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Divorce ?'s - Children? Lawyer?


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Last week my wife of 15 years informed that she has feelings for another (my neighbor, who I considered a good friend, of all people) and he feels the same for her. To make a long story shorter, I should have seen it coming but I didn't because I didn't think my wife would ever do anything like this.


So, divorce is forthcoming and I need to know how to tell my 11 year old twins. I have been crusing the internet searching for ideas and found a few good ideas but would like some true life help.


Second - I want this divorce to go a smoothly as possible and have considered using a mediator to handle everything. Problem is, I don't even know if that is possible. I would prefer to do this without an attorney if I can. Any advice is welcome.


Thank you!

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Hey there,


I am so sorry about your situation. My parents' divorce was just finalized this past fall and they used a mediator. Basically a mediator helps the couple divide or split their assets and help one another come to an agreement everyone is satisified with, as far as the division of property, stocks, cars, and monies involved. I agree having a mediator helps a divorce go much smoother and more amicable. A lawyer is present during the mediation process to make sure everything is legit and legal.


However, because you have children involved, I would discourage you using just a mediator. You have the children to worry about and visitation and custody issues, things that mediators do not get involved with, at least that is my understanding.

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I am sure you have read a lot of advice about telling the children and that it resonates with a few key points,


1. If possible, both of you should tell them together.

2. Tell them the truth without the detail.

3. Make sure you emphasise that the seperation is nothing to do with them.

4. make sure you both reinforce how much you love them.

5. never display any animosity to each other in front of them.

6. Never speak badly of the other parent to them.


It will be very hard for them no matter how you put it but these are some of the ways (amongst others) that you can soften the blow.

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It all depends on how much she wants, what she feels entitled to. For example, if you have a better paying job, and she wants the kids you'll have to give her the lion's share of your paycheck every month.


This is made all the more complicated by the fact that there are kids. If there weren't, it's a bit easier to spilt all the belongings down the middle and if you both work part ways with no support payments going either way.


As already noted though, where you are is very relevant. And what she wants is perhaps just as relevant.

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I guess I better find an attorney if mediators can't handle the children.


Melrich - That's the type of info I am looking for. Thanks! You are correct, I found almost the exact type of info on the internet.


Ash - I am not really worried about the stuff, my biggest concern is the kids. She says she would agree to joint custody but the look in her eyes tells me something different, besides, I don't trust a word she says right now. I have a better paying job but she makes enough to support the kids half the time and me the other half.


This whole thing really sucks! I hate being blindsided, especially by something like this!

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Hey there,


Based on what I have seen what happened to male friends of mine, you better find an attorney that will fight for paternal rights tooth and nail and make dang sure you have equal say and visitation with your children.


I have seen many many guys get taken to the cleaners and hardly see their kids. Just something to keep in mind.

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You should speak to an attorney. You need advice on what to expect in your local jurisdiction. I can not emphasis this enough DO NOT LISTEN TO WHAT LAY PEOPLE TELL YOU OR ADVISE YOU IN TERMS OF WHAT TO EXPECT OUT OF THE SETTLEMENT.


Each situation is different and you will hear many horror stories. Forget them and engage an attorney (if you can get a recommendation from a friend or acquaintance all the better) immediately. Having one on board from the onset will be a big advantage to you down the track.


Work out upfront the tasks that you can do yourself and those that you need youtr attorney to do. They usually charge by the hour so be careful how wide a brief you give them.

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You should speak to an attorney. You need advice on what to expect in your local jurisdiction. I can not emphasis this enough DO NOT LISTEN TO WHAT LAY PEOPLE TELL YOU OR ADVISE YOU IN TERMS OF WHAT TO EXPECT OUT OF THE SETTLEMENT.



Well said - this is so important. Each jurisdiction is different, each judge is different and the people involved are different. Just because something good or bad happened to one person in similar circumstances does not mean the same thing will happen to you.

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Beerman, I am currently going through a divorce, married 17years, and have a 13yr son. We are using a mediator. So far, it is working out, but my ex and I are able to sit down and go through our assets and liabilities. We hired him for $2500.00. We had to pay $700.00 to a separate attorney for the formal filing. Before we go to the mediator, we discussed custody and child support. Then we present it to the mediator. There has been times when I have disagreed, then the mediator may come up with a compromise. We are now deciding on the pensions and equity in the house. Just today, I emailed my ex a proposal. My ex wants half my pension (my pension is about 4x as much as his) So I told him he will have to pay for the QRDO (qualified domestic relations order) if he wants to pursue half my pension. This orders part of the pension to be transferred into the non-employees name (spouse). This will cost about $400.00 that the mediator does not do. All in all, it will cost us about $3600.00 for the divorce. My sister just divorced her husband and she spent $26,000.00 and her ex spent at least $12,000.00. They are not any farther ahead then my ex and I. Bottom line, can you both check your emotions at the door, sit down and discuss what is best for your child. Keep in mind, a divorce needs to become a business deal. Studies have demonstrated that divorcing couples co-parent much better when they have used a mediator. I am not saying this is for everyone, it is just the research I did, given my circumstances, and who I was going to deal with, it was best for me. Good luck and keep me informed.

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In some places mediation is mandatory before going to court, and believe it or not there are many attorneys whom are trained in mediation processes and participate in them as well. Not all lawyers are out to destroy the other party, and particularly in situations involving children and families.


Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not, but it is beneficial where both parties really want to find a mutually agreeable compromise/solution.



As for telling the kids, really depends on their own personalities. When my mother told me, it was stated in terms of how "daddy did not want to live there anymore, but still loved me" and all that jazz...but I was 7 so that was better for my age level. Your kids are a little older, odds are they know many friends with divorced parents and understand what it means. It is important to emphasis though you both love them very much, and never pit the kids against the other parent!

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I haven't read the other responses, but I just wanted to let you know that I went through a mediator (in the US) for everything and just had a lawyer write up the paperwork. We never saw the inside of a courtroom. The mediators were great! Both of you do need to be willing to work together and settle things in a fair and rational manner. The divorce was my idea and I didn't feel the need to take everything my ex had. We came up with custody, child support and property arrangements and they wrote up a separation agreement for us. In my state you have to wait a year for the divorce to be final if you have children, so towards the end of the year I took the agreement to a lawyer, she wrote up the divorce papers and sent them to the judge. I got my final papers in the mail.

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