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Old 10-06-2015, 07:42 AM   #81
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Until now, she had pushed back on the passports as a form of control and also to prove how unreasonably difficult she is.
It was painful, but got it done.
Yes, I know the feeling. I couldn't get my X to agree to anything without some offsetting concession. One strategy might be to point out that the kids would be winners if they got to travel with you. My X did want the best for our daughter and routinely agreed to travel.

It does get a little better as time wears on. The best thing that happened to me was that she met someone and had to appear more reasonable in front of him, ie stalking stopped, midnight harassing calls stopped,etc.

One other thing I did once we reached the final agreement. I inserted a clause where I could buy her a life annuity to replace the alimony I am paying. I intend to do this in a few years to finally remove her completely(almost) from my life.
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Old 10-06-2015, 07:56 AM   #82
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It's very hard to take the stand you've taken and find someone decent to go into matrimony. I agree that many spouses need a prenuptial agreement, but keeping everything separate doesn't work well.
+1. My thoughts exactly when I read Lone Aspen's comments.
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Old 10-06-2015, 08:34 AM   #83
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So sorry about your situation. My DBF went through this, and the hardest part (besides getting soaked financially) was when his two kids started playing mom and dad against each other because mom and dad weren't on the same page regarding discipline. Mostly it was "dad's the bad guy because he has rules in his house". Tough rules such as "lock the door when you leave the house" and "no smoking in the house" --rules they agreed to before they moved in with us.

It got ugly, really ugly, with the kids gaining control in the power-play when the ex decided she wanted them back a short time later because her new relationship fell through. I'm sad to say that we don't see the kids anymore.

So I'm hoping you and your ex can still present a united front with regards to rules and discipline.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:04 AM   #84
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So sorry about your situation. My DBF went through this, and the hardest part (besides getting soaked financially) was when his two kids started playing mom and dad against each other because mom and dad weren't on the same page regarding discipline. Mostly it was "dad's the bad guy because he has rules in his house". Tough rules such as "lock the door when you leave the house" and "no smoking in the house" --rules they agreed to before they moved in with us.

It got ugly, really ugly, with the kids gaining control in the power-play when the ex decided she wanted them back a short time later because her new relationship fell through. I'm sad to say that we don't see the kids anymore.

So I'm hoping you and your ex can still present a united front with regards to rules and discipline.
Very valid point. Ex is a Tiger mom and while I'm more easy going, I do enforce fairness. So far, discipline has not been a point of contention between us or kids. Will try to keep it that way, but I don't foresee this as something that I will let happen.

That said, when the kids reach their teens it'll be much more tougher to hold this line from what I have seen. My plan is to be as actively involved with the lives of my kids so that they know that I am there for them and that I care enough to not let them get away with silly crap. Also will let Ex set the tone and not counteract or undermine her.

Too early, but I don't want this to hinder good parenting of the kids. When I stated what I want is the best for the kids, I mean this holistically and not just giving them everything that they want.

Thanks for the thoughtful suggestion.
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Old 10-06-2015, 09:08 AM   #85
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Yes, I know the feeling. I couldn't get my X to agree to anything without some offsetting concession. One strategy might be to point out that the kids would be winners if they got to travel with you. My X did want the best for our daughter and routinely agreed to travel.

It does get a little better as time wears on. The best thing that happened to me was that she met someone and had to appear more reasonable in front of him, ie stalking stopped, midnight harassing calls stopped,etc.

One other thing I did once we reached the final agreement. I inserted a clause where I could buy her a life annuity to replace the alimony I am paying. I intend to do this in a few years to finally remove her completely(almost) from my life.
Excellent idea. I'll keep this in my back pocket for later. Not that I'm counting on it, my family is comfortable which may mean that I may receive assets when my parents pass on. Whether I buy the annuity for her or pay her from the rental income stream, this will get me out from the financial yoke.

I do wish my Ex the best and if she can find someone to make her happy, that what I wish for her. No likely, but am hoping.
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:33 AM   #86
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Funny.
Heard this one other day.

What are the three rings of marriage:

-engagement ring
-wedding ring
-suffer ring

That's a good one!

Well my brother is getting married in just a few weeks... I don't discuss anything like this thread topic with him (not my business and too morbid besides, would be like discussing nursing homes with my parents... I'd rather not go there.).

I must admit I'm a little worried for him, but hoping for the best. I've had minimal interaction with his bride but some things she has said/done make me think . This wedding is a real eye opener... I personally would not be very happy spending $50k+ on a one day party...

I know my brother doesn't make that much different than me as we are both in the same field. Dropping $50k+ is significant...
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:44 AM   #87
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Your parenting plans all sound well and good, but how many years do you expect to be "visiting" your own children? And how do you define "visiting" ? IMO you can't really do active parenting from over a 1000 miles away. You said you have pre-teens, is there no way you can live in the same town? If a Mother had this arrangement she would be pretty heavily criticized.

Can you really be actively involved from that far away?
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:54 AM   #88
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I think he should demand she buy him a 26 foot center console boat with twin 250's. Only fair thing to do. This equal rights thing could be a really good thing.
I got a fishing boat for my wife.

Pretty good trade, I think...
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Old 10-06-2015, 02:27 PM   #89
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The best thing that happened to me was that she met someone and had to appear more reasonable in front of him, ie stalking stopped, midnight harassing calls stopped,etc.

That brings back memories! We experienced this same thing many years ago when DW's EX finally found a new taker. Not sure if it was for appearance's sake or just that he'd found a new hobby/obsession. But DW's quality of life - as well as mine - changed overnight. And over the years since, we've even been able to experience amicable conversation at family functions. Was not hopeful we'd ever see that day. And his second marriage - now nearing two decades - shows all outward indications of lasting so we should never have to experience a repeat performance.



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Old 10-06-2015, 03:10 PM   #90
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Been hiking biking and increasing activities while cutting back on the drinking, already feeling the benefits. Therapy has also been helping as well. Thanks for the advice.
Maybe a touchy question, but: Why did you decide to cut back on the drinking?
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:51 PM   #91
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Your parenting plans all sound well and good, but how many years do you expect to be "visiting" your own children? And how do you define "visiting" ? IMO you can't really do active parenting from over a 1000 miles away. You said you have pre-teens, is there no way you can live in the same town? If a Mother had this arrangement she would be pretty heavily criticized.

Can you really be actively involved from that far away?
I know what you mean. I've busted my butt at work to a point where they will flex and allow me to work remotely. Current plan is to work in Ny a week in a month so I'm near kids 2 wkends and 1 week in between.
If this doesn't work I'm planning on going back to management consulting so that I can fly back to Ny 2 wkends a month.
This is the best arrangement that I can come up with.

Being able to be apart from ex and her poison has been very therapeutic and has allowed me to heal. I can't see myself moving back full time.
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Old 10-07-2015, 12:42 AM   #92
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Maybe a touchy question, but: Why did you decide to cut back on the drinking?
All the money went to the lawyers.
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Old 10-07-2015, 06:00 AM   #93
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Living in an unhappy marriage is wasting the one life God gave us....
I'm pretty lucky same easy going woman for 25 years...

As long as the kids are shown love and attention they will survive just fine


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Old 10-07-2015, 08:36 AM   #94
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Check with your lawyer, of course, but my understanding of the taxation of alimony and child support is exactly opposite of that earlier in the thread. I believe you want the alimony amounts and the child support amounts to be spelled out separately because the former are tax deductible to you (and taxable income to her) and the latter are not. If the amounts are combined then I believe none of it is tax deductible.

Good luck. My ex left me in 2006 after 15 years and three kids. I was unhappy for a while but life has gotten slowly but steadily better over time. We split our net worth 50/50, I took and paid off all the debt, and even after paying a (small) lump sum alimony and ~14 years of child support (2006-2020), I am now FI and am planning to RE in the spring.

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Old 10-07-2015, 08:46 AM   #95
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Check with your lawyer, of course, but my understanding of the taxation of alimony and child support is exactly opposite of that earlier in the thread. I believe you want the alimony amounts and the child support amounts to be spelled out separately because the former are tax deductible to you (and taxable income to her) and the latter are not. If the amounts are combined then I believe none of it is tax deductible.

Good luck. My ex left me in 2006 after 15 years and three kids. I was unhappy for a while but life has gotten slowly but steadily better over time. We split our net worth 50/50, I took and paid off all the debt, and even after paying a (small) lump sum alimony and ~14 years of child support (2006-2020), I am now FI and am planning to RE in the spring.

2Cor521
SecondCor,

Will check this out with atty. I'm in same situation, 15 years in 3 kids looking at asset split and 15 years of payments. Don't really mind the payments, but the assets were all created by me which kinda stings. But that's the price of freedom, and if I can do it the first time I can do it again.

Happy to hear that you were able to get through it and thrive. Congrats on your RE.
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Old 10-07-2015, 09:27 AM   #96
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After reading thru a few of your comments, I'd be interested in hearing your EX's side of the story, I'm guessing it's quite a bit different then yours.

Your comment "thank God I SENT her to nursing school" what does that mean?

I raised the kids while she went to nursing school and worked night shifts..and were you at work all day yourself?

She had a good thing going and pushed too far and lost it all.

"Her money went into a black hole and mine just paid the bills" Would you like to define black hole for everybody.

The assets were all created by me, what does that mean.

You did too good a job of saving/investing and yet your contention is she spent like girls gone wild and ran up debt, did she not have access to any joint money.

You moved her away from her family because you didn't like her being around them...was this a joint decision or did you just do it?

And finally, your contention you are a greatly involved parent, well you have a weekend to travel cross country, a week at work, and what's left in the weekend you have to fly back to the West Coast....this covers a month's time. Instead of a fancy trip to Europe you might consider spreading out your vacation time to spend on the East coast.

For someone who isn't going to throw shade, you are doing a pretty good job of it. I hope things work out for you and your kids, but be conscious of the fact that you seem to have a pretty big chip on your shoulder still.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:03 AM   #97
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After reading thru a few of your comments, I'd be interested in hearing your EX's side of the story, I'm guessing it's quite a bit different then yours.

Your comment "thank God I SENT her to nursing school" what does that mean?

I raised the kids while she went to nursing school and worked night shifts..and were you at work all day yourself?

She had a good thing going and pushed too far and lost it all.

"Her money went into a black hole and mine just paid the bills" Would you like to define black hole for everybody.

The assets were all created by me, what does that mean.

You did too good a job of saving/investing and yet your contention is she spent like girls gone wild and ran up debt, did she not have access to any joint money.

You moved her away from her family because you didn't like her being around them...was this a joint decision or did you just do it?

And finally, your contention you are a greatly involved parent, well you have a weekend to travel cross country, a week at work, and what's left in the weekend you have to fly back to the West Coast....this covers a month's time. Instead of a fancy trip to Europe you might consider spreading out your vacation time to spend on the East coast.

For someone who isn't going to throw shade, you are doing a pretty good job of it. I hope things work out for you and your kids, but be conscious of the fact that you seem to have a pretty big chip on your shoulder still.
She wanted to improve her career prospects and wanted to go to school when the kids were still young. I encouraged her, paid for her tuition and raised the kids during time she went to school and worked nights at the hospital. I had a full time job, and picked up the kids from daycare to care for them after and was primary caregiver during days that I did not work.

After years to trying to work things out and giving to all of her unreasonable demands, I could no longer be the 'giver' both economically, emotionally and everything else. She lost out on a good thing in me.

What I made, I spend fully on the kids, family and shared expenses. On top of that I made sure that some of it was saved and invested even though it was not easy. I was fully transparent of my income expenses assets. She was not transparent, nor contributed to any of the major expenses. Income wise it was a 65/35 split. Expenses wise it was more like 90/10 for the duration of the marriage. Her approach to money was, what is yours is mine and what is mine is mine (her words).

Because I was able to save money all of my life and family is comfortable, she took the approach that I could afford it all.

All of the assets saved and invested during marriage was from me. Where her money went, I have no clue (i.e. black hole).

She had credit cards that I paid for and spend money from jtten account that only I funded. I even gave her mom an allowance to show my fealty and respect. It truly was one sided.

During the first 10 years of marriage, we lived in an area close to her family and she spent a lot of time over at her parents while severely limiting my time with kids and my family. We had to move for a better school district and had agreed to move. The new place was 25 miles away with a great school district. 2 months after I closed, they moved in 5 mins of the new house. Didn't really mind her close relationship with her family, just wanted fairness with my family. She was and remain 'married' to her family not me.

After I took the job traveling more and now situated in west coast, I stay engaged through calls/skype and frequent trips crosscountry. Currently looking at 20k in travel costs this year alone. Can't tell you how many red eye trips and banging out work on laptop in the narrow plane seats to squeeze in the trips to see the kids (yeah, that's me in the plane with the laptop).

All vacations and trips were done by me and with kids, in and around the NE area for the past 10 years. The 'fancy' European trip was something that I have never done and wanted to do for as long as I can remember.

I don't have a chip anywhere. I am a victim of domestic abuse that finally said no, as she feels like I abandoned her. Nobody is perfect, starting with me.

Thanks for helping me remember why I am where I am now.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:13 AM   #98
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Her approach to money was, what is yours is mine and what is mine is mine (her words).
If anybody ever told me that (and they were serious), they'd be out of my life forever. Relationship over. Immediately. No chance of reconciliation.

I know it's far more difficult than that when you're married, living in the same house, have kids, etc. But there's no way I could deal with somebody in my life having that attitude. If anybody seriously thought they were entitled to their part of the pie AND mine, they'd be out of my life forever.

Salaryman - Did this attitude of hers surface earlier in the relationship? Any hints at all?

In any case, good luck with everything!
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:18 AM   #99
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What I made, I spend fully on the kids, family and shared expenses. On top of that I made sure that some of it was saved and invested even though it was not easy. I was fully transparent of my income expenses assets. She was not transparent, nor contributed to any of the major expenses. Income wise it was a 65/35 split. Expenses wise it was more like 90/10 for the duration of the marriage. Her approach to money was, what is yours is mine and what is mine is mine (her words).

Because I was able to save money all of my life and family is comfortable, she took the approach that I could afford it all.

All of the assets saved and invested during marriage was from me. Where her money went, I have no clue (i.e. black hole).
I hear ya. My first husband and I kept our finances separate but when one partner spends every dime they make (and then some) and the other is doing without some "wants" to put money aside, guess who's the Emergency Fund when the furnace needs replacing or the car transmission dies. Congratulations on detaching form her. I hope your daughters take their financial clues from you.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:33 AM   #100
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All the money went to the lawyers.
It is to your, your soon to be x-wife's, and your kid's advantage to keep as many decisions as possible in your collective hands and out of the hands of the black-robes. I have known people who have literally had their entire home equity (in the hundred thousand plus range) eaten up by the legal process. Hopefully, the lawyers enjoyed their nice homes since the divorcing parties plans for future homes were dead.

We went to a lawyer who specialized in mediating the settlement and guiding us through the legal process. We did an estimate of the value of our assets and worked out a 50/50 split moving things about on a spreadsheet until we were both satisfied. At the divorce hearing, the judge simply asked if we both agreed with the division and we said yes. Over and done. We even got a few hundred back from the mediation lawyer since we used so little of her time. It helped we did not have minor children issues to deal with. But, the mediation lawyer would have guided us through that also, making sure we both knew what traps to avoid that might cause future problems.

Sure, maybe one of us came out a bit ahead of the other, perhaps. But, the cost of getting experts and black-robes to make sure the deal was 100%' equitable would have set both of us back more than any inequity they might have discovered.
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