Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 2:57 PM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023
Landslide: I don’t think the prior situation with his first child plays in here. He wasn’t a poor parent or neglectful but is a seasoned Disney dad. We actually talked about it in couples counseling related to the kids we have together because I’m worried about him repeating patterns that he agreed he had done with his first child. At any rate … he has little experience caretaking on his own and I hate the idea of him taking the kids for 30-42 days when he has never spent more than 4 hours with them solo. And they’re so young to be apart from me for so long. We also had discussed how it is too confusing for them to return to the state we lived in last and the old house. But if he is still in that state next summer for his court case I don’t know how it would work. I suppose I have to stipulate if he takes them for a shorter period of time it has to occur in this state at an Airbnb or something. And of course the finances worry me, they did before when he had agreed to alimony. And now that he is saying nope to that I am petrified. I mean we STILL pay lifetime alimony to his first wife and paid, on our own , college for his first child. And now he says no alimony and no contributions to the kids 529 amongst other new suggestions.
I am anticipating it will be ugly from here on out. Not terribly surprising but I am so high stress right now that all of this is breaking me more than I thought I could possibly break. I need something to give.
TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 4:46 PM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023
What the actual fuck with this update?
He is a tool of epic proportions. I shouldn't be surprised but I had some assumptions about a military man having some honor and sense of responsibility especially with and for his children.
I hate to see money wasted on divorce lawyers but I'm glad you have some means to fight this. Utter bullshit. No contribution to college? Let's talk to a judge about that.
Wishing you continued steel resolve in pushing your life forward with all that you and your children are entitled to.
I won't put in writing what I wish for him.
SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 5:40 PM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023
I won't put in writing what I wish for him.
Thank you for such a nice way to say this. I am so upset for you.
But I'm pulling for you. You've held your head up and been so amazing through all of this. Whey he's making the road rougher for his own children, I cannot understand. I'm so glad they have you.
We are here for you. I'm glad you have attorney(s) you can trust.
[This message edited by SadieMae at 8:14 PM, Thursday, August 31st]
Me: BW D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020
Yay! A new D-Day on 11/8/2023 WTAF
HellFire ( member #59305) posted at 7:04 PM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023
He had lulled you into thinking you could believe his words. He has proven he can't be trusted. It's the reason you're here. Nothing he says makes any difference. He's a liar.
It's not terribly surprising that he has asked for all of that nonsense in the divorce papers. Divorce attorneys do exactly this. They shoot for the moon, then both attorneys try to bargain,until an agreement is reached,and papers are signed. If no agreement is reached, the judge will decide.
I will be everywhere you look,but nowhere to be found. And that will be my revenge.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 10:33 PM on Thursday, August 31st, 2023
Off the phone earlier with my attorney and just finished stress puking, so that shows you how the conversation went.
Basically, my attorney says I am being screwed in epic proportions and also in a very difficult position. We went through the draft and I noted what I wanted added, edited, or struck. But the next steps is what we are stuck on.
(1) My attorney can go back and present the counteroffer and his counsel can reject it and force a trial. If it goes to trial I am supremely screwed because the state in which we filed is not friendly to moms, has no basis for alimony, and will not rule anything I counter in my favor other than the bare minimum child support. And maybe I could be awarded a small portion of his retirement and 401K (which I have not gone after because what I am eligible for is low AND he may lose all of it anyway if he is convicted of the crime he is being charged with). I would walk away an amount in child support that would cover less than half of our rent (and I am not living lavishly).
(2) We can push for mediation. I will have to research, interview, and hire a mediator if the other side agrees to it. If they don't, they can force a trial. If they do agree then we use mediation to try to get his side up. So that means I will have to travel for mediation dates, not knowing if it may take a day or a week or a month. And of course retain my attorney for the length of mediation and then finalizing everything, AND pay for a mediator.
I am so fucking sick to my stomach. He agreed in our temporary orders to these terms and is reneging on everything. We used marital funds to put my stepchild through college and continue to pay his first wife alimony in perpetuity. She has received over $200k in alimony during our marriage alone. And now he is saying he will not contribute funds to our kids' 529s or pay alimony after 12 months. Or pay - at his discretion - more than 20% of summer camp fees and childcare fees. He is literally saying he does not give a f*ck whether his children have a roof over their heads. Because even if I scramble and get random babysitter jobs or drive for Uber when the kids are in school or find a "real" job and push half my income to pay fill in babysitters there is no way I will be able to stay afloat each month. Especially now that I will face easily another $20,000 in attorney and mediator fees in the next month. If I had known he would renege I would have moved into a studio in the old state or in with my parents in their state. Now I am facing the very real possibility of having to move for the FOURTH time in under a year if I am forced to.
I know it sounds so desperate but I am back to where I was when DDay hit and am wracking my brain trying to figure out what I did in my life to deserve this.
nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 12:03 AM on Friday, September 1st, 2023
I am so sorry. This is disgusting of him. His lawyer must have made him aware of what you would be entitled to in a trial and he is taking advantage. You should absolutely talk to your parents and consider that option.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 6:25 AM on Friday, September 1st, 2023
So so sorry Fold. This is very unfortunate. Please get your parents on board and plan your next steps carefully. He has nothing to lose at this point , no job, no responsibilities and no conscience to speak of and will fight you tooth and nail to get what he wants.
Sending you hugs, strength and prayers.
Hang in there please.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 4:45 PM on Friday, September 1st, 2023
Thanks, Nekonomida and Abalone. Appreciate your kind words.
I cannot fathom moving again, and having to move to another state and in with family. I never wanted to, I want to live independently, I don’t want to be in my old hometown, I don’t want to be displaced again, I don’t want the kids to have to switch to another school in a new state, I don’t want to put everything in storage and not have my things. It is just awful. And I’m stuck in my lease so it is moot for now. Again, I can use my savings to pay for rent probably for the year and keep pushing to find work which has always been the plan any way and what I have been doing. Maybe I can make it work for the year and then if I lose out so badly will move after the school year ends.
He disgusts me with how he has flipped everything. After all he has destroyed, to do this now when I will financially go negative to the detriment of his kids. While he is off on vacation right this second, has bought himself new furniture and appliances, was sporting brand new sunglasses when he FaceTimed the kids last. Disgusting.
Spoke with my attorney again this morning. He said I may be able to run out the clock for 4-6 weeks but then the court will demand movement and his side can still force a trial at any point. My attorney spoke with his last night and said they are open to mediation. But it still is expensive, will have to travel there for who knows how long it takes, and still could get a terrible deal. I am petrified. Didn’t sleep again last night, everyone is still fighting this cold and feeling unwell, and just reeling. Been in tears majority of last two days. I don’t know what else I can take. I’ve handled a lot and feel like I am breaking.
The only things I can think to do other than see how it plays out with mediation are:
1. Try to reason with him. He will visit the kids next weekend (allegedly, don’t know if he booked) and I can try to reason for us to get this sorted on our own and save money and time.
2. Call his mentor, a retired high ranking officer whom he is close with, and explain what he is doing to me. This person knows the full story already but not the financial cut off he has pulled. I can ask him to reason with him. I am close with them so not off base to reach out. He probably values his mentor and his influence more than anyone else I can think of.
3. Let him know I am willing to go scorched earth. Will contact investigators, military media, influential friends in the military world with full details.
Plus and minuses to each. I can’t believe this is the situation I am facing. He is a horrible person. There is no other way around it. And while I am stressing the most over finances I am so effing sick to my stomach of what his actions say about how he is willing to put himself and money before the kids.
ChamomileTea ( Moderator #53574) posted at 1:25 AM on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
I think it's really important to phrase things in such a way as to NOT be extortive. The last thing you need is your douch-canoe WS making out like you're blackmailing him, right? That said, this guy is facing charges that could cause him significant trouble, isn't he? What happens if you make yourself available to the prosecution as a witness to the depravity of his despicable character?
I'm thinking that I wouldn't put something like that in writing, but I might just very casually remind him that he needs all the character witnesses he can get just now, and it's not a good look when a guy cheats, destroys his family dynamic, and then creates a situation where they are financially abandoned, and tormented. I might look him right in the eye and remind him that while a prosecution can't usually MAKE a person testify against their spouse, they don't stop them from doing it either.
Mean? Maybe. But you didn't start this. He needs to be keeping you sweet right now, and unfortunately, his ego is so overblown he's too stupid to know it.
BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)
Married 40 years; in R with fWH for 8
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 2:39 AM on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
Thanks, Chamomile for replying. I am beside myself, and I just really needed support today, so thank you for being here. I have never felt this close to whatever "the edge" is than I do now. I don't know what more I can take.
I do worry about the threat factor. I think I will try to appeal to reason when he is here in a week. To get this done, to honor our agreement, that to have this finalized quickly will only help him, will only positively impact how we coparent, will only be to the benefit of the kids. And if he says no or he will only do mediation, then I have to figure out what to do Probably as you mentioned -- a reference that is not a direct threat. Just that he has backed me into a corner and if he is unwilling to (1) honor our agreement or (2) renegotiate with me, then I will have my hand forced to take steps to ensure I can properly protect myself and our kids, related to all of his pending legal issues. And then I will 100% call his mentor and see what goes from there. My attorney said it may be good if we have to do mediation for the mediator to use the scorched earth approach, let them tell him he has an extremely upset spouse who will exercise her options to testify against him, go to the media, and call the roster of influential people who I know will turn their backs on him once they hear what he has done to me. At that point I will have literally nothing to lose.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 4:40 AM on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
Fold, You are right in your thought process in not wanting to antagonize him at this point. Play your cards well. Your end goal is a fair division of financial assets and coparenting peacefully.
At this point the only consequence for his f ups is the trial. Even with that hanging over his head, he hasn’t given up on being a a**h**e. If he is exonerated his a**h**e scale is going to see a log fold ( pun intended) increase. So I would use the threats only if things get completely out of hand.
Please take a deep breath and remind yourself you got this. Things have been very unfair this year for you but you have been exceptionally strong. I truly respect you for your strength and I know you will pull through. Take care please.
Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 1:36 PM on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
OMG! I’m so angry for you, Fold!!! I can’t believe how awful your husband is! And to add insult to injury you aren’t even offered what the first wife and child got. That’s got to hurt - especially when family funds went into paying for them!
You’ve gotten good advice- especially about not putting anything threatening in writing BUT making sure he knows the lengths you are willing to go IF he chooses to go this route. Make sure all his family knows everything he has done, too. Your plan looks good.
I’m worried about your health. You’ve been under an incredible amount of stress. School starts soon and you’ll have more freedom. Take some time to relax- yoga, walks, meditation if possible - anything to get your stress down.
Everyone here supports you and your fight against a man I now believe to be a sociopath.
Sending hugs. ❤️
kiwilee ( member #10426) posted at 2:48 PM on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
Hugs to you! I’m sorry you are dealing with some really tough circumstances.
If you agree to mediation, just wanted you to know it could be virtual so you don’t have to add travel expenses.
As you are experiencing, it is a rollercoaster of a ride. Try your best to practice intense self care!! And hope/believe (or manifest) that the roller coaster will go back up just as sure as it goes down. Point being- what you are facing now is probably the worst of what he is proposing because they inflated everything for negotiation power. This is not the end settlement. Breathe through all the unknowns and focus on what you can control.
You are intelligent, resourceful, and you will get through this!
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 3:12 PM on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
Abalone: Thank you again. I just took another call with my attorney just now and went over the plan. I am going to try to reason with him next week when he is here. And if he does not budge on it then make the veiled threat that I have been backed into a corner, and that he is forcing my hand that I will have to do whatever it takes to protect myself and the kids, and the way I will be forced to do that will be extremely public. Then I will call his mentor. Best case the mentor can reason with him to honor his commitment after what he has done to us and he listens and is open to settling fairly. Worst case it has no impact, but the relationship with the mentor will likely change in some ways and that will sour his potential in the future for connections or possible work. If we go to mediation then we go and see where things land. I do not want to play dirty and have a bad coparenting relationship with him. But this is what we are facing. He is a horrible person and I legit married a stranger. I would gladly give up ALL of the things we agreed to at this point if he is incarcerated because if he is then I can legally cut him off from the kids. They may wind up better for it any way.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 3:23 PM on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
BeachGirl: Thanks for supporting me. I have been thinking when to contact his family. If he will not budge on negotiating then I may have to. But I do not know if they have influence over him. They are supporting him through all of this as a victim (not the marriage part but the crime part) and they of course are probably thinking why should he give me any money when he has to spend money on his criminal case. It just may not be worth anything and better not to even engage.
School will be helpful for everyone. We are in such a small space and literally are bumping into each other constantly and it is overwhelming to manage everything I need to be doing and be the kid entertainer nonstop. I am of course not doing well in all senses. I have been run ragged for months. I know you and everyone else knows how that goes and feels. But I am crumbling away. All of this has weighed more heavily on me than anything else he has done to me. It feels incredibly insurmountable.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 3:29 PM on Saturday, September 2nd, 2023
Thanks, Kiwi. My attorney said I could do mediation virtually but he doesn't want me to. It has poor optics, I agree. My parents could fly in to help while I go out of town. I just hope it will be for a few days.
I appreciate your well wishes. I cannot express how hopeless I feel right now. The money stuff aside, the changing the agreement stuff aside, the cheating/divorce aside, all of the trauma of it all aside. It makes me sick to know that his choices continue to only harm kids.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 4:37 PM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023
Hi Fold, hope you are doing better today. I am going to keep my fingers crossed that you will be able to reason with him when he is visiting. I don’t remember if you mention this but do you have a good therapist to navigate through these tough times? Take care.
HotPinkFlairPen ( new member #82968) posted at 5:01 PM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023
How how hooooow is everything so stacked in your nasty STBX's favor?!
I've been thinking about your situation all weekend. It's like the whole damn justice system is gaslighting you.
How did his ex get such a good deal? How can a judge drop you and your children in the lurch?
BW, 34 years old, married 10 years. Twin sons born 2021.
Dday 1: 2/16/23. Dday 2: 3/16/23 (STBXWH tried to rekindle A, AP sent NC). Dday 3: 8/20/23 (new AP, same bulls***)
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 9:43 PM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023
Thanks, Abalone. I got some sleep last night (yay for Tylenol PM) and have kept busy today with kid stuff, errands, applying to jobs. Still in fog of head cold and of course mired in this fresh hell tossed at me.
Took high road yet again when he texted to FaceTime and connected them right away. Maybe me maintaining good connections to both parents means something to him when I try to reason with him. Or not. Who knows any more, right?
Yes, I have a virtual therapist I see once a week. He is new (my last one was not licensed in my new state) and I like him. He's very salt of the earth / tell it like it is and that is a good approach for me because that is how I am. I can keep seeing him until the divorce is final and then I lose my benefits and will have a gap until I can get transitional insurance in place.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 9:51 PM on Sunday, September 3rd, 2023
Thanks Hot Pink. You have SO much on your plate right now and are considerate to check in. Thank you.
His first wife is kind of a hot mess. Never worked and nickel and dimed everything. But she got a good deal because their child was with her basically exclusively and I think she gate kept a bit. He would see his first child when he could, never more than what was dictated and often less. They never lived in the same state post-divorce. Basically the same as now. Maybe he cared more then, maybe he felt more responsible then. But it has been literally 20 years since their divorce and so I guess he figured why do it again at that level when he can try to cheap out? No clue.
The court system is difficult in many states and sadly that includes where we had been residents and where I filed. It just is not friendly to moms. I do not satisfy the litmus test for alimony so it is at his discretion. That is the tricky point in all of this because a judge will not award me more. It is up to us to determine (and with a mediator I suppose now). It just disgusts me. He did so much to destroy everything and the fact that he is taking away what we agreed on, what propelled me to move and start fresh here knowing there would be a (small) safety net while I get established is so unforgivable. And if he successfully pulls this off he will forever damage how we coparent and how the innocent ones in all of this will grow up knowing (at some point, not that I am like talking about any of this to minors) what an actual POS he is to purposefully see to it that there is struggle and suffering.