role reversal - divorce(16 Posts)
This is my first MN posting. I'd be really grateful for your help out there.
Story: I work in a professional job in a rural area. H is totally lazy. I employed full-time nanny until our youngest started school even thought H wasn't really working at all. so, H cannot claim to be main-carer, in reality. DCs are girl 12 and boy 10. I left my H 7 months ago now and rented cottage, leaving H in matrimonial home, which belongs to me. H was alcoholic and abusive. I was at end of tether. We agreed 50:50 parenting split of DCs. DD fine (12) spends 50/50 me and H but DS (10) is siding with H and although I see him for 2 afternoons a week he won't stay the night with me (as DS thinks I'll come home if he won't support me in my new house - lots more to tell here). Severe case of parental alienation.
I have been good and calm. I work hard. H is charming, handsome wastrel.
Has anyone out there had similar experience?
H refuses to left DCs be told of divorce and if I do it alone with them then it will all be my 'fault' - again!
H is clearly suffering from personality disorder. We are seeing consellor/mediator, who agrees with me that H has major 'issues'.
I have vg divorce solicitor. H and I have gone through mediation and got DN. H is only just now agreeing that we will divorce. I am going to have to pay H big slice of my wealth and ongoing-maintenance (but...worth it!). All assets in my name as he is drunken sot and I realised early in marriage that he was dreadful with money. The stories I could tell you would make your hair curl.
Any thoughts - anybody??????????????????
PS I'm not as tough as I sound but cracking-up isn't an option.
Why one earth would you have to pay him maintenance?? He can work can't he? I am not so sure your solicitor is that good if you are having to do that and pay out such a big slice of your wealth (I don't agree men should do this for women either)
Tell your children of your divorce as they are old enough to understand and that is far better than lying and have them keep expecting you will get back together.
Sorry you are going through this. It is shite but does get better
You sound like you are coping admirably with a really tough situation, it is so hard when parents are not on the same page with the kids. Divorce is tough and all situations are different, but as has been said it does get easier.
I agree you need to be honest about the divorce, especially if your son believes you will get back together.
H is super-scared of work and claims he is seeting up a (posey) consultancy businees (which is all rubbish, frankly ) The problem with work is that he'll have to function in the real world which will burst his protective bubble. I've been trying to get him to work for ages and ages and that is part of the bigger picture too. He thinks he is entitled to the life of a country gent. There is no end to his self-delusion.
Re maintenance: sit'n maybe not as black as I painted it. There are strict legal formulae re spousal-maintenance and I am limiting (I hope) what I am paying him into the future. He has earning capacity but the rules are that non/low earning spouse entitled to 1/3rd of total income of H & W - at least initially. am hoping to pay him off and get him out of my life for ever.
The point is: let it be a warning to all those - 'career women' (hate the expression - have ever heard of 'a career man'?) who are the main breadwinner that the legislation designed to provide financial support to abandonned-SAHMs can be used against the 'career mother' by the unscrupulous idle man.
I've no experience but whilst you called your thread divorce reversal I feel there will be many more of these as women work more.
I think your DS is at an age where he is just being stuborn - he sees it as boys v girls. He will soon see that your ex is not as much fun to be around and doesn't look after him like you do... or does he give him the unhelpful free rein that you wouldn't? how long as he not been wanting to be with you?
On a more serious note - given you say he was an alcoholic and abusive are there any safeguarding concerns about your DC? What ideally do you think is best happening now?
Why are you sending your children to an abusive alcoholic with a personality disorder?
I am in not dissimilar financial situation, however, my kick ass solicitor has got a clean break agreement (much preferred by the courts) I'm wondering why your solicitor hasn't gone for that?
Thanks for all your responses.
Yes, I'm in the UK.
Realise that I made error in heading this conversation thread 'role reversal' because that isn't the reality although to those outside it could look like the position - i.e. me at work and him at home. It's certainly the line he is playing. The point is that he has been a pretty useless father all round (except in his head). He's also been financially irresponsible.
I'm OK on the legal side and my solicitor is doing what she can within the somewhat restrictive framework. eg you have to do mediation before you can go to court.
H and I have agreed 50:50 with the children and it is a mattter of practical implementation.
I think it is just that DS is being stubborn. I have spoken to friends who are social workers, teachers of that age group etc and it is a known and understood 'syndrome' for that age group. Softly softly is the best route rather than going nuclear at this stage as that in itself can exacerbate the situation.
i'm just trying to keep calm and behave well - easier said than done in the sit'n.
Please all of you keep posting on this subject - it really helps me feel sane and that I'm doing the right thing. Everyone in my non-cyber life is being great and reassuring but this is good too.
I thought spousal maintenance only applied when children are pre-school age.
You do not have to go to mediation before going to court - your solicitor is very wrong there. I am just about to get my decree absolute from my second husband and have not been to one mediation session.
Once children are at secondary school the court deems it possible for the SAH Parent to be able to find work as the children are considered old enough to get themselves home and let themselves in. Any spousal maintenance agreement normally stops then or is reduced greatly at that stage. Child maintenance payments stay in place until children leave full time education.
Is your solicitor aware that your husband is an alcoholic? I would not wish to leave my children with an adult who must regularly be in a state where he could not look after them responsibly. It is not healthy for these children to be left to grow up with an alcoholic father, however difficult that makes child care arrangements.
And why are you not telling your children you are getting a divorce? Because your alcoholic husband thinks it might damage them? You do not need your husbands permission to talk sensibly to your own chikdren and help them understand the situation. You are letting tour husband abuse you still even though you have left him. You do need to get tough here and be the responsible parent. You say your husband was an alcoholic, was abusive and has a possible personality disorder? Unless in the 7 months since you left he has been in extreme counselling then he is still those things.
I would seriously consider getting advice from another solicitor as your one seems to be enabling your husband to control the situation and possibly risk your children too.
Your children need you to be strong for them, you need to fight for their right to a safe and happy childhood.
mediation is a must when legal aid is involved isn't it?
Perhaps I'm being a bit simple here but can you explain to me why ex is in possession of your house?
Why did you not just kick him out in the first place?
Is there some way you can reclaim possession of your house?
Warning bells for me too re. your solicitor - at the very least I'd seek a 2nd opinion. You need somebody to fight your corner!
Confusion over mediation: you DON'T have to go through the mediation process. By law, you DO have to attend something called a MIAM, which is a meeting to determine if your case is suitable for mediation. But only those mediators who hold a particular qualification can do MIAMs, and if there is no such mediator within a 15-mile radius you don't have to bother. Since you are in a rural area, I think there is a good chance that there are no MIAM mediators nearby - I'd check this out.
I know we've only heard a bit of the story, but if I were you, I'd avoid mediation in any case. Simply because from what you have written, it sounds like your husband is calling all the shots.
I think in long run is better to be honest with your kids why things didn't work with your ex.
I feel he is making you a monster i.e. - walked out leaving poor ex looking after them...
is it possible that this is the way he is talking about you painting himself a saint?
is he driving kids to school in the mornings not quite sober?
I would report him if that's the case
I believe it is always useful to get second opinion on legal matter esp. if you are going to see ex walking away with a lot of money
becareful thankyou for making me feel a bit better about my own situation. At least I'm still in my house and H is earning even though he is erratic about seeing dd and paying for her. Much of your story could be mine though. I feel as if we should be telling all girls starting their careers never get married and always ensure that you retain financial independence.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.