Sorry this is so long, but telling this is like therapy...
Last Friday my 19 year old son, his girlfriend and I came into our house to find my wife having sex with his 19 year old best friend. She was doing this in the open living room while my youngest son (15) was upstairs and could have come down any moment. My wife and I are 42, and she has known her lover since he was 12.
If seeing them in the act was not enough (two eye witnesses in addition to me) during the subsequent argument, she didn't notice her phone sitting on a stand. I picked it up, and the only message on it not deleted was from her to him: "i want to f... you one last time."
Since then, my son has heard from friends who knew and said this started in late February. Two others (late teens, maybe 20) said she asked them for their numbers as well. (They said they were pretty grossed out by it.) Looking at when she started sending text messages en masse to this kid, the late February time frame matches up.
We have been married 21 years. Never saw this coming...yadda, yadda. In fact, the last few weeks (during this affair, sickeningly enough) have been extremely affectionate, and I have the explicit text messages from her to me to demonstrate that...
She left the house that night and hasn't been back. We've communicated via text, and I saw her twice, once when I took our 12-year-old daughter to see her because I thought they both needed it.
My wife was extremely remorseful during that visit and usually is when we communicate, but she has these odd moments of defensiveness that border on crazy. For example, earlier today she justified sleeping with her 19-year-old son's best friend because I "changed your Facebook last year so I could only see our mutual friends." (I feel ridiculous even answering that charge, but if true it probably was a result of me changing global privacy settings or something.)
Of course, my 19-year old is devastated. He feels like he lost both a best friend and a mom that night.
Our 17 year old daughter has a history of depression (she has been institutionalized) and self harm (cutting) and my wife's family knows this. Nevertheless, the next day after they found out about the affair, they started attacking my daughter via social media messages. They disparaged me and said we should forgive my wife because my wife forgave my daughter and my other kids through their horrible mistakes. (My kids defended me and called out the ridiculousness of this, on their own, both adeptly and repeatedly.)
Probably enough of backstory that probably doesn't matter when it comes to the legal separation, but...
I want to end it.
I think she'll go for a dissolution but I don't know.
She has no money for an attorney.
We have a 22 year old, a 19 year old, a 17 year old, a 15 year old and a 12 year old.
She currently pays about $700 in monthly utilities and $400 in monthly groceries. I pay the rest -- about $2,500 is my share plus $400-$500 in groceries.
We pay our own car payments and we each have roughly equal amounts of credit card debt in our names.
We have maybe 15k equity in our home -- more like zero after repairs and commission and fees to sell it.
I have about 108k combined in a 401k and an IRA. She has just $7000 in a 401k from a previous job.
As for our salaries, I'm not sure what the court looks at.
The average of my last three W2 Box 1s is $75,059; hers is $58,938 (hers is pulled down because she made just $37k in 2014).
The average of my last three gross salaries is $88,615; hers is $61,140 (not much more because she put hardly anything into retirement).
I got a decent raise in January. Right now my gross is 108,000. She got another job in December (I didn't like it...) and gave up about $15,000 in overtime because the new job is way less stressful and more flexible. Her gross is now 60,000 or so.
Right now, she says she doesn't want the house, and she accepts that the kids want to live with me and will. (They all found out about the affair from the 19 year old.)
I know the court won't look at the affair (regardless of how messed up it is) when they calculate the financial aspects.
That said, what advice do you guys have? What tips do you have to help me come out of this as whole as possible so I can raise the kids?
Is the salary differential enough that I'll have to pay spousal support? Will she pay child support?