I’m going through a divorce after 20 years of marriage. There were maybe 5-10 good years at most. We are working on the separation agreement and she is irrational, stupid and plain mean.
My lawyer and I wrote a fair agreement but she doesn’t see it that way. I am an involved dad of 3 and want to simply split the assets, debt and custody time. She’s rejecting everything without giving a counteroffer, and making my life miserable.
I told her I won’t leave the house until we have an agreement. It’s my only real leverage, at this point. I’m frustrated. She’s stubborn and vindictive. Divorce is simply that we don’t like each other. No affairs or anything like that. Any advice?
Let me start by saying that I can understand your frustration. It’s part of the divorce process and it’s awful. But, calling your soon-to-be ex stupid and mean sounds childish. I am 100% sure she thinks you are stupid and mean, as well.
You say that you and your attorney wrote a fair agreement but she doesn’t see it that way. Is that so hard to believe? You think because you think it is fair, and your attorney thinks it is fair that it really is fair and that she should just say, “OK, that’s fine,” and sign it?
Knowing nothing about your case, I am not surprised that she didn’t agree to it, nor does it faze me that she is rejecting everything. That’s what people in a divorce do. As for a counteroffer, how long has it been since you gave her your “fair” agreement? I wouldn’t expect a counteroffer for at least 2-3 months. It’s horrible but again, that’s just the reality of divorce.
Going through a divorce requires patience—something I personally strive for more of, so I really do understand how you feel. But, not to be “mean” or anything, but you are sounding a little bit like a toddler who isn’t getting his way.
She is making your life miserable because you aren’t getting what you want, NOW. Divorces take time. I don’t know many people who have gotten divorced in less than a year, and most are two to three. I have even heard of people’s divorces that take 5 years. It’s crazy. It’s awful. But, it’s reality. So, consider yourself lucky if your divorce is final within a year.
As far as you not leaving the house, why use that as leverage? You are staying in your house to hurt her? I can understand your wanting to stay in the house so that you don’t have to leave your kids. I can understand your wanting to stay in the house for financial reasons. I can even understand your wanting to stay in the house because you love it there and feel comfortable. But to spite your soon-to-be ex—that’s a really bad reason. I can’t advise you legally on what to do, but if you don’t want to be in the house (and it sounds like you don’t) and you are staying there to get your wife to move quicker on the divorce, then the only person you are hurting is yourself.
Regarding your comment about her being stubborn and vindictive, while going through a divorce, everyone is stubborn and vindictive. Again, reality.
My advice is, try to be a little more patient, and treat your divorce like a business deal. Fight for what you really want (custody, most likely) and be willing to bend on other issues that don’t mean as much to you. Try to minimize pettiness, having the mindset “is giving in to this really going to make a difference in my life?” If the answer is no, than just give in.
Lastly, always keep your children’s best interest at heart. Remember that they are suffering, too.
I will be wishing you all the best moving forward. One last thing, when the divorce is finally final, many couples are so relieved that they are able to have a nice co-parenting relationship. I hope that happens for you!
As far as staying in the house I have read that once you leave you have less of a claim. Not sure how true this is, but it makes sense.
I’ve read of people suggesting that men stay.
Tips for people using mediators:
1. make sure your agreement is typed and not handwritten. OKLAHOMA Judge couldn’t read mediator’s handwriting. So Judge decided. Cost me $9,500.
2. Record session or hire court reporter. People lie.