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Discussion Starter #1
After 10yr of marriage and 3 kids the wife and I are getting a divorce. We plan 50/50 custidy and she will keep the house. Question I have, how do we figure out the mortgage? We owe 175k and it is worth 180k now, (bought at 228k :-( ), well that means we put 50k into the mortgage thus far and we're still live together, sharedbank account. Do I get fuct, and walk away from all that money we invested? Also she makes more than me, but wants child support, shouldn't she be paying me support? I'm at a lost, so many emotions.
 

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No REAL legal advice but I would suggest jumping selling the home and losing the investment. I think if custody is 50/50 neither will pay child support. Good luck in this ####ty situation.
 

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Going to depend highly on state laws. Really need to consult with a lawyer.

But, not legal advice as I'm not a lawyer, but if the custody is truly split 50/50 (50% legal and physical custody), then usually the person with the higher income may pay a little CS to the person with lower income. I think however, legally speaking, one person has to be designated the custodial parent, in which case CS would get paid to them, even if that person earns less. 50/50 is hard to do for the kids though, as it's tough to get into a schedule with school and such if they are packing up and going to a different house every other day or so. Usually the two parents need to live pretty close by for it to work well.

As for the house, have her buy you out. Take your half of the down payment, and half of the equity gained since purchase, and have her buy you out. Really the only way to cleanly give her the property. If she can't afford the house on her own, then sell the house, and split it down the middle.

But again, not a lawyer, so none of this is legal advice
 

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Canada is likely different, but, my thoughts;

Alimony.. You will likely end at zero sum game, that is a good thing trust me

Child support... 50/50 yes, but do you have primary caregiver laws in your state or will it be really 50/50. If primary, whoever is not primary should receive. If real 50/50, technically you should but i don't think men's rights have evolved to that point yet.

House/Mortgage. You are only in for equity. Sunk money means nada (up here at least). Let her keep the $2,500 spread, it is not worth your time or stress.

Having gone through this, my advice is. Be the man, don't be petty even if she turns into a massive biotch (yes, she can have that god awful copper plate crap from grandmas). Be the best parent you can be, don't use the kids as a pawn (even if she does). Use EAP (employee assistance program) if your work has one. Don't get jealous when she starts seeing someone and the kids have a potential new step dad. Pretend to be his buddy, trust me it was the best decision I ever made.

I know you didn't ask that other stuff, but I can tell the state your brain is in and trust me you need to be aware of these things before they sneak up and kick ya

MOST IMPORTANT, your car is not part of the deal.
 

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^^Well said...don't be petty.

Regarding the house, sound like you have zero equity. What you have spent is water under the bridge. Let her have it and walk away. She wants the silverware, let her have it. She wants the lawn mower, let her have it. She wants the car, hell no.

The only thing you should focus on is the kids and future expenses (CS). IMO, child support is really there for the deadbeat parents. If you are a stand-up guy, and you soon-to-be ex knows this, hopefully you can work out an arrangement to where there is no support for either of you as the kids will be taken care of regardless. If you are a cheat, you deserve everything coming to you!

I am very sorry to hear about your situation and truly wish you the best. Be strong and the best father you can be.
 

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I would think a good divorce lawyer would have better advice.
Seek counsel from one, but do not retain them! Most importantly, don't tell ANYONE you spoke with one. In the near future you are going to find out who your friends are and which one of your family members you can trust. Don't be surprised when you find out your mother or best friend accidentally mentioned something to one of the kids and they passed it on to your ex.

I have no idea what your relationship status is with your ex, but if you lawyer up and she does to, they will take half of your assets and the two of you will split up what is left.

Try and be fair with one another, keep your emotions in check, and keep the lawyers out of it. Otherwise, you will end up in litigation for who knows how long and will hate one another if you don't already.

My other thought is custody. I have two daughters and was told by a lawyer that if the mother contests custody, the father would have to have a very strong case to even maintain 50/50. My point is, you may lawyer up and salvage some assets, but you may also piss her off and lose custody. Divorce is an ugly business...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Mustang is for sale which she can't touch, bought that car new, in my name, before the ring was in her finger. This is what she wants to agree to.

• Wife keeps house (no impact financially to Steve)
•s pays loans (no impact financially to Steve)
• 401k: Steve keeps the additional $20,000
• Credit card: -$2,700 (same as before—we split it)
• Mazda: -$6,600 (Steve pays loan)
• Lawyer fees: -$2,000 (we pay only the draft fees and court fees, split evenly)
• Child Support: Approx. -$700 per month (20% of net income, 37% reduction in regular rate)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mustang is for sale http://forums.corral.net/forums/mustangs-sale-wanted-1999-2004/2309401-2003-mustang-gt-dsg-very-nice.html which she can't touch, bought that car new, in my name, before the ring was on her finger. This is what she wants to agree to.

• Wife keeps house (no impact financially to Steve)
• Wife pays loans (no impact financially to Steve)
• 401k: Steve keeps the additional $20,000 (I've saved more-we work for the same company as well, me with 17.5yrs)
• Credit card: -$2,700 (same as before—we split it)
• Mazda6 car payment: -$6,600 (Steve pays loan)
• Lawyer fees: -$2,000 (we pay only the draft fees and court fees, split evenly)
• Child Support: Approx. -$700 per month (20% of net income, 37% reduction in regular rate)
 

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Mustang is for sale http://forums.corral.net/forums/mustangs-sale-wanted-1999-2004/2309401-2003-mustang-gt-dsg-very-nice.html which she can't touch, bought that car new, in my name, before the ring was on her finger. This is what she wants to agree to.

• Wife keeps house (no impact financially to Steve)
• Wife pays loans (no impact financially to Steve)
• 401k: Steve keeps the additional $20,000 (I've saved more-we work for the same company as well, me with 17.5yrs)
• Credit card: -$2,700 (same as before—we split it)
• Mazda6 car payment: -$6,600 (Steve pays loan)
• Lawyer fees: -$2,000 (we pay only the draft fees and court fees, split evenly)
• Child Support: Approx. -$700 per month (20% of net income, 37% reduction in regular rate)
What about parenting time with your children? How is that being split up?

My 2 cents is don't skimp out on the lawyer right now, and anything that you give up now will be exponentially harder to get back a year from now if or when she decides to go full bitch.

I just went through a custody battle 3 years after our original separation agreement was signed by the judge. I went cheap on the lawyer, and tried to be her friend during the process. It ended up costing me time with the children, and another $7k in lawyer fees a few years later. In my case, I didn't have a mortgage so luckily that part was easy. But for parenting time with the children? We had an agreement that I got them at least 2 weekdays and every other weekend. This worked fine for 2 years until I started developing a relationship with another woman, which the children also developed a relationship with. Long story short, she ended up saying I couldn't even have my 2 days, actively blocked me from seeing the children until she was served with contempt and modification papers. Which after she received those papers she then specified which days I could see them (this was not part of the agreement, it stated that any change had to be agreed upon by both parties), and of course she chose Thursday and Friday, Thursdays I worked until 8pm, and Fridays is of course the start of the weekend. She was in direct violation of our signed agreement as far as I was concerned, and as far as my new lawyer was concerned. But the original document was written in a way that didn't CLEARLY state what constituted contempt, as well as parenting time was ambiguous outside of "no less than 2 days per week". I live in an area where the county has outgrown the civil court system so there is a 6-9 month wait before your case goes in front of the judge.

This mess started in December of last year, and I just now got it sorted out through mediation about 32 days ago. I lost weeks of time this year with my children because she wanted to be difficult and create hate and discontent due to jealousy. Her previous lawyer refused to take her case, then she briefly hired another lawyer who dropped the case after she got all the details. The lawyer she ended up with was nearly ready to quit by the end of it. I know this because her lawyer and mine were friends. Luckily, I'm prior military, gainfully employed, and documented EVERYTHING along the way. I kept a logbook, I video recorded her speeding off with the kids in the car while restricting my access to them, and I still tried to see the children whenever possible even if it was only for a few hours. Finally, in mediation, the mediator let her have it. She broke down and I got what I wanted which was week on week off every other weekend. My documentation was perfect, and the legal advice given to her reflected that so her best option was to concede and still get child support from me. She ended up getting slightly more, but it's still less than the state mandate, but most importantly I got full 50% time with my children. We live in the same city within 3 miles of each other, same school district and all, so 50/50 works perfect.

50/50 with the children is the most important thing you need to get locked in. That is time you can never get back. Money can be made and spent, time with your children can't. You only get one shot with them. Do it right the first time, and protect yourself. After my experience, I would HIGHLY recommend documenting EVERYTHING. Don't speak over the phone without recording it. Try to communicate only in forms that are readily duplicated like text and email. For phone calls, I would grab my ipad, put her on speaker, and record the phone convo using the ipad. Don't concede anything you don't want to as long as it's fair to the children. Keep a logbook, and write down everything, including "The children and I had an awesome day today!" The good and the bad. And most importantly, go with a lawyer that ONLY handles family law no matter the retainer. If that's their bread and butter, then they know nearly everything that could happen with the judge and with the law. Getting some cookie cutter general practice lawyer could bite you in the ass if she decides to just say whatever and start doing what she wants. A strictly family practice lawyer KNOWS the family court personnel, the judge(s), other lawyers, and the ones who strictly do family law get the most respect in the court room. If your lawyer is the premiere family law practitioner in your county or city then that immediately gives you the upper hand when seeing the judge and even in mediation.

One thing about the house and the kids, is that what you want? Her to be custodial parent, and to keep the house? Even if you have 50/50 split time, with her being the custodial parent you'll still end up paying some support. The courts aren't in the dad's corner, but they aren't in the mother's corner as much as they used to be either. If you're a good dad, and can unequivocally prove that fact then all you need is a good lawyer and be smart with how you behave from now until everything is finalized. That means no cursing her out, no badmouthing her in front of the kids, get the kids every chance you can, if you do move out then get a place that suits the kids-same school district-enough space-safe environment, if you're a porn consumer then dump that mess quick, clean up any social media, show up at every school function you can attend, maintain regular contact with the kids' teachers and the principal, etc.

I could give you full details of what I went through, and what I had to do to get this mess ironed out, pm me. I'm an awesome dad, and it was still a royal pain in the ass to get through this. I'd rather do another tour in Afghanistan than to go through what I went through from Dec to Aug this year.

EDIT: If you want the house then I'd say keep the house. I don't know the details of your split but if keeping the house is something you want then you should keep it. One thing is, whoever moves out first essentially gives the other leverage. So as a dad, you moving out or agreeing to let her keep the house puts you at more of a disadvantage when it comes to the kids and parenting time. If you can unload the house to her and get 50/50 with the kids locked in, then eat it and get that 50/50 time split. You can recover financially from the mortgage. Your kids are worth way more than a few years of marginal credit or lost equity.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, that is the same deal she wants to give me. Tuesday and Thursday, then every other Friday thru Sunday until 6pm. It is not 50/50 and I told her I do not agree to that arrangement. I have been keeping a little journal stating tid bits of the days.
I did have a consultation with a lawyer last week, he only does divorce work (rich on peoples misery haha), wants $2500 for a retainer, then he states since we have 3 kids, that I will be looking at a 1.5yr battle costing me 20k-30k, :puke: I do not have that kind of money, nor does my soon to be ex. Do I want her to keep the house, no, I love that house and put a lot of hard work and effort into it. With her salary, she can afford it, I cannot with mine. I am a great dad as well, love my kids more than life. We have so much fun. Yesterday, she wanted to tell the kids about the divorce, I wasn’t ready for that, but I agreed to do it. Our 9yr son and 5yr girl were devastated by the news, our 17yr daughter didn’t show much emotion. I held my two youngest while we all cried for 30 straight mins, it broke my heart. My son took it the hardest, he cried that he doesn’t want to see me move out and wants me home for Christmas, really ripped on my heart. Since we work together, we drive together, we do not speak really. I need to learn to keep calm, I bitched her out last night. We sleep in separate bedrooms. This morning she sent me these arrangements and mention she wants me out soon, I said not happening.
 

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Sorry, I sent the pm before reading this...but damn man, been here done that. Don't let her make the rules or terms. 50/50 or you go to court. Nowadays courts are awarding 50% time automatically as long as there isn't any verifiable physical, emotional, or substance abuse involved in the case. Then time gets reduced due to work schedules, distances, etc.

My lawyer told me the same thing, about 20-30k after it's said and done. But I ended up paying 2500 up front, 400 initial consult fee, 250 filing fee, then I had to shell out another 2500 then money for mediation as well...But my case was solid against her and she didn't have a leg to stand on. Does he only do divorce or does he do custody, wills, etc.? How's his reputation?

Stay in the house. Don't leave, it doesn't matter what you've done or she's done as long as there isn't domestic violence charges pending against you. If you love your kids, and the house then fight for them now because it will be easier now. My kids are close to yours in age, and trust me they are all hurting in some way now that they have the news. Focus on them and you, and try to not have them talk about the divorce. I told mine all they need to know is I'm doing everything in my power to stay in your life, and no one will stop me from being your dad. Reassure them, and keep doing the fun stuff. Ramp up the fun stuff. Always keep being the dad that they know. You're divorcing her, not the kids. Tell her that too...don't budge. You're split now, so she doesn't get to control any aspect of the decisions make. Good dads forget that and it burns us every single time.

The Tuesday and Thursday will wreak havoc on the kids, mine took awhile to adjust (Monday and Wednesday), and it was still hard on them. It's easier for them to know that this week is with mom or this week is with dad.

I'd start driving separate as well. But that's up to you.
 

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Do not back off what you're asking for. As mentioned before, unless you were violent, you will get 50/50 custody if you ask for it. Since she makes more than you, you need to apply for child support from her - NOW; as in "pendente lite;" or she'll do it first. I guarantee it. If for no other reason than a bargaining chip. The only reason a woman who makes more than her spouse will ask for child support is if she's a whore - sorry, but it's true. She doesn't have your kids or your best interests at heart. Even if you think she's reasonable, her lawyer won't be. And they will drain you dry. All lawyers are best flayed alive in front of a warmly applauding audience. They're all scum. Do not forget that. Do not trust them. Do not believe them when they say, "This is the best you'll get." Go for joint legal custody - unless you're a psycho, you'll absolutely get it.

If you try to play the nice guy, you'll get screwed. That's as certain as death and taxes. Stay firm now, and you'll come out ok. Roll over now, and you'll regret it forever.

I'm not a lawyer but I went through a nasty divorce (I ended up going through 4 lawyers - they were all worthless garbage, even the $400/hr entitled one) and ended up with full custody of our child and my ex wife got police supervised visits. And it STILL cost me $173,000 in legal and related fees. The courts, lawyers and your wife are against you now. Be prepared. If you need to, you can PM me. Most important - do not concede anything now. You'll regret it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Holy crap 173k! How's that even possible to pay off?! We will be scheduling with a mediator. That's my weakneas, is being the nice guy, worrying about others than myself. She is not being a bitch yet, but she said since she will have the kids insurance that she'll need child support. Can i get alimony? What will it be like with mediator? Like they're a referee for fairness?
 

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Offer to pay the premiums and split anything out of pocket after insurance...no support. You have to be careful about medical, cause they can bleed you by taking them unnecessarily.
 

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Just to add some some additional input.

My wife's previous divorce with 1 kid cost her about $9K. They used a mediator and split things up fairly well between themselves.
 
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