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Divorcing - a Male viewpoint

(39 Posts)
Endofmyteather1 Fri 31-May-13 16:26:07

I am a newbie to this site and as a male, I thought it would be good to put across a view on Divorce from ‘the other side’.

I am currently going through a divorce, having been with my ex since 1996, but only having been married to her for 5 years. We went through a great deal together, not least 6 years of IVF in order to have our 2 beautiful girls who are 12 and 8.

We had our ups and downs like all couples and whilst I knew that she could be controlling it was manageable, until that ring went on her finger…. After that it all seemed to change. I was consulted less and less on all things children ; my sole role, according to her, was to provide money. She told me this several times….

Things deteriorated from there really and 3 years ago she told me she didn’t love me…(I constantly ask myself “did she even love me when she married me”?) I have my doubts.

Things got so bad that I eventually, and reluctantly, left in January of this year. For the record, I was always faithful to her. I do have a GF now though.

I have filed for divorce and now she pretty much wants everything. We have a lovely large home with around £160,000 of equity in it. She wants ALL of it on the grounds that “there isn’t enough equity for both of us to buy a house so I should have it all”. (Yes, she did actually say this to me).

She remains in the house and still refuses to put the house on the market and I now have to pay out an extra £1,200pm to rent somewhere else.

On my income I should pay £900pm maintenance but I pay the £1,000 mortgage, the £200 council tax and the family car at a cost to me of £300pm. In addition she keeps all her own income (£500), the child tax credits (£135)and her additional benefits of £460. So that’s over £1,000 she has coming in plus all the bills paid….

However, this is not enough for her. She now wants her legal fees paid but has not put a figure on these so presumably can rack up what she wants, a new car (the current one is a lease car), new kitchen appliances because those in the matrimonial home are integrated, to keep ALL the furniture in the matrimonial home, she wants half my pensions and finally she wants to claim a portion of my £200,000 inheritance. (her entire family’s assets stand at £8.61)
I have paid the £2,500 household bills every month for over 10 years but she does not want the court to take this into account. Her financial contribution has been approximately £500pm. She does want the court to take this into consideration. My non-financial contribution in raising the children should be ignored but hers shouldn’t.

She has also left me with £30,000 of debt and I was out of work for 6 months last year and as a result the debts went in to arrears. Since we split in October last year and I went back to work I have paid out £40,000 to get things back up straight. She has paid nothing but she wants this £40,000 ignored in any settlement.

Ladies, I don’t necessarily want sympathy or advice here, just an acknowledgment and appreciation that there is always two sides to every story… I fully appreciate that divorce has a profound effect on both sides but surely any reasonable person, male or female, can see that this is manifestly wrong??

There is a huge difference between protecting one’s interests and feathering one’s own nest, whilst trying to hide behind the fact that ‘this is in the best interest of the children’.

Children do not require material possessions,large houses,3 plasma TVs and their own games room, they just need love, understanding, affection, encouragement, guidance and to be taught right from wrong.

Sadly the example their mother is setting them is not the best one…

All opinions gratefully received.

DoingItForMyself Fri 31-May-13 16:45:35

There are always 2 side to every story and I appreciate that it all seems very unfair to you. My STBXH would probably think I was being money-grasping too, but as a SAHM for the last 13 years (working P/T when I could) my capacity to earn over the next 25 years is much less than his, so my need for equity & financial support is quite high.

In your situation I would suggest speaking to a good solicitor who can advise what is realistic, they will know how much is too much and can probably save you their fees several times over by making sure it is all done properly with no recourse for her in the future to demand more if your situations change.

Try to think of it not in terms of 'what you have to give her' or 'what she wants from you' - rather that you have both contributed over the years in your own ways and if you come out of it in a new happy relationship, a steady job and some assets (ideally your inheritance as that is what I would like from my divorce too!!) then you've done well.

You are right, the material things are not the most important, but at a time of emotional upheaval it is something concrete to hang onto to stop you feeling that you have lost everything.

Concreteblonde Fri 31-May-13 17:19:27

Oh god OP I'm so glad you've posted and put all us wimmin straight. My opinion is that your Ex wife is a nasty, evil bitch who is out to take all 'your' money and she is the worst mother ever and you deserve to sail off into the sunset without this bitter old hag cramping your style wiv the new luff of your life. She should be forced to move into a 17th floor council flat and forced to eat tesco value ham until she dies old and broken.

I hope you like my opinion and look forward to more of your little pearls of wisdom soon wink

PleaseLetsGoToSleep Fri 31-May-13 18:19:03

I do have sympathy for you op, relationship breakdown is never easy on either party, and if you were a woman we'd all be saying what a despicable arse your ex is. There definitely are two sides to this story I'm sure though. Get yourself to a solicitor asap.

You don't mention your daughters and what access you have to them, are you managing to see them regularly?

corlan Fri 31-May-13 19:19:21

You should have married me!

I'm not only lovely, but I can raise a child on £8 a week. (Well, that's what I get off my ex anyway)

STIDW Fri 31-May-13 19:20:14

Thing is from the legal POV this is a long relationship (marriage + cohabitation before) with a modern relationship considered one of two equals and contributions of both parties usually taken as equal. Equality is leaving both parties on a similar financial footing, not necessarily sharing assets 50:50.

For example if your wife has the responsibility for caring for the children most of the time that may justify her having a larger share of equity. Her earning capacity has been reduced by staying at home to care for children and she won't be able to raise the same amount of mortgage. That means she would need a larger share of the equity to house the children adequately and leave her in a similar position as you. Children shouldn't be expected to live in relative poverty with one parent whilst the other parent lives in relative luxury. If the maintenance you say you should be paying is child maintenance at the CSA rate of 20% your income will be £4.5k and unless you are nearing retirement you shouldn't have difficulties raising a mortgage.

The law doesn't discriminate between men and women. Assets are shared according to a checklist of factors in s25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the priority is the needs of children, in particular for adequate housing. "Needs" plays a big part in divorce settlements and when there is a discrepancy in incomes assets are often shared in favour of the less wealthy spouse whatever their gender.

lizzie479 Fri 31-May-13 20:53:07

It seems like all you are talking about is money and the financial implication of the divorce. I was not married to my fiance and we were together thirteen years, I gave up a promising career to be a SAHM. Then we broke up due to his verbal abuse and affairs. Now I am jobless in a recession, he keeps his final salary pension, career, assets in house, just pays csa monies. I am screwed financially and will probably never recover. Women don't always win and men don't always win. In divorce and relationship break up where children are involved everyone loses out, especially the children. You have a new girlfriend, presumably you have regular contact with your kids, your career, some money in the bank, your health? If you feel its unfair change your solicitor, challenge it. Divorce is the ugliest thing and wreaks havoc. You just have to dust yourself off chalk it up to experience and count your blessings.

AuntieStella Fri 31-May-13 21:03:03

You've missed out a couple of other sides.

Those of your DC, and their need for a roof over their heads.

chocoreturns Fri 31-May-13 22:11:36

While I have sympathy for your obvious pain, I'm afraid there is no point in trying to give a perspective from 'the other side', particularly not to all us 'ladies' here on mumsnet.

There is no 'other side' in divorce. Every one is different. Yours seems particularly unpleasant and I'm sorry for your experience, but the way you pose it, as 'a male viewpoint' (ie, yours) sound like you believe you are speaking for all men going through divorce.

This comes across as though you believe you are somehow going to give a sweeping window of insight into all men's experience of divorce and is frankly offensive. Most posters here talk about their own personal experience and ask for advice (which is always freely and generously given) whether they are male or female.

I'm not sure if you meant to sound quite as pompous in that respect as you do, but it's hard to know what response you're looking for - support and advice for your own situation, or a general 'woe to all mankind' aren't women bitches sort of reply. If it's the former, I'm sure you can get specific advice if you ask for it. If it's the latter, you're likely to get short shrift here.

I've been screwed by my ex as well, and it's hard and painful to adjust to the new reality, but adjust we do. Bear in mind the ones who do the screwing over actually move on less than the ones who learn to let go - that's not a flippant statement, it's just been my experience.

CoalDustWoman Fri 31-May-13 22:22:51

Is your ex a mumsnetter?

It's quite amusing, in a tragic way. Whilst I hear that you are struggling through all of this, your impulse was to educate us women about what men go through, rather than seek assistance, which is most the type of post most often found here. You're not the first, and you won't be the last. In fact, your post is so common in its intent and delivery, even if it's not a replica in its detail. Do you think, perhaps, that this attitude might have got you where you are?

BTW, your house is an asset. You should continue to contribute to the mortgage to protect your interest. Think of this part of the separation in legal terms. Find out what the law is, and proceed as it sees fit.

But, above all, think of the interests of the children. If your ex "benefits" as a results of the measures you put in place to make sure they are OK, swallow it. They are the ones that are most important here.

ivykaty44 Fri 31-May-13 22:38:37

Woman do understand that there are two sides to every story, you didn't really need to be so patronising and come here to tell us that.

You seem bitter that your wife fell out of love with you and then told you this news, what did you want her to do? keep it to herself and carry on being married regardless of the effect on both of you? Surely you can now be with someone who is in love with you and that would make you happy?

You want to pay towards your dc upbringing? What do you want for paying more than some and less than others? If you love your daughters unconditionally then it would not matter one iota but the very fact you mention money and how much you pay shows you begrudge paying that money for your own children

Sadly you come over as a chauvinist and that is not the best one to be setting your daughters.....

Chubfuddler Fri 31-May-13 22:43:01

Children may need love, understanding blah blah blah but that won't put food in their bellies or clothes on their backs. Cold hard cash does that.

Concreteblonde Fri 31-May-13 22:49:58

Of course his Ex wife is a Mumsnetter - they always are when this type of crap is posted.

Sparklypinknails Sat 01-Jun-13 14:43:10

I especially enjoyed the part about the wife making less financial contribution <face palm>

ivykaty44 Sat 01-Jun-13 14:45:47

sparklypinknails - it is only ever about the financial side

EleanorHandbasket Sat 01-Jun-13 14:46:53

It's tether.


Lioninthesun Sat 01-Jun-13 14:51:48

Love the bit about HER wanting £900 for the kids. Only because on his salary that is what he can afford.
You have made me laugh, thanks.

If a man has the slightest thought that his future wife is spoilt/money grabbing why does he marry her? Looks? Sexual favours?

juneau Sat 01-Jun-13 18:36:56

You need a good lawyer OP. The law is generally pretty fair and any decent judge will ensure that each partner can live and not be completely ripped off by the other. It sounds like you ex has done a good job of emasculating you for years and you're now living in fear of her getting everything, but take a deep breath and let the lawyers sort it out. Generally speaking, the assets accrued during marriage should be divided in half. Yes, there are two sides, but judges are used to seeing the wood for the trees.

Jux Sat 01-Jun-13 18:56:23

Mediation mediation mediation.

Concreteblonde Sat 01-Jun-13 18:56:48

Silly Juneau - the Op doesn't want ADVICE wink

lizzie479 Sat 01-Jun-13 21:17:42

Should these threads be entertaining? They certainly are to me. Thanks ladies you made me chuckle smile

lizzie479 Sat 01-Jun-13 21:18:18

Oops I meant to say THIS THREAD !

SisterMonicaJoan Sat 01-Jun-13 21:51:37

On my income I should pay £900pm maintenance but I pay the £1,000 mortgage, the £200 council tax and the family car at a cost to me of £300pm. In addition she keeps all her own income (£500), the child tax credits (£135)and her additional benefits of £460. So that’s over £1,000 she has coming in plus all the bills paid….

So you DON'T pay maintenance then? As a pp said, you should still be contributing / ensuring the mortage gets paid but you have decided to pay that and not the maintenance then hmm

Any benefits she receives is due to her now-single income which she will be entitled too to pay for the day to day upkeep of her family. I assume she is now paying the water bill, elecricity, gas, uniforms, pocket money, food, clothing, shoes, haircuts, cinema trips etc.. Or did you mean to include this when mentioning "plus all the bills paid"?

And you haven't even mentioned the access arrangements for your children!

You sound mean.

Lioninthesun Sat 01-Jun-13 22:08:57

I also love the "she keeps all her own income (£500)" wink
Lucky woman, she gets pocket money when you can clearly afford to spend out over £3k a month on mortage, bills, rent for you and a rental car. You aren't even saying you can't afford it! Just you begrudge her!
I would love to know what other benefits she gets considering you guys appear to own a mansion! games room
I would also argue the example their father is setting them is to be a male chauvinist pig and try to screw them and their mother out of the lifestyle he has made them accustomed to.
But you won't be coming back from the looks of it, just wanted to wind up your ex.
What a great role model!

Concreteblonde Sat 01-Jun-13 22:11:07

Obviously the new squeeze has vair expensive tastes grin

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