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13 year Relationship Ended and one confused Dad

(65 Posts)
DarthDad Wed 31-Jul-13 05:54:08

Hello all, first post so I'll try and keep it brief but I would love for some advice and perspective about my recent problem.
Myself and OH have been together for 13 years, married for 7 and have a wonderful 3 year old DS.
When DS was one there were significant strains happening in our relationship, arguments, tension and general ill feeling. We were living in Yorkshire with our respective families from Manchester and the Midlands. OH was so desperately unhappy and wanted to move back to the midlands.
We put the house up for sale in 2011 and I began looking for a new job. As things progressed the tension grew worse and we decided that she and DS should move down to the midlands and I would follow.
We got her setup in a tiny house in the same village as her Mum and I would work up North during the week and stay with them from Friday until Monday and obviously when I had any holidays. It was difficult but the changes soon made themselves apparent and OH was a lot happier and was getting back to her normal self, we got DS into a fabulous nursery and all I had to do was keep looking for that elusive job.
5 weeks ago I started my dream job, it let me work from home, pick DS up from nursery and spend more time with OH. Life was finally getting back on track.
Last Sunday after a family day out she announced that she didn't love me, wanted to be on her own and wanted me out of the house.
That has been all the explanation I've had, we spoke about seeing a councillor when I moved back in order to address any previous problems but now she will not entertain the idea. So I find myself in pieces, in a town where I only know her family and back to square one.
So much for keeping it brief, I'm lost and broken and would love for your thoughts and advice, you seem to be a friendly bunch on the whole.

skyeskyeskye Sat 03-Aug-13 23:35:54

Sorry you have discovered that but it confirms suspicions that there was somebody else. If you get a chance to save it print any if it then do so. It will give you proof of adultery.

I am so sorry for you. Facebook and mobile phone bills was how I discovered contact with OW and my XH.

Stay strong now and concentrate in your D'S and how you can best see him etc.

AdoraBell Sun 04-Aug-13 03:32:35

Sorry it's turned out that way. As already suggested concentrate at maintaining your relationship with DS and well done for taking him to the party. There'll be no reason to miss out on 'your' weekend because there's a party for him attend as you've set the precedent.

crushedpetals Sun 04-Aug-13 07:56:14

FWIW, you are talking about a marriage which was so bad your ex left to move back to her parents without you two years ago, and neither of you appeared to address the issues. You have essentially been a weekend dad since then, and you are saying you would not have moved had you known.

Hello? You are now close enough to see your son more, pick him up from nursery etc, and be part of his life. What if she had dumped you before you got the 'dream job' and moved? You would end up an EOW dad. So, what is important here?

Yes, it is shit to find out there is someone else (been there), but try and focus on your ds here. Get good legal advice. Be part of his life. Be glad you moved and can do that, because actually if you were still living and working away, it would be much harder.

Sorry if that sounds unsympathetic, as I know you must be shocked. But you can turn this around to be a good thing for your ds, honestly.

DarthDad Sun 04-Aug-13 08:15:56

Had a terrible nights sleep unsurprisingly and lots of things playing on my mind.
She works Saturdays and we have agreed that we will split the weekends 50/50 with advance notice if I have to work away, which I do on rare occasions. Obviously there's no way I don't want to see DS but she is expecting me to have him every saturday and on the weekends i'm not due to have him return him when she finishes work. I'm happy to do that when I have my own place but I don't want to spend any more time at her house than necessary. I'm concerned that if I don't agree this will affect things later down the line.

I'm so sorry - it hurts like hell when this happens. I second all the advice above, get proper legal advice as soon as possible, and maximise the time you spend with your ds. She doesn't sound like she is going to go down the amicable route, and you need to protect yourself.

When I was in a similar position my solicitor advised I was entitled to 50% of marital assets (more if I was the main carer for a child), spousal maintenance until such a time as I was able to re-establish my career (he suggested minimum 2 years), and child maintenance. It doesn't matter who's name is on assets and debts, they all go in the pot. It might be a bit different if you brought very different amounts into the marriage, I'm not sure about that.

Get legal advice - I went to a top London firm and they gave me a free initial appointment to discuss my situation, the legal process, a broad brush picture of my rights, and likely settlement.

I feel for you, no one can understand how this feels unless they have been through it. I'm an emotionally tough person, and find it easy to shut the door on my feelings, but my DH's affair ripped my heart out.

crushedpetals Sun 04-Aug-13 08:35:04

See a solicitor before you agree to anything. Key for your ds is consistency, so you need an arrangement which works regardless of work commitments, I would suggest.

drasticpark Sun 04-Aug-13 08:40:05

She sounds like she's got it all planned out. Very clever. She's probably already decided when she's going to tell everyone that she's met a "new" man too.

Stuff her. You are ds' dad, not the babysitter. Think about what is best for your ds, not what she wants now. See him as much as you possibly can. What you agree to now is not set in stone. These things can change and evolve.

onefewernow Sun 04-Aug-13 09:04:47

I think you need to put her wants and needs out of your mind for one minute. Right out! Blank.

Now, what do you want out of this divorce? Write it down.

Only now, and not before, compare what she wants and what you want.

If any bits match up, good. As to the rest, there will have to be compromise somewhere, on both sides.

You are not a side puppet in her life story. And definitely get legal advice, and also do ask the solicitor to separate your finances ASAP, so you don't get lumbered with more of her bills for running around.

crushedpetals Sun 04-Aug-13 09:25:47

It is not about what he wants and she wants as regards contact, though, it is about what is in the best interests of the child. A good lawyer will help OP keep that in mind, whilst protecting his interests.

onefewernow Sun 04-Aug-13 09:29:13

I agree.

onefewernow Sun 04-Aug-13 09:31:49

That said, kids are adaptable, and it isn't just about what suits her life. On the other hand there is no need to be difficult on purpose.

I think the OP is well advised to think through what would suit him too, as currently his ex wife has given him a muddled and dishonest story , and simply wants him to fit in around her life and financial plans.

stepmooster Sun 04-Aug-13 09:50:47

OP my DH ex tried to screw him for absolutely everything, she too checked out of their marriage, established a new partner and then tossed my DH to the kerb.

She even got DH to take out loans in his name when she was already having an affair.

DH was too nice to start with, but after a bloody good chat with a decent solicitor he stood up for himself and never backed down.

We got together half way through a 3 year legal battle. Some things that may be relevant to your situation.

If your ex works and pays her own bills etc then she won't get spousal support. You were only married for 7 years and you could even say separated for 2 of them? My DH was married for 10 years and it wasn't classed as a long marriage so the assets got split 50/50.

What did happen in my DH case is that he got a charge on the former matrimonial home. But as it looks like your ex doesn't live there and covers her own rent (may have misread) I cant see why you can't split your assets and only provide child maintenance. Both parties are entitled to want money from the settlement to rehouse, and please this has to be somewhere suitable for your child to stay. Aim higher than some grotty bedsit, and work your way down from there.

Also my DH agreed as part of settlement that the ex pay him a set amount each month to cover the debts she made him take out. So I would say it doesn't matter whose name your debts are in but push from the beginning that she takes ownership.

DH also named his ex's affair partner right from the beginning as to why marriage brokedown, and although your ex may never move in with him, but if they do co-habit that will certainly make a difference.

DH ex denied their relationship at first but as the settlement dragged on as DH stayed firm and years started to tick by the ex had to finally admit to co-habitting, which they had started to do not long after divorce proceedings commenced. His finances were then taken into account when it came to the ex's housing needs. Of course I had to disclose mine as well, but the point is you want a fair settlement that is right for everyone.

I would from now on keep all communication business like, and preferably in writing. Don't discuss the divorce with your ex unless via solicitor or at least upon their advice. Keep direct communication about your son and make sure the only person prone to rants and silly demands is your ex. You need to be seen as being reasonable, the judge will soon work out if you do that it is the ex whose out to get everything they can whilst you are only being fair.

Good luck, and I hope you get yourself a good solicitor to fight your corner. X

AndTheBandPlayedOn Sun 04-Aug-13 17:03:34

Hello Darth,
I don't have any experience or advice to offer.
I read the thread last night and have been thinking about you and these awful circumstances you are enduring. I can only offer sympathy/empathy for how devestated you must feel at having been so thourouhly betrayed, tricked, and played by the mother of your son.

From what you have written, you do not have anything to apologize for; that is all on her.

Good luck to you and I hope you will have peace in your life with your son very soon.

DarthDad Fri 09-Aug-13 13:23:46

Thanks all for the advice and help, it means an awful lot.
I went to see a solicitor this morning and that's helped me a lot in terms of what I need to do and get from this now. My main hurdle is getting her to agree to mediation. If she truly wants to keep it amicable then it shouldn't be a problem but as many of you have pointed out, she's clearly had this planned for months/year but hopefully I have a handle on it now.
3 weeks ago I really didn't know where I was but now I feel like I have a plan and goals to achieve. Thank you all so much. You should all run the country or something? Perhaps start a mumsnet coffee shop and build the empire from there?

NatashaBee Fri 09-Aug-13 14:24:34

That is great advice from stepmooster. Aim high in terms of where you need to live, who gets what share of any assets and what you want her to pay towards any joint debts, and work downwards if you have to negotiate. That's not being unfair to her, that's taking equal responsibility for debts incurred during your relationship and ensuring you BOTH have a reasonable place for your son to stay when he is with either of you.

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