Intro & Game Plan

Tips on divorce for men considering or starting the divorce process. Get marriage separation tips for men in this divorce forum and child custody forum.

Re: Intro & Game Plan

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:08 pm

Took a couple of weeks to deal with a bunch of non-divorce stuff I had delegated to the floor. Had a celebratory steak dinner with my buddy who finalized his divorce two months ago. Feels good to breath and smile again.

Our holiday parenting plan is in effect for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so I made travel plans for the kids to see their grandparents and same-age cousins. She's already complaining that she has no time off to take for Christmas with the new job. My DGAF meter is still ratcheted up, and yes, I'm still recording until she moves out in the spring (habits die hard). Kids are doing great and know what's going on.

I posted the final wording of the shift work parenting plan in another thread as reference for other dads that have a similar situation. This forum was a gold mine of useful advice during my research and strategy, so I'm hoping my small contribution will help another dad.

Splitting up the final decision for the kids do we don't block each other out of spite was exactly point of that. All things considered, it's an elegant solution.

For health insurance, she's reimbursing me for the premiums I'm paying on her behalf until the decree is finalized in December, which coincides when her new employer benefits kick in. I'm not responsible for any costs related to her healthcare medication, appointments, or treatments (more likely to be liposuction than a boob job). She's also responsible for paying for groceries, lawn care, and some other miscellaneous status quo expenses. It was the best possible result given the situation since she didn't agree to paying me rent during this limbo time.

It took me a few days to process everything that happened in mediation. I got what I wanted, but damn, there were plenty of pitfalls I had to be vigilant about. Having a good night's sleep before mediation is underrated because fatigue is a real threat. There was one point where OC proposed a number for the QDRO to make her whole, and within 10 seconds I had calculated they had double dipped in the equation. They asked for double what they eventually settled for.

My attorney did his job well enough. He offset the entire cost of mediation when he was able to get OC to agree to value the mother's car at $7k more than what she had it appraised for locally. Her appraisal was so low, I offered to buy it outright from her as part of the settlement. OC laughed at that, gave in, and we moved on to the next thing.

While my situation wasn't as off the rails as many other fathers on this forum, my soon to be ex-wife definitely has a logic deficiency:

  • A couple of weeks after I filed for divorce, I approached her with a reasonable deal: 50% parenting time and she gets more than half the marital assets. Also, instead of spending money on an attorney, I'd take those funds and put it in a 529 Plan for our children. Her response was you don't deserve 50% parenting time. She eventually settled for $30k less than I had first offered her, not to mention she is $15k in the hole for attorney fees, and our kids don't have a 529 Plan. She wanted emotional justice by taking everything away from me that she could. In the end, I gave her emotional justice by agreeing to give her 50.1% of the marital assets.
  • During our first round of mediation, we had verbally agreed that she would have final decision for medical and I would have it for education. We agreed that my attorney would write up the agreement from the notes (saving her money; I didn't want OC adding easter eggs). During second round of mediation, she provides a parenting plan she authored that has her as final decision maker for medical, education and extracurricular. We scrapped her plan which was 5 meager pages and used the 13 durable pages I hammered out with my attorney.
  • She didn't come prepared with updated financial statements to the second round of mediation, which was 14 weeks after the first round. She spent about an hour during mediation getting current statements of retirement and bank accounts to my attorney. WTH?
  • She pitched a fit at the wording of the residence language which stated that I bought the house (it's a premarital asset; we had already agreed that she would get half the equity value since marriage). This was at the point where we were in agreement of 98% of everything and were hammering out lingering points. OC told her she was being unreasonable and shut her down. She felt slighted at the language because "we" bought the house "together" (she didn't pay a cent).
  • My county requires each parent to take a four hour in-person parenting class (costing $40) within 30 days of the divorce being served. She completed it six months late, only after I insisted during mediation that she had to complete it.

I've got some lessons learned that I'll add to the thread. The biggest one is completely ditching social media. My friends tell me she continues to use Facebook as a platform for self-pity and "pray for me" posts that paint her as the victim in this divorce action. Good thing I DGAF; I think it's kinda pathetic but she isn't my problem anymore.
The only way out is through.
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Re: Intro & Game Plan

Unread postby Campfire » Sun Nov 05, 2017 7:18 pm

"I gots 99 problems but my ex-wife's ain't none of them".
The List: http://www.dadsdivorce.com/father_divor ... hp?t=13374


The question is how much conflict you can control, negate, or avoid.
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Re: Intro & Game Plan

Unread postby massdad1234 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:45 am

great job Halt. I would keep an eye on those "friends" who keep you updated on your ex.
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Re: Intro & Game Plan

Unread postby HaltAndCatchFire » Wed Nov 08, 2017 8:34 am

massdad1234 wrote:great job Halt. I would keep an eye on those "friends" who keep you updated on your ex.

I get what you're saying. Both people who told me were on my divorce support team, and we collectively rolled our eyes and laughed about it.
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Re: Intro & Game Plan

Unread postby Tom Kirkpatrick » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:03 pm

HaltAndCatchFire wrote:Having a good night's sleep before mediation is underrated because fatigue is a real threat.....She didn't come prepared with updated financial statements to the second round of mediation.....
What's good for the goose is, surprisingly, also good for the gander.

In this game, it's critical to take care of yourself. Eat balanced meals. Get plenty of outdoor physical exercise. Get plenty of rest. Avoid alcohol. Frequently enjoy challenging, intellectual endeavors. When practiced daily, over the course of your proceedings, those little things add up.

Here’s the deal: Nothing grinds on you like family court. If she’s showing signs of wearing down, chances are you are too.

Tom
Everyone is entitled to my opinion. - Maxine™
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