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Divorce/Separation :
Suddenly he decides to be awkward over money

Topic is Sleeping.
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 DebraVation (original poster member #51156) posted at 7:25 AM on Friday, June 16th, 2023

I am annoyed. We have had various conversations over the last two and and a half months about the financial settlement.

He wants to do it ourselves and not get lawyers involved. I consulted two different solicitors and have engaged one to act for me - he has only had a free 20 mins with one solicitor and thinks that's enough.

I thought he understood - and both solicitors told me this - that we need to 'level' our house-buying capacity by looking at what mortgage we can each get and then making a lump sum payment (to me). I have shown him the workings on my laptop several times. Verbally, he agreed £70k to me.

However, last night when I tried to pin him down about it because time is ticking and I am the only one pushing to get anything done on this divorce - he looked at the numbers and said no - and that we'd have to get lawyers involved.

The numbers I have put down include updated mortgage figures that I have obtained (not him) by putting our figures into our current bank's mortgage application tool. The difference now was approx £125k - so need net payment to me of £63k to level it.

I have also used a figure of £34k for my earnings - this is a job I don't even have yet but is what I'd earn as a full time teacher. I could have put zero.

So I have sent a copy to my solicitor and an enquiry to a mediator.

I am so annoyed - he hasn't even asked for all his pension numbers yet, he's requested two out of his four pensions. He has looked at ONE house.

So now it is going to take months from this point probably. I am away for four weeks in Summer which I wouldn't have booked if I's known this was going to happen. So realistically, I'll be starting mediation in Sep, with a credit card debt from being away, and all this will drag into next year and clash horribly with son's GCSE exams.

I am happy to go to court because I'm confident that I am right. I haven't even asked for spousal support which I could do. But everything (selling this place, looking for something else) is now back on hold. All because he won't engage or move anything forward (he is like this with everything, not just the divorce, I am always the main driver).

Good news (if there is any) is that I am back on the infidelity 'not feeling like eating due to stress levels' diet.

posts: 1609   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2016   ·   location: UK
id 8795473
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FunHouseMirror ( member #80992) posted at 12:44 PM on Friday, June 16th, 2023

Go to court, listen to your attorney, ask for EVERYTHING you are entitled to. If he wants to make it messy, make him realize what a mistake he's made.

posts: 248   ·   registered: Sep. 21st, 2022
id 8795482
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 2:53 PM on Friday, June 16th, 2023

I will say this pretty bluntly: You should give up negotiating with him on your own. You've tried. You've failed. It's time to accept that fact and go to the next phase of your divorce. You are being very logical, rational, and unemotional. You are looking at your laws and the values of various items... and you are splitting them in half.

The problem here is that he doesn't like this settlement approach. Maybe he is delusional and he thinks that he should get more than half. Maybe he is a narcissist and he thinks that laws should not apply to him but only to you. Maybe he views all of your combined resources as "his" and that you shouldn't get anything. Maybe he is assuming that you are lying to him because he would be lying to you. Maybe it's some other reason? Maybe it's an unpleasant combination of "all of the above"?

The reason that he is acting this way... does not matter. The fact is... he *is* acting this way. And you need to respond appropriately.

So, stop negotiating with him on your own.

It seems that you have already retained a solicitor. Spend some serious time educating your solicitor about the pertinent details of your financial situation and educating yourself on the rules/laws covering divorce. Ask all sorts of questions of your solicitor about ideas that you might have on how to approach your divorce. Do all of this behind closed doors (i.e., it's a private conversation between you and your solicitor).

Then, follow your solicitor's advice. In the mean time, just put all of this divorce nonsense to the back of your mind... trust your solicitor to handle it... and move on with your life.

A final comment is that, in my experience, mediation is really quite effective for people like your STBX. His solicitor is (or will!) probably telling him the same things that your solicitor is telling you (I say "probably" because I don't think my ex's attorney was honest with her -- but that's a different story) and he won't believe his solicitor like he is not believing you. But, hiring an independent third-party is often effective because then he will hear THREE people saying the same thing (his solicitor, the mediator, and your solicitor).

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 8795534
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 DebraVation (original poster member #51156) posted at 5:00 PM on Friday, June 16th, 2023

Thanks, I am quite happy to go down a more legalistic route. I am confident in what I am saying. I know what I had put down was a more than fair deal.

He also threatened (again) last night to resign from his job - because then he wouldn't have any earnings so we'd have to go 50:50 on everything. I said, yep, you do that then. It's you you're hurting. Not me. So do it if you want.

Another thing was that his parents were talking about buying me out of the house. We have had three valuations on the house already saying it is worth between £x and £y. He said they couldn't buy it because I am making unreasonable demands (I wanted £10k over the minimum estimate!). I said fine, let's put it on the market. Today he's messaged me and said they are willing to buy it at the low price and will put their house on the market immediately. I just replied saying no, I'm not prepared to sell for the low estimate because that takes all the potential upside away from me and not him - plus as the partner moving out, I'd be paying stamp duty/removals/new curtains....and he'd have none of that ). And that they should not put their house on sale now because we are some way off a settlement. I also added I am not agreeing anything now without running it past a solicitor first. He didn't reply.

I don't particularly want him to buy the house anyway, it would be easier logistically but it would be a big pull factor for the kids. So overall better for me if he doesn't have it. I haven't said that to him though.

I sent my draft to the solicitor and said he wouldn't agree it. She said I should ask for spousal support and some other things, including taking off my assumption of having/getting a job and being able to get a mortgage. She also said his threat to get a solicitor himself is a good thing because they will tell him he's being an idiot and that that was a very good settlement for him.

Most maddening thing is he still thinks we're going to be friendly after this. As if the (repeated) infidelity wasn't enough. This on top is him burning that bridge right down.

posts: 1609   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2016   ·   location: UK
id 8795627
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 5:35 PM on Friday, June 16th, 2023

And him threatening to quit isn't going to be the bonus he thought. The judge will see that he did it to spite you and use that information against him.

Hang in there and vent away as needed.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3461   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8795640
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JammyWheel ( member #80828) posted at 9:03 PM on Friday, June 16th, 2023

Hi
There’s a great podcast called Divorcing a Narcissist, by Supriya Mckenna and Karin Walker, a GP & Family lawyer that is really good
They have a book also
Lots of tips

posts: 68   ·   registered: Sep. 3rd, 2022
id 8795679
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 DebraVation (original poster member #51156) posted at 10:37 PM on Friday, June 16th, 2023

Thank you, I have downloaded the book on Kindle - reviews look good!

posts: 1609   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2016   ·   location: UK
id 8795689
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SackOfSorry ( member #83195) posted at 3:11 AM on Saturday, June 17th, 2023

Threatening to resign from his job ... I know we are in different countries but when I had a consult with a lawyer to learn my rights, he said that the judge looks at the earning potential, not necessarily what they are actually earning. In my sitch, my fwh had recently changed professions and was earning considerably less than he had previously. The lawyer essentially said the spouse can't just quit their high paying job and take one at a fast food joint so that you get less. It just doesn't work that way. I made sure to make copies of the last 10 years of tax returns to prove that his earning potential was more than what he was earning.

Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013

And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)

posts: 109   ·   registered: Apr. 11th, 2023
id 8795708
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little turtle ( member #15584) posted at 2:41 PM on Saturday, June 17th, 2023

She said I should ask for spousal support and some other things, including taking off my assumption of having/getting a job and being able to get a mortgage.

I agree. Don't do him any favors.

Failure is success if we learn from it.

posts: 5606   ·   registered: Aug. 1st, 2007   ·   location: michigan
id 8795731
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BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 6:23 PM on Saturday, June 17th, 2023

Yep— stop trying to "make it easy". Just let your solicitor get everything you are entitled to.
And do not have any non-factual based conversations about it with him . Do not bring up whether you want or don’t want his parents to buy the house . He will use anything you say against you.

Sorry he;s being a jerk.

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: 6007   ·   registered: Sep. 10th, 2016   ·   location: Northern CA
id 8795752
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JammyWheel ( member #80828) posted at 7:27 PM on Saturday, June 17th, 2023

There is also a great app
Our family wizard
To communicate with

Also other similar things that are free

posts: 68   ·   registered: Sep. 3rd, 2022
id 8795758
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nomudnolotus ( member #59431) posted at 12:31 AM on Saturday, June 24th, 2023

Please ask for everything you are entitled too, including spousal. You may regret it later if you don't. You are also entitled to this by law. If you go for everything you can get, it gives you some wiggle room to negotiate. Don't talk with him about it anymore, just tell him to have his lawyer contact yours.

posts: 448   ·   registered: Jun. 30th, 2017
id 8796700
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barcher144 ( member #54935) posted at 7:51 PM on Sunday, June 25th, 2023

Sorry for the slow reply. I'll simply re-state what I said before: Stop negotiating with him. Hell, I'd recommend stop communicating with him at all if you can.

Some people get into a divorce situation and they think that they are so creative and inventive that the can "beat" the system. It really doesn't work that way.

One major thing that would concern me is when he resorts to lies and dishonesty. He can hide assets, make false claims about his income, make false claims about *your* income, etc.

Thanks, I am quite happy to go down a more legalistic route. I am confident in what I am saying. I know what I had put down was a more than fair deal.

Been there, done that with my ex-wife. I made a very reasonable offer. She rejected it, claiming it was unfair. She accused me of refusing to negotiate and refusing to compromise. In the end, she got less from the court than my offer. And to get "less", she forced us to spend at least $50,000 in legal fees. My kids want to go to college... that money would have been really helpful.

The way that I described our negotiations was... we had 10 widgets. She wanted 7 and I offered 5... and she complained if I didn't compromise and give her 6. Sound familiar?

He also threatened (again) last night to resign from his job - because then he wouldn't have any earnings so we'd have to go 50:50 on everything. I said, yep, you do that then. It's you you're hurting. Not me. So do it if you want.

Most family law courts have ways around this. Hopefully you have the threat in writing. If so, that would be fantastic evidence. As a minimum it would look horrible for him to have quit his Jon at this time.

I don't particularly want him to buy the house anyway, it would be easier logistically but it would be a big pull factor for the kids. So overall better for me if he doesn't have it. I haven't said that to him though.

You are 100% correct about this. However, this may be political capital that you *want* to spend to minimize the impact on your children. I was definitely worse off financially because I let my ex keep the marital home but I don't regret that at all. In contrast, you might want to seriously consider ways that you could afford the property -- that's one of the legitimate purposes of alimony! Talk to your solicitor.

I sent my draft to the solicitor and said he wouldn't agree it. She said I should ask for spousal support and some other things, including taking off my assumption of having/getting a job and being able to get a mortgage. She also said his threat to get a solicitor himself is a good thing because they will tell him he's being an idiot and that that was a very good settlement for him.

This is why you need a solicitor so much. The only part where I disagree is that he could get a corrupt solicitor that could make things worse. That's not likely, but it happens. My ex's attorney was crazier than she was, being honest.

Most maddening thing is he still thinks we're going to be friendly after this. As if the (repeated) infidelity wasn't enough. This on top is him burning that bridge right down.

Yes, he is completely crazy. Be careful.

A funny story from my divorce trial. I had an accountant testify on my behalf. He arrived a little early to court and he witnessed my ex testify. She was so absolutely angry that the accountant called my attorney after to gossip. He basically assumed that she was so angry because I had cheated on her... and he was shocked to learn the opposite was true.

Someone recommended a book about divorcing a narcissist. Definitely read that.

And again, listen to your solicitor and communicate with him as little as possible. Good luck!!

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 8796870
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 DebraVation (original poster member #51156) posted at 10:09 PM on Sunday, June 25th, 2023

Thank you all. I am trying to take this advice all on board.

The latest is - he is (finally) seeing a solicitor tomorrow. I doubt I will get the true story of what that solicitor says and he will probably be in a belligerent mood again tomorrow night I am guessing. Anyhow, I am going to give mediation one try and then pass it all over to the solicitor to sort I think.

As for the book - I am half way through and it is great! It is exactly him, and exactly how he is acting. The list of warning signs that you are dealing with a narcissist is spot on - parents that completely overplay your achievements to be the greater thing ever achieved by making? Check!

Then the switching between 3 roles to see which one will work on you - oh yes! The perpetrator (well you're not having that, we're going court!) followed by victim (how do you expect me to live on that? I need. to look after the children too) and then finally the rescuer (I am willing to delay all this to give you chance to get a job first. Look how helpful I am).

After the initial falling out, he was basically away and out of the house for six days. When he returned, he was Mr Reasonable again - "Don't worry, we will reach a settlement. We have to live in the same house so I don't want things to be any worse than they have to be either." Etc etc.

Thing is, I don't believe anything he says because now I know and have seen that it is play acting a role. So whatever. We WILL reach a settlement, because we will have to so that bit is true.

Another thing is that - uncomfortable as it is for me living like this - slowing things down might end up being to my advantage because there are some new houses coming up at the start of 2024 near us, and my parents can get their hands on more of their cash then as well. So I am no longer in such a rush - he thinks I am which is why he thinks I will cave in.

posts: 1609   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2016   ·   location: UK
id 8796882
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kiwilee ( member #10426) posted at 9:17 AM on Friday, August 18th, 2023

How’s it going?

posts: 663   ·   registered: Apr. 17th, 2006
id 8804774
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WorldTraveler23 ( member #36528) posted at 12:35 PM on Friday, August 18th, 2023

As someone in the real estate field, don’t let his family buy anything. It’s a recipe for disaster. Insist that it be sold on the open market, you’ll make way more and won’t have anyone calling you about minor issues for the rest of your life. Cut ties. It’s a sellers market out there, take advantage of it!! He’s playing nice now because he knows he’s screwed.

posts: 145   ·   registered: Aug. 17th, 2012
id 8804782
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 DebraVation (original poster member #51156) posted at 8:41 PM on Sunday, August 27th, 2023

Hi all. Sorry it has been silence from me, I have been at my sister's (in Hawaii) for 4 weeks with the kids and have not been thinking about real life at all really.

The situation now is - he is no longer buying our house. He had a falling out with his parents and decided that they cannot live together. The latest plan is that he will buy their house from them and they will downsize. Whatever. I am still intending to jointly buy with my parents.

I arrived home yesterday. I had a great holiday. And so did the kids, although they missed their dad. I let them message him every day and didn't interfere at all.

I had a couple of messages from him and ignored or replied in minimal style.

I have been home for 24 hours. He picked us up from the airport and we had a disastrous journey home (car broke down on the motorway - we ended up standing at the side of the road in flip flops and had to call a recovery truck .It was 7 hours from landing to actually getting home. We currently have no car, Hellish).

He had cleaned and tidied the house. There was food in the fridge. The guinea pigs are still alive. I actually couldn't believe it This is SO far removed from his usual self.

There was even wine in the fridge.

So now - we are at home coexisting. It is all fine. In the next two weeks I can sign. the next stage in the divorce. And then it can be finalised in 6 weeks (will take longer for us as I need sign off on the financial stuff).

He said how much he missed ALL of us. He gave the kids a kiss at the airport and then gave me an awkward peck.

It is difficult. I CANNOT go back from this point, I know that. It is over and he killed it. I could have lived quite happily with him. I don't hate him. He's trying and I am dreading that he is going to start a conversation about whether we can try again.

I would have bene prepared to try again if not for the infidelity. I have no idea what he's been up to while I've been away. I have had a think about my own life and I booked myself tickets to go to some things like comedy shows in the next couple of months by myself. I can't change course and I know that. I just don't think he is there yet - and I know that doesn't make sense.

posts: 1609   ·   registered: Jan. 6th, 2016   ·   location: UK
id 8805768
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 2:39 AM on Monday, August 28th, 2023

I'm glad you had a great time at your sister's place. The ride home - UGH!

Continue to play the long game. Not easy. Nothing about infidelity is easy.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3461   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8805781
Topic is Sleeping.
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