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Divorce/Separation :
And here we go

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OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 3:16 PM on Monday, July 31st, 2023

Skip mediation. It will be a waste of time and money. He has not shown any signs of being a good candidate.

Your best bet (in my opinion) is to put all of your time and energy into doing as much legwork as possible to support your case. You want financial statements, statements from friends, teachers, social workers, documentation of reckless spending, cheating (just to document bad parenting), bank statements with low balances, late payment statements, WS's pay check stubs, idk... I am not exactly sure what the best overall proof would look like, but whatever your attorney wants, I'd get it all X 10! Then he/she can take it all straight into the judge to prove you are the parent who should get full custody, and WS is the man who should get supervised visits and garnished wages. Every document you locate and submit is then less for stbxWH to drag his feet on finding.

That is, as far as I've read and seen, the best way for you to support and expedite a case involving an a$$hole.

me: BS/WSh: WS/BS

Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.

posts: 5875   ·   registered: Mar. 16th, 2016   ·   location: Midwest
id 8801673
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 5:51 PM on Monday, July 31st, 2023

With the caveat that there could be differences based on location (i.e., different states and Canada vs. USA).

Ok well how does it work when I've already filed my paperwork with the court and have a lawyer?

There is mediation and there is arbitration. During arbitration, you present your case and the arbitrator makes a final decision and it's binding. I've never heard of anyone using an arbitrator for a divorce but it's possible that it happens.

In mediation, you basically present your offer and the other side presents their offer... and the mediator (independent, 3rd party) give you their opinions and tries to convince both sides to reach a settlement.

There is independent of the existence of lawyers and/or judges. I attended mediation with my attorney. My ex attended mediation with her attorney. That is, mediation cost me $450 per hour (my attorney charged $300 per hour; the mediator charged $300 per hour and I was responsible for half of that). It's not cheap, but it's less costly than trial.

My first session of mediation was voluntary. I thought that it was productive but then my lawyer said that I was too agreeable after the fact. This is one of the reasons why I fired attorney#1 because she was in the room during mediation and if she thought that I was too agreeable... it was her job to tell me that during mediation.

The second two sessions of mediation were required by the courts (session#2 was triggered because I filed an appeal; session#3 was triggered because I was asking the court to amend our divorce ruling a year after the divorce was final). My second session of mediation ended after about 45 minutes. We made our offer; they made their offer. The mediator went back and forth a few times and both sides stood firm. The mediator then said "there's no point in continuing this" and the session ended.

Something similar happened in mediation session#3. We made our offer (which was: you voluntarily give up alimony or we take you in front of the judge) and they made their offer (which was: pay us $20,000 and we'll give up alimony). The mediator went back and forth a few times and said "okay, I'll give this one last chance." When she game back, the other side offered to give up alimony and to reduce child support by $170 per month for an additional $1700 (i.e., they caved completely). It was a really weird experience and my guess (in hindsight) is that my ex had stopped paying her attorney and their settlement offer was for the precise amount that my ex owed her attorney. I don't think that it hurt that the mediator overheard me and my attorney discussing our plans for requesting sanctions from the judge due to my ex's misconduct (she had failed to produce a number of documents during discovery; she had also made a number of conflicting statements while under oath -- simply put, the walls were closing in on her so she had a lot of legal pressure to settle).

Can I chose to use a mediator for thr majority if things and the lawer if wh become difficult?

My ex and I reached agreement on about 80% of the issues prior to trial. We went to trial to resolve the other 20%. So, yes, as far as I know.

I dont understand how a mediator is any different than a lawyer other than cost.

There isn't that big of a difference, so you are largely correct.

The question is whether you want to pay your attorney to negotiate with his attorney (offline). We reached a number of agreements without using a mediator. This involved me and my attorney discussing an offer to make. My attorney then sent the offer to her attorney. They then presumably discussed the offer and they counter-offered. This was slow and expensive.

For example, we reached an agreement on a property that we owned without the use of a mediator. (As background, we disagreed on the value of our marital home also and I paid for an appraisal on that property.) I said "I think that it's worth this and if you don't like that value then you can pay to have it appraised and we'll use the appraiser's value." Her attorney sent us several requests to "come up a little bit" but we responded that our offer was firm and if she didn't like it... it was her turn to pay for an appraisal. She eventually accepted our offer without getting an appraisal (my offer was very reasonable).

Mediation gets all of the parties together at the same time to negotiate a settlement. The mediator's job is to broker a settlement. To say, how about you give up something here in exchange for something there. That's harder to do if the lawyers/clients are negotiating on their own. It basically saves time (and money).

The mediator can also cut through some of the bullshit. My ex and her attorney liked to make up things. For example, during mediation session#3, a big issue was that my ex's salary had increased a lot in the 15 months since our divorce (by $15,000+ per year; she took a new job). They claimed that my salary had gone up a lot too, claiming that I made $10,000 more in 2021 than the judge determined my income to be. I showed the mediator my W2 for, which showed that my income was actually $5,000 less in 2021 than the judge determined my income to be. So, the mediator was able to stop that line of BS pretty quick.

But, you are right. A mediator doesn't do anything other than your attorney... except that your attorney is ethically required to represent you and your interests. HIs attorney is ethically required to represent him and his interests. A mediator is ethically required to trigger the both of you to reach an agreement without involving a judge.

Frankly I want a judge to set out child custody and support. I have enough to warrant supervised visitation. Especially with the criminal case.

I'll give you an example of where a mediator is different from a judge. A judge is required to follow the laws.

My ex's boyfriend got divorce around the same time that we did. His divorce agreement is available online and it's available on the Internet. This guy and his ex agreed to zero alimony and zero child support. His ex has 80% custody of their children and he has 20% custody of their children. If they had gone to court, he would have gotten at least 30% custody because that's the legal minimum and he would have been required to pay child support. So, she took more custody and less child support; he took less custody and less child support.

So, if you and your ex could agree to something that is different from the laws in your location... then mediation might be right for you.

I don't know how Canada's laws work, but in the USA... he might be interested in avoiding divorce court to protect his criminal liability. But, all of the documentation that comes up during your divorce could be used to help prosecute him of his crimes. Something like this happened with Bill Cosby, for example (I don't remember the details of the Cosby case).

I've also made sure to ask for a police enforceable court order regarding the kids IF supervised visitation isn't provided.

That doesn't sound like a mediation thing to do but I court and lawyer thing.

These might be mediation things if he would be willing to agree to these things voluntarily. You'd likely have to offer him something else in exchange.

In contrast, if you would be happy with how you think that a judge would rule... then that's the route that you can go. HOWEVER, a trial is way more expensive than a session of mediation. My trial cost probably $25,000 in legal fees for me. That was preparation time for my attorney, time in court for my attorney, and paperwork after the trial for my attorney.

OIN is giving her opinion that your STBXH is not a good candidate for mediation because he is unlikely to settle and/or compromise -- I am not a good judge of people and I would defer to her intuition on this.

My ex-wife was also someone who was unlikely to settle and/or compromise, which is ultimately why we went to trial. However, my ex-wife is also a covert narcissist and having a third party (the mediator) telling her that she was being unreasonable was very effective for me because she couldn't handle someone thinking that she was being a jerk.

You know your ex better than any of us. Your attorney should advise you on the legal issues. In the end, you are going to have to make the difficult decisions.

My divorce was complicated. I made a lot of decisions and in hindsight... I made a good decision on about 80% of them. My poorest decisions were the choices of my first two attorneys and the decision to hire the specific custody evaluator that we hired.

edited to add: Does he have an attorney? I would not make your decision as far as yes/no on mediation until you get some idea of how willing he is to settle. A lot of people (especially the primary money-earner) have a very wrong idea of how divorces should be (I made all of the money! I should get everything!) compared to how divorces actually are (you basically split all assets and liabilities in half; alimony and child support also happen). My point being... a lot of people are jackasses until they hire an attorney who then explains the reality of the situation.

[This message edited by barcher144 at 5:56 PM, Monday, July 31st]

Me: Crap, I'm 50 years old. D-Day: August 30, 2016. Two years of false reconciliation. Divorce final: Feb 1, 2021. Re-married: December 3, 2022.

posts: 5419   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8801702
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 DragnHeart (original poster member #32122) posted at 11:20 PM on Monday, July 31st, 2023

Wow barcher that's so much to absorb. You really went through hell.

As far as I know stxwh doesn't have a family lawyer yet, just a criminal lawyer. And criminal lawyers don't do family law cases, so he will need to hire one.

He was on the phone with dd and told her that he needed a second lawyer and she said he was angry about that.

So far I haven't received notification that he's been served yet. I wish they would hurry up and do it.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 25765   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8801737
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 11:55 PM on Monday, July 31st, 2023

He was on the phone with dd and told her that he needed a second lawyer and she said he was angry about that.

Gotta love how these personality disordered types drag their kids in the middle of it. Looks like yours is trying to gain sympathy from the kids too mad exactly what my ex is doing. It's despicable!

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 11:55 PM, Monday, July 31st]

fBS/fWS(me):50 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(20) DS(17)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014
Divorcing

posts: 8785   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8801742
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 DragnHeart (original poster member #32122) posted at 1:28 AM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

He will play the victim with everyone including the kids. The thing is they see through his lies. They see him as thr father who doesn't care if they eat or have a roof over their head while he's off with his new family. They feel abandoned by him. He can buy them stuff but that doesn't make a good father.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 25765   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8801746
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rambler ( member #43747) posted at 4:04 AM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

You can always convert a mediation into a divorce. I would try.

making it through

posts: 1412   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2014   ·   location: Chicago
id 8801764
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hemademesingle ( member #21281) posted at 10:47 AM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

You know your stbxwh best. I believe that if he was immature and always had to have things his way mediation will not work.

With CAS being involved they can provide the children's statements for your divorce case. That should guarantee supervised visitation. I don't know if you get to decide who can supervise, it could end up being his parents if that is where he is staying.

Keep working on getting your financial in order. You don't want your credit destroyed. It takes a long time to restore your credit.

posts: 466   ·   registered: Oct. 16th, 2008   ·   location: Canada
id 8801776
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 DragnHeart (original poster member #32122) posted at 2:08 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Keep working on getting your financial in order. You don't want your credit destroyed. It takes a long time to restore your credit.

I dont understand this.

I've given my financial disclosure already. There's nothing more to add to that. How could my credit get any worse? He can't take out any loans or lines of credit in my name or against the house. I made sure of that.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 25765   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8801786
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 2:22 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Wow barcher that's so much to absorb. You really went through hell.

Look in the mirror first. barf

You're dealing with way worse than me -- not that it is a contest. I wish you weren't going through this.

Gotta love how these personality disordered types drag their kids in the middle of it.

This is the worst part. Take care of your kids. Be prepared to make hard decisions in which you take all of the abuse to shield your kids from it. It's terrible and insidious, but it's what you have to do.

To combine with the above comment about "me" going through hell, I'm an adult. My kids are kids. They went through way worse, even as I was trying to shield them.

[This message edited by barcher144 at 2:25 PM, Tuesday, August 1st]

Me: Crap, I'm 50 years old. D-Day: August 30, 2016. Two years of false reconciliation. Divorce final: Feb 1, 2021. Re-married: December 3, 2022.

posts: 5419   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8801787
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 DragnHeart (original poster member #32122) posted at 2:47 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

You're dealing with way worse than me -- not that it is a contest. I wish you weren't going through this.

Not worse, more stressful perhaps. It's thrown us into a financial crisis. If it wasn't for that aspect we wouldn't be as stressed. I say we because the kids can't help but see the impact not having any money has. I can't shield them from that.

Not having their dad around hasn't been stressful for them. It's been a relief. They aren't hiding in their rooms.


I asked on our community page if anyone has cameras that record the road. I got berated big time, people were jumping down my throat about this community not needing cameras. I didn't want to post publicly especially since wh is a member but I gave them all shit that as a woman who experienced domestic abuse and whose husband was charged with assault and given the condition NOT to come back to the house, cameras were very much needed!

I'm very disappointed in my community.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 25765   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8801789
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 DragnHeart (original poster member #32122) posted at 3:29 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Stxwh has been served.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 25765   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8801793
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 4:31 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Hey Dragn. I’m glad that you’ve reached this milestone.
Keep on moving forward - it may feel like it is taking forever, but we see you moving forward.

Hang in there.

Me: BS 57 (49 on d-day)Him: *who cares ;-) *. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)

**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **

posts: 6002   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8801804
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Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 6:29 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Don't expect in the divorce the things you didn't get in the marriage.

In other words, he's not going to all of a sudden be honest and straight up. He's going to manipulate, bully and lie because that is what they DO. This is exactly why you need to file and have the power of the court behind you if he starts doing stupid stuff, like lying on financials, etc.

There is no reason that you cannot broker an agreement with him between you, him and your respective attorneys. In fact, that's probably what will happen. It is not common for divorces to go to trial (but it does happen).

What happened in my case (my ex is a diagnosed narcissist) is that we went to court for a preliminary hearing where he ased (among other ridiculous things) for me to file joint taxes with him, that he not be responsible for any part of private school tuition and that he pay a pittance in child support and pay no spousal support.

He got his head handed to him by the judge. She denied every one of his requests. After that, he became more reasonable until he fired his lawyer and the whole circus amped up again. Make sure you have everything . . . and I mean everything . . . nailed down. My attorney went so far as to detail what constituted "college expenses" and he (of course) didn't read it until the kids went to college and then he had a major meltdown.

Hang in there--dealing with this is tough enough, but dealing with this AND narcissistic personality disorder is its own circle of hell.

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: 33182   ·   registered: Apr. 5th, 2003   ·   location: Ohio
id 8801812
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 7:02 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

I'm sorry you got that response about the cameras from your community. How sad that people can't understand something until it happens to them. In my opinion no place is 100% safe anyway.

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 3592   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8801815
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 7:07 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Not worse, more stressful perhaps.

I am not saying this to scare you... more like prepare you. You and your kids are going through some horrible horrible stuff. It will leave wounds that will take a long time to heal. PTSD is a thing.

Also, everything that I wrote about... are issues that you have yet to endure. Go easy on yourself. Take care of yourself. Take care of your kids.

Me: Crap, I'm 50 years old. D-Day: August 30, 2016. Two years of false reconciliation. Divorce final: Feb 1, 2021. Re-married: December 3, 2022.

posts: 5419   ·   registered: Aug. 31st, 2016
id 8801816
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 DragnHeart (original poster member #32122) posted at 8:02 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

I wrote out a long reply responding to specific posts and lost it all.

Ugh.

Ok so I know wh isn't going to be honest or make any of this easy so I'm glad I filed and have thr court behind me.

I'm sad my community was so awful to me. Sad to say I had some other woman chime in being in thr same situation (domestic abuse).

Knowing there's more hard time sto endure scares the crap out of me but I am focusing on one day at a time and making the most of the time with the kids.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 25765   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8801827
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zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 8:06 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

You are doing a great job!!!

"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."

D-day April 2010

posts: 3592   ·   registered: Aug. 25th, 2010
id 8801829
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 DragnHeart (original poster member #32122) posted at 8:11 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Thank you zebra!

I am trying my best.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 25765   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8801830
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hcsv ( member #51813) posted at 11:17 PM on Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Eufy cameras. easy to install, no wiring, no monthly fees, works on your wifi with a base station, not sure how close or far the camera needs to be from base station, however. I have one in the back and one in the front, totally worth the money. can get them on amazon.

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

posts: 772   ·   registered: Feb. 14th, 2016
id 8801857
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 DragnHeart (original poster member #32122) posted at 12:58 AM on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023

Money is to tight to buy cameras right now. And we are to far from the road to activate any motion sensor.

Now that the kids birthdays are done he had NO reason to risk coming to the house unless it's to harm me or mess with my head. Hopefully he just stays away.

It's weird how some days everything seems fine and then ill be sitting by myself and it all hits me. My marriage is over. The man I loved, had children with and who I thought loved me is just a screwed up person who doesn't know what real love is.

Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.

posts: 25765   ·   registered: May. 10th, 2011   ·   location: Canada
id 8801867
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