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A Message from Michele
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Re: Starting the process [Re: unchien] #2885658
02/14/20 05:00 PM
02/14/20 05:00 PM
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LH19 Offline
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U,

I stopped posting on your thread because your kind of stuck. Iím not sure why you are choosing limbo and conditions that are not in your favor? Your W is not changing her mind anytime soon. You are going to have to face this head on at some point. Why not now?


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ďDon't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.Ē- Will Smith
Re: Starting the process [Re: unchien] #2885688
02/14/20 07:33 PM
02/14/20 07:33 PM
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kml Offline
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yeah, just file (I don't actually understand how you do mediation without filing anyway, my ex filed and then we did mediation).

Put everything in writing. Ask for a little more than what you're willing to settle for (negotiations are business deals and you always want to leave some room for the other person to feel like they won something. In your case this might mean a short delay on selling the house instead of putting it up immediately, or 40/60 custody instead of 50:50, or something to do with debts or pensions).

Make it clear her "safety" concerns are unreasonable and you'd be happy to have BOTH of you evaluated by a psychiatrist (I'm guessing she'd be easy to detect as a looney tunes, and any psychiatrist would laugh her out of the office if her main complaint is you grabbed your kids leg once and yelled at him).

If she doesn't have an order for temporary support, you need to start paying her only what she would get in a divorce. Judges will listen to the idea of "imputed income" - what she could reasonably earn if she got a job. Right now she has no incentive to change anything. So - pay the mortgage - yourself, don't give that money to her - and then pay her what your state's alimony calculation would likely be between her imputed income and your actual income. You could subtract half the mortgage payment from that. Then add in any child support you might owe if you had 50:50 custody. I hope you've already taken half of any savings but if not, do that now.

You need an attorney separate from the mediation lawyer, if you don't already have one, get one now. Even if you continue mediation, they can be your sounding board and tell you if what you are agreeing to is reasonable and what a judge would give you in court. Get him or her to review your proposal before you make it. Remember too that the tax laws in the US have changed, alimony is no longer deductible to the person paying it. Work out an offer with your private attorney and then present it in mediation. If her response is totally unreasonable (which it sounds like it will be) then you may be better off filing and let the lawyers duke it out. Mediation only works when both people are at least somewhat grounded in reality.

Re: Starting the process [Re: unchien] #2885692
02/14/20 07:46 PM
02/14/20 07:46 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 4,710
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LH19 Offline
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LH19  Offline
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U,

Listen to K she is a very wise woman


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

ďDon't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.Ē- Will Smith
Re: Starting the process [Re: kml] #2885737
02/14/20 11:23 PM
02/14/20 11:23 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 1,371
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unchien Offline OP
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LH, TB, Andrew, KML - Thank you for your feedback. It helps to hear your stories and advice.

Originally Posted by kml
yeah, just file (I don't actually understand how you do mediation without filing anyway, my ex filed and then we did mediation).

L thinks I should file and also immediately request orders for custody and a financial separation. Those latter items will be seen as an act of war, for sure, but I'm seeing no other way.

Rather than wait for next mediation (3 weeks from now), W and I have tried texting a little bit about things. I figured I may as well tell her what I want, and gauge how she is reacting. That way at least I won't feel like I gave up without putting it out there.

She shuts all talk of schedule changes down, and only her concerns -- the house, where the kids will live (i.e., where she will live), kids' activity schedule -- are important. And there is always the undertone of "safety talk" there.

When I ask for more time with the kids, she says "you need to talk to your boss about getting guaranteed flex time, right?" And I say, "I already did that, a year ago, and I repeatedly make sure that it she case." Then she will say, "I'm not comfortable talking about this over text"

I hate to give up. I know in the past I haven't asked for what I want. She is just not budging. She states her positions and says things like "Can't wait to work this out soon in mediation!" She thinks if we do our homework (assigned by the mediator) that "things will come together fast." She thinks the mediator decides or something... I don't get it.

Originally Posted by kml
Put everything in writing. Ask for a little more than what you're willing to settle for (negotiations are business deals and you always want to leave some room for the other person to feel like they won something. In your case this might mean a short delay on selling the house instead of putting it up immediately, or 40/60 custody instead of 50:50, or something to do with debts or pensions).
Agreed, any negotiation needs to start with stretch goals.

Originally Posted by kml
Make it clear her "safety" concerns are unreasonable and you'd be happy to have BOTH of you evaluated by a psychiatrist (I'm guessing she'd be easy to detect as a looney tunes, and any psychiatrist would laugh her out of the office if her main complaint is you grabbed your kids leg once and yelled at him).

I know there are forensic psychologists and custody evaluators that could get involved. I don't really trust anybody at this point, but I agree SHE doesn't get to decide who is a good parent and who is not.

Originally Posted by kml
If she doesn't have an order for temporary support, you need to start paying her only what she would get in a divorce. Judges will listen to the idea of "imputed income" - what she could reasonably earn if she got a job. Right now she has no incentive to change anything. So - pay the mortgage - yourself, don't give that money to her - and then pay her what your state's alimony calculation would likely be between her imputed income and your actual income. You could subtract half the mortgage payment from that. Then add in any child support you might owe if you had 50:50 custody. I hope you've already taken half of any savings but if not, do that now.

The mortgage payment alone is higher than maximum guideline support. She would never ask for temporary support because it would immediately put her in a worse off position. She would have to pay me back!

Originally Posted by kml
You need an attorney separate from the mediation lawyer, if you don't already have one, get one now. Even if you continue mediation, they can be your sounding board and tell you if what you are agreeing to is reasonable and what a judge would give you in court. Get him or her to review your proposal before you make it. Remember too that the tax laws in the US have changed, alimony is no longer deductible to the person paying it. Work out an offer with your private attorney and then present it in mediation. If her response is totally unreasonable (which it sounds like it will be) then you may be better off filing and let the lawyers duke it out. Mediation only works when both people are at least somewhat grounded in reality.
Your last sentence hit me hard.

My L thinks what most of you think. Lawyers are lawyers but they have seen these cases before. My L does not want to litigate, but also feels trying to mediate in this way is going to waste time, money, and set precedent the longer we go.

You do have an interesting idea of just coming to mediation with an offer written up. One last chance. My instinct is to say she would dismiss it out of hand, given how things have gone so far. But I do have a bad habit of dismissing ideas quickly, and will think about this more.

Also noted on the alimony deduction thing. I heard that recently and I know tax laws can make a big difference in what is best for me.

Re: Starting the process [Re: unchien] #2885739
02/14/20 11:43 PM
02/14/20 11:43 PM
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TBSakaJ9 Offline
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Look man, I know itís hard. Do not accept less than 50/50. Get a L and fight if she is not budging.

Do not let her make you out to be the bad guy.

Last edited by job; 02/15/20 12:15 AM. Reason: added "not" in the last sentence

Married 14, Together 17
M: 44, W: 43, D: 8, D: 6
M: 46, W: 45. D: 10. D: 8 (CUR)
Bomb Dropped: 5/28/2017
Separation Date: 6/17/2017
Divorce Filed: 2/7/2018
Divorce Final: 4/12/2018
Re: Starting the process [Re: unchien] #2885745
02/15/20 12:57 AM
02/15/20 12:57 AM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,727
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kml Offline
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Run EVERYTHING by your lawyer and stop trying to negotiate with her outside of mediation.

Re: Starting the process [Re: unchien] #2885747
02/15/20 12:58 AM
02/15/20 12:58 AM
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kml Offline
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Run it by your lawyer first I mean

Re: Starting the process [Re: unchien] #2885757
02/15/20 02:06 AM
02/15/20 02:06 AM
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HaWho Online
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The key things to mediation I was told is, it takes two reasonable people to come to the table (as KML said) and the mediatorís sole goal is to reach an agreement. They have no skin in the game but to reach a resolution so by nature if one of you is firmer/more resolute the mediator will whittle down the one who says uncle faster to meet the goal of resolution.

I did not bother with it because I knew my ex was not reasonable (he wanted to pick how much he paid in support rather than following state guidelines and he is definitely more resolute about not breaking down). Your wife is clearly manipulative and using scare tactics. Donít agree to less than 50/50 because you deserve that and you will pay more if she gets more custody!

If you go to try mediation, I would have a list of absolute non negotiables that you reference frequently and go into it ready to walk out. You can always try again! Have your L on standby.

You are here in this position to overcome her control of you, your fear and to take what you lawfully deserve. Go to the mats and take what is rightfully yours. Your kids needs 50% with you!

Last thing, as she wants to work one day/week and stay in the house, make sure you take the kids promptly every day you have them and document this. I speculate she is making a case that she deserves more than 50% due to your work schedule while she is still the primary care giver working minimally (and conveniently) living the same lifestyle!!!!


Me 41, H 47, M 15 yrs, S11, S13
BD 1: 11/4/14 we work on it; really I pretzel myself
BD 2: 3/31/15 H goes down to "dorm room"
8/15: H back to MBR
10/15: H back in dorm room
1/18: H files, now divorced
Re: Starting the process [Re: HaWho] #2885809
02/15/20 04:57 PM
02/15/20 04:57 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 1,371
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unchien Offline OP
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Originally Posted by TBSakaJ9
Look man, I know itís hard. Do not accept less than 50/50. Get a L and fight if she is not budging.

Do not let her make you out to be the bad guy.
Thank you. I originally read your post before you added the "not" in the last sentence, and I actually kind of liked it! Not that I want to be the bad guy. Because... I have no control over how she will react, right?

Originally Posted by HaWho
The key things to mediation I was told is, it takes two reasonable people to come to the table (as KML said) and the mediatorís sole goal is to reach an agreement. They have no skin in the game but to reach a resolution so by nature if one of you is firmer/more resolute the mediator will whittle down the one who says uncle faster to meet the goal of resolution.
That is my worry about mediation.

I think the mediator was trying in a delicate way to point out how my W was not being realistic with her goals. She is spending her efforts trying to prove to the mediator that she should get what she wants... she hasn't grasped the idea that she has to prove it to ME.

At some point, she will need to have a reality check. I don't think it will happen naturally through mediation -- or perhaps it will after a few sessions. That may take a few months. I am not going to hold my breath waiting, but that also doesn't mean I have to give up on mediation. I have a pretty good plan hashed out for next steps.

Originally Posted by HaWho
If you go to try mediation, I would have a list of absolute non negotiables that you reference frequently and go into it ready to walk out. You can always try again! Have your L on standby.

After our first session, the mediator gave us some action items to follow up on. My W thinks if we do our "homework" we will conclude mediation quickly.

For example, she wants to keep the marital home. She had proposed deals where my name stays on the loan, etc. I'm not sure she gets that her "homework" is to come up with a plan to keep the house that I will accept (i.e., I am bought out). Not one that the mediator accepts.

She seems to be approaching mediation just like our last round of MC. It will help me to type this train of thought out:

Our round of MC post-S last year: I still held out hope we would work on the MR, and thus when we worked out parenting schedules, etc. I was trying to minimize impact to our kids and work on building trust. I conceded to a schedule that would make it easy for me to move back but also still have time with the kids. I made sure to fight for a couple school nights. I insisted on having a home with bedrooms for the kids (not a studio). I still had hopes of working it out. Looking back, I know my W had zero interest in working on the MR, so in a way she thought of these negotiations back then as part of us splitting up. I think it was incredibly disingenuous on her part. Here I was, negotiating a temporary separation, and she was treating it as a soft D. I'm sure this happens ALL the time to people, I'm not the only one.

At one point during our S, she said I didn't fight to win her back. I thought, "This isn't Hollywood!" What am I supposed to do, go to her bedroom window holding a boom box, send flowers, write MORE apology letters? I was in MC, saying I'm here, open and ready, any time, to talk about things that happened and understand her point of view. She would say the word abuse in MC and then clam up and refuse to talk. Even the C said it was really up to her to open up at this point. She never did. It was clearly the blocker to us working on things. I felt if we could talk about those things, we could start to rebuild something new. Within 3 months of separation, it was clear that there was no chance. I gave her time and space, I came into those sessions positively and open and ready to talk, but it takes two.

When that MC heard her use the word abuse the first few times, he really bought in and put the burden on me 100% to earn back her trust.

I say all this because I think she is treating mediation similarly. Just like the MC sessions, she still is working towards D. We have a 3rd party in the room. The difference on my side is that I went to MC with R hope. I am not going to mediation with the same mindset. I want what I want. The mediator technically has no power. He cannot force me to accept anything. I don't think gets the difference (yet).

Originally Posted by HaWho
Last thing, as she wants to work one day/week and stay in the house, make sure you take the kids promptly every day you have them and document this. I speculate she is making a case that she deserves more than 50% due to your work schedule while she is still the primary care giver working minimally (and conveniently) living the same lifestyle!!!!
I've been doing this regularly since the separation. And I completely agree that she will be making the case you outlined.

Re: Starting the process [Re: unchien] #2886201
02/18/20 07:22 PM
02/18/20 07:22 PM
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kas99 Offline
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I knew early on I wouldnít be able to mediate with H since heís under the delusion that since I have a job now he shouldnít have to support me at all. He gives me just enough to keep me off the street. Itís his money and it will take a judge to enforce anything else.

Look itís hard to ďdeclare warĒ (I understand this feeling) on someone you love. I feel like I just lit a match and torched any chance of ever reconciling. Heís going to absolutely hate me by the time this is over but Iíve got kids too who need me. They live with me full time (their choice) and he hopes to starve them out. He doesnít want them but doesnít want to pay for them either. Iím backed in a corner as you are.

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