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Gender reversal in divorce

just M.E.

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All the guys who got took in a divorce can chuckle at my situation, but my personal believe is that "marrying someone should not be like winning the lottery" whether they are male or female.


I live in Colorado, a non-community property state. I have been the complete breadwinner during my marriage and have owned my real estate properties prior to marriage, 14 - 8 years for the properties.


I am trying to have a situation for a mutual settlement agreement but my ex (who is the dumper by the way) is blocking every reasonable attempt for a negotiated settlement. He seems to thrive on the power to say "No".


I have a lot of property at risk and he created a situation where he acquired absolutely no individual assets of his own either prior to and during the marriage. I took care of him financially and helped him start a business which we both own.


I want to keep the properties I already own and let him have the business.


Has anyone had any luck with someone controlling and unreasonable like this? It has been 6 mon and no movement. There seems to be a large amount of greed and pettiness on his part.


I can't simply "just file for divorce" as there are a number of things at risk that affect not only me but my daughter's and granddaughter's inheritance. I may have to take that course but was hoping someone had some experience?


I am in complete NC, just short of a restraining order, he has been told not to contact me whatsoever, by request of my lawyer.

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I am trying to have a situation for a mutual settlement agreement but my ex (who is the dumper by the way) is blocking every reasonable attempt for a negotiated settlement.
The problem in a divorce is that what one person sees as reasonable is unreasonable to the other. Especially where money is concerned.


What does your lawyer recommend?

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I have been married for 7 years, my lawyer and I want to try one shot at negotiation then it looks like we will have not choice but to file for divorce in court. I don't like the concept of a judge making a decision for him and I, but I may have no choice.


I purchased these properties while raising my daughter for myself, and her and I ate a lot of macaroni and cheese and worked very hard to get this place, nothing extremely fancy but what I hoped for and what I want to leave her when I die.


A side note is that he signed a post-nuptial agreement, which if it stands up has some limitations. The post nuptial was more designed for distribution of my assets to my heirs than for divorce though. I was not planning to be in this situation. He was very angry with the post nuptial because a part of it declared he couldn't challenge my will. My will provided my real estate properties to my daughter and left him a comfortable life insurance policy ($500,000) which is roughly slightly less than the value of my properties. By the way, if he died I would only be left his debts.


I did not want my properties to go to him because of his alcohol and drug abuse, chances are he could lose them, I wanted them to remain in my family. I didn't care if he burned through the money.


This is a source of resentment for him and he feels "entitled" to more than was laid out in the post nuptial agreement.


I am told by my lawyer my proposal is very generous, he feels strongly that we would do well in court as the ex is a very dysfunctional person, prone to rages, etc. There is an implied threat in all my ex's response sand I know I won't really move forward until this is cleared, I wish I had a clue how to get this going forward.


He has moved on and I have no problems with that, I just want him to allow me to go and leave what I had before intact. The business we created is roughly equal in value to my property equity, so he would do well getting that.

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I hope you can negotiate out of court.


If you only get one chance at the negotiation, make sure you have a very clear, definitive offer to him. Make it a little bit more attractive than you think it should be.


If I'm reading right between the lines, he needs the settlement as much if not more than you so he should be somewhat motivated not to take it to court.

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While CO is 'community property', it is also one of the most punitive states around when it comes to divorce. You do realize he can ask for alimony, right?


There is a correlation between the divorce rate in CO and the high suicide rate for middle-aged men for a reason. For example, someone in a 20 year marriage who divorces in Illinois might be ordered to pay alimony for up to five years. In CO, it will probably be for LIFE if the parties are over age 50. Generally the payer is male. A lot of men just blow their brains out instead of paying thousands a month for life to a woman who never worked, cheated, and took half the assets and went to live with some other guy.


I saw one of these situations. I knew a guy who the day after he lost his job of 27 years, had his wife leave him, take their 17 year old daughter with her, and move to Kansas to shack with another guy. He made the mistake of filing in CO. He had to give her half of everything including his pension, his 401K AND back severance pay from the job he had lost. He was ordered to pay child support followed by four years of college for both his daughter AND his wife, who decided to go to nursing school. On top of all of that, he was ordered to pay $1600 a month in 'spousal support' FOR LIFE based on his 'imputed income' from his prior job. He couldn't find a job anywhere near his previous salary, but he had no money to pay a lawyer to get a reduction, which is very rarely granted here anyway. He ended up living in a one room apartment and working retail at $10 an hour. After paying all of the court-ordered items, he was negative cash flow, so he had to dip into what was left of his 401K constantly. Three years after the divorce, when his money ran out, he bought a pistol, drove to Kansas and blew his brains out in front of his ex.


If your husband gets a bulldog of a lawyer, watch out.

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Colorado is not a community property state, the law read specifically the equity gained during the marital period can be split "up to but not more than 50%" - the 50% rule is variable, there are horror stories on each side, it depends on the judge. My assets owned are exempt EXCEPT for the equity gained during the marital period which would be subject to the divison of assets. The post nuptial agreement specifically exempts and defines the limitation of that split as it also gives him my half of the business. Colorado also has a law on the book acknowledging post nuptial agreements.


The fear of the irrational judgements is very real though, the post nuptial also denied either party "maintenance" as they call alimony here. I remained in the marriage to help him work through his alcohol abuse issues but only if he signed the post nuptial. He has stated the post nup is not valid, my lawyer thinks it is but has some poorly written portions.


Since he signed that, he is now searching for every loop hole, every doubtful item to attach. I do hope for an out of court settlement or a mediated settlement. If we go to court it will get expensive.


I supported my first husband and put him through college, it was a 3 yr marriage and he wanted to get "maitenance" from me. (yeah, I already know, losers)


But maybe he really isn't, maybe he will be the one laughing all the way to the bank. i hope not. I can take giveing a lot up, but I don't want it taken from my daughter and granddaughter. I may have that in my favor, I have heirs, he has none and never will have children. He is 10 yrs younger than me, so I also hope that would get some consideration.


By the way melrich, I would be dancing a jig if an extra 5% would settle this, but from numbers he has thrown out, he is trying to find a way to get more than the 50% and he thinks I have more money than I do. He's like a bulldog when he thinks he is "entitled" He is very narcissistic in how he behaves.


I have a good lawyer but that is killing me also, they come with a price tag.

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I work in a family law practice in California, a community property state. Despite this fundamental difference in the applicable law, there is a principle at stake here that can be universally applied to situations such as your own: ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION.


If your husband continues on his current path, before either of you know it you will have $100k or more in legal fees. You may want to check your retainer agreement, too, because many family law lawyers now jack up costs and fees if the case proceeds to trial. Even if they don't, the cost of a trial gets absurd fast.


Which returns me to alternative dispute resolution. Given how unreceptive your husband seems to be to the negotiations process, I would consult my attorney and request that he confer with your husband's counsel to set up a mediation or arbitration and get this thing settled. Those options can be expensive, too, but pale by comparison to a trial. They also carry with them a very high success rate for success.


Just a thought. Best of luck to you.

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Thanks, glimmerofhope, we have thought of that also. What you mentioned in fees is not unrealistic, I have about $20K in this now already. That is my big fear about going through the courts and the fear of one person's opinions forever changing my life and that person being the judge. The cost and no control of the end result.

Divorce here seems to be a form of socialism, take from the one who has most and give to the other ....

The reason we are not going to make multiple attempts at negotiated offers before filing for divorce, is that I have no legal protection while living apart, once filed there is some small protection, as there is a base line for all the financial. Also, I watched my ex with his previous divorce (I should have figured this out) take over two years to settle a two year marriage.


Thanks for the information.


I talk to a therapist and her opinion is that he is seriously dysfunctional, probably narcissistic, and will not agree, because he enjoys the power of this situation and the creating drama. He is proving her correct by his actions so far.

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I talk to a therapist and her opinion is that he is seriously dysfunctional, probably narcissistic, and will not agree, because he enjoys the power of this situation and the creating drama. He is proving her correct by his actions so far.
I think it is unwise to take too much notice of what a therapist diagnoses about someone she has never met and about whom she only knows from a former partner in the throes of a divorce.


I understand that this is very emotional for you but the law doesn't take notice of emotions - only cold, hard facts. Try not to let emotion cloud your judgment. It won't serve you.

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it almost always is in your best interest to settle because of the high court costs and attorney fees... it's not exactly ethical, but some attorneys will whip their clients up if it means it runs up their bill.


the way you should look at it is if it will go to trial and the costs alone will be $100K, and you know you will have to pay that much, spending anything less than that to settle is coming out ahead.


divorce attorneys get rich because divorcing couples don't want to give up anything, or feel like they are 'entitled' to keep what they want. i have seen this kind of thing happen again and again, and both parties are always shocked when they get the attorneys bill and realize it has chewed through a good chunk of their assets.


you also have to be very careful in terms of logic-ing backwards. i.e., you think you are entitled to keep all the real estate becuase you FEEL you can't afford to not give your daughter and grandchildren something. inheritence for grown children and grandchildren is irrelevant because the judge is splitting marital property and these are not minor children of the marriage. it is a driving factor for your logic, but won't be one for the judge's logic.


start removing everything from your own argument that is not directly related to what is legal in your state or probable as a division of property based on how divorces go there. and be very careful with your arguments...


you think your husband is crazy, paranoid etc.? that could be used against you, i.e., your husband IS crazy, sick, needs more of the marital property to support himself after the divorce or pay his medical bills. doesn't seem fair to you, but that is how it works. if you have been the primary source of income, and his potential as an earner is poor, he could be awarded alimony or some of the real estate to sell in lieu of alimony.


so i think you really should follow the advice to try to get a mediator and settle this for anything that is less than what you know is the minimum you'd pay for a divorce trial, or even a little more than that.


i sincerely doubt that he would get 50%, but there is a good chance after a 7 year marriage he could get 25-30%, unless your post nuptial is airtight.


if he is totally unreasonable and won't settle, then you have no choice but to go to trial, but you really should try for your own sake.

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None of this is joint property, the only thing is the equity during the time of marriage. I owned all properties 10 yrs+ before the marriage and the deeds, loans and all payments regard these properties were in my name and all payments made by me.


The only item that is joint is the business we started together. We are having a phone conference tomorrow. I have a very generous offer to propose and I guess if he turns it down and I end up in front of a judge, we will be able to say we made every effort to come to an agreement.


I have one bargaining point, I am not required to file jointly on our previous years tax returns, and since he did not have adequate estimated payments for his income (he had income, he did work, but none of those funds came to the household, that was his spending money). On the other hand, my withholding and estimated payments made from my income before I received payment, was heavily overpaid. I hope that in offering him a chance to file jointly with me as part of a final settlement, I will be able to convince him to come to an agreement. I will lose a great deal of money in this situation, but if the agreement is made, I'll be happy and move on.

Historically I took care of everything for him, even paying his tax liability from my income. I am not proud of that behavior, but I thought I was helping him get a leg up on a fresh start in life. In the end, I had been an enabler for an alcoholic.


I will be very generous in my proposed offer just to remain out of court, but he may have a delusion of being able to get a large amount of money from me. I say delusion because no matter what the court orders, my resources are limited and the amount he wants cannot not be found, I don't have it.


My parents were very comfortable or possibly wealthy but had created a trust to leave their estate for charity. I applaud that, I am extremely proud of what they did. I think the ex sees some of that and imagines it can be turned into cash that he can obtain. That cannot happen, it isn't my money.



DN - my therapist did not make a unknown diagnosis of the ex, she knew that he exhibited traits from a couple diagnostic lists of different personality disorders, we have not tried to label him, he is dysfunctional, emotionally abusive and almost physically abusive. He doesn't go beyond the push and shove but that can get pretty rough also. Her opinions were formed through 3 years of my consulting her prior to the separation. He left me in May, and I am grateful, I left the previous year because of the drinking, we reconciled with his promise to quit, he quit for a few months and then would sneak his drinking in. He left and possibly had an affair, there is some conflicting information and I really don't care for an answer. It is done.


I hope to find a way to get a completion to this. Yes, the courts don't care about my heirs, but I do. I will get no assets, no property from him through this unless in court the judge chooses to make that determination.


I don't want anything that is his. I only hope to keep what I had 7 years ago. I am taking nothing from him, only giving to him, I just want a reasonable limit on what I give him.

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I just re-read my posts and had a conversation with a friend, I get so caught up in the minuitia that I loss site of the big picture.


When frustrated one tends to try reach out, hoping someone else has had success with the same problem.


I am very educated by my lawyer and 2nd opinions and accountants, etc as to my rights and position. Anything can happen in court so my position doesn't mean squat in the end. More than anything I want a negotiated settlement, but you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.


In the end, that is my only answer.

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You really need to stay out of court.


You say your resources are limited, but you repeatedly say you have multiple properties. Unfortunately, those are resources, even if you brought them into the marriage. Any appreciation on those assets is joint property unless it was spelled out in the other agreements you apparently have.


If your STBX goes to the mat, he will likely be awarded half the appreciation. In a division of assets he gets cash or property equal to the portion of the appreciation he is awarded, one way or another. Even if it means you have to sell one or more of the properties.


I had a good friend who ended up in a similar situation. He was living in his dream house when he got married. The house appreciated, he divorced, and in order to give the ex her half of the appreciation, he had to sell the house against his wishes.

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He hung up on his lawyer today during our phone conference, I don't have choices now. He is as his lawyer described "irrational", He isclaiming he is emotionally hurt, but he is the dumper and living with the other woman. That's fine, what ever blows his skirt up. I am not hurt anymore by his actions as he becomes more absurd each meeting. I had a generous offer prepared and we were not allowed to present it because he was angry about something that he wouldn't tell anyone what it was.


He made a mention that I verbally promised he could buy a house with proceeds which is absolutely false. What I told him (1 year ago, when discussing my will), is that in the event of my death, there existed a life insurance policy to his benefit that would be enough to buy a house. I never said, "If you divorce me, I'll buy you a house", that ludicrous.

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Never fight fire with fire. Fight it with water... To win this one, you would need an entirely separate approach.


I will be following this thread rather closely. My divorce conversations have happened and we meet our lawyer later this week. She is already asking me about what my income is and what percentage increases come my way each year along with bonuses etc.. Hmmm! I am beginnging to worry a little.


She wants to portray to the world a "goody two shoes image". I wonder how far she will go to squeeze me off my income...


Just ME - I wish you strength. I can totally understand what you are going through. I wish I had more legal wherewithal on help contribute to this post....

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Never fight fire with fire. Fight it with water... To win this one, you would need an entirely separate approach.


I will be following this thread rather closely. My divorce conversations have happened and we meet our lawyer later this week. She is already asking me about what my income is and what percentage increases come my way each year along with bonuses etc.. Hmmm! I am beginnging to worry a little.


She wants to portray to the world a "goody two shoes image". I wonder how far she will go to squeeze me off my income...


Just ME - I wish you strength. I can totally understand what you are going through. I wish I had more legal wherewithal on help contribute to this post....


Benga, It sounds to me like your have not prepared yourself for the reality of what you are about to go through.


Information like "what my income is and what percentage increases come my way each year along with bonuses etc.." is not something you can hide in a divorce. In fact, in Colorado a law was recently passed that anything less than full financial disclosure in a divorce proceeding is a criminal act. No matter what state you live in, you can be depositioned under oath, and if you lie, you are in contempt. You cannot hide income or assets in a divorce unless you are willing to go to jail.


How far she will go to squeeze off your income? As far as legally allowed, unless she wants to give you something out of the goodness of her heart.

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Benga and WhatThe,

This is such a frightening scenario because there seems to be such a wide range of how decisions are made. I can only hope all will go well enough, well enough to keep a part of what I had before.


We were married less than seven years, if I died tomorrow, he would be entitled to far less than he is demanding in divorce. Somehow, it seems more fair to have divorce settlements mirror what would be entitled to the surviving spouse.


I know about full disclosure and it won't be simple, my situation is messy, not clean and tidy. What will alter this situation, is how the post-nuptial is regarded and if it will be held to the intentions when drafted.

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WhatThe - I totally understand disclosure norms and I will disclose all when I need to and who I need to disclose them too. When we had the conversation about the percentages and my income, it was for the first time in 14 years (since I have known her) that I sensed some amount of greed for money... Lets see what happens. I have all my financial records straight...


Tough times

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Does anyone have experience with the catch 22 of divorce?


I own properties but they are heavily leveraged, during the martial period, I refinanced to maintain a lifestyle that the ex was comfortable with, thinking he was going to make good on promises of financial assistance. (Dumb, I know) There is remaining equity on these properties but I cannot qualify for any additional loans, due to my income. I was removed from my position with the business he and I own when he left, and all other significant income is dividend and viewed very cautiously by the banks.


I have a very hefty legal bill I need to make some significant dent in, I have absolutely no savings at this point.


I am at a point of giving up on legal assistance, I have an enormous bill and we have gone no where, this is mostly due to the ex's ability to keep shifting the focus and our interest in achieving a negotiated settlement. I have spent 7 months and a large amount of money and have not moved forward.


I know I am discouraged today as I have to come up with funds I don't have, I can possibly make another loan but to be honest I don't believe my budget can handle another payment.


I wonder how bad it would be to be self represented in this? Probably pretty bad.


If I refinance again (I may not be able to), I will be in violation of the guidelines of keeping all financial items status quo although I have not filed for divorce yet and he has done a number of things himself. All properties are in my name only so I can get financing without his involvement. I kept all loans, titles, deeds in my name as had been previous to the marriage.


So I have no money to pay the lawyer, I will skate through barely until my next income check in Jan, I have a part time job but have been unsuccessful in finding a better paying situation. I left a lucrative career to go into business with the ex, being it was tech based, I can't jump right back in. I am paid well hourly in my part time position so taking a job that paid less and more hours wouldn't get me farther ahead.


I have already found that I am facing some small amount of that non-existent age discriminations. I am told repetitively that I am over qualified.

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I am so sorry you are going through this. I also was married to a man who is narcissistice and makes up his own rules. What I can tell you is NOT to give up your lawyer or at least some lawyer, because you don't want to face him in court by yourself. IF he is anything like mine, he makes a pretty good first impression and it will only be your word. You will need back up.


I am still fighting my ex, even after being divorced over a year and separated for 2 before that. He continually brings items in front of the court, petty things. This has made my legal bills tremendous and I'm holding on by the skin of my teeth. There are some months we don't eat very well and there are some months I can't pay the phone bill, but I KNOW I can't win against him without a lawyer.

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confusedmama -

Wow, that is absolutely horrible that one person can do that to another, very scary also. It's the "It's all about me show", very tough and hurtful to see. I have never been suicidal but there was a point in my life I fantasized about my death as a way of release. For a while I believed I would never get free. You are right about the lawyer, I just have to find a way to hang in there. In my case I wonder if he is simply punishing me for not being what he wanted me to be, scary concepts but the behavior acts like one person punishing another.


What I have seen with my ex is that he makes a real big deal out of one thing, then we satisfy that issue and immediately there is another, and he has forgotten about the first. And this goes on and one, one item after another, never ending. Except I want it to end, because he can't pull that BS continually on a judge.


I will see if there is any way I can work something out, I was very discouraged this morning. I'm going to ponder this and try come up with some ideas before Monday. Maybe I can get creative.

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