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Divorce/Separation :
What do I ask in D?

Topic is Sleeping.
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 StillLivin (original poster member #40229) posted at 9:37 PM on Friday, March 3rd, 2023

I'm several years out and was at meh a long time ago. WTS, I remember being in shock and utterly lost. I think I did pretty good, but I maybe could have done better. I wanted to create a post for others to navigate the ins and outs of D. First, let me express that I am in no way giving legal advice. I am putting out there stuff to consider when filing for D. And my hope is that other old timers will come in and give more, as well as state what they wish they'd added, or not bothered with asking for. And I hope this in some way helps another member.
We were both retired military. Either one of us could have asked for each other's retirement pension (a portion only). We had several investments, life insurance beneficiary, a family home recently financed, etc. The kids were adults.
1 I asked for spousal support. I specifically asked for 24 months (judge gave me 30) so that I could go back to school and retrain in the cybersecurity field. I had left it to support his career at the loss of my experience and certifications. I was able to prove I left my job for his career, thus allowing my certifications to expire. I also showed the $40,000 decrease in pay because of that sacrifice. I also showed where he secretly cashed out some of the investments. Judge allowed me the 24 months, plus enough time to schedule my certification exams, and find work.
2 I asked for both of us to be ordered to continue the life insurance we had with the stipulation that we could NOT change each other as the beneficiary until the family home was out of both of our names. I then asked for him to sign a POA giving me power for sale of the home so that when he moved out of state, it wouldn't slow down the sale process. Caveat: I also added short sale, refinance (in one person's name), or deed in lieu of foreclosure (definitely see an attorney if you consider this).
3 I specified that all credit/debit cards in both names be canceled and which cards had to be paid by whom.
4 I asked that we split 50/50 the investments, as well as him cashing out 50/50 the investments he had obtained from his workplace DURUNG THE SPAN OF OUR MARRIAGE.
5 Being retired military, we had both elected the Survivor Benefits Plan insurance (SBP). I requested, and was granted, that we both elect to convert it to Former Spouse's Survivor Benefit Plan (FSSBP) until the house was out of both our names, WITH the caveat that we each had to provide to each other the proof we had complied, and within 30 days. That 30 days is important because there was a time limit imposed by the military, that cut off when we were allowed to do that following the divorce decree date. I think it was 90 days, but might be 60 days.
5 I specified which bills we would each pay or what portions of the bills.
6 I specified that he was also responsible for half the upkeep of the home until it was out of our names,and I listed the following: yardage landscape professionals AND equipment, security system additions, heating and cooling yearly checks and maintenance or replacement parts, 2x yearly air duct cleaning, and any replacement or fixes for any damage to the home or major appliances, he pay half of homeowners insurance and appliance insurance.
7 I specified how I want taxes filed (separately) and who could claim the house on the taxes. I SHOULD have stipulated specific years to save myself the trouble of having to get him to write a statement for the years that I claimed the house. Oh, and stipulate who pays the taxes or how it will be split, on the house.
These were the major asks. If I think of anything else,I'll come back and add an edit.
My advice is to have a trusted friend look over your legal paperwork WITH you before signing to be served to the cheater. I missed some minor things because I was sleep deprived and still in shock that my life was falling apart as I knew it.
Also, go into any courtroom with detachment. Treat this as a business negotiation because it IS! Do your due diligence in researching attorneys. Many advise you to see as many attorneys as possible so the WS can't use them. I disagree. See the best ones only because you won't have time to be petty. Plus, judge might not look kindly on you playing games. Your energy can better be focused on surviving the divorce process with the best divorce decree.
Know what you absolutely want and what is AND isn't worth fighting over. Ask for more, but don't be ridiculous because it may piss off the judge. It is much easier to come down in your asks than it is to go in and renegotiate. Remember,the more reasonable your asks, the more likely you'll get what you want, or most of it.
Know which judges are fair. I actually held off filing until I knew a specific judge would be on the circuit at my filing time. Your attorney can help with this.
And again, take emotions out of it. Judges see this shit a dozen times a day times however many years they've been on the bench. What is trau
matizing for you is just business for them. They won't put up with drama, pettiness, or theatrics. Let your WS be the one that makes an ass out of themselves. It will only make you look even more reasonable. Oh, and ALWAYS treat anything you put in writing as something that will be picked apart from the judge and the opposing attorney.
Expect the unexpected!
Good luck with your attorney search and the divorce process.
Again, this is NOT legal advice,just ideas to think about before and during having your attorney draft up everything. Some may apply, some may not. However, only an attorney can give you a clear picture of how the law applies and how a judge will see it.

"Bitch please a good man can't be stolen." ROFLMAO - SBB: 7/2/2014

posts: 6094   ·   registered: Aug. 8th, 2013   ·   location: AZ
id 8780665
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homewrecked2011 ( member #34678) posted at 5:52 AM on Sunday, March 5th, 2023

Great topic and ideas!

I would suggest that anyone should google "standard divorce" in their state, but also other states for ideas. For instance in AR, I think, children cannot be in a car with anyone smoking! In SC, minor children cannot be around AP until the D is final, and never with parents having boyfriend/girlfriend sleepovers!
If you have minor children, I recommend asking that Halloween and July 4 be alternating holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter.

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 5:59 AM, Sunday, March 5th]

Sometimes He calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage, but calms His child. Dday 12/19/11I went to an attorney and had him served. Shocked the hell out of him, with D papers, I'm proud to say!D final10/30/2012Me-55

posts: 5503   ·   registered: Jan. 30th, 2012
id 8780848
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ChewedMeUp ( member #8008) posted at 5:31 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

Great idea, StillLivin. And yes, not legal advice since that varies so much, but definitely things to consider.

Put everything in writing – email or text – there are programs that you can use to copy texts into your email for archive purposes.

Everything is negotiable, provided you can argue that it’s fair. I convinced my magistrate that I was okay waiving child support because A. I made more and the CS would’ve been minimal, and B. that he waived any ask to my retirement in exchange, so I had emergency funds. Not many will let you do this (CS is often non-negotiable), I only use it as an example that nearly anything can be negotiated.

Alternating years for anything with the kids, I recommend actually listing the years. There will come a point where one or the other of you genuinely forgets whose turn it is or needs to swap a year, and having actual dates is helpful. If you live relatively close, consider splitting days – in my case, one would have the school break leading up to Christmas through noon on Christmas day, the other got the rest of Christmas day and the remainder of the break (incl. NYE), then flip the next year. Since we lived 15 minutes apart, this was easy.

For other kid stuff:

- Think about car expenses, extra-curriculars, college, medical expenses. Any of those sorts of things that CS isn’t going to cover.

- Make sure you put in a clause that both will deal with their own contacts for the schools as much as possible – you don’t want to have to be responsible for the rest of forever to pass on info. There will always be some of that, but minimize where you can. What you do need to pass on, send a pic of the paperwork so you have proof you sent it.

- Figure out what you’ll do about tie-breaking – if you disagree on something with the kids, how will you figure out the final say?

- Put in a time limit for requesting custody schedule changes – outside of emergencies, changes must be negotiated at least 48 hours out, for example, or notice has to be given of vacation plans by X date.

- Who is going to maintain health ins for the kids, and who is claiming who for which years? The IRS won’t care about who claims them, but something in your agreement at least gives you a place to argue from.

[This message edited by ChewedMeUp at 5:44 PM, Monday, March 6th]

BS - over 40
DivorcED, finally.
2 Kids

posts: 657   ·   registered: Aug. 26th, 2005   ·   location: Baltimore, MD
id 8781001
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hcsv ( member #51813) posted at 9:43 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023

That he pay you half of the marital funds spent on OW during the affair.

After 40 years, ex turned into someone I didnt know and couldnt trust anymore. Divorced. 1/17

posts: 772   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8781052
Topic is Sleeping.
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