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Old 12-25-2013, 09:29 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
...I found out not long after that that my wife has borderline personality disorder and a bit of narcissism. She's also on depression meds. ....I know now she took my 5 year old to meet these men at times... ugh. .....Focus is on my girls from this point forward. I'm feeling good. Liberated for sure.
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For the most part, courts don't care what a lousy wife you had, but if it comes to negotiations about custodianship, child support, spousal support etc., you may have a good card in your hand here. The state has to decide who gets the kids, so if you are not too quick to concede exclusive custodianship, a good female attorney might be able to make wife look like the slut of the century, which matters not at all EXCEPT in deciding who is fit to be the custodial parent. ....
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Having funded your wife's lifestyle of staying home and pursuing her various romantic adventures, are you sure you want to concede custody and continue to pay her way in doing whatever she wants? Courts do like to preserve status quo and will often assume a stay at home mom is a more active and involved parent than a working dad, but you may want to consider if it is the best interest of your kids to live in that environment or not.

Sorry you find yourself and your kids in such a mess.
While it may be too late since you have already made an offer to your wife, I think you're being too generous, particularly with custody and the 2 years of spousal support.

I'm also concerned that your wife 's post divorce activities may have on your daughters if she has custody and what they will think is "normal".

If you haven't yet consulted a divorce lawyer, please do so asap.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:40 AM   #22
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I've been there before too..

Besides the recommendations for consulting with a divorce lawyer (and pick one with an excellent track record and references), please consider getting counseling for yourself at this point in the process.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:13 AM   #23
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Also, never underestimate the potential danger your girls are exposed to while in the company of boyfriends and/or step-fathers. The comment might seem a little paranoid, but better safe than sorry.

My mom raised two daughters on her own and she heard far too many stories from her girlfriends about sexual abuse by boyfriends and step-dads.

Will your wife's issues blind her to the motives and actions of predators?
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:33 AM   #24
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Besides the recommendations for consulting with a divorce lawyer (and pick one with an excellent track record and references), please consider getting counseling for yourself at this point in the process.
+1
Stay away from women for a while. Your happiness comes from within, not who you're with. That time will come, just not now. You'll be surprised how much you will grow in the next year. I promise it will change. When you're ready that perfect woman will be there.

A great suggestion I was given was to ask trusted friends/family to critique what they saw in your relationship. Only do this with folks you 100% trust, and when you're ready to hear a different, maybe painful view.

I'd check with the attorney about your support offer, in some states that might open the doors for even more costs. Just because you think you can afford it, doesn't mean you should. If your ex has no money skills it will be blown, better to put in 529 for your children's education.

I'm also reminded of a friend, that went down a similiar road. For whatever reasons they fought about 'stuff' cars, house, bicycles, junk in the attic, you name it. They both had restraining orders against each other, so their lawyers did all the arguing. At the end they reconciled, with a six figure attorney bill. Stuff can easily be replaced for a lot less money.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:36 AM   #25
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I am very sorry to read this, evr. What a difficult few years you have had. Good to come to terms with the reality and move on. I know there are some other posters here who came out of divorces with $0 or even owing $$, but there is of course more than the financial hardship to go through.

An advice columnist would tell you to get tested for STDs considering the multiple partners. And there is another can of worms that you might not want to open re paternity.

To repeat what was said to others in similar situations, remember these forums can be read by anyone, including divorce attorneys for an ex, and comments might used against you if they can find them here.

You are a really good dad to have put your children first during this.
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #26
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....An advice columnist would tell you to get tested for STDs considering the multiple partners. .......
Never thought of that one...
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Old 12-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #27
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Thanks for the support. Haha, I guess I need to clarify my statement:

"I'll start off by saying I don't desire to be single, and I'm sure I'll find a new wife soon, better able to identify what I really want in my life"

What I meant is that I'm older now and I myself am better able to identify what I really want in life. At 23 I wanted a wife and family. I married someone who needed me... I knew my wife in HS and we started dating in college when she was in a very depressed state in life. I incorrectly assumed I'd be appreciated (and that it would be a good foundation) in my marriage for being there for her in the lowest point of her life. Immaturity on my part, and lack of wisdom. Seems so foolish now. Definitely perfect stage for what ended up happening... Not to excuse her behavior or inability to seek help or come to me during it to try and correct things.

Anyways, I'm a very future oriented person. So my language is meant to say only that I don't desire to be 50 and single. I want a family and I want to share my life with someone. I'm in no rush there however. I'm taking my time.

Good example... A mutual friend put me in touch with a women about my age going through the same thing. I'm guessing he cheated on her, but unlike me she just doesn't want to dig that up. He came home from a 9 month work trip and suddenly just said he didn't love her anymore and wanted a divorce (they have a 6 year old). I've been helping her understand his actions aren't a reflection of her... She seemed to think she's worthless. The pain of rejection without understanding why.

Anyways it became clear to me this girl was emotionally attaching to me in this. She is in no place to start a new relationship (I'm not either) so I had to tell her pretty bluntly I'm not interested in that... But I would love to help her resolve things if she needs someone to vent to.

I swear I'm not crazy and jumping straight into the next. Haha, didn't mean to give that impression

What I really want is someone who values me, not needs me. I want to find happiness myself and then share that with someone else who has similar goals in life. I'm done adapting myself to someone else... That is what my entire marriage was. I see now how unhealthy that was and I'm very sensitive to not falling into that role again.
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It's a long battle and things will change, for sure..
Old 12-25-2013, 10:46 AM   #28
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It's a long battle and things will change, for sure..

Right now, the fighting and lawyer antics will be about money splitting, personal things, splitting the assets, long term support, who pays for what (you will since she has no income - you will even pay her attorney's bills), etc, etc.

But in the long run, the real damage gets done to the children as many of us know and have experienced here. Your kids will be seeing you or her on occasion and be shuffled around on holidays. Mine used to show up with empty suitcases.

Plus, the news to them that they have (could, may) a new Dad and Mom to deal with is going to be an influence on them, good, bad, or otherwise. The kids will need counseling at some point in time too.
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Old 12-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #29
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+1
Stay away from women for a while. Your happiness comes from within, not who you're with. ....
I disagree the OP shoud "stay away from women for a while."

Conversely, I see no reason the OP shouldn't have as many friendships with as many women as he desires or is comfortable with - yet making it clear he is not considering marriage to any for some time.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:02 PM   #30
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I disagree the OP shoud "stay away from women for a while."

Conversely, I see no reason the OP shouldn't have as many friendships with as many women as he desires or is comfortable with - yet making it clear he is not considering marriage to any for some time.
OK replace women with relationships. Yes you can have many good female friends, they may have some very good insights. It can add some complexity. Ensure everyone knows and respects the boundaries.
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Old 12-25-2013, 12:11 PM   #31
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Lots of good advice here. I would have one thing to add. Pretend that your spouse has the most aggressive divorce lawyer possible and will take you to the cleaners, in spite of your current conciliatory position. Ask yourself what is the worst settlement that you can stomach. Then get yourself a lawyer to protect your future and make sure you have sufficient involvement with your kids that you can actually neutralize some of the awful things that they have been subject to already.

Pay particular attention to the dangerous behaviour that spouse has already exposed your kids to. You have a very good case but you must act quickly.
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:11 PM   #32
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*edit*
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:48 PM   #33
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If she didn't know you were recording the conversation, I don't see how the recording was "legally acquired."
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Old 12-26-2013, 12:53 PM   #34
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Unless you are a celebrity with zillions of dollars, your divorce won't go to trial or litigation. At most, you will both be represented by separate attorneys who will at first, not want the haggling to end (they love to bill you).

Secondly, if you can't come up with an agreement on assets distribution, you will be asked to go to mediation where a 3rd party will help you split the goods. If that doesn't work, then the judge will do it quickly.

On the issue of support and custody, the state you are in may have special rules you must follow. Circumstances differing will be decided and signed off by the judge at the closing ceremony.

Having all the tape recordings, pictures of bad things, witnesses, etc, usually don't mean a hill of beans as the divorce settlement agreement is what counts. Even if your wife admitted adultery and several boyfriend encounters, her lawyer can make it sound like it was YOUR fault.

Work on the settlement agreement and review the state's rules on monetary support. That's going to be the bottom line for both of you.

I went through a long, and costly California divorce from a wife of 17 years with two teenagers in the marriage. It was a nightmare and the attorney costs were six figures 15 years ago. And we ALL know how bad a California divorce can be.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:00 PM   #35
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Logic and common sense doesn't always follow law... unfortunately it is difficult to prove adultery. That said, I have a pretty slam dunk case if it goes that route. I have my wife on audio tape (legally acquired) admitting to it in specific details (dates, times, positions, etc...)
A truly gnarly conversation. I think you should stop posting about this, talk only to an experienced attorney and face to face friends.
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As I understand it... legally there is no reason for me to pay her any spousal support. However, we have a special needs child and although she is college educated she hasn't been working for 4 years. There are provisional clauses under the adultery cases where a wife still cannot be left destitute and courts have a habit of putting the children first (rightfully so).
I have no personal experience with adultery, and if I did I am kind of no fault when it comes to someone's passions. But I think you are likely wrong about the part played by adultery. I think the entire US has no fault divorce. Go get represented and find out reality. To the best of my knowledge, though adultery may operate on people's feelings in negotiations, be careful in assuming that her adultery has any effect on how you might emerge from this financially.

Ha
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:21 PM   #36
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I've spent the last 3 months with an attorney and studying Virginia law specific to the circumstances... Just sharing the story.

Virginia is old school when it comes to divorce. Adultery and physical abuse in the state are the only grounds for immediate divorce without a 1 year separation period when kids are involved. The idea here is (again old school) if you are dependent on financial support from the marriage and you sleep with someone outside the marriage... that new person is now responsible for providing for you... no longer your spouse.

Virginia law also states that private conversations between two persons may be recorded so long as one party in the conversation is consenting. My lawyer advised I do this, and was floored that I actually got her to talk openly about the facts.

Proof of adultery is difficult, which is why you hear so many people say judges just smack the two parents on the head and say... shut up about it you both want to divorce lets focus on the kids now. It is a criminal act so people are protected under 5th amendment to testify against themselves. Usually judges have to go on circumstantial evidence collected by PI over long periods of time. Rarely there is proof... video or audio. This is what my lawyer told me to try to get if I could get her to either agree to be video taped in the act (yeah right...) or could record her openly discussing specific details to prove it was in fact exactly what the Virginia courts deem as adultery.

Again, hopefully all a moot point.

We have our separation agreement completed. We are signing it this weekend... unless she gets cold feet about what we've already gone over. We've already been back and forth on the document for the last 10 weeks... and each spent about $3,000 to get to where we are.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:25 PM   #37
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A truly gnarly conversation. I think you should stop posting about this, talk only to an experienced attorney and face to face friends.

Ha


+1
I am cringing at reading this and can't help but think that your honest attempt to tell your story may be used against you in some way. In addition, if it makes you feel better to discuss the situation seek some professional counseling. I leveraged counseling when I went through a divorce 13 years ago and it helped immensely in my ability to come to terms with not only the situation but also my own mixed up feelings.

Good luck!!
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:27 PM   #38
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I see. You are very well informed then. This sounds like 40 miles of bad road-good luck in every way. And good luck to your wife, though not against you. She will need it going forward. I hope she has the sense to hide her past when she starts dating. It isn't a great advertisement for a marriage prospect.


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Old 12-26-2013, 01:27 PM   #39
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Keep us posted. Sounds like you have a good plan. Good thing you are not in California.
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Old 12-26-2013, 01:27 PM   #40
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You're right, nothing good can come from the facts of the story floating around the internet.

I edited my above post.

Thanks.
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