Sat 11 Jun, 2016 10:44 am
I've approached my spouse about a divorce. After a few months of thinking it through and talking about it with her, we still haven't come to a mutual idea of how the logistics of it would work.
We have two school age children and there is a minimum of 10 years of child support. My spouse has only been working a part-time job for the last few years, after losing her full-time employment.
We have one residence that has some equity in it, but once sold and the real estate fees paid, there isn't much left. We have little to no debt. About equal as far as retirement funds go. I provide the bulk of the income, insurance and other benefits.
Cash wise, we don't have a lot to show (pay check to pay check). Most of our equity is not liquid (house, cars, IRA's, 401k's). So, there isn't enough income for her to move out or for me to move out.
I keep getting pushed from a friend that I just need to do it and push her into it. I have the support of my family and friends in my decision to want to leave my spouse (which is very important to me), but I don't want to be vindictive or completely destroy my children's lives for my own gain.
Is it really not that complicated? Am I making too big of an issue out of it?
I don't enjoy the idea of losing everything we've both worked for. I don't know how she could keep the family home on her own. I couldn't myself with child and spousal support payments. Plus, with paying that and lawyer fees, I'd be stuck living back in my parent's house, which is not something I really want to do.
I'm really not in a rush. My spouse has pretty much backed off and let's me do what I want at this point. She has been looking for full-time employment, but looking and getting a job are two different things. I'm not harping on her to rush and get a job, but we do talk about the job hunt and what would be best for her and the kids.
Do you think this is the best approach, or is cutting the cord and retaining an attorney and file better in the long-term?
Kind of a paradox. You want to leave her but you want to make sure she and the kids are alright. You don't want to hurt her. Is it possible to stay together? You say you're not in a hurry to separate, and are willing to stay together until your financial situation is resolved, why not just forget the divorce and work out a living situation that is acceptable to you both? I realize that this is not your question, but if you can stand it, why put yourself and your family through all that?
Check whether mediation is offered in your area.
Already consulted a mediator. It's about $8k total and just not in the budget, since they require deposit and 3 additional payments through the 3-4 month process.
No, don't want to hurt her. We have many common interests, we just have a very different view of intimacy in a relationship.
TBH, it's not a horrible suggestion to work it out. We've both had a lot of time to be on our own in the last six months and I'm really not looking forward to the ordeal that is divorce and child visitation. Plus, what it will do to the kids. I hate to impact their standard of living, since none of this is their fault.
I did consult a lawyer and his initial advice was to help get my spouse back into her career, and more independent. He did tell me that it would be a long process, plus it takes some of the financial burden off of me. Weird advice from a lawyer, since that's money out of his pocket.
These differences must have been apparent years ago, or did something change recently?
Sounds like a nice and sane lawyer..
Have you looked into bird's nest custody options?
They're comparatively popular in Canada, have been around 20+ years. Quite good for the kids, and once the parents figure out how to sort out their alternate housing people seem to do pretty well with them overall.
Using lawyers will be considerably more if you aren't able to come to a good arrangement on your own.
Mediation is a comparatively cheap - and good - option.
I agree with EhBeth (with fairly recent experience). Mediation may seem expensive, but it isn't. It is much cheaper than lawyers (if you and your soon-to-be-ex wife can make it work).
You should google collaborative divorce.
lol. Totally. I was kinda of amazed. My free hour consult turned into a three hour FREE talk and advice session. Originally he advocated cutting the cord right away, but after he looked at the finances and our position, he recommended taking it slow.
They've been going on for awhile, we tried addressing them with no success years ago and now they've just become to large to ignore.
I broached the idea, but she didn't quite grasp the concept. I'd be happy with a situation like that. It was a new concept to me when I was told about it, so I get why she isn't really understanding it.
I agree with both of you. It is the better option. I even broached the idea of discussing the situation with a lawyer that is a family friend. She could mediate and tell her all of her options (which she should research and consult her own attorney about) and let both of us know what a equal settlement should be.
Everyone has given good advice, thank you so much. It just confirms to me, that I need to take my time and work with my spouse on this.
This isn't something she wants, but is begrudgingly doing it. I think she needs time, we need to talk more and come up with a plan that doesn't destroy our children and our relationship with them. It may be a collaborative divorce or nesting.
Who knows, maybe we will find a happy place together and just work things out.
I know, it probably sounds weird that I am supportive of her. But, we've had a long relationship, two kids we both love and I don't wish ill-will towards her. We just have a relationship that is dissatisfying.