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Big, but temporary, financial change. Should I postpone divorce?(123 Posts)
Global Guy, always too busy to be a husband or a dad (about 5 nights home per month for the last three years), has left the marriage, declaring one year ago that he didn't love me anymore.
Now he has finally said that it's over and he wants to divorce, but he hasn't filed papers yet. Last week, I discovered that his income for next year, always determined at this time of year, will be a lot less. He's a partner in a big global firm and paid based on their profits, which to no one's surprise I'm sure, have taken a nose dive.
This means that whereas I thought I would be financial secure, I may not be, all for a (hopefully) temporary blip in income. We might not be able to ensure that I keep the house AND pay for his new place AND pay for what will surely be an expensive divorce. As an ex-banker and mgt consultant myself (though gave up work 9yrs ago to be full time mum to 3 DD's, 13,11 and 5) I manage all our money and I know we cannot do it all.
This house, absolutely lovely and the result of a creativity I never thought I had, means a lot to me AND the girls. They are very upset at the thought of moving, and GG has said we do not have to move.
On his residence, he has been sleeping on friends' sofa in London for the last 6 mos and is desperate to find somewhere to live, but on the verge of signing for a 1 bedroom flat, fully furnished on the East side of London (we live 60 mi SW of London..) I told him that was NOT on. So now, he's looking for somewhere W of London....
On divorce side, we both have London sols....and have agreed to go through the collaborative process, though I'm still questioning whether all his lying denial, procrastination and running away, will make this avenue possible. We have been given scary cost figures by our sols if we cannot go collaborative.
Two months ago, when he finally told me that he wanted out, and I told him that HE had to file papers and not me, that I was NOT the one leaving the marriage it was him, I felt some sort of catharsis. My efforts to find the key to make him realise what a mistake he was making, were over, and I felt better. However, now that I face financial insecurity for a temporary blip in income, I'm wondering whether I can face postponing our divorce for a year, allowing him the opp to find a place where he can be a dad...
However, I sooooo want to move on. I want to leave this limboland and put everything into some predictability for my girls, getting him to be in more frequent contact with them...Any thoughts????? (sorry for the long opening...these things are so involved, aren't they?)
I'm not sure that the divorce really affects your ability or inability to fund the 2 houses. If your husbands income dips next year then divorce or not you may have affordability issues. If you continue with a collaborative divorce that will stop those costs escalating.
If you press on you would at least have a guaranteed income for your children. You've obviously had a career pre-children. Are you working now? If not can you return to work to help ensure you can stay in the house?
Sorry you are in this situation K.
You can start legal proceedings to apply for a divorce and get to decree nisi separately to agreeing a financial settlement, after which you can apply for the decree absolute.
So the divorce does not need to be held up by an a financial settlement. It will probably take a year anyway, so by this time next year you could be making the final financial arrangements when you know the following year's income.
Why do we women so often take on the responsibility of the relationship dads have with their offspring? I don't think it's down to you to make sure he sees your DCs - in fact by the sound of it unless they're willing to do some serious airmiles, he's not in the country frequently enough for the opportunity to even be there. That's HIS choice. YOU can't change that - only he can. So i'd have minimal expectations that even divorced, his behaviour to his DDs will change.
You need a good solicitor that you are confident in. Get one soon who can advise you in detail. Mediation should cost a fraction of going to court.
Thanks pickaday and pickgo. The rather large dip in income would have normally affected our lifestyle, as of course these things do. It's just that the circumstances are requiring us to ALSO fund a deposit on a house, AND the legal fees. I hear you on the possible affordability issues next year. It's just so strange that the income has gone down....and I really can't see it staying there...maybe I'm being too naive. Point really taken, (I'm in v serious thought, which is what I really need, so thank you ) but he's got to find accommodation and if he rents, it's just more cash out the window, approximately the same as a mortgage payment, for nothing. At least if he buys this second home, and I'm on the deed, I have a better chance of keeping this one when we do divorce???
As for work, I'm dying to go back but my (very good) sols is telling me not to make any noise about this until all is settled. I know that if I want to keep this house in the long term, I have to go back to work and as DD no 3 5yrs old, I'm very ready to do that. I just feel that this is such a great asset and will be there to protect me way further down the line. Also, would feel more independent when entering into (hopefully) a new relationship. My gut feeling is to start trying to get back into work, but I need to hold off, which, if we postpone divorce, I need to hold off even more. I think I need to have another discussion with my sol in light of the new events. Just trying to keep those costs down. I think I will.
As for his relationship with the children...I agree with you, but i can't bear this neglect. He had the children for a one week holiday and they came back over one week ago. Despite completely being in the country, he has still not rung them. Can you believe it? We're talking big exec, highly educated, seriously nice man, absolutely loved by everybody (including me, for the greater part of our marriage) who is just completely running away from any responsibility. I just don't get it. His first marriage broke up in a similar way, but when we got together, he called his two DC every night at 7pm UK time wherever he was. Why won't he do this for our children? Even if my two older DD have their own phones - it's not like he has to go through me????? I feel like he's so lost, unhappy guilty etc. I'm not trying to fix him anymore but I can't bear the fact that he won't talk to our gorgeous DD's....very sad now and in tears.
Do you know why his income will go down next year? You don't think there is any way he could have orchestrated this (taken a lower base salary, more in bonus, deferred benefits) so that it was a low baseline for the financial settlement to be based on? Hopefully not.
I agree you need to discuss your work position with your solicitor. I can see where they are coming from but if there is a lengthy delay then at some point that length of time out of the workplace could be difficult to recover from. So you might have a harder time of it financially in the longer term.
Found you Kaelle.
pick is right, the divorce process is seperate to the financial side of things. If your H petitions you, then he also gets precedence over when the absolute is declared (within reason, but he could petition 6 weeks and one day after nisi whereas you can't apply for 4 and a half months and then his sol could make representation to the court to delay it if your H wanted to). Be careful he doesn't also petition for you to pay the costs as well though - his right as the petitioner depending on the grounds - which are what btw? As I understand it, unless there are grounds for UB you have to wait two years, but I may be completly off bat here. If it were me, I'd petition him tbh, but that's my bias. It just puts you more in control of some of the process.
My first thought when reading your post, I'm sad to say, is that this 'blip' may well be a deliberate attempt to force you to sell up and split the costs, or at least a manipulation of the real situation. Someone here once posted that ultimately it comes down to money, and this is where the power imbalance has been whilst you've been out of the job market.
WRT to your returning to work, well, I was faced with a similar dilemma and I have had to take a higher paid job right in the middle of mediation, before the settlement, and I've got to declare my salary in the disclosure. There was no getting around it really, unless i wanted to remain financially more dependent on XH's 'generosity' for x years rather than on myself. In the end I weighed it all up and went for a job which will pay me more even though my XH will probably try and negotiate the settlement down when he finds out. Unfortunately, I've come to realise that there are no winners in divorce, everybody loses out in some way. But you have the DC's with you so the sols/courts would house you adequately first I think and they may even suggest you try and find work any way if it allows you to stay in the home you love.
It makes me spit that these blokes just walk away though. Sorry, but your H seems to want it all - not be married, not share responsibilities for caring for the DC's and maintain his standard of living - and who is worrying about how to achieve the unachievable? You.
So sorry Kaelle. Wish I could help more. I've been there as you know and it's a horrible, horrible feeling to be scared that the one thing which keeps us anchored, our home, may be lost especially in circumstances which aren't of our choosing . Keep posting, we'll be here to listen and talk you through it (((hugs))) to you.
Consider getting a job your kids are old enough. Be financially independent rather than a drain. Divorce means you go it alone not stay entangled. It's wrong.
He is entitled to half any equity. You sound like a money grabber all me me me.
Well I'd advise the opposite re jobs, unless you really want one. It's going to be upsetting and stressful enough over the next few months without trying to start a new job, put childcare in place etc. It will give the DCs more stability if you remain at home a while longer. However if you want the independence and distraction ultimately I think what benefits DCs most is a happy mum.
TRy not to dwell on his neglect of the DCs. It's probably worse for you in some respects because you see the whole picture and know how it should be, whereas your DCs don't know any different and as children accept things more easily. It's not your fault he is like this. And at least your DCs have an excellent, caring mum in you by the sound of it.
Good heavens Fabby, SUPPORT is what this thread should be about. The OP is trying to retain the family home for her 3 DCs not just for her own sake. She's also taking all the responsibilty for the welfare of her DCs while her H swans around the world with minimal concern for them.
The DCs needs will be paramount in a divorce as they are to OP and definitely not to their dad.
Fabby does have a point though. Why is it all down to him? If you want to keep the house thats fine but surely you dont expect him to support you for the next x years when you are capable of working?
If you take over the mortgage, he'll be free to afford more than a one bedroom flat which sounds more fair. Why should he be the only one working yet have nothing to show for it. How can he have the children to stay if he cant afford a place with extra bedrooms because you think he should pay for your lifestyle to continue.
I think you need to be realistic.
But Happy OP has already says he spends only 5 nights pe rmonth in the country and was goin to buy somewhere on the other side of London which would add at least an hour to his DC's journey to him, until the OP remonstrated.
How realistic is it to expect that he will see them much anyway?
Am so sorry that you are in this position. I am potentially heading in that direction also (although currently reconciled). I completely understand your concerns.
Some of the posters don't seem to recognise the fact that you gave up a very good career to stay at home with your children. I see that you worked after having your first two children and wonder did you give up your job because both you and your H wanted the children to have the benefit of a Mum at home full time. Presumably it would have been very difficult for you to keep your career with your husband out of the country so much (or at least if you did, your children would have seen neither parent during the working week).
If you gave up a lucrative career based on 'the bests interests of your family' and it was what your H wanted at the time - then I think you should be compensated financially for this. I think that those people who have children and are happy to walk away from the day to day responsibilities of raising those children are pathetic. I have known a lot of city men to do this (the monotony of day to day family life/relationship/team work is so dull and there is so much fun to be had living a selfish life/doing as you please). Then further down the line they complain when their ex wives 'don't meet all their access needs', when of course it suits them to spend time with their children - enjoying all the fun parts of parenting. Ofcourse I am talking about a small percentage of men and do not mean to generalize. Most men (and women) love their life with their children and appreciate that marriage/life with small children is not one big party and can be exhausting or even a little dull and repetitive.
Given your description of how much travel this man does/has done in recent years and how detached he has been from you and his children, I would seriously consider that he has another woman (possibly in another country). However this is just based on my own experience and possibly paranoid. My H left saying he wasn't 'in love' with me any more (after he had completely detached from us and gradually spent more and more time away, killing our relationship with obnoxious and selfish behaviour). He said on numerous occasions that there was no one else. A couple of months later I found evidence that there was and it was only when I had absolute proof that he admitted the truth. I have to say that we had been together for more than 10 years before having children (since college) and this behaviour was completely out of character. He spent his twenties avoiding lads nights out as he always wanted to be with me. However in his 30's when two small children began to tie him down (mainly me actually) and a crisis in his career he just completely changed. A lot of the behaviour you describe is familiar to me and could stem from guilt.
Do you know the circumstances of his first marriage breakdown?
You have my utmost sympathy. I have no doubt from your post that your a fantastic mother to your DC and know that you will probably do a better job of bringing them up without the day to day example that his behaviour sets.
Wow you girls! Love all the support, and really appreciate the candour. There' so much to respond to...how can I keep this brief? I don't think I can. I'm meeting him tomorrow evening to go over budget-type issues. The very thought of seeing him (like you Wisey), sends me straight into high levels of anxiety.... No, I WON'T CRY TOMORROW!!!!
I know this reduction in income is real. I've seen the official emails at what his monthly draw will be, and I've already incorporated it in my spreadsheet (I'm an excel geek...) I know there's lots that could be picked at because Global Guy is a liar, but he lies to avoid conflict, not to fundamentally be a louse. I have access to everything and there's no way that his firm, a really conservative global firm would monkey around like that. They will have to disclose officially to sols etc and there is no point in manipulating stuff now...
What I really want is for us to buy a second house, convincing him that a bachelor pad in East of London is NOT on - what does he think he's on?? How can such a man not see that he can't just bring three more children into the world (in addition to his first two), and not participate in their upbringing?? We would use a piece of this house's equity and some savings, for him to have his own, proper house where he can have the children. I'm not a money grabber, I'm realistic. I have my practical hat on, but I'm screaming inside right now. It really pisses me off to have to work this through....The issue is: is there a good way to postpone the divorce so that this can happen? I don't see how we can manage doing both! My gut says I can handle it...but I'm not sure. I soooo want to move on. But ultimately, I want to keep the house AND I want him to get himself a house. Surely that's more productive that divorcing right now???
When I stopped working we were in the same careers and earning the same amount of money...I'm not afraid of working and actually really want to go back, but I agree with pickgo (thx ) that there's enough disruption. However, I want to start getting the financial certs I need to work in that field again, and just need to check with sols that this will not be held against me. Wisey, I hear what you're saying about work, and we all know you did the right thing - good for your ego, good for your independence etc, and also you weren't completely sure that his support would be there. I know that if I want to keep this house in the long term, I too have to go back to work. So I will double check w sols, given current situation and see if I can't just go forward, even if I don't tell DC's for a while. They don't need to see me studying do they?
Again, on the money grabber, me-me-me comment Fabby, I think I AM being fair, so do you still think that after knowing a bit more?
It's hard to have lots of empathy for a man who has walked away from a marriage the second time for no real serious reason.... I gave up a great career because actually, I felt he had more potential than I did, and I kinda felt great to have the opp to look after DC's. However, theoretically and if I had a spouse to support DC's at home, I could be earning the same...no joke. But I made a choice, and now that I have, I cannot necessarily go back and create that again (I'm 48 now.....), and do not want to give my DC's to any other carer at this time in the process - I need to get flexible, well-paying work (dont' we all???). Now that we're not together and I'm not investing in him and his career, he needs to do his share with the children, so I can have some head space, and restart my life. His absence has been crippling in that I have lost the person I talked to the most, shared all things about DC's, stopped me from flying off the handle at little things, all those things that a "normally supportive" hubby would do. It's been tough to find the replacement but rewarding too: finding great girlfriends I never knew I had.
So now Wisey, you hit the sore spot. How can these blokes just think they can walk away??? That is what keeps me up at night, and teary during the day. How can he not want to be a dad to my gorgeous girls??? Honestly sad, and as angry and hurt as I am, I'm not doing anything to hinder his contact with the children. But he's in his work bubble, where everyone things he's just the bee's knees; his colleagues all over the world ask him to help out in pitches and he's treated like royalty when he travels. As cool as I can be, I cannot match that kind of admiration....especially when I've felt so neglected. (so who can put on those figurative kitten heels in those circumstances....) Now,all I want is for him to be a dad, and not make me be a single mom. I do not want to be a single mom; I was raised by one and so I know the ins and outs. I really admire all those who are and so I don't want to dish them, but I really don't want to be one...I want to do everything I can to make sure he becomes a more involved dad....i don't want to let him off the hook. And I'm prepared to really name and shame him publicly for that.....
pickgo, I wish there was a symbol to send you lots of love....thank you for sticking up for me.
So back to the postponement of the divorce....Anymore thoughts on the pros and cons of doing this????? Going ahead with the divorce means other deep sacrifices, when this dip in income is temporary.....At the mo, I can't see any other way, so I'm just going to need to get through this next year....moving on, but not really...sucks.
Sioga- you are tip top!! You posted while I had three glasses of wine , while writing the last post. You are so right.
OK. the point about possible OW. He categorically denies. But we know that GG lies when he wants to avoid a conflict. I have a view to all finances and I can't see it. If he's seeing someone and she's in his work hotel and attending his work dinners, then I wouldn't see it...but I even see his expense credit card. Having said that, it would be easy to hide that (that's how we met). I have found viagra in his kit (this was before he stopped staying in the house), and I confronted him....ready for a laugh...it was supposedly for a better wank...we all know that viagra does not a good come make, but i think he experimented. He was hugely embarrassed that I knew and I think there might be some plumbing issues...I honestly don't think there's OW involved.
So as for his first marriage...and I'm going to get hate mail for this...I was the OW. And the circumstances are so similar. However, he just announced to her that he was leaving. With me he went through several therapy sessions and a year of supposedly trying on our marriage when he still couldn't bring himself to do anything constructive to meet my needs, when i absolutely ticked all the boxes of what he wanted changing, including loosing three stone!!! Hallelujia! It was all about how I didn't appreciate him. So yea, a victim of the same process....and now I know, the same issues. Admiration. From my side, there's no emotional giving...
But that, in a way, just doesn't matter to me anymore, even if it hurts tremendously, because I want to move on, and I want him to be a father to our girls!!!!!. For 9 years or so, I never felt so loved in my entire life. We really did have an amazing marriage. Local girlfriends got teary when I told them because they all thought how cool it was that GG was so openly in love w me (not grossly, just in a cool way). I just cannot understand how it went so pear-shaped. So perhaps there is OW. Everyone seems to think so. Even the therapist said: "GG if you're not having an affair, why are you trying so hard to make us believe you are?" But what can you do if he denies? Spend megabucks on private investigators...?oh but you would get me onto the phone hacking topic....basically, the private investigator I talked to said that in normal circumstances he could get me lots of info, but now, all was closed...interesting, don't you think?? Why aren't the phone companies in the news??? They're the ones who are divulging info....???
In a way, I would be relieved if there was an OW. Without one, it's all still such an enigma, and it's harder on me locally. It's as if OW provides some liberation and GF stick by you. Without it, it feels shit. Stupid local GF have made comments about how "bad" I must be if he left me and there wasn't even an OW involved. What can you say to that, except know that those girls will NEVER be GF's!!!!
Let me just repeat...All I want now is for him to be a very present dad to my gorgeous girls.....
Hi K, so sorry you're going through this.
You put a very good career on hold to bring up the children (I did the same). FabbyChic is wrong to say he's entitled to 50% - I saw my sol today, and she made it very clear that I am entitled to spousal maintenance, because I put my career on hold to support ex, bring up our kids, run the home etc. Basically, without my support, he wouldn't be the high flyer he is today. So, rather than me get an amount every month, this will be built into the equity split -and we are going for far more than half.
That aside, I really think you are taking on too much responsibility for his situation here. You need to get tough girl! He has told you that he didn't love you anymore, I know from experience what a kick in the guts, self esteem and heart that is. Personally, I would press ahead with the divorce. He will have to pay maintenance for the girls, and although this may dip, because of his income, it will be a percentage of his monthly take home pay -so if it increases the year after next say, then the maintenance will. If you struggle financially, you may well qualify for tax credits and these can be considerable. Whether he wants to buy a place is his look out. He may have to rent for a while, whether he wants to or not. All you need to focus on is having a home for you and the girls. If the family home is not considerably larger than your needs, then legally you can stay there until youngest is 18. That's the law. That's what's happening to us. We are staying for four years in the family home until youngest is 18. Ex cannot force a sale, as my sol said "no court in the land would allow this to happen". He is having to rent somewhere in the meantime, because he can't get his hands on the considerable equity in the home. Tough. He wanted this, so he can deal with it.
It is horrible when they reject their kids. Something I'm still trying to accept. I'm like a lioness with her cubs - hell hath no fury and all that. He treated me like shit on his shoe for so long, and I took it, but the slightest snub of the kids, and I want to kill him. There is no answer to this - all I know is that you cannot force them to feel what they don't feel. Instead, you have to control what you can - and that is you. You love them enough, you are enough. Believe that. He has lost something so precious, but it's his loss - you can't make it better. The girls will be fine - they have a fantastic mum as a role model.
So detach more, press ahead with the divorce - it's not all about money - sometimes the emotional and mental cost is higher.
Saffy, you're so cool..I have tears in my eyes. There is no question that his success is hugely down to my support, and knowing the business he's in .Sols said I have support, maintenance AND a percentage. I'm lucky in that he's in a partnership...so actually that's an asset built during our marriage. I am going for an ongoing percentage of that asset above and beyond the cash flow issues of children and maintenance. Plus, there's his pension...
Tell me more about taking too much responsibility...I don't get that part...
How can i press ahead with divorce when I could be shooting myself in the foot? Sols said (contrary to first set of advice), that I could shoot for a separation agreement for this year....
Saff is right. I've been given the same advice Kaelle so I won't repeat what she says.
In a way I think your taking on too much responsibility is two-fold. I want to add a rider here, it's early morning, I haven't had much sleep and this may ramble!
First you have been keeping an eye on the finances and that brings with it a responsiblity to ensure they stay within budget. You clearly do it well and can forsee the problems inherent with what GG wants to do, but here's where is goes a bit awry IMO. You are separated (his choice and his responsibility for the consequences to him) but you are jointly responsible that the split doesn't affect the DC's quality of life. Well, we all know that whether we're talking splits between the rich and famous or those on low incomes, there will almost always be a relative or absolute change in the quality of life to those least able to have financial influence - SAHM's (with or without a career under their belt) and those on low incomes with young DC's.
The responsibility you seem to be taking on is that of GG's earning potential and the consequences which arise from that - but he needs to ensure that you and the DC's are looked after first and foremost, before he starts thinking about himself. By virtue of the fact that you have DC's you are going to be dependent on him to some extent for a while and so what really? That was part of the deal, wasn't it? So whilst you cushion him from the blow of the split, you are doing all the worrying and trying to do the impossible. It's not solely your job any more Kaelle, he's got to get on the same page as you now, and pull his bloody socks up. I wonder if getting divorced quickly would mean you would have to hand over the 'control' (I mean that in the positive sense of the word) over the finances to GG, and that's what's scaring you - you'd feel less able to keep an eye on the future if this part of the separation takes place right now.
Second, just as you can't make someone feel something they don't you can't make GG want more input with his DC's than he does now. Whether there's an OW or not, he is currently not thinking of them, indeed, he does come across as mr unavailable all ways up actually, but this is all the more clear when the separation occurs - before you could put it all down to where the work takes him etc, but now, just when you expect him to come out fighting to keep a relationship with his DC's he seems to have feet of clay and you again, are left holding the yearning for that to change. I suspect this is tied into a yearning for him to change his feelings about you maybe - and that's not an accusation but it would be absolutely understandable if you did still want all this to be a bad, bad dream.
Tell me to shut up if this is all rubbish and misses the mark. It is early after all!
When you divorce you become financially independant, he only maintains the children. The marital home if you cannot sustain it yourself is sold and you get a home you can maintain singularly.
You seem to want to maintain the same lifestyle, the fact of the matter is you can't.
You will have less income because you are no longer married.
Your ex deserves his own home of whatever he chooses and that should be purchased by himself not jointly.
Any savings you have will be split.
Be realistic, work on figures that re real not what you want them to be.
No, you are wrong to make a blanket statement like that Fabby.
There are circumstances, particularly where a spouse has given up work to raise children and support the H and home as part of the relationship contract, where spousal maintenance forms part of the settlement, and the OP should be entitled to more than 50% of whatever split there is of the assets if they decide to make the split sooner rather than later when the youngest is 18.
FWIW the OP is being realistic about what's possible, but she's doing it without support from her H and whilst trying to maintain some semblance of normality for her DC's. Don't be so hard on her, it's perfectly natural to resist change when it's unwanted and has potentially disastrous consequences.
Op. First I want to tell you I am bloody impressed. Few people would be as pragmatic and on the ball as you given the devastation that silly man has caused.
Second, do not look for work yet. The children, as you clearly understand need stability. However do not worry about hiding studying. Seeing that mummy is putting effort in to achieve a comfortable life for the whole family can only be 'a good thing'.
Now, money and divorce. You obviously need legal advice but there is lots to consider. Do you think GG is likely to fight less now when he may be feeling guilty rather than down the line when he has adjusted to his new life? Do nit forget that maintenance as long as you do not accept section 28(1) bar can be register in the future. By both parties. I suspect that the immediate concern is capital split really. Where and how he lives is not your problem. Stop being si generous worrying about him you have enough to worry about! Legal fees will make a huge hole in capital so the more you can negotiate without the Courts the better. Have you tried asking him how he sees the next few years will work financially? No harm in putting the ball in his court atm. You could mention to him that the home for your children is your priority; and of course you know it will be his too (yuck!)....
There are three main arms to a divorce settlement regarding the spouse (support for the children being considered first). Capital, pension and spousal maintenance. You sound to me as though you might be willing to relinquish some pension in favour of capital (house). Of course do not say this to him! Just ask him what he sees as fair regarding all three elements and see what you need to negotiate on. He cannot be daft to be holding down such a good job and I suspect he knows you are not daft either! I would major on he avoiding legal fees for now. A friend of mine's divorce has cost £146k so far for both of them. It was a relatively small pot with pension and capital being around £700k!!!! Don't go there if you can avoid it! Stick with legal advice to help you sort it without Court if you possibly can. I expect he will not want to lose capital to line lawyers pockets either.
Bit (ok a lot) waffly. Sorry bro summarise; ask him how it might work out.
iPhone. So sorry re typed rubbish! Hope you can get some sense from it and it helps!
No Wisey, you're not off the mark. You make a lot of sense. Me too, on first cup of coffee, feeling a bit sluggish after last night.....(it's now taken me so long to write this...started at 6:20am, that I am well and truly revved up)
I AM afraid of giving up financial control. I know I'll have to, but he is completely irresponsible about money (in a "I don't want to know" way rather than by being a spender), and the thought fills me with dread.
I also cannot accept that he won't be involved with the children.....my father gave up on us because my mother left him and he was devastated. He couldn't face his hurt, and seeing us was unbearable. So I was raised by my mom, a great woman. However, I don't want to be a single mom. I married GG because he's a fab man, and I WANT him involved with the children. He is not a stupid deadbeat man - I just can't understand how he thinks that he doesn't need to be involved in their upbringing.
I keep rereading both Saffy and Wisey posts, and I am in such a muddle. I'm just emotional today because I'm meeting him this evening, and I can't seem to think straight. I will have to come back to all you points later...it all resonates.
The bottom line is that I just cannot accept that he wants to leave us, as in yes, Wisey, this must be a bad dream. It just seems so unnecessary. I'm still in the mode of just wishing him to have the courage to stay, to realise that it's so unnecessary to leave. I'm no wimp, and I am not stepped on, but we were seriously in love and the last three years have just been years of neglect - he got overly ambitious, stayed in his work bubble and left me to do the rest. I just wish he could see how shallow his work admiration is, and that it's no reason to leave a family. Not putting us first for a period of time is not the end of the world. I don't hate him for it and I certainly wasn't going to leave even though I felt terribly lonely. Shit, women have dealt with way more crap than that and marriages have survived. Why does ours have to break up? I know he was upset with my negativity and moaning during those years, and he cannot overcome that. But over the past year, I have really progressed. I know that I actually am not that needy, and incredibly strong and resourceful. HE's the one who just cannot meet anyone else's needs. I have dealt with many of my issues and am actually in a pretty good place personally, if not devastated as a wife. He sees that and says he's full of admiration and that I'm inspiring...but as he hasn't made any progress personally, he still wants to leave....he promised to see someone himself but hasn't and is just afraid to really tackle his own needs. He hated to be called highly needy by the marriage counsellor we saw. He admitted to it but was seriously shocked by it. Dammit, I don't want to move on...I'm still trying to find the key to unlocking his fears, get him to face stuff and know that I'll journey with him. I don't want to give up on him. And I promise you I am saying this from a position of strength. I've had a tough life, and I'm not afraid to go it alone, but I really value my vows and I want him to just wake up!!! And throughout this, I do not want him to neglect DD's. Damn Damn Damn. Tears again.
Decided to call you Special K from now on by the way!
About the responsibility - well Wisey's said it all. But this jumped out at me: "We may not be able to ensure that I keep the house, pay for his new place and a costly divorce".
Keeping the house, the family home is paramount. Unless the house is far too big for you and the girls, then as I said before, you and the girls are entitled to stay there until youngest is 18. If there is considerable equity in it, then you need to know whether you could sell it earlier, downsize and buy somewhere outright for you and the girls, or whether you would need a mortgage of your own to do this. If so, would you be able to manage that mortgage. Could you manage the existing mortgage on your own, when he pays maintenance? Remember that the clean break higher equity for you on the property could be better than monthly spousal maintenance - you need to look at the figures here, with a solicitor. Basically, you either get the spousal maintenance (which is based on income) monthly, or you get a bigger portion of the equity when you do sell. My solicitor thinks the latter is the better option for us, because I will be able to manage the mortgage myself. Also, she says a lot of "these boys" don't like spousal maintenance and will default on it. So getting it legally tied up with equity is better.
Back to responsibility - "pay for his new place". NO. You don't have to worry about paying for his new place. This is his concern and his only. He has made the decision to split up, he and only he will have to sort out where he lives in the future. No court will put his needs to buy somewhere above providing a family home for you and the girls. So that's what I meant - don't take on the responsibility of what happens to him - he's a grown up, he can deal with it. My ex is sharing a house with others - renting - he hates it, but he put the wheels in motion which drove him there.
Do not, please, agree to anything financial until you have proceeded with the divorce and you have both done the dreaded 'E form' which is the full legal financial disclosure. Then your solicitor will have all the information regarding his pension, his salary, etc. You may be better settling for less equity in the home, if his pension is good, and you can get more from that. Only a solicitor can do this - and they have to get all the details of everything, before they can advise which option is best.
He hasn't filed for divorce yet - he wants out. You want him to be the one to file. Why? Personally, I think it's better to be the petitioner than the respondent - you drive things - you, I believe have the upper hand. It boosted my self esteem hugely to take control here, and be the one to file. What was he going to cite against you? You've got Unreasonable Behaviour against him "I don't love you anymore" is one example.
So, I would focus on you and the girls, and file for divorce. I hear what you're saying about delaying it, and going for a legal separation for a year, but that will add costs and delay the inevitable. You at least need to get to full financial disclosure stage. The courts will only take this document, any figures he comes up with are irrelevant. So personally, I wouldn't talk finances with him at all.
You could file for divorce, get to the financial disclosure stage when you and solicitor have a full idea of what's going on financially. Then you'll know whether to press ahead, or put things on hold. Which you can, by the way.
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