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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-16-2014, 08:31 PM
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Hi, like many others I am a long time lurker, first time poster with yet another complicated situation

Married 1993, 2 teenagers & dog, separated early 2011 and continued to live under the same roof (matrimonial home owned by me) until I moved out in June, 2012 due to toxic environment.


Ex and kids/dog remain in the house, I now live happily with my BF around the corner. I pay 1/2 mortgage, ex pays everything else, house has appreciated in value quite a bit since separation date.

Also ex was using (my) family cottage when it burned to the ground in spring 2012 - that is another property issue and story altogether.

Shared custody: I go over every weekday morning to get the kids out the door, walk the dog etc. and am available for them throughout the day (ex is unreachable at work, doesn't even take his cell most of the time). Also they spend 2-3 evenings a week with us and I do a LOT of shuttling around as both kids are competitive athletes. Kids are free to go back and forth between houses as they please, mostly sleep in the matrimonial home though as the idea of splitting their lives between 2 houses does not appeal to any of us.

Was hoping for a separation agreement for Christmas but it didn't happen and doesn't look like it's going to anytime soon as ex has now told me he is changing lawyers (I have been waiting over 6 months for them to respond to the changes I proposed to the draft agreement!!)
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:42 PM
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There is nothing wrong with an introduction, but I'm wondering what your questions are?

You have been separated and living with your BF for about a year and half, and the kids are (apparently) happily settled in with your ex in the family home. This is status quo and generally you will find it hard to change this.

The "family cottage" burned down? Whose name was it in? Was there insurance? Generally this has absolutely nothing to do with anything in your divorce.

You get the kids "out the door" which is probably about a half hour a day? And you walk the dog. Most judges wouldn't see this as shared parenting, but it depends on the details of your argument, and whether the judge had their morning coffee. If you and your ex are happy to see this as shared parenting, then that is a great basis for a collaborative agreement.

If the ex is changing lawyers, that doesn't necessarily mean something bad. The first lawyer didn't arrange a separation agreement. Maybe he is looking for someone who can.

Do you and your ex have any conflicting issues? What is holding the two of you back from an agreement?
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:13 PM
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Hmm interesting, so basically:
-you are sleeping with your neighbor...
-You come over in the morning and prep your kids for 30min-1hr (I'm being generous).
-Pay 1/2 the mortgage,
-your kids spend about 10 hours with you (no overnights?)/week (out of 168)

In most other situations, you'd be paying full child support + S7 expenses and I am going to hope your husband is getting the baby benefits.....
You would only see your kids once every 2 weeks and a mid week visit.

You're very fortunate most of the time the custodial parent/courts severely restrict access to the children from the NCP.

What is your draft proposal?
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:17 PM
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I don't have a question really, just providing background (maybe there are others who have experience with similar arrangement)

I am OK with the' "birds nest" arrangement until both done high school, kids are my resposibility 6am-6pm M-F plus many evenings and weekends, no set schedule. Kids sports/driving accounts for an additional 15 hours/wk on average out of my schedule. Ex could not afford a suitable place for them on his own in this area, if we didn't do it this way they would likely be living with me. I pay most S. 7 expenses which more than offset table support, btw.


The cottage was in my name. I owned it jointly with my father from before marriage until his passing in 2010. Ex thinks "WE" owned it, (his lawyer wrote it that way in the draft agreement) so at issue will be "was it a matrimonial home?" and even if it is/was, it was 6 separate (large) parcels of land, not all of it. There was insurance but not enough. Much of the work has been/will be sweat equity. Ex cut a few trees down in 2012, hasn't lifted a finger to help rebuild while we drove up 17 times in 2013, often with BF's buddies along to help.

Conflicting issue is that he hates that I am happy (he was OK when he was seeing somebody). He will not look at me or speak to me, and tends to slam me in front of the kids.
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Old 01-16-2014, 11:11 PM
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To clarify without getting defensive, the kids expenses are significant, not all will be considered S7 and I know that i.e. tuition I pay (from exempt funds) = childcare, but I allow ex to claim as it will increase his tax refund & CTB. The sports have been ongoing forever and are costly as most of us know, then orthodontics, driving lessons. I also provide most of the kids "things" like lunches, clothing, toiletries, linens, cells, uniforms, etc. so it's not as if I don't contribute my share.

I have tried to be fair, anything that hurts either of us financially also hurts the kids. I left the house because it was an abusive situation, the kids were becoming aware of that, and I had a place to go. It was my childhood home that eventually became our matrimonial home. This way we both get to see both children anytime and I don't lose the house permanently, I hope.

I just don't like that ex refuses to discuss anything with me, makes it hard to move forward. Was planning to share use of the cottage too but now I don't know about that...he scares me a bit and has lots of firearms.

I do have questions I will ask but will do that in the relevant forums.
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Old 01-17-2014, 06:59 AM
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Not to rain on your parade, but since you moved out, your ex has a very good chance of getting exclusive possession. He also has the right to now allow you in the house unless you provide notice. You have changed your personal residence and his remains in the mat home, you made a big mistake moving out without an agreement in place as he really has no reason to settle quickly now.

Your best bet is to push for him to either buy you out, you buy him out or the house is sold. The longer you let status quo build, which it seems like he has primary residency and majority of access, the harder it will be for you to gain shared parenting.

Your kids are older and seem to have a say on where they stay. They have chose to remain in the mat home, which means you will eventually be on the hook for cs, most likely full table amount, unless they spend 40% of their time at your place.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:01 AM
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@Links17.....

How is this helping the OP?
Quote:
-you are sleeping with your neighbor...
---------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
Not to rain on your parade, but since you moved out, your ex has a very good chance of getting exclusive possession.
This is true....status quo and all that

Quote:
They have chose to remain in the mat home, which means you will eventually be on the hook for cs, most likely full table amount, unless they spend 40% of their time at your place.
OP...This is indeed the picture right there with regards to the kids and child support, so prepare accordingly

Last edited by FWB; 01-17-2014 at 07:04 AM.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:10 AM
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Just to point out, not everyone goes to court, and not everyone calculates support to the 40% rule. It sounds like they have a collaborative agreement that is working for them.

What strikes me here is that despite a very flexible, collaborative agreement, rollingesto feels that her ex isn't co-operative enough. But I'm sure she will explain more fully in other threads.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:55 PM
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Welcome rollingstone - given the date of your marriage, I'm going to guesstimate our kidlets are of roughly approximate age.

As Mess and Berner have pointed out, I too think you are going to have future issues with payment of cs and s7 if your ex pursues. Although I appreciate you are taking the position that you are paying the bulk of s7 in lieu of cs, it doesn't really work that way. Your situation could very easily turn to payment of table cs, with proportionate s7 in addition. And given that you are available to the kids daily, does that mean you aren't currently employed? An imputed income to you isn't out of the field either.

Isn't it odd that your ex has decided to engage a 2nd lawyer even before you have an initial written separation agreement? Any idea what his issue was with the 1st?

I think you truly need to focus on dealing with the matrimonial home. It needs to be dealt with, and your ex needs to find different living accomodations more appropriate for his financial means.

Your children are the age of mine - in less than 5 years, the ex will need to be motivated to move on. Best to do it now without talk of SS, while he perhaps may have some motivation. In moving out, you have given him the financial upper hand at the moment. [I understand why you moved, I left my mat home as well, with all equity behind, for the benefit of our kidlet. But I knew full well the financial repercussions when I did so]. I think you've been far too kind.

And, as in any online community, be wary of comments that are Google search/cut/paste, or completely plageurized. And, as always, none of us are lawyers - always best to seek legal advice.

Last edited by mcdreamy; 01-17-2014 at 08:43 PM. Reason: eta - legal advice/comments
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Old 01-17-2014, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
I left the house because it was an abusive situation, the kids were becoming aware of that, and I had a place to go.
I'm curious as why you didn't apply for exclusive possession of the house?

Quote:
I am OK with the' "birds nest" arrangement until both done high school, kids are my resposibility 6am-6pm M-F plus many evenings and weekends, no set schedule.
Just my opinion but I think the nesting arrangement when you've got an ex who sounds hostile is going to be difficult in the long-term. Did he start out more agreeable and is now getting more difficult? Has he tried to restrict your access to the house/children at any time?

I agree with what McDreamy said. I'd be cautious because while you're trying to reach an agreement, it sounds to me like your ex is maybe getting ready to wage battle. You may have put yourself into a precarious position with leaving the marital home without the kids. Do you have a lawyer or are you drafting the agreement on your own?
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