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I opened the letter today from my attorney saying my husband hired his own attorney. It's all so sad that it's come to this. He begged me to stop the court process so we could settle ourselves, He wanted to give me 5k for the car, that's it. I'm in a 50-50 state, we were married six years and had a child together. I am self employed, dont' show much on my income and grew the business while married to him in some ways although I had about the same amount of sales as before I met him. He makes a lot, he put the house in his name, bought investments and has retirement I don't even know about as we kept everything separate. He threatened to go after my business, saying he deserves some profit from it if I went after more. I'd already hired an attorney and served him. He'd moved to another state, the attorney advised me to do this as we have a child, plus it moves the case to this county, before I'd had to go five hours where his house was. He hired a local attorney here so the ball is more in my court and I dont' have to travel, we've been separated a year now. He continued to cuss me out on one hand, then cried and begged me to come back on the other. I think alcohol has become a bigger problem, he lost his job, took another in another state. Is there anyways we could just both back out and settle at this point although attorneys are involved? Could we come up with our own family plan? He said he only wants to see his child now and then, and in the letter agrees to equitable distribution of assets. But it'll come out equal if in fact he can prove that my business increased in value during our marriage I guess. I just want custody of my little boy and to get on with my life. I make enough money, it's not worth fighting over 20-30k or whatever it might be that I'll get. I do deserve child support, it's about $600 per month according to the chart, based on his income. He wouldn't pay it the last year, part of why I filed, he flaunted to me a few months ago that i was married and don't get any. I asked him over and over, he refused. He has put me on his health insurace and paid off the truck I'm driving. Plus he's made house payments but I left and it's in his name. He doesn't want me to have any of that or his retirement, or any other assets. It doesn't seem fair, I moved for him, gave up a lot of my business, had to start over with nothing, actually moved twice for him and reorganized. I'd have made more myself had it not been for that. He doesn't consider my money and time with the baby as important, he refused to help out with him, has put me down as a mother. I just don't want to get into a big fight, or court battle. It's such an invasion of privacy. How can this be done?

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You make a strong case for attorneys, don't you think?


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The ? that made recovery possible: "Which lovebuster do I do the most that hurts the worst"?

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DV is legal matter not emotional one, it is best to leave it to the professional specially when there are disagreements.

JMHO -rh-


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Horsey2,

For what it's worth, what I am telling you is NOT legal advice, and you should, if anything, use what I tell you to develop questions for your own attorney.

1. To answer your question directly, yes almost every state allows for most or all of the division or assets, spousal support, etc. to be handled via out-of-court settlement. Most or all states will carefully review any custody or child-support provision and decide what it wants to decide (usually guideline amounts) without regard to what the parents may have decided amongst themselves.

2. In my humble opinion, if the marriage must end, then doing so through a mediated process where everyone has all their cards on the table is the best way. That doesn't look like a real possibility in your case. That means that you either fight or you get taken to the cleaners. Your STBXH thinks he can get away with his retirement, without paying child-support or allimony, and pay you some pittance ($5K) to make you go away. If you're a wimp, he may be able to get that.

3. I don't know what state you're in, but in many states child-support is can be awarded retroactively to the INITIAL FILING without regard to when a divorce or legal separation is granted. You're STBXH is either ignorant or playing legal chicken with you hoping you won't bother to ask for back-payment.

4. Ask your attorney how marital property is determined in your state, and when the acquisition of marital assets ends. In some states it is until the date a final divorce is granted, but in others marital property does not accrue after separation. Did you and your STBXH acquire the house AFTER you were married? If so, chances are that it's marital property and subject to an award however it is titled. Also, retirement stuff... Again, it depends on the state, but chances are, your husband will have to give you a portion of his retirement account. All that being said, what's good for the goose is good for the gander.

5. Full disclosure... This is something that's going to come up when the child-support issue gets in front of a judge... What are EACH of you worth. Total. From all sources. If your STBXH tries to hide information when it comes time for that disclosure, he may end up contemplating the error of his ways from a state-run hotel for perjury. It MAY be worth your while to hire some sort of investigator to determine what the extent of his value is. If he wants to get out through a settlement, but isn't interested in being with the kid... that suggests to me he's trying to hide something... probably a LARGE nest-egg.

You've got a lot to contemplate. From what you've described, it doesn't sound as if your STBXH is interested in actually working on a relationship, and in that case, the best you can do is look out for your kid and yourself. It's NOT "mean" to seek your rights fully. Likewise, don't take personal offense if your STBXH does the same thing and investigate you. The best thing you can do is have him waste his investigator's time and budget by being upfront in the first place. The added advantage to honesty will be that a judge will see the candor as an important personality factor in determining whatever questions of fact that are presented to him.

I wish you the best.


BS (me - 32) WW - Crystal43 (34) D-Day - June '05 3 DDs NC - w/ OM #1, could be; w/ newest-OM, who knows New OM. Same MO She moved out 3/15/06 ("Beware the Ides of March!") "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us —whatever we ask— we know that we have what we asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15 (NIV)
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Hi Horsey2,

I believe The Dupe has given you very well thought out and concise advice. Sounds like a voice of experience. As any of us who have been through this nightmare will tell you the splitting apart of lives can be a nasty business. My divorce started like yours as well with my xw betraying me and leaving for another man and then coming back at me to get 1/2 of everything we owned. Long story so I won't bore you with the details.

I to believed she wasn't deserving of 1\2 of all the assets of our marriage especially my inheritance from my Grandmother and we went the lawyer route for a few months. It really got ridiculous as we couldn't even speak except through our lawyers, mostly on her demand. Long story short it came down to both of us accepting responsibility for the downfall of the marriage and seeing each others value as a partner and a parent. I asked a few times to stop the madness and come and sit down with me and talk without the lawyers present and try to hash out something we could both live with. Finally she agreed and within a couple of hours we had an agreement we could both live with. Of course the Judge does have final say !

Talk about a couple of Pi**ed off lawyers ! They kept trying to tell us we couldn't do this without them, I darn near fired my attorney in the process. It seems it is to their advantage to keep the adversarial process in motion so they can make a living. BUT, ( There's always a BUT ) If you don't know everything about your husbands finances and he isn't willing to admit his part in the downfall of your marriage and step up and be a man and take care of the mother of his son and his son I fear you have no choice but to look out for yourself and your son and do what needs to be done. Of course it will be unpleasant and difficult and a couple of attorneys are going to make a bunch of bucks in the process but if you and your stbx think about it in terms of the damage emotionaly and financially to your son it might make a difference how things are handled.

Good Luck and let us know how it goes, David A

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There are definitely some well-thought out posts here, depicting pro's and con's of attorneys. I would also suggest you visit one or more of these sites. They will help you get some basic information so that when you do talk to an attorney, you will have a basic understanding of the law where you live (they vary greatly from state to state). This can help save you money (because your lawyer doesn't have to spend time explaning to you) and give you a little peace of mind.



And one last thing - make sure that whatever you settle for, be it custody-related, property-related or financial, that it's something you can live with, and not have regrets. Things can be changed later, but it becomes more difficult.

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Thanks for the advice and the links to websites, I"ll do some more research before meeting with my attorney. Our first house was bought before we married, I think on purpose on his part. The second house was bought during our marriage, after we moved. The loan was in his name only. It's for sale but the best tool I have is the house - he wont' be able to finalize a sale if we are in the middle of a divorce. The realtor tried to get me to sign something to approve the sale, I wouldn't do it. He's moved to another state so he's anxious to sell the house, worth 500k. We made money off the house before, it increased in value I think 40k or so so of course he's wanting me to walk away from that and the money he put into retirement. He's claiming he didn't invest anything, but he was always talking about some stockbroker. He also bought a few cars and also I think there was some money in a trust from his mom too. I don't know, our finances were separate. When I was at the house I wrote a list of what he had as far as envelopes from life insurance, stocks, etc. I took all of our tax info including notes he had in those envelopes, he was steamed about that. I intended to copy and return them but he was on the phone being so crazy that I just took them and didn't return to the house. Before we married he kept saying, how can I protect myself from you. He'd been married twice before, of course he wanted to protect his assets. He's a banker, by now, a year later since we separated I'm sure he's "taken care of" some of his assets that I didn't know about don't you think? Words vs. action, yes he hasn't been interested by his actions in seeing his child, only drove here, five hours away once, said he couldn't afford it of all things but of course he could afford his 200-300 dollar drinking habit a month and other trips to friends. He made it clear after the baby was born that he wasn't going to do anything, the baby was "my job" he said over and over again. Our final fight was so awful I called the police and he pleaded guilty to harassment. The court issued a restraining order I didn't even know about, in the court records it says I did the restraining order. My husband filed a response saying that and I don't know why. He only saw his child six times in the past year, most of the times when I was there on business, and twice he said he'd watch him two days then didn't as he had things to do. When I was at the house packing a woman calling wondering when they were going to "hook up" next, there was porn - mags and videos out and I hate that, and alcohol of course. He called the woman a fat mexican, thought that would help me out, a banker friend that just happened to call at 9 pm at night. All he's done on the phone is blamed me, said it all was my fault, that I make big issues out of nothing, that I"m insecure and that's why. He takes no blame, not even for the violence although he had to go to 10 months of classes. He wanted me to move back to the house and work it out if I'd help him "split the bills again" otherwise he said he'd take the job in another state as a bank president. That's what he did. He told me I could quit my business which makes good profit and I only have to work every other month as well - as it's "nothing" and I'd be better off. He even found me a job for $10 an hour at some local company in this small town, how insulting after I've been self employed for 15 years now. Hes' never respected my work, I could never win with him on that or anything. Sure he liked the money that came of it. I paid all of our utilies, had the extra money for trips overseas a few times a year, I paid for all the meals out, the entertainment, the clothes, you name it... he made the house payment and thinks I have no right to the house equity. I moved twice for him too. It just doesn't seem fair to have to go through all of this. I'm certain he thought I'd just walk away, or that I'd move back with him after I realized I couldn't live without him. That's why he didn't send child support, because it would help me out and he wanted me to suffer. If we were there he'd be helping with his son he said, but I chose to leave and I was married so I got nothing. He claimed he was helping me out oh so much by paying off the truck which was actually money from a car of mine that he sold anyways, and with health insurance. He considers the baby "my" bill it seems, "my job" and doesn't want responsibility, but he always loved to show off pictures of the baby, and me, and go on and on about us. I felt like we were both trophies, as he'd ignore us both, sitting in the basement drinking night after night as I was upstairs changing diaprers and getting up at midnight working crazy hours on my business as I was juggling a baby and traveling for a dying father. Yes I resent that he wasn't there for me then and of course he'd try to bail out of this marriage this way. He kept calling last week asking if we were really getting a divorce, he had to reply after being served and he said he had to pay an attorney. He said he could lose 20k in attorneys fees just to fight me. I asked about what, it's a 50-50 state, and I already have custody of my child. In his reply he said what's fair and equitable to the courts on finances and the baby both. I''m just tired, this is going to be a hard year, I hope it's over with quickly, how can I speed it up?

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David A -
Not experience... exactly... yet. I just finished my last semester in law school with a course on family law. However, the way things are going with my WW, I suspect I'll get more experience with family law than I ever wanted. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />

Also, if your attorneys were prolonging and exacerbating your the emotional trauma of your divorce, you might be able to take them in front of your state's attorney grievance commission. The rules of professional conduct are clear that YOU, as the client, set the goals of their representation. If they act in their own best interests instead of yours, they could get in trouble.

Horsey2 -
Paragraphs... PLEASE! <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

It's plain to see from what you've written that you clearly have a "fault" ground for divorce (in my state it would likely be "constructive desertion"). From your perspective, that's probably good, since it probably means a faster court process. You may or may not be able to prove adultery... Without an admission, it's tougher than you may think. However, since you've been apart for a year, the NF reason is probably ripe as well.

Here's the thing. The nut of what you're asking, if I understand you correctly, is "How do I get through this with minimal pain, quickly, and without being deprived of what I'm due?"

There are a couple quick answers...
(1) Give in. I DO NOT recommend that option but if you want it over quickly, that would do it. You won't get what you're due, and you're probably just going to exchange short-term relief for long-term misery and hardship.

(2) Be smart - understand what is motivating him, and then incentivize him into giving you as much of what you want minus what you think it would be worth to be done with him quickly.

Option 2 is "front-end heavy." That is, it requires some seriously hard work up-front. Know his finances. Know what he's trying to protect. Know your rights. KNOW WHERE YOU ARE WEAK! (Almost nobody's case is perfect.) If you walk into a settlement conference (I would STRONGLY suggest you have representation both with you and ON board with your plans), and lay out his night-mare scenario - that you take him out, financially, and reputation-wise - a distinct possibility, he will be MUCH more willing to negotiate a reasonable settlement.

Here's the dirty truth of negotiations... whoever wants it more "loses." That is, if you want this over quickly, then you won't end up with everything you might otherwise get if you fight tooth-and-nail for it (unless he's stupid, which he may not be). That being said, it's not a totally bad thing... so you walk away with 45% of a bigger pie (because there are fewer attorneys' fees subtracted... and point that out to him). So what? You will walk away sooner and with less trauma. That may be worth it to you. If you spend your life worried that HE's getting away without hurting enough, you chain yourself to him. Besides, if you won't settle for less than you're entitled, there's no reason AT ALL for him to settle. I would suggest that you start with a straight 50/50 division and show him the savings in attorneys fees and back-down from there... Talk to your attorney he or she has done this before... I hope.

If you want to get what you want, first you have to know what that is... Then you have to know what your opponent wants, and then you have to figure out what you can give up that will convince him to give you what you want.

It's about being smart. Your STBXH's behaviors all seem to be about intimidation and control. If that behavior is AT ALL continuing to weaken your resolve, I would suggest that you absolutely need representation. Why would your STBXH not want attorneys... Fees for one. But the better reason, I think, is that he knows he is not as likely to get away with his intimidation if you've got an attorney.

This is a time to think clearly for yourself and for your child. If your STBXH isn't willing to be respectful and fair in the end, you need to make sure you take care of yourself.

I wish you the best.


BS (me - 32) WW - Crystal43 (34) D-Day - June '05 3 DDs NC - w/ OM #1, could be; w/ newest-OM, who knows New OM. Same MO She moved out 3/15/06 ("Beware the Ides of March!") "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us —whatever we ask— we know that we have what we asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15 (NIV)
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Horsey2 - If you could use the "edit" option on your last post (even on your first post, too) and then separate each post into several paragraphs, it would be a LOT easier to read, and others might be more inclined to respond, also. It's a little intimidating to read 78 lines of continuous text.

How do you feel about doing some detective work? What was your family (or to be more specific, your husband's) method of handling finances? Do you know where to look for receipts, contracts, investment info, etc.?? If so, you should do that, and make copies immediately. Then replace the originals back where they came from - all hopefully within an hour or so. You want to make sure you get the full picture of all his assets; sometimes these things give a trail to other assets, too. This will help you in the bargaining process, with or without a lawyer.

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Your H. knows very well what he's got to lose if he can't intimidate you into backing down. Considering his past history of violence towards you, he's very much into power and control.

Your H. was making more than you. Yet, when you talked about all the things you've paid for....he most certainly has either drank away his money or invested it somewhere! He had reasons for keeping you in the dark about his finances. Also, it doesn't matter if the house is in your husband's name only. It's marital property. As for him getting part of your business assets due to an increase in the business value...yes...that increase would be considered. But, as part of an overall asset distribution.

For example. My exH and I were in a 50-50 state. I owned a part time business. Didn't make much at all, but I had some profit. That profit was included in the overall value of combined assets. When it is decided how much would be coming to each of you....you could decide to "trade off" equal value properties/assets, e.g., $9,000.00 business profit for $9,000.00 less equity on the home. Or you could "buy out" the other person's part of the property/asset, e.g. Buy up their equity in the house if you or he wanted to continue to live there.

50-50 division also includes combined DEBT. For example, if there are credit cards which have balances, that debt is divided up.

I don't know how judges are in your state. In mine the court is very firm about the other parent paying child support, if it has been determined that support is owed. They don't readily agree to you signing off on that.

You definitely have a great deal more coming to you than you husband wants to pay. But, as you said, it might not be worth the hassles.

My dear friend had to make a decision about that sort of thing. She and her H. had one child together. Her husband cheated on her, and started getting weird and threatening her. His wasn't physical, but used sick mind games to intimidate her. He didn't really want their son. Rarely saw him. He had a personal injury lawsuit pending that could bring in millions of dollars. My friend and their child would be entitled to part of that settlement if/when it went through.

Finally my friend decided it wasn't worth all the emotional stress to her and her son. She did take into consideration that she was making this choice on her son's behalf also. He was only 4. She had to step back and decide if it would be fair to her son for her to turn down a settlement on his behalf. She wanted full custody of their son. She knew her husband would let that happen if she backed down. So, she did. She's never regretted her decision, even when in debt.

If you want assets it seems like you're going to need an attorney. Your H. isn't going to fight fair or clean. If it's not worth the hassle, you might settle between yourselves. You might want to consider, however, having an attorney review the paperwork on a settlement before you sign anything.

I wish you the best. You and your child deserve better.

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Horsey:
Your husband is probably a narcissist.
http://groups.msn.com/NARCISSISTICPERSONALITYDISORDER/home.htm
You are trying to deal with him like he is a rational human being.

He isn't.

Stop pretending he is.

He has no thoughts for your feelings, you should not worry about his.
Get an attorney and don't deal with him yourself.
Do not listen to his excuses.
Do not try to be nice to him.
Do not try to make it easier on him.
Do not listen to his stories.
Do not let him manipulate you into making things easier for him so you can get what is rightly yours.
STAY AWAY FROM HIM!!!!!!!!!!!

FREE YOURSELF AND YOUR CHILD!
Your interactions with him have no benefit to you. STOP IT!!!!

I am only yelling at you because you seem like such a caring person, but you are too caring for your own good. He will never change, stop expecting him to.


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