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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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Old 02-08-2012, 04:24 PM
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Default Sympathy for the Ex

Does anyone else have sympathy for their ex? My ex just served me with court documents today, at work. She lied about our custody arrangement in the documents, claiming that I do not have shared custody and I need to pay child support. I have the kids Sunday (noon) to Wednesday (drop off at school / daycare) and this has been the case since we've seperated, but she's claimed I have been droppig the kids off on Tuesday night. I have over 18 emails from Jan 2011 to Sept 2011 showing our arrangement (i.e my ex emailing me that she'll Skype with the kids on Tuesday nights, dropping them off on Wednesday and picking up at noon on Sunday). Plus I also can get the records for signing my daughter into daycare, as well as dropping my son off at school. She makes more than me and has not paid child support since we seperated, she hasn't paid me for the sale of the matrimonial home, unjustly enriched herself by claiming both children on the taxes and keeping the benefits, has trashed me to co-workers (we work at the same palce). You know, the divorce stuff.

In her court filings I looked at the financial statements and she's pretty much tapped herself out financially. When we were married she was very frugal, but she seems to have had an "awakening" and went on a spending spree that she now can't afford.

She seems to be making a "Hail Mary" attempt at convincing the court that we don't have shared custody. The problem is she made those pleadings without going through her email history. I can guarentee without a doubt that I have had 3 nights with the kids since we separated using these emails.

If we go to court, and I prove my case she'll probably go bankrupt. That will harm my kids, especially my son who seems to be developing anxiety anytime there is a change in his life (moving homes, start of school, etc.). He'll go to the bathroom 5 to 10 times per hours when he's stressed. It kills me and brings me to tears.

I actually feel for my ex because she had a terrible upbringing. Tayken and I had a thread going about mental disorders, and my ex has cPTSD (possibly BPD). She was beaten for the most trivial things, at 12 she watched her dad almost kill her sister, her dad bragged that he "potty trained" them in one day (at 2 yrs old) by beating them, the kids were coached on how to expalin the black eyes and bruises since at least grade one and assorted other horrible things.

Either way it seems I'm screwed. I win I hurt my kids and my ex - I loose I hurt my kids and myself. And if I loose my ex would probably be very happy.

Anybody have any words of wisdom?
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:35 PM
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Sympathy is an emotion, remember that you're no longer in an emotional relationship with this person. At this point it's essentially a business transaction, keep the emotions for your kids.

While I agree what she went through is horrible, YOU didn't do it to her and you shouldn't be held responsible for it. I agree it's an awful thing to go through as a child who has no choice but to endure - but she's not a child anymore. As an adult she has the right to CHOOSE how she will behave: she can choose to learn from her experience and do better, or to repeat the cycle and cause physical/mental/emotional harm to those around her.

She is CHOOSING to use the kids as a pawn to manipulate the situation to benefit herself financially, hurting them and you in the process. Now you can choose to have sympathy for her and let her get away with it (in which case she'll see it works and continue this way) or you can do the best thing for ALL of you involved (she included) and nip it in the bud. If you bail her out this time there will be a next time, and a next until you're BOTH bankrupt.

Your focus is the kids, if the situation is causing them anxiety then you need to address it. Don't get drawn into HER personal issues.

Just my humble opinion, of course.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:46 PM
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You're really taking it well, considering she seems bent on destroying you. I think it's admirable to feel compassion for your ex despite everything she's done, but you need to focus on protecting yourself. Your kids need a loving, stable (financially and otherwise) place to call home. It doesn't sound like they will have that with her, at least in the short term.

She's taking you to court for child support when she should be paying you. If she loses and this results in bankruptcy for her, that's on her, not you.
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Old 02-08-2012, 04:56 PM
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I agree that if I don't fix it now, it will just keep happening, and I intend on fully protecting myself.

I guess my thoughts run a little deeper on this. My ex has spoken of suicidal thoughts when she gets really depressed. This isn't uncommon with people who suffer from things like PTSD, but just the thought of it freaks me out and I feel I need to think and act very carefully. No amount of money is worth it if my kids loose their mother. I have no info to suggest she would do this if she lost in court, only that during our marriage she spoke of "suicidal ideation".

If I go to court and win, I suppose I can control the finances. There are no rules that say I can't figure out a payment plan to ensure that she doesn't go bankrupt, but I will still have the court order that ensured I get what I'm entitled too. Personally, it sounds a little sick to control another person, but maybe this is what she needs as the alternative is far worse.

And yes, I take things fairly well. I was lucky to be raised in a family that cared about others and didn't worry about the little things.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:09 PM
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I agree...leave the emotions out of it...the table amounts for CS are set up as what the child needs/deserves... if she is making a wage, she is entitled to pay...but seeing as you have shared, it would be an offset amount (I think), which would be even less than if you had the kids full time. If she is out spending and spending and digging herself a whole, that is her burden... I understand how you feel about not wanting the kids to loose their mom, but she will have to learn how to control her spending...just like she did when you were together.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:22 PM
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In my opinion, affidavits can be used to stir the pot. Lots of half truths or out right lies are written in order to stir up emotions in the other person.

If your ex is emotionally unstable, her lawyer may not have seen this side of her or is not recognizing it.

You have read what she has to say. You have vented your frustration here. Now write your response and keep your emotions out of it. Only respond to the facts and get your lawyer or some other person to proof read it to ensure you have edited yourself.

Search the forum and see what Tayken has written about responding to high conflict people, as well as other members advice on how to respond to affidavits. Lots of information on this forum.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:26 PM
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If you think there's an immanent suicide threat of course you would act on that, but otherwise the best you can do is remain open to working the courts stuff out with her as amicably and fairly as possible. Sadly, as her ex you aren't in a position to help her deal with her emotional stuff. I really don't mean to sound harsh; it's just the reality.

She is lucky that you're a kind person, and you're not reactive. She may not know it but in that alone you're a HUGE help to her.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:01 PM
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Thanks everyone. I've already heeded Tayken's advice and picked up the book Splitting by Bill Eddy. I'm planning my factual response, that is very firm but leaves the door open for us to go back to mediation.

Based on the financial statements, and medical expenses, it looks like my wife has taken herself off her medication. Time to go search the forum and see how this fits into the puzzle.
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Old 02-08-2012, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minefield View Post

I guess my thoughts run a little deeper on this. My ex has spoken of suicidal thoughts when she gets really depressed. This isn't uncommon with people who suffer from things like PTSD, but just the thought of it freaks me out and I feel I need to think and act very carefully. No amount of money is worth it if my kids loose their mother. I have no info to suggest she would do this if she lost in court, only that during our marriage she spoke of "suicidal ideation".
You're right, it would be a terrible thing for the children to lose their mother. But please understand that you have ZERO control over her actions. If she's determined to end her life she will, regardless of how nice you are about child support. You could give her every single thing she ever asked for and if she is truly suffering from a mental illness causing her depression, it won't matter one bit as she will still be unhappy internally.

It's one thing to be compassionate, it's another thing entirely to be her doormat simply because you're afraid to rock the boat.

You didn't cause her depression and she'd still have it if you were still together. She needs help either way but you bending over backwards financially is not the help she needs.

Last edited by blinkandimgone; 02-08-2012 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:57 AM
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it is very admirable that you feel compassion for her, but DONT let that cloud your judgement. I let that happen to me, and now 3 years later I am still being controlled through my child. He had a similar upbringing, but I am done feeling sorry for him, as he is an adult now, and owes itto his child and himslef to change his behaviour.

if you have solid proof that you are in a shared custody situation, then I suggest you /your lawyer, write a letter to her counsel and provide this evidence. Or since you are at the point of filing the evidence, then just the letter making an offer to settle. Show that you are being reasonable, offer that she pay you offset from now on, and clarify that she should have been paying you from the separation date. if you want to waive the retroactive offset, use it as a negotiation tactic.

Unfortunately, she is the mother, and the court may just decide she doesnt have to pay you. I know that is not right, but it happens too often (I am a woman and pay offset...I was told many times that I would never be forced to pay, but I did so willingly..my kids money and all). I think your focus here should be maintain the shared custody, and you should focus on that. Child support should be a secondary issue to all good parents
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