her through actions that I care. She refuses counseling and just wants out. Feels crazy to me that I have to surrender..

We agree to be amicable but I am finding it very difficult not to be angry at her. Not necessarily for drifting apart as we are both to blame. But for drifting so far that she won't consider dissecting what we have and seeing if there is hope. I try to suppress it and work on the agreement but see that being amicable is fragile yet we both agree that for the kids we must.

What is a path of greatest success for remaining amicable. Do we separately lawyer up? Find a mediator? Follow a guideline?
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Old 03-18-2014, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laughagain View Post
She announced that she wanted a divorce 3 months ago because she doesn't love me. I don't feel the same way and for the past 3 months I have tried to show her through actions that I care. She refuses counseling and just wants out. Feels crazy to me that I have to surrender..

We agree to be amicable but I am finding it very difficult not to be angry at her. Not necessarily for drifting apart as we are both to blame. But for drifting so far that she won't consider dissecting what we have and seeing if there is hope. I try to suppress it and work on the agreement but see that being amicable is fragile yet we both agree that for the kids we must.

What is a path of greatest success for remaining amicable. Do we separately lawyer up? Find a mediator? Follow a guideline?
I'm very sorry to hear this it can come as a shock.

FIRST DO NOT MOVE OUT until you have a SIGNED separation agreement/parenting plan.

Propose to her an equal parenting plan the suits both your needs.

There are many schedules that work.
5-5-2-2
7-7
2-2-3
alternating days.

We need more information

Your ages
difference in salaries / education / employment
age of your children
Do you own a house together / How much equity.
Any Joint lines of credit?
Also what do you want?

and remember DO NOT MOVE OUT until you have a SIGNED separation agreement / parenting plan. She cannot make you.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:12 AM
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I actually asked her to move out if she was so certain she was done and she refused. Probably because she got the same advice you are giving me. I considered it in order to make things smoother but I gather that reduces my ultimate settlement rights so I will take that off the table.

We are both 50, fully own our residence ($700k) have no debts but do have an open line of credit if needed and some joint Credit cards as well as our own credit cards. No balances. We both have healthy RRSP's.

One child is in University and two live at home with the youngest being 11. I have stayed at home, not working for 10 years to look after the kids. (Youngest has special needs)

She makes 100K plus. I make nothing. Prior to leaving work I was making approximately the same as her.

We would likely choose equal time with kids, she thinks she can change her work schedule to be home during 'her time' to look after our youngest so that I can find employment. I'm not convinced that I can find anything.

I like the idea of 50/50 time although I could ask for more but that would come with a fight which I want to avoid.

I don't know if I should ask for monthly payments or a lump sum from the sale of the home. We will have to sell the home.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:15 AM
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First off, sorry to hear, but it does take two to have a relationship, and two to keep one alive. You can give it some time, offer counselling, whatever, but you can't change her mind for her.

If you want to be amicable, avoid lawyer fees and the animosity involved, delay seeing a lawyer as long as possible.

You can get a separation agreement template and sit down and work through it.

Do you have kids?

Do you both work? Are your incomes close?

Do you have a lot of assets?

These are all important questions.

You will want to start listing your assets. If you owned them before the marriage, you need a value as of the day of the marriage. Your matrimonial home is the exception, you split it 50/50 no matter who owned, or paid for it.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laughagain View Post
I actually asked her to move out if she was so certain she was done and she refused. Probably because she got the same advice you are giving me. I considered it in order to make things smoother but I gather that reduces my ultimate settlement rights so I will take that off the table.

We are both 50, fully own our residence ($700k) have no debts but do have an open line of credit if needed and some joint Credit cards as well as our own credit cards. No balances. We both have healthy RRSP's.

One child is in University and two live at home with the youngest being 11. I have stayed at home, not working for 10 years to look after the kids. (Youngest has special needs)

She makes 100K plus. I make nothing. Prior to leaving work I was making approximately the same as her.

We would likely choose equal time with kids, she thinks she can change her work schedule to be home during 'her time' to look after our youngest so that I can find employment. I'm not convinced that I can find anything.

I like the idea of 50/50 time although I could ask for more but that would come with a fight which I want to avoid.

I don't know if I should ask for monthly payments or a lump sum from the sale of the home. We will have to sell the home.
Well sounds like you could have a claim for some spousal support although I'm not a fan of it. The rule of 65 may apply to you. Others with more experience with that could help. You might needs some Temporary support to get on your feet although proceeds from the house could help.

Your kids are at an age they will get to choose how some of it works.

Best for everyone is 50/50.

Since you are not working there defiantly could be a battle here.

My suggestions is to close all JOINT lines of credit NOW or freeze them.
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Old 03-18-2014, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laughagain View Post

What is a path of greatest success for remaining amicable. Do we separately lawyer up? Find a mediator? Follow a guideline?
First, I'm very sorry to hear of your predicament. I too ended a marriage of 20 years. This is a crazy time when it's hard to control emotions, so I commend you for trying hard to keep things amicable for the sake of the kids.

In answer to your question: I suggest you work out an agreement with your soon-to-be-ex on the things you can agree on. Identify the issues where you don't agree, and address only those issues with a mediator. I would advise against the "collaborative divorce" process - it is very appealing on the surface to people who want to avoid conflict and think they can work with their ex, but it can stall out completely if one party becomes intransigent or unwilling to negotiate. With a mediator, you can always go the court route as a last resort if you simply can't come to an agreement on most things.

You can also consult with a lawyer as needed, without necessarily hiring him/her to represent you. This gives you the benefit of some legal input while keeping costs down. You should definitely have a lawyer read through any separation agreement that you and your ex come to, before you sign it.

The things you need to agree on:

Custody and residence of kids. "Custody" refers to decision-making. "Joint custody" means both parents participate in decision-making regarding the children. This is the way to go unless there is a huge problem which makes one parent incapable of participating in decisions. Custody is not the same as residence. Residence is where the children live. Here, 50/50 is the best way to go, if at all possible. As other posters have said, there are many different schedules that you can adopt to suit your needs.

Child support: Are you familiar with the Federal Child Support Guidelines? These specify how much support must be paid monthly by a parent in a particular province with a particular income and a particular number of kids. if you have a 50/50 arrangement, you will pay your ex the guideline amount for your income and she will pay you the guideline amount for hers - with the net result that the higher income earner will be transferring money to the lower earner.

Equalization of property: What do you own as a couple? What have you acquired since the marriage began? 20 years probably equals a lot of property, savings accounts, cars, RRSPs, etc. Everything that was acquired after the marriage (including pensions, which people sometimes forget), *and* the post-marriage increase in value of everything that you brought into the marriage is eligible to be split evenly between you. You need to draw up a list of all the assets acquired during the marriage and the value of all the assets each of you brought into the marriage as of the date of the marriage (so that the increase in value can be calculated). There are some exceptions to equalization - look up "exempt assets".

The marital home is probably the biggest asset. It is equalized, no matter whose name is on the title or who paid for it. Either you sell the house and split the proceeds (as you indicate), or she buys you out by paying you half the market value of the house (for which she would probably need to get a mortgage).

Any debts acquired during the marriage (credit cards, lines of credit, loans, etc) also need to be split, and subtracted from the value of the assets. Subtracting the debts from the non-exempt assets and dividing by two gives you the net equalization.

Spousal support: This is a tricky one as there are no hard-and-fast guidelines for this, unlike child support. You indicate that you have not worked outside the home for ten years and have no income. What would it take to get you into a position where you could become financially self-supporting? At your age (50), it is reasonable to expect that you would be able to re-train and re-enter the workforce. What would be a reasonable amount (either as a lump sum or as a monthly payment) for her to contribute to assist you in getting back into the workforce? This amount is independent of what she will be paying in child support or equalization. Spousal support is where you are most likely to need the assistance of a lawyer.

This is just the tip of the iceberg - this forum is a great resource for asking questions as you move through the process, but bear in mind that what you read here is random strangers on the Internet, not skilled lawyers.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:30 PM
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Sorry to hear about your predicament. As the others have said, don't move out unless you like putting yourself at a disadvantage in relation to your kids. Also, you can't change her and it takes two to work on the relationship. Not to be mean or anything, but I bet given what you've said, she likely already has her eye on someone else, if not already gone there.......

One suggestion - close all joint credit cards and lines of credit. If she wants one, she can open her own. You do not want to be responsible for any debt incurred recklessly. It also makes life easier come equalization when you can say "that is not matrimonial debt as I never signed for it".
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:36 PM
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Sorry your going through this!!

If I had to do this again(YUCK)
I would have gotten the best meanest lawyer and had him waiting in the wings.
I would have seperated all finances immediately and been more dilligent getting the records.
THEN, with out her knowing I had this ace in the pocket advanced with mediation.

I got sucker punched because I ignorantly thought the other side would mediate with the intent of being fair and coming to a mutual comprimise.

If I had the lawyer waiting in the background I could have minimized my damage.

Im sure you have read stories here. Divorce can change the kindest sweetest people into fire breathing demon's and its up to you to have a plan that covers worst case senerio.

That being said, I hope you two will be the 10% who can be decent to each other in a bad situation.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:45 PM
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Folks, really appreciate the responses. It gives me some good perspective. About the credit, I use joint cards to cover all expenses. Groceries, gas, shopping, everything. She pays the bills. So closing those down before having an agreement in place would appear to be hurting me. If she were to do that without discussing it first I would consider that a shot fired in what would lead to a dirty war. We don't want to go there.
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Old 03-18-2014, 12:48 PM
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Well, then you are in a good position.
I just responded in a general shotgun approach.

oh.
Make sure you keep busy with friends, it will help you in ways you do not know.
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