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Divorce/Separation :
Advice for my sitdown...

Topic is Sleeping.
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 1:56 AM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Finally, nine months after I filed for D, we are having our sitdown to see if we can get this settled. Unfortunately it does not seem likely but you never.

I was looking for any advice anyone can give regarding how to make this successful. I really want this done. I do not want to go to trial. I already know I am not going to get everything I want because nobody does and that I need to have priorities - that which I will negotiate and that which I won't. Any other advice? This is making me anxious.

Me: BS - 54 Him: WH - 55 DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA Filed for D 9/2021***************An apology without the action to back it up is just manipulation.

posts: 675   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8735636
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 2:47 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Pre-sit down advice:

1. Prepare yourself to remain calm. Do not swear. Do not get angry. Get your poker face on. This is business, not personal.

2. Think more about what is "fair" instead of what you want. Loosely speaking, you should get half. If he is trying to get more than half, then you have a big big problem.

3. Be prepared to quit all negotiations if he is being unreasonable. Again, you get half (more or less). If he wants 80% and is call you selfish because you are telling him that you want half, then you have no hope.

I went to trial. The end result was frustrating because the judge's decision was basically my pre-trial offer to settle. Of course, that was WAY better than her "best and final offer."

Me: BH, age 48Her: WS, age 45 (multiple EAs and PAs)D-Day: August 30, 2016

Diagnosed with depression in December 2016, which was primarily caused by my xWW's affair and associated emotional abuse.

posts: 5297   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8735684
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 4:46 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Are you sitting down in a 4-way with attorneys representing each party, or are you trying to do it yourself?

I wouldn't try and negotiate with my ex at all--he was totally unreasonable (even his original attorney said he was difficult).

But if you think you can hammer out a fair settlement this way, I guess it's worth a try.

If you have an attorney, I would get a list of things you need to settle upon. Some things are pretty straightforward (like QDRO) and some are not (who pays for college). Are you familiar with what is normal in your area for things like child support and division of property? How is spousal support generally determined?

Probably the BEST thing that happened in my situation is that my attorney was extremely detailed in her definition of various things (such as what constituted college expenses). She spelled everything out, which became a lifesaver when I had to go back to court for non-compliance.

I wouldn't sign anything without everything being complete and spelled out. You should be making a decision based on the TOTAL of the settlement, not doing it piecemeal. My ex wanted me to start agreeing to this or that piecemeal and I refused (which made him unreasonably angry) because I wanted to see the total of it all before I agreed to any one issue.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 33095   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8735703
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WornDown ( member #37977) posted at 7:47 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Here's a method I've used for all my negotiations (business and personal):

Make a table with four columns: Item (what is the point being negotiated, eg, Visitation days, the house, the cars, etc); My position (starting negotiation position); Other Position (where they are) and Final position.

Then, in each row, you list your Items with one items per row. Make these as specific as possible, not broad categories. For example: break visitation up into Custody % (50/50, Every other weekend, etc), What days (weekends, rotating schedule, etc).

At the beginning of the meeting give the other side a copy so you can both work through it. Leave space for additional topics the other party might bring up, or other topics you didn't think about.

[On a separate version - one that you don't let the other side see (keep it at home, in your bag, etc.) in the "Final" column, put down what your absolute lowest agreement would be. Example: You have 50/50 custody. Any less than that, you can't agree. (A judge might order that, but that's not the negotiation). This helps you know in your head what you want/would agree to and you can refer to it after the meeting)]

Leave lots of room in each "box" so you can jot notes of positions during the negotiation of the day. Where did you move to, where did he move to.

If you come to an agreement, great, note that in the End position column (and what it was). If you don't - highlight what position you moved to and where he moved to. You can come back to this later at later negotiations.

At the end of the meeting, review the positions with the other side - what you agreed to, what you didnt (and what each side's position is for that topic).

After the meeting, retype your table with updated My Position/Others Position (with where you each ended) and Final position for those that have them. Send a copy to the counter party (be sure to note at the top of the document that this is a summary of negotiated positions, and are subject to change during further negotiations).

What this does is a few things:

1) Helps you figure out what you want. What is important to you and what is not. What are you willing to trade to get something that is important. If you don't care about the china/silverware, but want the better car, offer one for the other.

2) In the meeting, it keeps you focused on one topic at a time - no jumping around. If the other party tries to jump to something else, say "We are talking about X. We can talk about Y later, after we conclude talking about X." It's a classic strategy to knock the other party off balance by jumping all around different points in the negotiations.

3) You can quickly come to agreement on some topics and get them out of the way. This is also a psychological trick in negotiations: build momentum by "stacking" your topics from easiest to hardest. By quickly banging through the easy ones, the discussion builds a momentum of getting to "yes." You'd be shocked how after 20 min of "yes" you find yourself - and them - finding common ground on the stickier subjects, because you are both used to agreeing.

4) Records your positions. By reviewing it at the end of the meeting (and make sure you do), you reaffirm that you've come to agreement on positions. It will be very hard for the other side to say later, "No, we didn't agree to that," if you get confirmation that they did. Also why you send a copy of your cleaned up notes.

5) The cleaned up notes for a starting point for future negotiations. You shouldn't go back over things you already agreed to. If the other side brings those up, you just say, "We've already come to agreement on that. Let's move on to the still open issues." Of course, you CAN open up closed things, but that's going to cost the other side - never give something without getting something in return.

6) If you are dealing with a difficult person (ex), the document shows a good faith effort on your part at negotiations. If they come back demanding everything all over again, it can show a court that the other side is negotiation in bad faith (judges don't like this)


NB: With some people negotiations are pointless. It is easier and simpler just to go to the judge because the other side is just going to be unreasonable. If you KNOW your ex is going to be like this, save the time/money of it and go to court. Some places mandate mediation so you have to go through it for nothing else but to demonstrate #6 above.

Good luck.

Me: BH (50); exW (49): Way too many guys to count. Three kids (D, D, S, all >20)Together 25 years, married 18; Divorced (July 2015)

I divorced a narc. Separate everything. NC as much as humanly possible and absolutely no phone calls. - Ch

posts: 3359   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2013   ·   location: Around the Block a few times
id 8735737
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 11:48 PM on Tuesday, May 17th, 2022

Thank you all for your advice. It is very helpful.

I attempted to come to agreements with him just the two of house (we are IHS) but when I changed my mind on something (preferring QDRO to a pre-determined idea) he got spiteful and changed all kinds of other things we agreed on. The sitdown is with attorneys and it appears his new attorney is big on mediation, so maybe she can talk some sense into him.

On the negative side, he has already said he is looking forward to going to trial so he can put me in my place, that I think I will get more in alimony than I will actually get. He claims there are 19 things the courts look at when determining alimony and he had video evidence - years of evidence - that show why I shouldn't get much. Apparently, he's been gathering "evidence" against me our entire marriage and he would rather pay the attorneys than pay me (where it could benefit our son). Even though he's the one who cheated, it seems he wants to punish me. I just want what's fair. Shouldn't I be the one who's angry and wants to punsih him? Of course, he is a narc and lies a lot so who really knows. We will have to see how the sitdown goes. I just want to move on.

I tend to be emotional and after years of his emotional abuse it has taken its toll. I will practice being calm, cool and collected and try to remember this is business.

Thanks again everyone.

Me: BS - 54 Him: WH - 55 DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA Filed for D 9/2021***************An apology without the action to back it up is just manipulation.

posts: 675   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8735776
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Forks027 ( member #59996) posted at 7:26 AM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Wishing you strength, BetterTimes. Hang in there.

posts: 412   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2017
id 8735813
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Hippo16 ( member #52440) posted at 11:58 AM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

BetterTimesAhead:


Suggestion: look up divorcenet on google

and

Dealing With a Spiteful Spouse During a Divorce


Harden your heart and steel your nerves. If you can find a friend to rehearse "the meeting" by having the friend play the jerk-vindictive-hateful STBXH.


My first divorce (and only!) - the 'rehearsal' helped as I was an emotional cripple at the time. I didn't see it coming - "to say the least" - you do see what is brewing so practice your lines of position.

Don't fight over stuff when the fight isn't worth the squeeze.

Not Just Friends

posts: 650   ·   registered: Mar. 26th, 2016   ·   location: OBX
id 8735821
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:20 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

I hope his "video evidence" never sees the light of day.

In some states video taping without the Party’s consent is illegal. And could land him in trouble.

You may want to discuss this with your attorney.

[This message edited by The1stWife at 12:20 PM, Wednesday, May 18th]

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12339   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8735824
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 2:24 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Thank you for the support and advice.

Hippo16, I will look that up. I need all the help I can get. I have to live with him and he starts in with me everyday so I get a lot of practice dealing with him. It is still very difficult.

The1stwife, I live in a state where it is permissible to video as long as one party involved is aware of the video. That is my belief anyway but I will still check with my attorney.

Just sick to my stomach about all of this. The spitefulness and vindictiveness just make no sense to me.

Me: BS - 54 Him: WH - 55 DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA Filed for D 9/2021***************An apology without the action to back it up is just manipulation.

posts: 675   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8735836
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Forks027 ( member #59996) posted at 4:43 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

The spitefulness and vindictiveness just make no sense to me.

With people like your stbx, it never does. It's just too crazy-making.

posts: 412   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2017
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 5:32 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

Keep this in mind and remember I’m sharing this with the best of thoughts:
For you and your husband your divorce is unique and everything in it special and needs special consideration and general rules might not apply and whatever…
You are then having attorneys present your case – people that you hire and pay and who are obligated to present your wishes even if it’s against their professional advice.
This is then presented in front of a panel (the attorney, the opposing attorney and the judge) who have seen this circus Y times per day, X days a week for Z years. For THEM there is nothing special about you two, and they really appreciate people that come to court realizing that they aren’t special and that the rules that are supposed to apply to everyone apply to them too.

If your husband were to bring along a projector and 84 minutes of home-video’s supposedly showing how mean you are, and that meanness is "apparent" in how you repeatedly give him the smallest slice of cake or whatever and therefore he’s entitled to keep his pension… The judge will use some nice legal-language and actions to clearly show he thinks your ex is an ahole and both his and his attorney’s credibility will take a blow. THAT is to your advantage.

Approach all negotiations with as fair a stance as possible. I’m OK with valuing what you want low and what he wants high but do so realistically. Like if KBB places your vehicle at anything between 10-15k and his at 20-25k I’m fine with you stating yours is 10 and his is 24k. But be reasonable, be clear on what you want and be clear that it’s realistic.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10828   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8735872
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 6:11 PM on Wednesday, May 18th, 2022

It was my experience that my now-ex's original attorney shut him down pretty good. He was always "better" with an attorney. When he went pro se, he was an absolute nightmare.

Unless he is a high powered divorce attorney with at least 20 years of practice experience, he knows nothing. An enigmatic "we shall see" is all that you need to respond (if anything).

Bottom line is that you will get a settlement that meets the laws of your state and the customs of your local jurisdiction.

Be cautious that the "wanting this done" doesn't coax you to give up more than you should. I took significant advantage of my ex in this way. He willingly signed the agreement, but he didn't read it, so he had apoplexy when he realized what he agreed to. All of those years hearing him tell me that I was a bad decision maker and I took too long to make decisions came back to bite him. I was very thorough and he has always been very impulsive. I am not sorry I took advantage.

Cat

FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

posts: 33095   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Massachusetts
id 8735878
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CoderMom ( member #66033) posted at 4:32 AM on Wednesday, June 1st, 2022

Do you have an attorney? A Counselor? Difficult spot to be in.

posts: 299   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2018
id 8738024
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 11:47 PM on Thursday, June 2nd, 2022

I have an attorney. STBXH is on his second attorney. I filed for D nine months ago. The sitdown was over three hours and I don't feel as if we got much done, but the attorneys said it went well. His attorney seems rational and reasonable and I can only hope that trickles down to him. His attorney told both of us to keep in mind that this is a settlement - we are settling - so neither one of us will be happy with the outcome but we should be ok with it as it is fair and equitable. Whether STBXH actually listened I have no idea. He still thinks my attorney is playing games and he is stoic in getting what he wants. We were able to agree that we keep our personal items/jewelry and he keeps his firearms and I my "designer" handbags. Of course, until it is in writing, signed by everyone and approved by the judge anything can change. He is a spiteful person and may change his mind.

My attorney said theoretically we can have a settlement agreed upon at our next meeting, but that depends mainly on STBXH and him realizing he is not going to get everything he wants (he's already told me he knows what he wants and isn't taking anything less). So we'll see what happens.

Thank you everyone for your support and advice.

Me: BS - 54 Him: WH - 55 DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA Filed for D 9/2021***************An apology without the action to back it up is just manipulation.

posts: 675   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8738290
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Forks027 ( member #59996) posted at 1:11 AM on Friday, June 3rd, 2022

Have a backup plan for the likely possibility that he will change his mind. Imo, while it seems like he 'knows what he wants,' one of those desires is likely you not having anything or having less than you're entitled to.

In short, he sounds like a real piece of work and I wish you all the strength in getting away from him.

posts: 412   ·   registered: Aug. 4th, 2017
id 8738311
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Lalagirl ( member #14576) posted at 12:23 PM on Friday, June 3rd, 2022

I'd be willing to bet a paycheck that he has zero video "evidence" - his behavior is textbook for a narcissist who is losing control of his "possession" - you.

Stop communicating with him - use an app to deal with matters pertaining to the kids.

Me-56 FWH-58 Married 38 years 9/2/2021 grown daughters-38&34 12yo GS,9yo GD & 7yo.GD (DD38) and 10yo GD & 5yo GD(DD34). D-day #1-1/06; D-day #2-3/07 Reconciled! Construction Complete. Astra inclinant, sed non obligant

posts: 8877   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2007
id 8738377
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 6:09 PM on Monday, June 6th, 2022

His attorney seems rational and reasonable and I can only hope that trickles down to him. His attorney told both of us to keep in mind that this is a settlement - we are settling - so neither one of us will be happy with the outcome but we should be ok with it as it is fair and equitable

This in spades!

Next time you meet with your attorney ask him what your options are if your husband starts drawing out the process. If a fair offer has been made (and be careful that it really is fair) you can sometimes put in a notification that any excessive legal cost that might be incurred by the other party contesting a reasonable and fair settlement unnecessarily or without merit pays for the extra cost.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 10828   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8738878
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 BetterTimesAhead (original poster member #70001) posted at 12:57 AM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

Thank you all for the support and advice. This is extra difficult due to IHS. The stories I could tell you about what I have to deal with on a daily basis.

Both of our attorneys have been practicing divorce law for over 30 years. Both seem reasonable and want to help us get through this the best way possible (STBXH doesn't believe that - he thinks they were just blowing smoke up our butts and they are in it for the money). The vitriol that spews from his mouth (and fingers in his texts) towards me is just astounding. I think nobody would believe me if I told them (can always show them a text though). And he contradicts himself all the time - says "people" have told him they've seen me with a man so I'm cheating on him so I am just as bad as him (told him it doesn't work that way and I haven't been out with anyone) and then turns around and tells me nobody would want me and I will be alone forever. He uses more descriptive, hurtful words but you get the point. I really have to find a way to make this divorce happen faster.

Me: BS - 54 Him: WH - 55 DDAY: 2/22/2019 - Three year EA and PA Filed for D 9/2021***************An apology without the action to back it up is just manipulation.

posts: 675   ·   registered: Mar. 11th, 2019   ·   location: US
id 8739799
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 3:30 AM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

What does your attorney say about the verbal abuse you're having to deal with? I'd have every bit of that printed out and saved, then if it goes to trial you'll have it as evidence.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 5767   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8739812
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The1stWife ( member #58832) posted at 12:52 PM on Sunday, June 12th, 2022

Block him wherever and whenever you can.

Enough is enough.

He should not have any more opportunities to give you his opinion. Period.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled.

posts: 12339   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8739833
Topic is Sleeping.
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