We’re in round three of negotiations for the divorce settlement. I’m really curious if there are other men reading this site (or women) who have experienced what I’m going through and can bring some advice with regard to managing this negotiation process.
Round 1 was completely outrageous request from the ex: Basically, I give her all my money and no access to the kids. In fact, this month, if round 1 were enacted, this month I would have been in the hole $1,000 to her with $0 to pay toward my rent, groceries, or anything else for myself. Oh, and she wanted me to pass this to her for 26 years (until retirement age — which may be 90 by the time I get there!) Our marriage lasted 23 years.
Round 2, I countered with 50/50. We split everything (debt, income, house equity, 401k, everything in half). For 8 years, which seems to be the standard in my state (total married years divided by 3).
Round 3 (today, which happens to be the anniversary of our wedding), came with a basic restatement of round 1, no acknowledgement of any merits of round 2 and with the kids, “we’ll let the counselor help them reconcile, but no visitation or rights of any kind.” Please understand, there has been nothing abusive from me toward them (though it’s documentable the abuse that has been handed down from the ex toward me — and from one of the kids toward me). There is no legitimate reason to exclude me from their lives other than the fact that Mom has alienated them from me.
So we are back to Round 1 after 3 weeks.
I don’t think she understands that all that is happening is that I’m getting angry and hardened in my resolve to not let her have 1 penny over 1/2 of what I make.
Incidentally, just got an offer on the house, which led her lawyer to say that since I’m not paying the $2,300 house payment and she will get a lower rent payment, that I need to pay her the difference.
I spent about a half hour on the patio after the email explaining this offer just talking to God. What do you do? After another 8 hours in the day have gone by, I’m still very frustrated and feel completely backed into a corner. And as we learned from Dirty Dancing, nobody backs Baby into a corner…(Maybe someday, I’ll be “baby” to someone again?)…
So how do you respond? I think I’m going to respond with a lower amount even then the original half proposal from round 2. I would just as soon go to court and have a judge hear this (even if it is a female judge who usually decides in the woman’s favor). I’m pretty much done negotiating, because I’m not going to negotiate with myself.
Please comment if you have any advice!
2 thoughts on “The Dog Days of Divorce”
I think that you should definitely not be doing any of this without an attorney. It sounds to me that if you go to court you really are no worse off than you are now because right now you really don’t have any rights. I will be praying that one day she will realize the magnitude of her actions. I was similar to that when I was going through divorce. I was scared….scared of what my ex might do; scared of if I was strong enough but really scared that I would lose my child’s love and devotion. The week before we went to court over custody a dear friend of mine who had just finished up her custody hearing, who had a mtn of evidence to crucify her ex gave me the best advice. She said that yes she could have buried him but she said that she never ever wanted her kids to look at her even years later and say “I never had a relationship with my dad because of you!” It swept through me like a wave engulfing every square inch of my heart. I realized at the moment of the most I could show my love for my child was to allow her to freely love and have a relationship with her father. I decided to give him the rope and let him hang himself if he wanted to but I would not ever make her feel that she had to choose between two parents that love her. Sorry not much advice, just opinion and sharing my circumstance. My husband and I will be praying for you and your family.
Wow Blendermom3 — thanks so much for your kind words. I’m definitely working very closely with the attorney on this as well. I covet your prayers!