The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Lady Survivors => Topic started by: Kara on May 11, 2009, 10:52:02 PM

Title: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on May 11, 2009, 10:52:02 PM
Hi all,

Recently, I caught my husband cheating on me and, long story short, a divorce is in my near future. I am 40, have teenage boys (who are still blissfully unaware), and I work full time. My bills are almost paid off, but not quite.  I am so grateful that we each have our own checkbooks with each our own bills to pay...one less battle to have to work through. I will probably be getting another job as I don't make enough to live alone, never mind feed teenage boys, but that's ok. Hopefully it won't be for very long.

Now that I have gotten over the initial "poor me" reaction, I've got my backbone put back in place and I am quite sure I will survive this, but there must be good ways and not so good ways to survive this type of scenario. The reason I post this here is that I want to ask those of you (ladies and gents both) who've already faced this particular fire your advice on how to survive it better than not. Two weeks ago, I would have bet my own life that this wouldn't ever happen to me... Good thing I'm not a betting woman. I've been trying to slowly get myself up to speed, prep-wise, for a while, but this is something I couldn't ever have been prepared for... I just never saw it coming.

One thing in particular I could use advice on is how to handle things with the kids. I let my soon-to-be-ex know that those boys and I are a package deal, so they will be staying with me. I imagine they will be pretty angry and confused for a while. It's going to be an interesting time with them, I think. Poor kids...I wish they never had to deal with this.

Any wisdom anyone has to share regarding a similar issue you've faced would be most welcome.

Thanks,
Wintersparrow
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: johnnyb_good30 on May 11, 2009, 11:02:52 PM
well u can try to work it out or rember its not only your job to feed the kid .im a full time single dad and i make it with eaze you can to
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on May 12, 2009, 06:24:03 AM
Hi JohnnyB,

I suggested that, if only just to make sure the kids have a stable home life at least until they graduate and leave home, but he'd rather pursue his new honey than be a father to his kids. His loss. He seems to want to make sure they are taken care of, money-wise, so hopefully feeding them won't be too much of an issue.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: nikki1843 on May 12, 2009, 06:59:40 AM
First let me say i am sorry for what you and the kids are going to go through. It is tough but survivalable. I am a divorced mom with 3 kids. And I was totally blindsided when my husband told me he was leaving me. :o I had no clue.

With the kids telling them was the hardest. I had to remain calm and reassuring for them when I was really falling apart inside. My advice is this. NEVER say anything bad about the other person. it will be used against you. Allow your kids to feel what they feel. It is OK for them to be angry, and to still love the other parent. Make sure they hear and see that they are loved.

I know i ave made mistakes with my kids. My sons refuse to even speak to their father. But he turned his back on them first. I don't push it, They are old enough to make that decision themselves. My daughter adores her dad, but would rather not spend the night with him.  That's OK too.

Teenagers are a tough age for this. They think they are grown, but really still need our emotional support. Just take it slow. They will come through it.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: ColdHaven on May 12, 2009, 07:21:40 AM
I have some advice to give, since I have been through this myself, and I hope it will be useful. I am not a lawyer and so this isn't to be construed as legal advice.

First: Talk to a lawyer and explain the situation. They will have good advice for you on legal grounds.

This is probably the hardest one: Distance yourself emotionally from him. People can try to seize hold of any kind of weakness you might present. Besides, getting emotional now over something that has already been decided can cause problems further down the line. This may be easy or difficult depending on his emotional and mental temperment. I have seen and heard things my father did that I would have never thought he would do. The less he can mess with you emotionally the better. He might not, but it might be good practice until this is over with.

Try to work it out without court. If he is a reasonable man then perhaps you can negotiate with him outside of court. This way you can work out the details before you have to spend a lot of money on a lawyer. You could try selling him on this idea as I am sure he is not wanting to spend thousands of dollars on a divorce.

Save as much money as you can right now. You might have to use it in court.

Get evidence. Are there any shared accounts or credit cards you share? Get transcripts of transactions and what was spent where. Have health records for your kids so he cannot say that you have not been taking care of them. If there is any way to physically prove his infidelity then it would be good to get that (if he is going to try and deny it in court). Does he have any mental health issues? Try to get documentation of that or proof of medicine that he is taking. Likewise try to find this kind of evidence against him such as proof of spending away a lot of your family money, or that he has not been taking care of your children. Go for the throat, because if he is really going to fight for custody then he will do likewise. You can always make nice later, if you wish.

I am a single father who has custody of his child. It can be done. I have been doing it for well over 8 years now.  Its a struggle and is hard, but your teens should be able to help you out.

Network with your family, friends, and even your employer. Let them know about the situation you are in. You never know who might be able to help you out. Talk thoroughly about this with your children. Don't keep anything from them. You might think you are protecting them, but teens are more resilient than younger children, and they should be able to help you out. Don't be harsh or judgemental or even emotional about it when you speak to them. Just give them the facts and answer their questions. This will keep them and you calm through this process.

Keep your lines of communication open. Don't isolate yourself. You have already demonstrated this well by coming here and asking for advice. So I won't go into much more detail about that.

From what you mention he does not seem like a violent person. However, if you feel that he might become that way, you might want to have a means to protect yourself physically.

This is one of those personal disasters that Jack talks about on his podcast. Just keep that in mind as you go forward.

Thats about all I can think of right now. I hope some of what I have said is applicable to your situation and is helpful to you. Good luck on this.

Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Stein on May 12, 2009, 08:32:05 AM
I would agree with the above advice about securing a good attorney.  Think of it as a business transaction from here on out and try as best as you can to remove the emotion.  If your marriage is truly over the only thing left is his financial support.  Put together concrete evidence and push for the best package for your kids including child support, money for activities and college costs.

Hopefully he will be a man and support the kids without a big court fight.  Prepare for a big fight and be glad if it doesn't happen.

Good luck, I can't imagine what you must be going through.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: archer on May 12, 2009, 09:41:35 AM
Sorry life is being nasty to you Wintersparrow. Good luck.


With the kids telling them was the hardest. I had to remain calm and reassuring for them when I was really falling apart inside. My advice is this. NEVER say anything bad about the other person. it will be used against you. Allow your kids to feel what they feel. It is OK for them to be angry, and to still love the other parent. Make sure they hear and see that they are loved.
My parents divorced when I was a teen in HS. My mom did not tell my younger brothers much, but she vented lots to me. I am not as close to my dad now because of that.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Jack Crabb on May 12, 2009, 08:52:55 PM
Whether you litigate, mediate, negotiate or collaborate, there are 5 key areas to address:
1. divide property
2. assign debts
3. determine spousal support
4. determine custody and visitation
5. calculate child support

Make a list of all your property.  Real estate, time shares, cars, boats, motorcycles, bank accounts, investments, retirement (pensions, IRA's, 401k's), artwork, business interests, etc.  If it has value, put it on the list.  However, stop before you get to clothes, salt/pepper shakers, etc.  There is a point of diminishing returns.

You can do a 50/50 split by agreement.  Litigation may be required if one side or the other won't agree (and in some instances there are good reasons not to) to 50/50.  If you want a 60/40 split and have to litigate, the question is whether 10% of your marital estate and risk of not getting the favorable outcome are worth more than the $20k, $50k or ?? that your trial will cost.  Right now with real estate and investments down, litigation is frequently a losing proposition.

Debts are fairly straight forward.  Whoever gets the car also gets the loan.  Whoever gets the house, gets the mortgage.  Credit cards can be hard because there is not a particular asset associated with the debt, as with a car loan.  If the charges came from clothes, food, etc. for the family, then it can/should be shared.

Spousal support is usually based on the recipient's need and the payor's ability to pay.  "Need" and "ability to pay" are based upon income and expenses.  Work up a budget.  Be realistic.  Whatever you cut now, may be gone for good.

Custody and visitation will have to address legal custody, physical custody, and visitation.  Legal custody (the power to make medical, educational, etc. choices) is usually shared on paper but decided by the physical custodian in practice.  Physical custody is simply with which parent do(es) the child(ren) live with more than the other.  Visitation is the non-physical custodian's time with the child(ren).  Visitation can be anything from nothing to equal time.   Wednesday night for dinner, alternating weekends, split holidays and two weeks in the summer is fairly common. 

That being said, there are few things worse than being locked up in a house with a teenager who does not want to be there.  Teenagers sort of "dictate" their visitation.  Either school/extracurricular activities limit options or their attitudes to one parent or the other do.

Child support is usually a straight statutory formula.  Mom's income, dad's income, an adjustment for spousal support if any, work-related daycare, and cost of health insurance go into a formula and whatever pops out is the amount.  Do a google to find your state's child support enforcement office.  They frequently have on-line calculators you can use to get an idea of what child support will run

That is a very rough overview.  The devil is always in the details.  But, getting a balance sheet of assets and liabilities, and an income/expense statement will move you along considerably.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on May 13, 2009, 06:38:46 AM
Thank you all so much for your well wishes and all the good information you have posted. While handling the issues with the boys is going to be especially hard, I'm just now finding out some things about my husband's financial issues that the advice given here will help me with greatly.


Archer, the point you made about your mother venting on you was well made, and one that resonates with me particularly. My mother did a similar thing to me even though my parents never divorced. It's a hideous thing to carry that around as a kid, and it's something I'll be doing my best to avoid with my own. Taking the high road is so difficult, especially the more I find out about what's been going on, but you all are right in that this is now nothing more than a business transaction, and have to take the emotion out of it as best I can.

Thanks again everyone...your help is so much appreciated.
Wintersparrow
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Ultio1 on May 13, 2009, 08:05:14 AM
All I can relate from my own experience is that everyday it hurts a little less. At you first you cant even tell its getting better but it is.  Dont over compensate with your kids, teenage boys may want a little space to deal with things. I think the hardest and most important thing is that you never talk bad about your soon to be ex in front of them or in a way that will get back to them. Talk to them and explain your plan for the future, they will experience less anxiety if they know you know what to do, even if you dont.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Sister Wolf on May 14, 2009, 09:11:46 PM
If you need to vent or rant, you know you can always PM me, or call me.  That'll save the little ears from "the nasties", and it'll allow you to be p-worded off (as well you should be) in a safe situation, where it won't ever be used against you.

Just know that the offer is there.  :)
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on May 16, 2009, 06:56:45 AM
Thank you so much, Sister Wolf! You have been so great, and such a big help to me. You rock!

<<<Hugs!>>>

I have to say, though, that I am kind of surprised that I have actually been able to hold it together as well as I have. I think that once I had a good old fashioned sob fest and got it out of my system, all that's left is the cold, raw need to survive, not only for myself, but for the boys as well. I have an appointment with a lawyer, and have mapped out what I hope the next year looks like so that I have a plan and goals in place...as well as a few contingency plans to boot. That makes all the difference, just having a direction to go and to be able to move forward with purpose. All the good advice I have gotten here has played heavily into that, and, again, I am grateful to all who have posted.

Thank you!!
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: archer on May 16, 2009, 10:45:17 AM
Good job Wintersparrow.... Let us know if we can help.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: CFG on May 16, 2009, 10:04:54 PM
I can't give any advice, but I can say it sounds like you've got your head and your heart in the right place.  My sincere condolences, Wintersparrow. 
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: SkipOnStars on May 17, 2009, 04:24:46 PM
COLD HAVEN's advice is golden!  Do keep your distance and remain outwardly aloof.  Get advice and don't rush things.  The way you feel now is not how you will feel in a year so don't make decisions with your wounded heart that your stronger self will have to live with.  Please practice "extreme self care" and be kind to yourself.  This can mean long bubble baths, long walks or listening to or reading inspirational material. 

THIS TOO SHALL PASS.  Just not fast enough!
 

Good luck & God Bless you,
Donna in GA (been there)
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Pathfinder on May 17, 2009, 05:51:43 PM
Whether you litigate, mediate, negotiate or collaborate, there are 5 key areas to address:
1. divide property
2. assign debts
3. determine spousal support
4. determine custody and visitation
5. calculate child support


And get it all in writing, signed by both parties and witnessed. You will need it to dissolve the marriage legally anyhow.

Debts are fairly straight forward.  Whoever gets the car also gets the loan.  Whoever gets the house, gets the mortgage.  Credit cards can be hard because there is not a particular asset associated with the debt, as with a car loan.  If the charges came from clothes, food, etc. for the family, then it can/should be shared.

Spousal support is usually based on the recipient's need and the payor's ability to pay.  "Need" and "ability to pay" are based upon income and expenses.  Work up a budget.  Be realistic.  Whatever you cut now, may be gone for good.


Actually, this depends heavily on your state. Houses and cars are considered property whose value has to be divided, although many judges (in my experience anyhow) will not look kindly on making the wife and kids move out of the house unless she is absolutely willing to do so - without coercion from the spouse.

Support is usually dictated by law. When I divorced, I got "joint" custody, but lost 33% of my income by law to the ex - who also did not have to account for it. And her income had nothing to do with it. So on top of that, I was buying the kids clothes, shoes, school supplies and all of the other things she "forgot" to buy them, while remembering to buy all the things she wanted.

Some states are changing. MN just changed their laws to take into account both incomes, so things may be different where you are.

I have to say, though, that I am kind of surprised that I have actually been able to hold it together as well as I have. I think that once I had a good old fashioned sob fest and got it out of my system, all that's left is the cold, raw need to survive, not only for myself, but for the boys as well. I have an appointment with a lawyer, and have mapped out what I hope the next year looks like so that I have a plan and goals in place...as well as a few contingency plans to boot. That makes all the difference, just having a direction to go and to be able to move forward with purpose. All the good advice I have gotten here has played heavily into that, and, again, I am grateful to all who have posted.

Thank you!!

Not to be a downer here, Wintersparrow, but it will probably hit you. The more you think it won't the more likely that one day - without warning - it will come. It is normal, but a part of you may still be in denial at the moment - also normal. I went through that with my divorce - and I wanted that divorce after 4 years of committed marriage counseling and no improvement.

May God help you find peace and be strong for your children.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on May 19, 2009, 05:26:33 PM


Not to be a downer here, Wintersparrow, but it will probably hit you. The more you think it won't the more likely that one day - without warning - it will come. It is normal, but a part of you may still be in denial at the moment - also normal.


I think you are right about this, Pathfinder. Since he still hasn't moved out yet, and won't for a while, some days it's strangely normal. Most days, I can't look him in the eye to speak to him, unless the kids are around. I'm hoping when the real rage shows up that I can harness it and redirect it to something more productive than sobbing hysterically and losing the program altogether.

I keep telling myself, as Skiponstars said, "this too shall pass"...and you're right, it just can't go fast enough! My goal is to have this all handled and figured out NLT June 1 of 2010, and having that goal to work toward make it somehow more digestible. The advice I was given here to treat this situation as a financial/business issue has helped knock this down to a manageable emotional size too, otherwise trying to wrap my head around all the implications and possibilities all at once was too overwhelming.

Here's a question that just occurred to me today. What the heck does one do when confronted with the ex's new honey for the first time? On the surface, I feel a little silly asking that, but I truly can't envision it. I've let him know that I won't appreciate him bringing her here from seversl states over, but it's more likely than he will ...he's just not terribly bright that way. Not that I can actually do anything about it. Several things occur to me spontaneously, but none of them are terribly socially acceptable, and I really want to make sure that my kids see me as the sterling example of grace under fire, as opposed to a raging lunatic. Any wisdom anyone has to share on that topic would be most welcome.

Again, thank you all so much for your well wishes and good advice. It's so very much appreciated...hugs to you all!
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: ColdHaven on May 19, 2009, 05:32:24 PM
Here's a question that just occurred to me today. What the heck does one do when confronted with the ex's new honey for the first time? On the surface, I feel a little silly asking that, but I truly can't envision it. I've let him know that I won't appreciate him bringing her here from seversl states over, but it's more likely than he will ...he's just not terribly bright that way. Not that I can actually do anything about it. Several things occur to me spontaneously, but none of them are terribly socially acceptable, and I really want to make sure that my kids see me as the sterling example of grace under fire, as opposed to a raging lunatic. Any wisdom anyone has to share on that topic would be most welcome.

Well I am sure a man's response is going to generally be different than a response a woman would normally take. I responded to the cop my ex ran away with by saying 'Sit down and shut up, this has nothing to do with you, yet.' Generally ever since he hasn't ever said anything to me directly.  :D I tried to be civil, and calm and just really ignore him like he really wasn't there. I know that is not going to work for everyone or in every situation, but just keeping it civil helped keep some of my sanity on both fronts.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Pathfinder on May 19, 2009, 06:29:50 PM

Here's a question that just occurred to me today. What the heck does one do when confronted with the ex's new honey for the first time? On the surface, I feel a little silly asking that, but I truly can't envision it. I've let him know that I won't appreciate him bringing her here from seversl states over, but it's more likely than he will ...he's just not terribly bright that way. Not that I can actually do anything about it. Several things occur to me spontaneously, but none of them are terribly socially acceptable, and I really want to make sure that my kids see me as the sterling example of grace under fire, as opposed to a raging lunatic. Any wisdom anyone has to share on that topic would be most welcome.

Again, thank you all so much for your well wishes and good advice. It's so very much appreciated...hugs to you all!

From a guy's perspective - without the kids around, you tell him under no circumstances is he to bring her to the house until papers are signed and he is out. If he is that clueless to even think that, then look for him to leave sooner than later - for the sake of the kids of course. This is where the lawyer will help,you may actually be on better grounds if you file first as the aggrieved party. If he does anyhow, outwardly, be cool. And take him to the cleaners. For the children, of course . . .  ;)

As for the rage - let it come, don't channel it. I did that, and when my Mom passed away, I found myself out of control as a whole lot of things I bottled up (loss of my Mom, a girlfriend at about the same time, the divorce, etc.) came to the fore. Luckily I was alone, and the raging ended after a while, but I also did some thoughtless and cruel things to others before I regained control. Not a nice way to go, and I am still doing penance - emotionally - for some of it.

But you will get through this, and you are loved. The healing begins when he is gone, though.

Sucks to be another statistic, doesn't it?  ;D
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: SuperUltraJulie on May 21, 2009, 02:48:53 PM
Wintersparrow,

Sorry for your troubles.

As far as financial survival goes: Be sure you collect the money you & the boys are entitled to from your ex-husband.

As far as emotional survival goes: Just take it one day @ a time. It will be painful at first, but eventually you will be OK. Lean on your family & friends. If you can't do that, make new connections with emotionally healthy, positive, and supportive people and lean on them.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on May 24, 2009, 11:48:20 AM
It sure does suck to be another statistic, Pathfinder. In comparing myself to others I have seen go through divorce, I am hoping to maneuver myself into a smaller subset of that statistic that survives smartly and with more success. I see so many people make a mess out of their lives just for the sake of revenge, or just because they can't pull themselves together.

When I posted the question about what to do when your ex brings their new squeeze "here", I was making reference to the area I live in. ColdHaven, did your ex really bring her new boyfriend to your home?! Dear God in heaven...I just about fell out of my chair when I read that. That my ex might bring her sorry self to my home never ever occurred to me. I have to applaud your ability to maintain and keep total control of that situation. I do hope my soon to be ex isn't that idiotic. I guess it's just one more scenario to practice in my head...

SuperUltraJulie, thank you for your kind words. Not only have I found tremendous support here, but I have been fortunate in that I have good family support and some from friend that I never expected. I am very thankful for them and you all here.   :)

Wintersparrow
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Hypntick on May 24, 2009, 09:58:55 PM
As far as wanting the kids, they're in their teens? Should it go to contested custody are they of age to choose who they prefer to stay with? As much as it may hurt to think so, they may want to stay with him. Not offering a choice can be pretty hard on them. I didn't have a choice myself growing up (not the courts fault my father was military and on a ship at the time.) and it really bothered me for years. As soon as I was able to choose, I moved in with my father. Nothing against my mother, it was her particular choice in followup husband that bothered me.

It's not going to be easy on the kids, there really isn't a lot that can make it easier. One thing that I might suggest as well, no trash talking their father in their presence if you can help it. Let them make up their own minds of how they feel about the situation, but always be there to support them emotionally.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Sister Wolf on May 24, 2009, 10:37:30 PM
I might be weird (okay, okay, I AM weird), but I'm a proponent of "best not to marry again until the babes are out".  Becoming wrapped up in your own world with dating and remarrying and all that provides a wealth of instability that will cause nothing but problems for your children, in my opinion.

The kids are the most important part of this.  It's going to be hard on you, Wintersparrow, we have all pointed that out.  But your kids?  This is going to be hell for them.  No, more like hell turned inside out and then made a thousand times worse.  They need mom full time now, more than they have ever needed you before.

That is, of course, my opinion.  I don't have children, so I could be talking out of my ass.  Take it for what it's worth, and know that while I blab, I also support any decision you make regarding your family.  :)
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: SuperUltraJulie on May 25, 2009, 11:01:13 AM
I might be weird (okay, okay, I AM weird), but I'm a proponent of "best not to marry again until the babes are out".  Becoming wrapped up in your own world with dating and remarrying and all that provides a wealth of instability that will cause nothing but problems for your children, in my opinion.

I don't necessarily agree with this.

I don't think a person's romantic life should stop because of a divorce and because of children. Generally, human beings want & need that type of companionship. Without it, we tend to become lonely & bitter. This will hurt everyone - including the children.

I think that dating under this circumstance has to be done a lot more carefully. I think that the children should not see or meet a love interest until they have been carefully vetted.

Just my nickle... :)
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Hypntick on May 25, 2009, 04:05:03 PM
I don't necessarily agree with this.

I don't think a person's romantic life should stop because of a divorce and because of children. Generally, human beings want & need that type of companionship. Without it, we tend to become lonely & bitter. This will hurt everyone - including the children.

I think that dating under this circumstance has to be done a lot more carefully. I think that the children should not see or meet a love interest until they have been carefully vetted.

Just my nickle... :)


I agree, you do have to be a lot more careful with it. Also if you do choose to date/marry again while the kids are with you be ready for a lot of resentment and hostility from them. Not saying it's 100% certain to happen, but there is a pretty good chance of it.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on May 25, 2009, 06:17:29 PM
That whole thing about whether to date or not before the children leave is an easy answer for me..not gonna happen. I only have five years before the last one leaves the nest, and that's a small price to pay for whatever happiness, or at least lack of that kind of stress, it is worth.

While I respect other people's decisions for themselves, I can't imagine why it would be a good idea. In fact, I'm going to press him on not exposing the children to her until they are both past 18 years old. If he complies, great. If not, then at least I tried.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: The Wilderness on May 25, 2009, 07:58:26 PM
That whole thing about whether to date or not before the children leave is an easy answer for me..not gonna happen. I only have five years before the last one leaves the nest, and that's a small price to pay for whatever happiness, or at least lack of that kind of stress, it is worth.

While I respect other people's decisions for themselves, I can't imagine why it would be a good idea. In fact, I'm going to press him on not exposing the children to her until they are both past 18 years old. If he complies, great. If not, then at least I tried.

You are on the right track, the comments we make in this thread are just our opinions. You need to do what is best for you, we are outsiders looking in. As long as you continue doing what you decide is best for you and your children, you will be fine.

The Wilderness
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: SuperUltraJulie on May 25, 2009, 08:58:44 PM
You are on the right track, the comments we make in this thread are just our opinions. You need to do what is best for you, we are outsiders looking in. As long as you continue doing what you decide is best for you and your children, you will be fine.

The Wilderness

Exactly :)


(((positive vibes WS)))
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: eph2 on May 27, 2009, 11:18:07 PM
It sure does suck to be another statistic, Pathfinder. In comparing myself to others I have seen go through divorce, I am hoping to maneuver myself into a smaller subset of that statistic that survives smartly and with more success. I see so many people make a mess out of their lives just for the sake of revenge, or just because they can't pull themselves together.

Wintersparrow

My family is living proof that it can really pay in the long run to suck it up, be polite when you don't feel like it, and resist "sticking it to" the one who did you wrong.  I had a very similar situation except that our daughter was a new born.  I was as devestated and enraged as anyone else but tried to keep things civil for our daughter's sake.  The little satisfaction I would have gotten from raking him over the coals could never be worth the years of peaceful coexistance that we have been able to manage.  It is easier to manage the relationship on your terms if you can keep your head.  Just my two cents.  You sound strong.  You'll make it just fine.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: mamabear on September 11, 2009, 11:10:46 AM
Wintersparrow, How are you and your boys doing now? I hope that you are doing okay and hanging in there. As I read this thread, I wish that I had known some of the things shared. I made several mistakes, but the biggest one was not being prepared for what happened.

I also agree with the idea of not dating until my son is ready to move out. He is at his dad's right now (not by my or my son's choice-long story), but hopefully will be home soon. I did not date while he lived at home, and have not started dating while he was gone. That is not to say that I have never gone out with friends. I do not believe that a person needs to be in a romantic relationship to be whole or complete. I believe that a person needs to be whole and complete before entering a relationship. Take your time and find yourself. You may turn out to be different than you thought. I am. If waiting until your children move out is what works for you, then hold off. Go out with your sons on family outings, and with friends and enjoy the life you now have. Now your life can be whatever you want, and you will never have to hold back.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Serellan on September 11, 2009, 12:25:49 PM
On the child support issue.  You should negotiate the child support based on the going rates in your state; with adjustments for inflation, etc; HOWEVER, you should get a court order allowing you to NOT go through the state's Child Support Enforcement (or whatever they call it in your state) system.

Most state's divorce agreements default you into the system and you NEED to get in front of a judge to keep you OUT of the system.  The system is horribly broken and ruins lives through a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy.  I know, I was a Child Support Enforcement Officer.  I have plenty of horror stories, even though I only did it for a short time (after a year I couldn't stand it anymore).

If he defaults on payments, you can always move to have the arrears moved into the system for enforcement/garnishment, etc if you need to, but this should be a LAST resort!
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: liftsboxes on September 11, 2009, 01:17:23 PM
^ +1 for thinking to follow-up

How are you doing WS?
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Gloria on September 11, 2009, 05:15:41 PM
Bless your heart, you are in my prayers.  There have been many things stated,  right on in advice.  My ex filed on me while I was out of our house (at his mother's doing work for his parents) after he got caught with a fellow worker in his work place closet.
SHOCK  He changed the locks and took the money.  So when I met his honey I went up and gave her a hug and said, " Thank you very much for getting him to divorce me.  He is now your problem."  I turned and walked away.  That's how I handled that problem.
Since he was abusive, the police told me to go into hiding, or get a restraining order.  Now I ask, are we crazy?  A restraining order requires that they know where you live so they know how far they can stay away.  BAD IDEA.  A family friend was a marriage for our church, at that time.  He knew a lot about the divorce laws, so he worked up a split the assests plan.  Since it was no fault divorce,
I came out with my clothes, my personal items, and his truck. ( He sent me to his folks with his truck so that's what I was driving. )  I had only the clothes I took with at the time.  I gained my life because he had threatened to kill me.  Our son had passed so.....
I decided that I could start over quicker than he would let me have anything.  So with the order from the judge in hand he had to give me clothes and personal things.  I was advised by the police to let the advocate pack things.  THey did.  They were stored in
a storage shed in another town and the sheriff department was given the key.  I got a psot office box for mail. 

To this day he still treatens my life and is looking for me.  So I would say to you that if your ex is violent, protect yourself.  I had my name chaged and the type of work I did also changed, and I learned just who I could trust. 

As for the explosion part,  make yourself a @#$%&$@#$ doll.  You can go behind closed doors and pound it against things like the floor.  I made mine to look like a gaint sized dog bone, with straight up hair on the head end and google eyes.  I filled it with sand.

OH on the funny side of my story, his then girlfriend left him.  Her girlfriend explained to her what I meant. 

You are going to be fine.  I went out and got a new hobby.  I learned how to fish. 

Take care of yourself with "dates" with yourself.  Mark it on your calendar.  Call it a survial time, good books, music, quiet streams, white noise. candy in a fancy box just for you.

You should take your preps with you. ( Just a thought.)  Maybe this could be your hobby.  Brain storming for you.  But I can't stress enough that you should watch your back.  Since he is still in the house , move him into the hallway with a sleeping bag maybe.
But if you are going to try and patch it up....... another couch or bedroom.   
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on September 11, 2009, 05:41:30 PM
Hi guys,

Thanks so much for checking up on me and the boys. I was just at the end of a big update and my internet disappeared, taking my unsaved response with it! Argh! Oh well, I'll make this 2nd try brief.

The boys are doing as well as can be expected. My soon to be ex finally moved out at the beginning of August. I have an appointment coming up with the lawyer to get the official ball rolling coming up soon, and I'm looking forward to getting it over with. After he moved out it was like the sunshine came out again. He's been pretty reasonable and cooperative because I caught him and I guess he got some kind of attack of conscience or something. Mamabear, you're right...I don't have to hold myself back anymore, and I guess I hadn't realized how repressed I felt about a lot of things until he moved out. Huh...after 17 years, I just had no idea. I guess it creeps up on you.

As for the alimony and child support, the state I live in has a very strict formula that we have to use, or the judge won't even look at the paperwork. Sarellan, you brought up and interesting point about the Child Support System. I always thought that was just something that was brought into play when someone was delinquent in their payments. I'll make sure to ask the lawyer about that when I go see him next week.  

My next huge hurtle is having to deal with my ex bringing his girlfriend here to live. Sigh. As we work together at the same office, it's going to be like a nuclear bomb going off when people see them together about town. We've kept it pretty close to the cuff at work, and haven't told anyone except a close friend here or there. Once the ink is dry on the paperwork I guess I'll have to say something about it to my team to keep the rumor mill down to a dull roar, but it's going to be sticky and weird at work for a while, but I'm hoping it'll settle down within a couple of weeks.

I've been very fortunate in that my parents live close by, and I have a good network of friends who've been a huge support to me. I've also been so grateful for the support and wisdom you all have given me here. It's so much appreciated, and I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. You've made a difference.

I'll try not to be such a stranger, and post an update as soon as we get some positive forward motion on the divorce proceedings.

Thanks again!
Wintersparrow
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on September 11, 2009, 06:04:42 PM
Gloria!

I'm so sorry to hear that your ex is such so violent and devious. I'm glad that you made it out with your life, and have moved on safely. I hope he never finds you...

I'm very fortunate in that mine seems to have some kind of sense of guilt for what he did, and is interested in keeping the boys lives as smooth and happy as possible. I'm keeping the house and most everything in it, so I'm fortunate there as well. He moved to a crappy little apartment that my oldest son calls a shack, and describes the smell as "like a dead muskrat".  Oh well, he chose it. Not my problem.

You give a lot of good advice about taking care of myself. I've tried to do my best to not ignore my own need for happiness, within reason. What would make me seriously happy right now is to light my bed on fire. However, I had to settle for taking my bedroom apart and completely rearranging and cleaning it out. Next item on the list is a new bed. I'll be getting a part time job soon, and part of the proceeds from that are going to be saved for a new bedroom set. Bed, linens, headboard, dressers, curtains, rug, paint, non-leaky windows... the whole nine yards. The idea of sleeping on the same mattress is abhorrent to me, but there's nothing to be done about that right this moment as other stuff needs taking care of first. But when it gets done, it will be my own personal oasis. It'll take me better than a year to accomplish it, but it will be worth it.

In the mean time, I have found a wonderful hobby in gardening. I discovered that my thumb isn't so black after all! As an added bonus, I've gotten my boys into it and it's something we're planning to expand on together next year.

I wish you lots of luck and hope that you continue to stay safe...Bless you!

Wintersparrow
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Serellan on September 12, 2009, 12:58:25 AM
As for the alimony and child support, the state I live in has a very strict formula that we have to use, or the judge won't even look at the paperwork. Sarellan, you brought up and interesting point about the Child Support System. I always thought that was just something that was brought into play when someone was delinquent in their payments. I'll make sure to ask the lawyer about that when I go see him next week.  
 

Yes, that is what most people think.  No matter what the lawyer tells you, really follow up on not having your payments regulated through the state system.  Unless the payee is already blowing you off, you are just setting yourself up for trouble.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: ebonearth on September 12, 2009, 11:55:37 AM
First of all I am glad you are weathering such a personal storm so well. Good job! Now a couple of bits:

- Seems like you don't live in Florida which has some seriously terrible laws when it comes to divorce. Find out if infidelity is rounds for divorce in your state, it isn't in Florida so collecting proof would be pointless in that situation. Your ex already moved out, so that is leaps and bounds better. Unlike many in the situation (again Florida) where the ex and whomever they decide to parade through the house because they are legally allowed to share the same domicile until the divorce is final, at least a year long process. I wish I were kidding. Still, check your local laws as you never know.

- Definitely vent to other people. As Archer has said, being your parent's therapist / divorce counselor sucks eggs.

- Remember that it is all not about sacrifice and scraping for survival, pamper yourself. Yes the children are all important, but you need pick-me-ups too. Even if it is just a quiet house a cup of tea and a nice friend to rub your feet, it's not about money it's about taking care of you so that you can take care of them.

- Don't forget to Freecycle! Maybe someone has a bedroom set they are willing to part with? Then all you have to worry about is purchasing a new mattress. Keep the pennies in your pocket!

- Don't push the kids to contact their Father. They will or will not do it in their own time. At their age they may refuse to visit, I am pretty sure you cannot force them, but check your state. Speaking from experience here.

- Be prepared for the kids discussing New Cow openly or not wanting to share with you what they did with Dad because of New Cow, every child is different. Odds are, if they see if upset you they'll stop sharing.

- if you need someone else to vent at, I'm open. :)
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on September 12, 2009, 03:34:56 PM
Thanks Ebonearth...some good advice. No, you're right, I don't live in FL. Grounds make no difference in this case either as I can't afford to take him to court and sue for divorce, so I am forced to do a no fault divorce. It's cheap, and quick, as long as all parties agree on the terms. I don't like that I have to take this milk-toast route, but there's nothing to be done about it.

Freecycle is a fabulous thing, and is very active in my community. I don't think I'll be using it for obtaining a bed though. I'm kind of fixated on a new bed, and I am sure it has something to do with the fact that the bastard cheated on me. It's going to take me quite a while to save up enough cash to get that new bed, but it's going to be worth it.

As for the Home-wrecking Cow, he has agreed not to expose the children to her in any way until the day they are married, and I don't talk about her in front of the boys. I answer any questions  I don't know if he's agreeable to this because he wants to keep things smooth for the kids, or what. I'm guessing that once she gets here, he's just going to hibernate with her for awhile until the happy wears off a little. I've already had to answer "where's Dad?", and "Why doesn't Dad call?", with "I don't know honey. I'm sorry, but I don't know where your father is". It's going to break my heart if they are forced to ask me that again. Another sad thing is that he shows favoritism to one child over the other, as they have more in common. I've talked to him about this, but it doesn't help. The good news is that they have a positive male role model in their grandfather, my Dad, and that's worth a lot.

Wintersparrow
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: sarakg on September 20, 2009, 12:56:48 PM
My condolences on this rough situation, but it sounds as though you are coping pretty well.  I can't speak to divorce, but I can speak to being cheated on...it's happened in every relationship I've ever been in, except the one I'm in.  For quite a while I tried to just ignore it, became very self-destructive, and it kept happening.  Duh.  I would urge you to try to cope with not only the divorce, but the fact that he cheated on you too.  Trust me, it takes a very long time and a lot of heatache to realize that someone who really wants to be with you will be with you and be faithful to you. 

I know you must be an amazing person because you have teenaged boys whom are probably being pretty difficult right now and you are looking to work even more to make things OK for them.  And don't worry about what other people at work think.  If I were you, I'd be straightforward and just tell the truth without being bitter or vindictive.  You'll come out smelling like a rose, and it will be his character and reliability that's in question.  I think that your sons could probably learn a lesson too, as long as you are up front with them that their father's mistake was wrong-your future daughters-in-law would thank you!

I'd say, in addition to getting that new bed ASAP, you probably need a haircut and spa day too-I know it costs a lot, but look for cheap deals right now.  After all, I think a lot of those places are hurting right now...and you DO deserve it.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Duchess on September 23, 2009, 12:25:37 AM
Thirty-seven and one-half years.  As a bride I was like the frog dropped into a cold pot of water.  Over time the heat was turned up and I deceived myself by not connecting the dots in my experience.  My situation was extreme verbal abuse [although not at a loud volume], which at the point of violence--I woke up.  That was February 2006.  To say that my life was upside down is an understatement.  It took me nine months to get my feet under me.  It was another ten months before I filed for divorce.  Because there were no assets, I had moved 2000+ miles away, and he refused filing a response, the divorce proceeded by default.
 
Not wanting to repeat other good advice offered here, I'll share the following in no particular order except the first three.

1.  You've not mentioned God or church.  God was my protector and bedrock.  He is today and will be tomorrow.  Consider finding a local church that can help you biblically and spiritually.
2.  Nolo Press publishes an excellent book on divorce.  It will help you understand the legal process and help you hold the line on legal costs.  I'll get the title and ISBN and post it.
3.  Don't make decisions on the fly or too quickly.  You can always reply:  "I appreciate your input in this matter and I understand your urgency.  However, I need to think this through.  I'll get back to you."  You don't need to say when you'll get back to whomever either.  Writing your thoughts and emotions can help you sort out matters, as well as give you clarity and direction as you move into your new life.
4.  Consider carefully if you want to keep the house.  Will the monthly payment and utilities be more than 30-35 percent of your take home salary?  Can you maintain it yourself, or will you require a handyman?  Is the house more than you need?  Could it be an albatross around your neck if the current economy shifts sideways or south?  I'm helping a younger woman, whose situation is similar to yours, move through her divorce process.  She decided she wouldn't keep the house and told her husband to cooperate with the real estate listing agent.  She has rented a nice townhouse for herself and two sons.  [She loved calling the owner regarding a dishwasher problem and main bath shower head: no handyman, no parts cost.] She de-cluttered and down-sized the household furnishings, etc via two weekend yard sales.  She kept a patio set for her townhouse's enclosed patio, bought herself that new bed as well as had $4,000 in her bank account while waiting for the powers that be set up garnishing his paycheck as he only had excuses for not giving her child support.  For her the townhouse has become a stake-hold for her new life.  She and her boys have begun a new chapter as a family.
5.  Be prepared for the "little things" you will now remember and put in context. No marriage is perfect.  Admit to yourself where you were wrong in actions and attitudes.; acknowledge them to your husband.  Verbally accept your responsibility for your breakdown in the marriage.  Don't expect any corresponding response from him: he's already made his choices. This is to set yourself free from bitterness. This is about healing and freedom for you.
6.  Keep and make new family times: Sunday evening:  popcorn and Netflix;  the boys make pancakes for breakfast the first Saturday morning of every month; a fall/spring clean up day at Grandpa's; etc.
7.  You'll know when you're willing to trust another man to share life together.  But I think you'll do well to hold off any new relationship to a year after the divorce is final.
8.  Know yourself.  Watch as new opportunities present themselves.  My life is radically, wonderfully different than I could have imagined four years ago.  I hold that for you, too.   :)
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Duchess on September 23, 2009, 03:19:56 PM
Book I used (actually read in the library's reference section as well as checked out a circulating copy):  How to Do Your Own Divorce in CA by Ed Sherman.  Another book also by Nolo Press:  Nolo's Essential Guide to Divorce by Emily Doskow.

When I was researching divorce online I came across a piece by an IL lawyer.  He outlined that their are three parts in divorce: 
1.  Emotional and psychological
2.  Financial (as in setting up two households)
3.  Legal, which is the settling of assets, child support & custody, and alimony
When one can maintain civility in spite of inner turmoil of #1, the legal (#3) can move ahead more directly and with less expense. #2 is often difficult for the woman as her financial resources are less than the man's.  However, for you this can be a blessing to further your prepping lifestyle.  You're ahead of many.  Make the most of it.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on October 29, 2009, 10:08:43 AM
On the child support issue.  You should negotiate the child support based on the going rates in your state; with adjustments for inflation, etc; HOWEVER, you should get a court order allowing you to NOT go through the state's Child Support Enforcement (or whatever they call it in your state) system.

Most state's divorce agreements default you into the system and you NEED to get in front of a judge to keep you OUT of the system.  The system is horribly broken and ruins lives through a bloated and inefficient bureaucracy.  I know, I was a Child Support Enforcement Officer.  I have plenty of horror stories, even though I only did it for a short time (after a year I couldn't stand it anymore).

If he defaults on payments, you can always move to have the arrears moved into the system for enforcement/garnishment, etc if you need to, but this should be a LAST resort!

Serellan,

I took this advice to heart and inquired about going in front of the judge, but in my state going around the child support system and administrating the payments just by ourselves is not an option. His paycheck will be garnished for the amount beginning the month following the completion of the divorce. I'm kind of glad about that, because he's been out overdrawing a checking account I can't get my name off of until the official paperwork comes through. I've already notified the bank of the situation, but it's getting a little hairy. The paperwork should arrive any day now, and I can't wait.

The good news is that my credit is good and I'm in the middle of refinancing my home and car loans. I'll save a bundle and am working on taking out some of the equity in my house so I can make repairs and build on. Wish me luck!

Wintersparrow
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: mamabear on October 29, 2009, 10:16:01 AM
WinterSparrow, Thanks for the update. I am glad to see you are moving forward. Notice I don't say on, I say forward, just keep on moving forward and know that we are all here for you.

Good luck with the refinancing and home repairs/additions.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: ebonearth on November 16, 2009, 02:37:54 AM
Checking in to see how things are faring WS.  :)
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on November 17, 2009, 05:49:33 AM
Good morning all,

I just got the good news yesterday that the judge signed the paperwork, and I'm officially single again. Whew...

Now I am just going through the whole post divorce transition...changing my name, letting people know at work (I've kept a pretty tight lid on it), and just helping my kids to stay afloat. The big hurdle we're dealing with now as a family is that my ex-husband is playing hot and cold with the boys, and doing his best to foist his new girlfriend on them at every turn...sigh... It would be nice if he could just think about how they feel about it, instead of only thinking of himself. The boys are telling him they don't want her, and that is really all that can be done. According to the laws in my state, there isn't much I can do unless she turns up to be a drug addict or have some other unsavory habits that I can prove. He doesn't call them except once a week, if they're lucky, and hardly ever answers the phone.

Thanks for checking in on me! I hope this note finds you all well...

Wintersparrow
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: liftsboxes on November 17, 2009, 10:02:36 AM
I have a friend who has been dealing with a similar situation for years now.  She has succeeded by prioritization.  When her ex left her she had three young boys.  Now, her oldest is starting the Naval Academy in the fall and the younger two are also doing extremely well.  One thing she did was to start running with all of them and now they complete in 1/2 marathons together as a family.

Good luck and don't hesitate to ask questions.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: mamabear on November 17, 2009, 10:25:47 AM
WinterSparrow,  I am glad to hear from you. I am happy for you that things are moving forward and you are feeling better. How are the remodel/construction things progessing? Just take care of you and your boys. I've been thinking about you.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Klonus on November 17, 2009, 09:00:25 PM
I myself have just been blindsided by divorce. My wife informed me that this was her intention a few days ago to my surprise as we were just discussing our plans to start a family. Thank god we have no kids or a home. I'm not even sure where to start or what to to. I guess I'm still in shock but I need to work to protect myself. I was planning on buying a car with all the money I saved up but now I'm not sure if that would be a good idea although I need it and winter is here. I can't bike or walk here in the winters here.  I guess it will have to wait. 
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Kara on November 19, 2009, 06:17:28 AM
Klonus,

I'm so sorry to hear that. I know from experience what a terrible shock it is to get surprised by something like this. I hope that the process of the divorce will be as quick for you as it was for me. I won't say it was painless, but I've seen messier. In my state an amicable, or "no-fault", divorce only costs $450, and that was including court fees. Hopefully you will be able to get through this with minimal financial cost.

When it comes to trying to begin to understand where to start or what to do, it helps to write things down on paper. What do you have that you are taking with you, and what are you willing to part with? Make lists of things you want to accomplish, and lists of things that just need taking care of. I began by writing down everything I would need to have in my pantry to be completely prepped for a year. I'm still a new prepper and that made me feel like I had a handle on something when I was done with it. I think that was hardest for me...feeling like the rug had been pulled out from underneath me, and I was just flying around in space waiting to fall. It gave me a feeling of control to just make something concrete, no matter how small.

Regarding the car, if you need one in order to get to work and back, perhaps you can get one that's cheaper than the one you had your sights on? I live in a state where winter is a consideration when thinking about transportation, and in my city the buses don't go to all parts of town so public transportation isn't always an option.

As for lawyers...make sure you get as many good references as possible before you hire one. Mine turned out to be a complete a$$, and appeared at one point to have been taking my husbands side in things. All this occurred, of course, after he was paid his non refundable fee.

Again, I am so sorry to hear that you have to deal with this...I'll be thinking of you. <<<HUGS>>>





Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: mamabear on November 19, 2009, 07:37:56 AM
Klonus, I am so sorry to hear this. If you need to chat, we will all be here for you. Obviously we are not able to give legal advice, but I am sure that we all can share from experience or ideas from what we hear from others. I hope you will feel free to PM if you need to chat or just vent.

I agree wholeheartedly with WinterSparrow's advice about the atty. Get good references. You don't want a bad atty. Been there, done that, and it did not turn out well.

I also think she gave some good advice about writing things down. Get your thoughts out there on paper to help you get them organized.
I know that part of the idea of prepping is to not have any debt, but perhaps at this point you should see about getting a small loan on an inexpensive car to make sure you have transportation so you can get to work, and after you pay your atty, whatever is left over can go immediately to the car loan to pay it off faster. Shop around extensively, you can find a really good deal on cars. Check your local "freebie" paper, craigslist, even check with some local mechanics. My mechanic was a source for a used car. And since he worked on it, he could tell me if it was a good car or not. If not, you may be able to make payments to your atty, you won't know until you ask the atty though. Most won't advertise that. 

I too hope this is not messy for you. Again, feel free to send me a PM and vent if you need to. I listen pretty good, at least when it's not my parents talking....
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Klonus on November 19, 2009, 05:14:12 PM
Thank you for all your kind words and advice. I'm just getting as many of my financial records as I can. Also have to figure out what to do with our bankng situation. We have a joint account so I'm gonna have to transfer my pay somewhere else I guess.  I'm hopeful we can agree on who gets what and fortunately we have no kids or a home.  We have about $2000 saved up for a  down payment on a car but I'm hesitant to use because I don't want to look like I'm taking the money and running even though we have saved it for a car. I live on a bus line that isn't so bad to use. Used it for the first time today.  Can't ride the bike in the freezing rain lol. On the plus side, all the walking and biking i have done this year helped me lose almost 30lbs which is good timing I guess. Thanks again.   
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Klonus on December 09, 2009, 05:18:08 PM
Well, the divorce is filed and I have a new account at my credit union which worked out great. I love credit unions. They are always so much more helpful than banks. I'm still alive and thankful I found this community. An interesting note is that while I have worked hard to eliminate our debt, after our divorce was filed my wife took out a few loans and went on a shopping spree. Glad I'm no longer on the hook for that lol.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: mamabear on December 10, 2009, 09:40:38 AM
Well, the divorce is filed and I have a new account at my credit union which worked out great. I love credit unions. They are always so much more helpful than banks. I'm still alive and thankful I found this community. An interesting note is that while I have worked hard to eliminate our debt, after our divorce was filed my wife took out a few loans and went on a shopping spree. Glad I'm no longer on the hook for that lol.
Well, I am glad to hear you are away from the new loans. I am sorry things could not be worked out. I do hope for the best for you as you are getting back on your feet. I also hope that your divorce process is civil and not mean and nasty. Good luck to you.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: A mazed on February 23, 2010, 01:57:44 AM
((((((( YOU )))))))))     I am so sorry My first husband was a cheeter to! He left whe I was expecting our last Daughter he had someone else in the same condition again I was done  after 6 years and 3 and 1/2 kids. I was crushed and the hormonal stuff didn't help. First Cry scream yell  throw stuff there..... now find the song I will survive and play it full blast till the windows rattle whenever you doubt it. You will, it takes awhile for the hurt to lessen and then you will be stronger and smarter and you will keep putting one foot ahead of the last and make it!! We are all rooting for you and here if you need. Journal through the pain, it sometimes helps. a hundred hugs \MzLabby
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: steeltownknight on February 28, 2010, 08:03:13 PM
Hi Wintersparrow  Very sorry to hear  about the breakup.  Men who cheat are slime. 
I think that you are a very good Mom when you show concern about revealing the new situation to your kids.
Tomorrow is another day... Every child reacts differently to parents splitting up. All will be in balance soon.
Just please have a weekend planned just for YOU  ...Yes   YOU.NO family no pets..no drama.  Go to a nice B&B--- Spa ,  massages, sauna,  TREAT yourself.
And remember ENJOY being single. and later......................  There are many men out there that are attracted to a woman that thinks being PREPARED is
important  NOT paranoid.    Men Like me.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Rara Avis on March 05, 2010, 06:38:32 PM
I gave my X the news with a court order to get out after I found out he was getting some sugar from someone at work. He came home and the door locks were changed, and I had two policemen at the house when he came home. He was served! He thought I was clueless to his game.  Was he ever wrong.  I never let him near me again while alone. ( he was a big guy with a a horrible possessiveness flaw. Which would make you wonder why he was fooling around?) I do not take prisoners. HE CHEATED AND HE WAS OUT!
We didn't have any kids.
In our state you can file for an uncontested divorce, which is what I/we did. The attorney made sure that I was compensated fairly. I got half.
He had since came crawling back asking me to forgive him, and take him back. I told him he blew it with me. I can't forgive and forget, because I could never trust him again.

In a survival situation you have to be able to trust the ones you're with 100%. You're lives could depend on it.  I need to be around or with rock solid trust worthy individuals. Not some flake who can't keep his zipper up!  I imagine that would apply to you as well.

Hopefully for you, your children will rally to your cause, and back you up, rather than give you grief. If their father starts to fill their heads with garbage against you, you have to fight back. Don't take any crap, from him or your kids.

Be strong, and still be a female. You can get through it. Don't take it personally. He tossed his credibility in the trash can, you didn't. The onus is on him. 
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Smith on March 05, 2010, 07:13:12 PM

One thing in particular I could use advice on is how to handle things with the kids. I let my soon-to-be-ex know that those boys and I are a package deal, so they will be staying with me. I imagine they will be pretty angry and confused for a while. It's going to be an interesting time with them, I think. Poor kids...I wish they never had to deal with this.

Any wisdom anyone has to share regarding a similar issue you've faced would be most welcome.


Sorry to hear about your situation WS. As teenagers your boys should not have a hard time dealing with the divorce. You would be surprised what kids can handle. The most important thing is to never use your kids as emotional weapons against your former spouse. My parents were divorced and I had many friends growing up who were the children of divorce, and its not really as devastating as you might suspect. The thing that messes some kids up is when they are told that one of their parents was bad, did bad, is bad, or is the reason for the separation. i.e. "Daddy would rather be with his whore than with us."  Just remember, whatever he did, to them he is their dad. I'm not saying hes not a jerk or ignore what happened, I'm just saying that your perspective doesn't need to be theirs.

It might be radical to say but often cheating is not the underlying reason for a divorce. There are many other issues such as financial, emotional, and psychological that lead to the separation long before the trigger event causes the real pain threshold that leads to splitting up. Sometimes people just need to separate. That doesn't mean that the relationship was a failure, it sometimes just means that it is time to dissolve the partnership.

Your boys being teenagers should already be well equipped to deal with these situations, and not to sound callous but the current statistics would indicate that this is something that they too may have to deal with in the future, God forbid.

Best of luck. I hope it works out for you. 

Just my 2 cents, for what its worth....
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Smith on March 05, 2010, 07:17:59 PM

Hopefully for you, your children will rally to your cause, and back you up, rather than give you grief. If their father starts to fill their heads with garbage against you, you have to fight back. Don't take any crap, from him or your kids.


Case in point.

Your kids are not weapons, and its not a battle.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Rara Avis on March 05, 2010, 08:17:01 PM
Case in point.

Your kids are not weapons, and its not a battle.

Yes! that would be the ideal situation...yet, way too many divorces end up with the kids in the middle, and someone playing them against the other.  I have yet to see a totally amiable divorce where kids are involved. I know they can exist, but I have yet to see one.  Which is why, I am very thankful none were involved when my marriage ending.

I never inferred that kids were weapons, or that it should be a battle...
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: born2hunt2 on April 02, 2010, 03:53:00 PM
I caught my wife of 2 and a half years cheating on me with her xboyfriend in january. She completly moved out next day and left me with a mortgage and all the bills. Cleaned out the house though. Now she has been doin everything she can to keep me from seeing my 14month daughter. She had led me to believe we might work things out and now wont even talk to me. I dont know whats happening, or if she even wants the divorce, but i hear shes pretty happy in her new life with x. To make matters worse I lost my job 3 weeks ago and cant even afford to file the divorce myself. Dont even feel like preppin anymore. Dont know if im comin or goin. Just lay on the floor now, try to figure out where i went wrong.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: monkeyboyf on April 02, 2010, 07:33:02 PM
Quote from: born2hunt2 linkDont know if im comin or goin. Just lay on the floor now, try to figure out where i went wrong.
[/quote
Get up off the floor and realize it might not be anything you did wrong.  She obviously had it well planned or had been ready for some time.  When ex-boyfriend gets tired of the conquest and a little fling, he may not be so ready to take on a ready-made family.  She could possibly be looking for a way back in with you.  Be very careful. I'm sorry about your job, but make an active effort to find something, even if it isn't what you want.  You need funds to get an attorney to protect your rights as a father.  My thoughts and prayers will be with you.  You can do it!
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: born2hunt2 on April 06, 2010, 04:15:52 PM
thanks for the encouragment
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: OKGranny on April 06, 2010, 05:03:57 PM
Actually born2hunt2 that isn't encouragment. It's exactly what you need to do. It  might be somewhat your fault or it might not but either way giving up isn't the answer. Moving on with life, learning from what happened, and dealing with a bad blow is all part of life. Find a support group, a preacher, a therapist, whatever so you can talk it out and learn to start putting one foot in front of the other again is absolutely necessary.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: monkeyboyf on April 07, 2010, 06:37:35 PM
born2hunt2,
OKGranny and I have been around awhile, and it's easy to tell you what you must do, age does that to us,hehe. Really, use every bit of your courage to fight for that baby!We are both concerned for you, just don't give up. Blessings to you.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: LvsChant on April 07, 2010, 07:16:49 PM
born2hunt2... I'm sure this is a very dark time for you... but hang in there... we are all here wishing good things for you!
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Sweethearts Mom on April 07, 2010, 09:30:02 PM
http://lemonadeadventures.blogspot.com/ (http://lemonadeadventures.blogspot.com/)

I would recommend that you read this blog of a single parent who home schools and shows that it is hard but fulfilling.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: OKGranny on April 07, 2010, 10:01:09 PM
born2hunt2,
OKGranny and I have been around awhile, and it's easy to tell you what you must do, age does that to us,hehe. Really, use every bit of your courage to fight for that baby!We are both concerned for you, just don't give up. Blessings to you.

Good point. I do tend to sound too blunt too but I really worry about him and anyone that gets stuck in that pit of dispair. It's quicksand that will keep pulling you in if you let it and he's got a baby that needs him and I'm sure family that loves him.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: born2hunt2 on April 08, 2010, 04:30:05 AM
Ive got no one. My parents just retired and are in the process of movin to montana with my brothers family. Goin to be all alone. Dont have many friends anymore. There all married and have there own familys to take care of. Still cant find a job. Wife is takin house because i cant afford it anymore. She wants me out by the weekend, its hard packin stuff all alone. Have to put all my supplies in storage. Wont do me much good there. Guess im goin to live in my truck for while,its got a good cap so shouldnt be too bad. Its my bov anyways. Guess i would leave to but i cant leave my daughter shes all i got left.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Pathfinder on April 08, 2010, 05:27:12 AM
Ive got no one. My parents just retired and are in the process of movin to montana with my brothers family. Goin to be all alone. Dont have many friends anymore. There all married and have there own familys to take care of. Still cant find a job. Wife is takin house because i cant afford it anymore. She wants me out by the weekend, its hard packin stuff all alone. Have to put all my supplies in storage. Wont do me much good there. Guess im goin to live in my truck for while,its got a good cap so shouldnt be too bad. Its my bov anyways. Guess i would leave to but i cant leave my daughter shes all i got left.

Son, been there, know the sense of despair and helplessness at loosing everything - kids, house, even my dog. But let me tell you this. You can wallow in the self pity all you want, and not one damn thing will change.

Or, you can decide you are going to man-up, and be a father to your daughter. Right now you are following Adam's course of being passive, letting the soon-to-be ex-wife call all of the shots. You have rights and you have responsibilities. Exercise your rights and live up to your responsibilities. You cannot do that feeling sorry for yourself. I know. I tried. And failed.

Get some help - a pastor for example, even one you do not know. Most lawyers will meet with you at least once for free - talk to one, explain your circumstances. It's an old Boy Scout principle - know who your resources are and use them effectively. They should be able to point you to a support group who can help you get through this emotionally and even legally.

My Brother, your well-being - and that of your daughter - are the most important elements of your life right now. Be a servant-leader for your daughter and yourself. This will undoubtedly be the hardest thing you have ever done. But you can do it. You have to take the first steps, and that includes talking with someone, getting a place to stay, and setting some goals for yourself.

Please PM me if you can, and let's see where this goes.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: born2hunt2 on April 08, 2010, 07:13:23 AM
I have talked to a lawyer. i had to get one because she put a protection order on me the 1st of march. She took my daughter away from me for 3 weeks. Couldnt see or talk to either of them. She said she did it because she wanted to stop me from having overnights during the work week because i had to drop my daughter off at daycare at 630am. She said it was too early, said she was afraid i would get mad when she wanted no more overnights. Shes right, i wouldve been steamin. But its ok for her to go to parties with my daughter until 1am in the morning! Problem is shes 24 and im 36. Anyways it cost me 2000 dollars for the lawyer to get the order dropped. He wants another 3000 for the divorce. I dont have the money. So im tryin to do it myself and work out the details with her,but every time I call her she says she doesnt want to talk about this right now.So i email her and get no response. I text her about what we need to do and she says not now. I dont know if she wants the divorce or not. All i know is shes been livin bill free with her parents havin a great old time while im tryin to figure out my future.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Sister Wolf on April 08, 2010, 07:43:35 AM
Problem is shes 24 and im 36.

I appreciate your situation, but that isn't the problem.

Can you please introduce yourself in the intro thread, born2hunt2?  I think it would be good for you to take a look around the forum and try to find another thread (or a few other threads) you're interested in, as well.  Ones that have nothing to do with divorce.  Expand your horizons, and stop focusing 100% of your energy on how miserable you are.

Thank you.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: born2hunt2 on April 08, 2010, 08:25:27 AM
hey no problem i will leave u gals alone
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Sister Wolf on April 08, 2010, 08:58:20 AM
hey no problem i will leave u gals alone

::)  That isn't what I said, and it isn't what I implied.  I just want you to try to focus, say, 10% of your energy on something you like.  I would be very unhappy if nobody tried to stop you from doing something stupid, like drinking yourself into a stupor, or committing suicide, etc.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: LvsChant on April 08, 2010, 09:56:40 AM
born2hunt2...

It may be really beneficial for you to find something else you enjoy doing and learning about on the forum here to alleviate some of the stress your situation is causing you... we all are very sad to hear of your difficulties...
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: OKGranny on April 08, 2010, 11:46:20 AM
All Sister Wolf suggested was that you try really hard to look around and find something to focus on at least for a few minutes that has nothing to do with this situation. Your emotions are your worst enemy right now. I know, been there, done that.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Sister Wolf on April 08, 2010, 12:18:12 PM
Exactly.  I'm kind of a drill sergeant about wallowing.  Get your ass up, soldier, and walk on.

Also - use this thread as much as you want to.  I just hereby command that you post in at least one other thread for every post you make in here.  ;)
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: grandma on April 18, 2010, 10:59:05 AM
I might be weird (okay, okay, I AM weird), but I'm a proponent of "best not to marry again until the babes are out".  Becoming wrapped up in your own world with dating and remarrying and all that provides a wealth of instability that will cause nothing but problems for your children, in my opinion.

The kids are the most important part of this.  It's going to be hard on you, Wintersparrow, we have all pointed that out.  But your kids?  This is going to be hell for them.  No, more like hell turned inside out and then made a thousand times worse.  They need mom full time now, more than they have ever needed you before.

That is, of course, my opinion.  I don't have children, so I could be talking out of my ass.  Take it for what it's worth, and know that while I blab, I also support any decision you make regarding your family.  :)

 I know many do not agree with this, but in my case it was the decision I made, and I am glad I did.  My younger was 10 and my older 15 when their father left.  I was on my own for 8 years before I met, and subsequently married, DH.  It worked for me, but it might not for everyone.  It just seemed like one less upsetting thing for my children to have to deal with, and as the adult who (seemingly) was in charge of her emotions, it was a choice I'm glad I made...I never felt 'put-upon' to have made it  Their father, on the other hand, had no such qualms.

One thing soemone told me soon after he left was NOT to make any life changing decisions (like moving or changing jobs) right away. I'm glad I listened to that one.
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: LdMorgan on April 18, 2010, 12:01:43 PM
I trust things are working out for you, Wintersparrow. No matter what, hang on to your hope for the future and cherish the good things around you--like your children and your true friends.

My daughter went through a surprise divorce several years ago. In retrospect, it was the best thing that could have happened to her.

Time marches on, and it's amazing how fast things can turn around after the worst has passed.

A lot of good advice has already been offered, but I do have a couple of things to add.

1. The man you divorce is never the man you married. It's like an Invasion of the Body Snatchers thing. They just look the same. So guard yourself in dealing with the new Total Stranger and make no assumptions based on the character of the man you married. He isn't there anymore. That also means you owe the Total Stranger nothing, emotionally.

2. Start a Divorce Diary, and write down everything that happens along the way, not just with the process of the divorce, but with yourself and your family. Your daily life.

Start it now and write in it every day. This will not only keeps the facts straight, but will let you see the progress you are making toward turning your life around and pointing it in the direction you want.

It will also keep you from forgetting what happened. (Sounds crazy, huh? How could you ever forget any thing about this?)

The pain of a divorce and the pain of childbirth are remarkably similar. Within a short time Nature starts blurring the details, until you finally remember only a description of the events rather than the events themselves. And that description is very mutable and can become very inaccurate. You will be surprised what even five years can do.

Your Divorce Diary will be an accurate description of what happened. One you can rely on. You may never "need" what is in your Diary, but the time may come when your children will.

When they need to understand what happened, for example, as adults themselves. Or (hopefully not) when something similar happens to them.

Once the present has moved into the past, you can be free from it--but it's usually wise to remember what you are free from.

Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Klonus on June 28, 2010, 10:38:26 PM
Hey all. Thanks for all the kind words. My divorce was just finalized recently and it's been a tremendous burden off my shoulders. Now I can focus on getting my life back. Even though it's been a painful process, it is still exciting to be In control of my destiny again. If anyone finds themslves going through divorce and wants to do it "pro se" pm me if you need any help. I'm no legal expert but it was easy and it cost me only the filing fees. It makes you wonder what the point of divorce lawyers are for ( besides stir up more trouble).  Keeping drama to a minimum is always helpful in these matters lol. 
Title: Re: How do you survive a surprise divorce?
Post by: Dylboz on July 03, 2010, 02:20:21 PM
"Recently, I caught my husband cheating on me and, long story short, a divorce is in my near future."

I had a very similar experience. Caught the wife cheating with her ex-boyfriend, a cop no less, who was married with his own kids at the time, and who had on an earlier occasion harassed and intimidated me (under color of law) when my ex dumped him to get back together with me. Quite a soap opera, but it ended fairly well for me (I am now very happily married to a truly wonderful woman). Except for the $10,000 of the ex's credit cards I am still paying. At least we never had kids!

Bottom line, life gets back to normal. True happiness can be achieved in the aftermath. Your life has not ended, it has just begun.

Now, if only I could stop having these dreams where my ex just shows up to move back into the house. Talk about nightmares!