Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

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Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby Dunkinfan99 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:38 pm

Hello,

I’m 30 years old and have been married 6 years. I have two children with my wife. Things have been going pretty bad to say the least over the last year or so. Separation or divorce has crossed my mind a few times. If it wasn’t for my children and the pain at the possibility of not seeing them every day, I would have done it long ago. The problem is in our financial situation. I make 95% of our income, my wife works part time. Recently I made a suggestion for her to work full time and I would work out daycare arrangements. I even lined up a great job for her. It would make our financial situation 100x better. Long story short, she insists on me getting a part time job instead since she doesn’t want to sacrifice her time with the children. I don’t quite understand that and I’m having a hard time coming to grips with this. I have a career that brings in a good living and takes up more than 40 hours a week most times. If I were to get a part time job, I’d have no time with my kids or for myself.

On top of this, we haven’t been physical with one another in over a year. That’s another thing weighing a toll on me. My biggest concern here is what happens in the court system. I don’t mind financially taking care of my children, I WANT TO. However, I don’t want to come out of this with me not being able to afford a place for them to stay with me in joint custody.

Could she essentially cripple my ability to provide for myself and my children through this divorce?

Confused and concerned. She is a great mother and an all around good person. We just have grown apart and don’t see the world the same anymore.

Any guidance would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Re: Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby Chaos » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:43 pm

What state, and how old are the children?
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Re: Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby Dunkinfan99 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:44 pm

Maryland, 1 year old and 5
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Re: Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby massdad1234 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:39 pm

what are your work hours and can you scale them back to spend more time with the kids?

Have you read the list and are making one of your own? Has she threatened divorce? Where does she get her money and who controls the finances?

Have you tried couples therapy or talked to your spouse about the issues you have?
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Re: Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby Chicyn2001 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 4:58 pm

Start researching family law in Maryland. A lot of the financial information you want answers to (CS, SS) is readily available online in most states. If you're on the fence with what to do then I would still suggest speaking to an attorney or two or three just to get an idea of where you stand. Speaking from experience, my marriage was abusive and intimate free for years and, like you, we had grown apart. I stayed married for the kids. Dumb. Wish I had left years ago. Let me ask you this...do you think things will get better? Does she know how your feel about the marriage? I always thought things would turn around and guess what...they didn't. Not saying they won't for you but you really need to step back and take a look at your marriage and see if you can continue to live like your are now for the next 50 years. The fact that you found this site and posted on it speaks volumes. I wish my marriage had lasted for decades and I never would have ever heard of this forum. Didn't turn out that way and now that I'm in the position I'm in I'm certainly glad this site exists. Keep reading because there is some really valuable information on here. You're still young and you're going to be surprised how resilient your kids are.
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Re: Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby gamingdad » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:33 pm

Don't take a second job. That sets a history with status quo when calculating spousal and child support.
It may be time to start turning off services to save money as well.
Does she have any schooling?
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Re: Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby TJinCA » Wed Dec 27, 2017 5:49 pm

She may be a good mom and a good all-around person, but it sounds like to her you've just become a "chump with a check." Even if you weren't contemplating divorce her insistence that you get a second job so she doesn't have work more to is an incredibly self-centered answer.

Given your situation with your kids, the first thing I'd recommend would be to let her know you're unhappy with the situation, it's becoming a crisis for you, and that you'd really like to try counseling to see if you can save the marriage. Don't threaten, but let her know that you're serious and you just can't see how you can keep going unless something changes. And you're willing/anxious to do your part in making things better.

If she's smart she'll at least realize that life as a single mom isn't going to be nearly as sweet as making the marriage at least bearable for you. And if she really is an all-around good person maybe all she needs is to have her eyes opened to the potential results of where you are now and the availability of a better path.
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Re: Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby Dunkinfan99 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:07 pm

Thanks for all the advice. I’m going through and reading the list. She does not have any schooling and our bank account is jointed. It will be near impossible to save money without throwing up big red flags.

Do I think the marriage is salvageable? I don’t know. All I know is continuing down this path seems unbearable.

My only concern is my kids and it’s hard not to feel like because I’m the sole income generator of this family that I’m going to get completely crippled financially. I’m confident I’ll get split custody of my children, but I want to be able to provide a decent life for them when they are with me.

Her parents are fairly well off and will provide anything she can’t provide for herself. I’ll be out on my own and I don’t mind that. I just want to have enough leftover to give my kids a decent life when they’re with me, not just their mother.

I hope that makes sense.

Thanks again..
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Re: Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby RC611V » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:22 pm

Not sure of family law precedents in Maryland but unless it has some pretty serious hurdles, you can accomplish your goals of being the best parent possible, involved daily in your kids lives, and afford to live on the money you earn.

General advice - make your life now, the way you imagine it to be if/when you aren't living with the kids' mom.

You aren't likely going to be leaving them home with her on a daily, so either get a babysitter or a daycare or make preschool/school/afterschool arrangements. The part where she isn't happy about it and how to work around that is up to you, in the end, but ask around and read some threads and you'll get ideas.

She needs to not be living solely off your income if you want to have enough leftover to make it, unless you make a real lot. This is a variable equation and depends on the laws in your state. Check them out. Find out what you need to do. If she can earn more, that is a lot better. Try to get that happening before you go to court, cause also, coinciding with the general advice above -

Status quo is a big factor in court. So whatever the income levels are at when you file, it'll be hard to change much, for years, in court.

Read the forum, ask advice.

Try to repair your relationship and stay married. Divorce is last resort.
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Re: Feeling trapped- need some advice or guidance

Unread postby TJinCA » Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:08 pm

Financially, even at status quo it's probably not as bad as you think, and as mentioned you should do some research to see what the numbers look like so you can avoid unnecessary awfulizing.

Child support is usually a calculated number defined in the law based on incomes and custody arrangements. You can probably find a calculator for MD, plug in the numbers and see what your expected obligation will be.

Alimony or spousal support is usually harder - judges are frequently required to evaluate a number of subjective factors including need, marital standard of living, ability of the supported party to earn income, etc. and have significant discretion to decide on a number. Do some research for MD and it would probably be a good idea to talk to a lawyer and see what they think the expected hit would be. On the one hand I assume your wife has some education and marketable skills and could be doing more to support herself, but on the other hand someone will have to be providing child care for your kids for some time to come.

Bottom line is, particularly if you get a decent lawyer (and don't have to spend too much time having lawyers argue with each other), you may wind up financially uncomfortable for a while but it's unlikely you'll be crippled.
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