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Old 04-10-2011, 07:06 AM
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Default Let me introduce my self...stressed, depressed, and out of ideas

Hello everyone, I am so glad that I found this forum, even if a lot of the stories on here discouraging. I was with X for 4 years total, lived together for 3, married for 1. We got married when I got preggers and split up a year later when the little guy was 4 months old. A little bit of background, most of my family/friends thought X was bad news, but for a hardworking, responsible, management type like me, a fun loving peter pan/bad boy was pretty irresistible. During our time together we basically lived on my salary, and he spent his time "working on his screenplay" and travelling with me on business. Over time, I became more unhappy, and realized he was emotionally and verbally abusive, and the arguments worse. Things came to a crashing halt for us, when we got into a huge fight about me attending my cousin's b'day party, X became really scary angry and threatening and fearing the safety of myself and my infant son, I called the police. The police charged him w a domestic violence charge and we have a no contact order in place. 6 months later, I got a lawyer and am now trying to negotiate a separation agreement and it's so frustrating because we exchange so many letters and get nowhere.

I will try to be brief but here are our issues:

1. Access- the boy is with me. We have been trying to negotiate a temporary access schedule, but the conditions are restrictive and we don't have a 3rd party that we can agree on to do exchanges for the baby. (X hates my entire family, and won't agree to any of them dropping off the child and X has no family in the area where he is) He wants me to bring the baby to a mall to visit but that doesn't seem like a good idea for a 10 month old.

2. Custody - X wants full custody (&CS, SS) to be a stay at home parent until the baby is in junior high.

3. Spousal support - X and his lawyer are asking for an amount that is 3x the amount in the guidelines

4. Division of property. we have a house, which i paid for, and not too much else for assets as we were only married for a year and I had a 1 year mat leave and was taken off work at 6 months for health reasons. I owned the house premarriage but while living together, and took out a large home renovation loan But that loan doesn't count as a deduction for my net family property because it was a premarriage debt. (My net family property is $300K, his is zero, the loan is $100K)

I lay awake at night worrying about losing my little guy, walking out of a marriage with $100K in debt and having to support X for years to come. Since the obvious advise is "shoulda gotten a prenup". How screwed am I? What can I do?

Sorry it's so long, I needed to vent.........
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:48 AM
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Sorry to hear your story Dafodil. My story has some of the same components so I can give you that perspective. My x was abusive too and this legal stuff became his playground. They are never forced to be reasonable until trial which could be 2 yrs & 000's of $.

However, you should be able to get sole custody due to dv charges and you should go for unequal division so you get more than 50% of the home. He likely won't get more than 2 yrs table based on 4 yr relationship but again no guarantees.

Hope that helps some and gives you some peace. BTW, keep a log of anything abuse in case you need it later - unfortunately there is a lot of doubt regarding these dv claims and these guys can get extremely dangerous
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:49 AM
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You should use Supervised access centre in your area for your x's visits for now
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Mominneed View Post
They are never forced to be reasonable until trial which could be 2 yrs & 000's of $.
Neither are mothers forced to be reasonable. If mothers were forced to be reasonable it would solve 50% of family problems.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
I will try to be brief but here are our issues:
A note about the earlier description, and I realize you just needed to vent. While you "felt threatened" and the police responded the way they are supposed to, where you or the child phyiscally harmed? What danger does the father pose to the child? If you can't show this factually then this doesn't have much to do with your situation. The child needs two parents, there will be access and the incident doesn't affect financial issues.

At a personal level, you should try to stay away from analysis that show that you are good and he is bad. Life is never that black and white. Unless he is a true sociopath and you can prove this in court, it won't affect anything. You will be associated with this man for the next 18 years, minimum, and you will have to work together as co-workers and be reasonable. You have a long process to go through emotionally, and this starts with forgiveness of him and also owning your own mistakes. You can't begin forgiving yourself until you accept your own mistakes. And owning your mistakes doesn't really mean only admitting it was a mistake to get involved with him.

Quote:
1. Access- the boy is with me. We have been trying to negotiate a temporary access schedule, but the conditions are restrictive and we don't have a 3rd party that we can agree on to do exchanges for the baby. (X hates my entire family, and won't agree to any of them dropping off the child and X has no family in the area where he is) He wants me to bring the baby to a mall to visit but that doesn't seem like a good idea for a 10 month old.
I'm sorry, why is this not a good idea? You would be in a public place so both you and your ex are protected from accusations. This is a sensible suggestion on his part that is inexpensive and easy. There are such things as supervised access centers but you are not ending the conflict between you by insisting on this. If you feel in physical danger, then yes of course. But if not, why not make things reasonable and easy?

Be clear and reasonable about this. Is the father a threat? If he his, fine. But if he isn't, then insisting on a supervised access center can be constued by him as an accusation that he is a threat. It increases conflict, it doesn't resolve it.

Be aware that in court you will be judged on how reasonable you are being with access. If it appears you are being obstinate and unreasonable and not trying to reach a compromise out of court, the court will often reach a decision you are less than happy with, it certainaly won't all go as you request.

You should be doing every possible thing right now to be able to show you are ready to be co-operative and make things easy for the child's other parent to have plenty of time to bond with the baby.

The father seems to have plenty of reason to feel resentful about your family if they thought he was "bad news" all along. You can't heal the conflict between your family and him by yourself, so you can't expect him to deal with them like nothing happened.


Quote:
2. Custody - X wants full custody (&CS, SS) to be a stay at home parent until the baby is in junior high.
You work full time, he doesn't. If the genders were reversed, what would the obvious solution be? But because he is a man you see this as a problem? Of course such a situation would be humiliating for you with your family.

Of course I'm not missing the subtext here, that he is a layabout and wants to be supported for the next 10 years.

You are working full time, and apparently travelling for work? So what alternative would you be able to offer? Can you list factual reasons why the child would be better off with you full time? In daycare, or in the care of relatives while you work, and while you are travelling?

Personally I think he is asking too much, but what are you prepared to offer? The standard suggestion around here is 50/50 shared parenting. Start with that in your mind, you are both parents, you are both equal to the child. Now ask yourself, why go one way or the other? What factual reasons do you have that are child centric, and not about you or about him?

Quote:
3. Spousal support - X and his lawyer are asking for an amount that is 3x the amount in the guidelines
Of course they are. And I'm sure that you are offering 0% of the guidelines. A compromise would then BE the the guidelines. You were together for 4 years, support is generally .5 years per year of relationship, so you would pay for 2 years. This would hopefully be time enough for him to get his act together, find a means of support besides you, and have decent living conditions for the child. (The child will stay with him at part of the time no matter what, you can't stop that. Either full time, or 50/50 or every other weekend, he still needs stable housing.)

Quote:
4. Division of property. we have a house, which i paid for, and not too much else for assets as we were only married for a year and I had a 1 year mat leave and was taken off work at 6 months for health reasons. I owned the house premarriage but while living together, and took out a large home renovation loan But that loan doesn't count as a deduction for my net family property because it was a premarriage debt. (My net family property is $300K, his is zero, the loan is $100K)
The house is the matrimonial home, by law. By law, the value must be split. If you had married someone with 3x your income and then split suddenly, you would expect no less than the legal amount you were entitled to. You seem to understand the basics of equalization and your premarriage debt, so what exactly is your question? How to evade the equalization process?

Quote:
I lay awake at night worrying about losing my little guy, walking out of a marriage with $100K in debt and having to support X for years to come. Since the obvious advise is "shoulda gotten a prenup". How screwed am I? What can I do?
If you are laying awake worrying about the conflict, then you are best off to end the conflict. Are you making a reasonable offer that is in the child's best interests and in accordance with the law regarding equalization? Or are you offering zero? Do you want to turn this into a major battle? Or do you want to form a reasonable working partnership that lets your child grow up with two active, involved parents?

Quote:
Sorry it's so long, I needed to vent.........
That's ok, it's ok to vent if it allows you let it go and then move on. Just don't get stuck in the venting rut.
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:38 PM
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Mess I have a huge amount of respect for you and usually can agree (sometimes begrudgingly) with everything you have to say but some parts of your post here didn't sit well with me.

I think it's extremely important not to minimize abuse because people who have been abused are often questioning it themselves and need support more than anything else. Sounds like x is totally abusive (he wasn't just mad) - you mentioned the fight was about you not going to your cousin's b-day party. This is contolling and possibly an attempt to isolate you. If you think you may have been in an abusive relationship maybe step one is getting familiar with abuse, abusive patterns, consequences and how to deal with it. Yes, you will be attached to this guy for as long as he decides to be in your childs life - that doesn't mean that you need to lay down and take it if you seriously feel like your child is in danger.

Most important thing I need to tell you is that you have a no contact order in place right now. You need to abide by this no contact order 100% - that means that you cannot meet him in the mall for access. If he's not willing to see the child with another supervisor who you are comfortable with, then supervised access centre is the ONLY solution left. Breaking the no contact order invites him to also ignore the order and this could end up being problematic. If you've initiated this breach of the order, the police will have a much harder time believing you. So again, please make sure you abide by the no contact order.

Do not feel strong-armed into joint custody if you don't feel it's in the childs best interest. Again, if he's really abusive, he could use this against you to assert his control over you - I don't think anyone (male or female) should have to cooperate with an abusive x because it really becomes used as a weapon against you.

Don't want to be known as the feminist in the room, I'm just really against any kind of abuse and want to support those who have been in abusive situations as I understand it completely. I get quite offended when I hear others minimalizing it as I believe this is unfair. Agreed, some women make up stories about their exes and I believe they are just as sick as the real abusers but I think this is far less often than the true stories of abuse. No one needs to suffer abuse and i firmly believe a stand needs to be taken against it. No abuser who doesn't get help could possibly be a good parent or a good role model.

Again, I'm jaded by my own situation (as are we all). The only person who REALLY knows is you. This forum is for advice based on what you've told us and I think you now have enough information to better reflect on the situation and you intuitively know what's best to do. Do you research on both abuse AND parenting and divorce. It's really important to make informed decisions not decisions made based on emotions.
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:14 PM
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Mess, thanks for your response. I didn't think of the mall access in the way you explained it, I guess I was just stuck on the idea that visiting a baby should be done in a home. There are some advantages to being out in a public place. I have made offers to bring the baby to visit him via various 3rd parties (X's mom, and a friend of X) but X won't agree to anything.
As far as spousal support, initially I did say zero (mainly because for the 1st 6 months we were separated, I paid for all of X's expenses, including his criminal lawyers fees, and when I retained a lawyer, I left him all the money in our joint bank account - about $6000) I had hoped that this money would tide him over until he found employment. But he hasn't started working. We have now offered a monthly payment that is mid range from the guidelines, retroactive x 6 months. So I hope you don't think I am being unreasonable. I am frustrated that after all this time, he has not started to contribute towards his own support and is still demanding enough money that he wouldn't need to work at all.

I didn't fully explain work situation. While on mat leave, when we were still together, I took a new position within my company which was a 35% pay cut, involves no travel and I only have to be in the office 3 days a week. Again I am trying to be reasonable, but the least amount of time I would be willing to have my child is 50%.

My issue with the division of assets is that my net family property is $200 K (mistyped in original post) and I can't deduct the $100K home reno loan. So if you apply equalization here, he walks away with $100 and have $100 - 100 for the loan equals zero for me.

Posts in the early hours of the morning don't seem the most balanced and I am not trying to sound like i am all good and he is all bad. I understand that we have a no fault system here. I am trying to be reasonable. I just get so frustrated that i am dealing with X who has decided that he wants all these things, and i don't know how to end the conflict with X who wants what he wants, won't listen to anything else, without throwing my hands in the air and saying 'go ahead take everything?"
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:58 PM
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Mominneed, if she is in constant threat from the ex, which I said, then I agree she needs a restraining order. If not, then the ex is going to have regular access with the child and regular contact with her and they need to resolve their differences. That involves putting the past behind them.

In a toxic relationship we can all lose our tempers. The worst can come out. She has to be the judge of whether she's at risk or not, not you or me.

If he's a controlling jackass, too bad. He will still have legal access to the child and she has to deal with him. So the choice is to resolve the conflict, put the past in the past and co-operate with each other, or else get a restraining order. When people separate/divorce they have to move on from the past and have to co-operate.

If he continues to try and victimize her, then as I said, yes she has to protect herself but there was nothing in the post indicating that.

A black and white good/bad description of a relationship can mean he's an abuser, or it can mean it's a very one-sided description of a complex situation where both people were involved in precipitating conflict.

Mominneed, I don't automaticly subscribe to male-as-abuser when I read a post. Neither do I subscribe as female-playing-victim. I try to write from a neutral position. If she has factual reason to take to court, then she should seek full custody. If she, like most of us, is still reeling from separation and recovering from a toxic marriage, then she needs to learn to let go and form a different kind of partnership with her ex, until the child is an adult.

The middle ground doesn't work. The middle ground is holding on to hurt and bitterness and blame and it doesn't allow for an ongoing co-parenting situation.
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
A note about the earlier description, and I realize you just needed to vent. While you "felt threatened" and the police responded the way they are supposed to, where you or the child phyiscally harmed? What danger does the father pose to the child? If you can't show this factually then this doesn't have much to do with your situation. The child needs two parents, there will be access and the incident doesn't affect financial issues.

At a personal level, you should try to stay away from analysis that show that you are good and he is bad. Life is never that black and white. Unless he is a true sociopath and you can prove this in court, it won't affect anything. You will be associated with this man for the next 18 years, minimum, and you will have to work together as co-workers and be reasonable. You have a long process to go through emotionally, and this starts with forgiveness of him and also owning your own mistakes. You can't begin forgiving yourself until you accept your own mistakes. And owning your mistakes doesn't really mean only admitting it was a mistake to get involved with him.

I'm sorry, why is this not a good idea? You would be in a public place so both you and your ex are protected from accusations. This is a sensible suggestion on his part that is inexpensive and easy. There are such things as supervised access centers but you are not ending the conflict between you by insisting on this. If you feel in physical danger, then yes of course. But if not, why not make things reasonable and easy?

Be clear and reasonable about this. Is the father a threat? If he his, fine. But if he isn't, then insisting on a supervised access center can be constued by him as an accusation that he is a threat. It increases conflict, it doesn't resolve it.

Be aware that in court you will be judged on how reasonable you are being with access. If it appears you are being obstinate and unreasonable and not trying to reach a compromise out of court, the court will often reach a decision you are less than happy with, it certainaly won't all go as you request.

You should be doing every possible thing right now to be able to show you are ready to be co-operative and make things easy for the child's other parent to have plenty of time to bond with the baby.

The father seems to have plenty of reason to feel resentful about your family if they thought he was "bad news" all along. You can't heal the conflict between your family and him by yourself, so you can't expect him to deal with them like nothing happened.


You work full time, he doesn't. If the genders were reversed, what would the obvious solution be? But because he is a man you see this as a problem? Of course such a situation would be humiliating for you with your family.

Of course I'm not missing the subtext here, that he is a layabout and wants to be supported for the next 10 years.

You are working full time, and apparently travelling for work? So what alternative would you be able to offer? Can you list factual reasons why the child would be better off with you full time? In daycare, or in the care of relatives while you work, and while you are travelling?

Personally I think he is asking too much, but what are you prepared to offer? The standard suggestion around here is 50/50 shared parenting. Start with that in your mind, you are both parents, you are both equal to the child. Now ask yourself, why go one way or the other? What factual reasons do you have that are child centric, and not about you or about him?

Of course they are. And I'm sure that you are offering 0% of the guidelines. A compromise would then BE the the guidelines. You were together for 4 years, support is generally .5 years per year of relationship, so you would pay for 2 years. This would hopefully be time enough for him to get his act together, find a means of support besides you, and have decent living conditions for the child. (The child will stay with him at part of the time no matter what, you can't stop that. Either full time, or 50/50 or every other weekend, he still needs stable housing.)

The house is the matrimonial home, by law. By law, the value must be split. If you had married someone with 3x your income and then split suddenly, you would expect no less than the legal amount you were entitled to. You seem to understand the basics of equalization and your premarriage debt, so what exactly is your question? How to evade the equalization process?

If you are laying awake worrying about the conflict, then you are best off to end the conflict. Are you making a reasonable offer that is in the child's best interests and in accordance with the law regarding equalization? Or are you offering zero? Do you want to turn this into a major battle? Or do you want to form a reasonable working partnership that lets your child grow up with two active, involved parents?

That's ok, it's ok to vent if it allows you let it go and then move on. Just don't get stuck in the venting rut.
Well said!
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mominneed View Post
Mess I have a huge amount of respect for you and usually can agree (sometimes begrudgingly) with everything you have to say but some parts of your post here didn't sit well with me.

I think it's extremely important not to minimize abuse because people who have been abused are often questioning it themselves and need support more than anything else. Sounds like x is totally abusive (he wasn't just mad) - you mentioned the fight was about you not going to your cousin's b-day party. This is contolling and possibly an attempt to isolate you. If you think you may have been in an abusive relationship maybe step one is getting familiar with abuse, abusive patterns, consequences and how to deal with it. Yes, you will be attached to this guy for as long as he decides to be in your childs life - that doesn't mean that you need to lay down and take it if you seriously feel like your child is in danger.

Most important thing I need to tell you is that you have a no contact order in place right now. You need to abide by this no contact order 100% - that means that you cannot meet him in the mall for access. If he's not willing to see the child with another supervisor who you are comfortable with, then supervised access centre is the ONLY solution left. Breaking the no contact order invites him to also ignore the order and this could end up being problematic. If you've initiated this breach of the order, the police will have a much harder time believing you. So again, please make sure you abide by the no contact order.

Do not feel strong-armed into joint custody if you don't feel it's in the childs best interest. Again, if he's really abusive, he could use this against you to assert his control over you - I don't think anyone (male or female) should have to cooperate with an abusive x because it really becomes used as a weapon against you.

Don't want to be known as the feminist in the room, I'm just really against any kind of abuse and want to support those who have been in abusive situations as I understand it completely. I get quite offended when I hear others minimalizing it as I believe this is unfair. Agreed, some women make up stories about their exes and I believe they are just as sick as the real abusers but I think this is far less often than the true stories of abuse. No one needs to suffer abuse and i firmly believe a stand needs to be taken against it. No abuser who doesn't get help could possibly be a good parent or a good role model.

Again, I'm jaded by my own situation (as are we all). The only person who REALLY knows is you. This forum is for advice based on what you've told us and I think you now have enough information to better reflect on the situation and you intuitively know what's best to do. Do you research on both abuse AND parenting and divorce. It's really important to make informed decisions not decisions made based on emotions.
Totally abusive! Where did you come to that conclusion? A b-day party fight over 4 years, she doesn't suggest controlling over the 4 years? She seems to have more worry about ss cs and her home...holy jump to conclusions batman! I am not sure if I would come to that conclusion, there are not enough details for that assumption. If she is being abused and in danger then she has reported that. Then it has to be proven. There are always two sides and emotion run high. I am sure her ex would have a different take. What mess has said is right and cautious.
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