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Student of the obvious
 
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Need suggestions on pre-divorce planning for a friend.

One of my best friends called last night to tell me it looked like his 15 year marriage is probably over. I know a lot of you have been through this. What does he need to be doing right now? Any tricks/traps he needs to avoid?
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:06 AM
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The first step would be to hire a GOOD domestic relations attorney, and ask for and heed their advice.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:12 AM
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By all means, try to remain civil. Try doing it uncontested first with a mediator and only bring in the big guns if necessary. Be smart and make sure she isn't gonna ream you with the best lawyer in town. Volunteer to pay child support if kids are involved, don't wait to have them drag it out of you. Remember, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.....assuming your friend is a male. Do not negotiate outside of mediation, or get everything in writing. If you both work, the idea of spousal support is BS. If she's not working, but has earning potential, have that figured as well if possible. Nothing worse than her getting a job making more than you and still having to pay support.
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Last edited by Vipergrün; 10-06-2006 at 08:35 AM..
Old 10-06-2006, 08:33 AM
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Provide moral support, but no more. Stay out of the specifics,especially if you know both of them well, Taking sides is not wise.

It ain't your problem yet, but someone will make it your problem.

As for your friend:

A good attorney

Listen to the attorney

Don't give away the store (be firm and do not capitulate out of some misguided feeling of guilt)

Seek counseling to deal with the emotional aspects (not necessarily deep, just to maintain equilibrium)

Do not volunteer to move out, this is often considered a form of capitulation

Repeat as necessary.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:39 AM
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try to solve property settlement through a mediator instead of attorney. fighting over couches and lamps are what makes attourneys smile.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:42 AM
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Tough one. 15 years is a "long marriage" which automatically implies certain expenses, alimony and distribution of property.

Be the first to file the dissolution papers.
Do not move out of the house.
Do not give up custody of hte children.
Do not start another relationship.

If the parties are amicable, do not involve an attorney. An attorney is not necessary if the parties can agree on everything. Family courts are the most firendly in assisting the layperson in terms of filing out the correct paperwork.

If there are children inviled, it becomes more complicated.

Depending on the state, the parties can request a mediator (and is sometimnes required) to resolve issues regarding child custody, visitation and support. No need for the attorneys if the parties are amicable and can agree.

If it is a messy divorce, it will cost, and the party without the attorney will come out on the losing side. If you friend is the sole breadwinner, he sould be prepared to not only pay for his/her attorney, but also for the other persons.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:59 AM
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The sad part is that there are two kids ages 7 & 4. My friend will be better off/happier in the long run. His future ex has serious anger management issues and screaming at the top of her lungs is the preferred form of communications for her.

If it weren't for the kids he would have bailed long ago.
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:03 AM
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lee pm me and i will give you number of kick ass take no prisoners low key attorney. i know that sounds like oxymoron. since she is prone to freaking out, heres some advice. tell him to grab everything he cherishes and sell to someone for a $100 bucks, get receipt. when psycho gets real mean anything and everything he cherishes will be thrown away broken stolen or sold. ask me how i know.

once papers are SERVED..............all assets are locked up in court until final decree. so what this means he can do anything he wishes w/property assets now. NOT after he is served. like mentioned before, if he is seeing someone else, tell him to see her 100 miles away. if soon to be ex finds out..................add NAPALM to equation. tell him to rid house of ALL FIREARMS. if she hits him, make sure he calls cops for domestic abuse. this looks real good to judge when it comes down to child custody. have him document EVERYTHING UNTIL FINAL DECREE. get phone recorder from radio shack and record all in bound out bound calls(legal), that way he will be in the know when she calls mommy and lays all cards on table. knowledge is power. alls fair in love and war. and its a damn fine line sometimes.

ONCE THE "D" WORD IS MENTIONED...................it has already happened in a womens mind! the guy is just then figuring it out.
Old 10-06-2006, 09:30 AM
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If there are sufficient assets at stake - and depending on where your friend lives - here's a trick that's worth considering:

Have your friend make a list of the best divorce attorneys in his town. Depending on where he lives this might be a reasonably short list. Spend an hour with each of them, telling them a bit about the situation.

These attorneys will then all be conflicted out from acting for the wife, and she will have to resort to a second division attorney.
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Old 10-06-2006, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dottore
If there are sufficient assets at stake - and depending on where your friend lives - here's a trick that's worth considering:

Have your friend make a list of the best divorce attorneys in his town. Depending on where he lives this might be a reasonably short list. Spend an hour with each of them, telling them a bit about the situation.

These attorneys will then all be conflicted out from acting for the wife, and she will have to resort to a second division attorney.
remember phoenix magazine posts top 100 lawyers every year. remove phx magazine from house. went to about 5 in person myself and then spoke to 5 more on phone. the ones who looked real wicked. ex still got central and thomas high rise firm. AND BELIEVE ME THEY CAN MAKE YOUR FRIEND GO OFF THE DEEP END! its their job and they revel in it.

only thing that saved me....................ex got .254 AGGRAVATED DUI w/INJURIES TO OTHERS, while we were at war! in the middle of it! white flag of surrender went up. we then made it UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER OR SUFFER(ie. sole custody) as our deal.

final outcome.............NO child support-NO spousal maint.- joint custody-24/7/365 visitation w/kids.........................NO NOTHING! and thats about the best a man can ask for.


living with a drug abusing alcoholic aint no way of living!

oh yeah forgot to mention..............3 1/2 years this went on until finaled and a hell of alot of money!
Old 10-06-2006, 09:54 AM
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charles....

Sounds familiar. Mine was 19 years ago, but played out the same way. I had to refi the house for her half, she got the furniture and one car (out of four). I kept the house, paid off the "home equity loan" in four years, the original mortgage in five years after that. The teen aged daughters stayed with me, moving out on their own a few years later.

Many lessons learned. Much happier today.

To anyone going through this: You cannot force another person to change their feelings.

"Amazing how much power others can have over me and how little I have over them" is true until you let go. Their power over you ceases at that instant.
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Old 10-06-2006, 10:13 AM
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moneyguy in the 8 yrs since mine has been finaled i too have learned some valuable lessons. when going out on the town with friends, i have been introduced or met some beautiful women. after a little time of getting to know them over a drink, i find out they are on anti-depressants and drinking..................i get up, excuse myself, walk outside and tie ICBM ROCKET TO MY A$$ and get the hell outta dodge!

been thru that nightmare once and ONLY ONCE! and never again. substance abuse not only kills the one ingesting but everyone around them including yourself. the pain i go thru when i hear someone getting divorced , is truly alot. if i can help anyone i will the same as a car accident. divorces kill alot of people from the inside out. two people not getting along is one thing. an addictive spouse is the BIG LEAGUES! and it can and will take you down the toilet also, if you let it.

i hope lees friend has his ducks in a row, too many men NEVER SEE IT COMING until its too late. there is someone else out there and i am living proof. have dated this 36 yr old gal for just about a year now and get along famous thru thick and thin. hell last weekend took her to PIR and now she wants a ride in a race car!

the secret to a divorce is hiring an attorney that has done it for 20yrs or so, has NO complaints w/BAR. low key, listens to your questions and gives back options that are bearable. also the only good way of finding someone like this is word of mouth from a prior happy divorcee. have heard lots of attorney horror stories regarding divorces. my attorney wasnt cheap....................but he was damn good! kinda like dealing with a soft spoken priest with a "MA-DEUCE" .50 CALIBER in his back pocket!

another secret after initial meeting and hiring lawyer...............dont call him with stupid crap like "she did this-she did that" that costs big bucks. everytime that phone is answered a timer goes off and your first bill will make a porsche repair bill look TAME! document evrything.............EVERYTHING! do not give ex cash.............checks only for any payments. FAX ALL INFO to lawyer, you have copy he has copy..............WAY CHEAPER THAN PHONE CALLS.

and the obvious.................if fight starts...........leave house. have plan Z in place. do not go to bar get drunk and drive somewhere. DUI's are BAD VOODOO when it comes to child custody let alone your wallet.

if fight starts CALL 911, person who did not call 911 will 99% of time go to jail unless both parties wailed on one another, then both go to 4th ave jail. cops HATE DOMESTICS. i go to school with a bunch of them. they hate domestics with a passion and show little if any sympathy.

also since kids involved, both spouses get to spill their guts to family psychologist FOR THE STATE! about $380 bucks an hour if i remember correct. MY KIND OF JOB! shrink sits there and listens in nice leather chair while jotting notes about what a retard dysfunctional family he has in front of him and courts RULE ACCORDING TO HIM! get to take psych test to see if your normal enough to be custodial parent etc. one of those tests they WILL KNOW YOU ARE LYING IF YOU TRY!

all in all its the crappiest part of life i have ever been thru.

CARL JUNG(shrink) said it best....................THE ONLY WAY TO THE OTHER SIDE................IS THRU THE OTHER SIDE! i am on the other side now and loving life!

Last edited by charleskieffner; 10-06-2006 at 11:14 AM..
Old 10-06-2006, 11:11 AM
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Man, reading this stuff is way scarier then any horror movie I've seen, EVER! (Married 15 years, 3 kids, 1 on the way).
Old 10-06-2006, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dottore
If there are sufficient assets at stake - and depending on where your friend lives - here's a trick that's worth considering:

Have your friend make a list of the best divorce attorneys in his town. Depending on where he lives this might be a reasonably short list. Spend an hour with each of them, telling them a bit about the situation.

These attorneys will then all be conflicted out from acting for the wife, and she will have to resort to a second division attorney.
Oh man, that's good....
Old 10-06-2006, 04:21 PM
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Go see the 3 best divorce lawyers in the area.Have a consultation with each and see what they can do for you.That way she can't use themdue to them having seen you already. Oh, oops, I see that somebody already suggested that. Oh yea, from a law enforcement perspective, move out immediately, as the male, she said you touched her, automatic trip to jail, at least in california.
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Old 10-06-2006, 04:56 PM
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I'm still in the thick of it, but it's winding down. We have used a mediator (at $500/hr) and we have sorted everything except a few details which were set but I brought back into play this past wednesday because I couldn't live with what I'd caved into on the last conference call. Mostly has to do with timeline for her buying out my half of the equity in the house.

Kids complicate things 100x. Like your friend, I would have been out of my going on 10+ year marriage in about year 2 or 3 had it not been for my son (and not having nearly enough shrink time). My dilemma now is that I can get for what is "fair" wrt splitting expenses and getting my equity out (and hence ability to buy another house) but risk her moving out of state and taking my son with her. I'm going to consult a family law attorney to see what my options are (and it isn't contentious at this point) but the bottom line is that my ex cannot afford to live in the manner to which she's become accustomed in LA. And the only thing keeping her in LA is me as she would prefer our son see me regularly. But if I push getting my equity out in something less than double digit years out, she'll likely bail now. And the courts generally will grant custody to the mom.

So I pay now, or pay now...
Old 10-06-2006, 05:07 PM
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Thanks for all the great info. Is there something he can do to keep her from messing with the finances immediately? She's always handled the money and he's always made it. He makes a little over $100K and she recently got a job making $40K. They live in Georgia.

He's really out of touch with their financial situation. I think they only have a little credit card debt and a mortgage, with some home equity being the only assett he's aware of.
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Old 10-06-2006, 08:05 PM
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After my experience in this area, the only advice I can offer is this...


Jus' shoot da' bish!!!

Seriously, lots of sage advice here. The best advice is to follow it all!!!

Randy
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:17 AM
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Thats tough. Believe me, I know.

For worst case reference see my previous thread: Tough ultimatum from spouse.
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Old 10-07-2006, 04:13 AM
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lee he can do anything he wants until divorce papers served. if he wants the divorce in his heart than he should serve her. birthdays,aniv, thanksgiving,xmas,valentines day are all GOOD for making a point. if she is serving him, then hiding out is always good, thereby costing her more man hours for process server to find him. server WILL find him but it will cost her more money and throughly piss her off some more.

all assets are communal until papers served. she or he can do anything they want. as far as screwing her over, man thats for him to think about. best advice there from me, in 5 years it will be a speedbump in life, in 10 yrs it will just be a bad made for tv movie. you want to look back and be able to say you did everything honest and above board. BUT remember what i mentioned before and it is writtian in granite, ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING your friend cherished and enjoyed will be stolen,broken, ruined, or sold to make him rue the day he ever set eyes on her. the % of amicable divorces is very very small.

everyone thinks you go to divorce court. actually courts frown on hearings big time. as mentioned above a mediator is often used. just picture another family matter lawyer, who for a week out of the year gets to play judge(pro-bono) and bill you an obnoxious amount per hour. once again a porsche shop bill is cheap by comparison. your friend WANTS TO AVOID COURT at all cost. why? because he will spend a hell of alot more than mediation. mine didnt go to trial due to ex's AGG-DUI, bad ju-ju for her if it had.

almost every state has adopted a no-fault divorce program. ie. you can get divorced FOR ANY REASON. either spouse can screw 100 people and the courts dont care. spouse can pull the trigger and serve the other for any reason. courts have literally heard EVERY SINGLE SOB STORY THERE IS. all the courts care about is the kids and how they will resume life in a manner they are accustomed. if your friend made 100K a year, the kids thru some black magic court formula will live in that lifestyle(child support payments). courts dont give a damn if your friend has to live in a box next to the tracks to make ends meet as long as he makes his child support payments.

bottomline................getting married is very risky bizness these days. at least when your young and starting out. everything you accrue as married individuals, when its all over gets split up. when you get older after being divorced, you rebuild your evil empire, and if you get married again the material/financial loss is not so severe. not to say your heart isnt broken, but once burned twice shy. after 8 years of being single, its a tough call to do it again after having my A$$ handed to me . divorce can be summed up like this.................NOBODY GETS OUT ALIVE! and the lawyers get rich off of your emotions. finding an ethical attorney is paramount to success. remember they feed off one another. and by law when one sends letter to other attorney, opposite attorney must reply. we called them "HAPPY MAIL" why? because each letter was about a $175 dollar bill including postage and lawyers time/secretarys time etc. despite letter being about one of my paragraphs writtian here. believe me they are not 30 page college papers. more like........."you have been requested to appear at the child psych's office on dec 7 2006 at 1pm thanks your divorce crew."

get the most ethical attorney you can find, in a firm or one just flapping his vulture wings on the mail box. either way it costs and you get what you pay for. i actually get along very well with my attorney and refer a lot of people to him. he and his partner since i have refered so many people, redid my will/estate dirt cheap and that was kinda involved since i have 2 kids.

your friend will realize the day he hires an attorney and hands over $5000 "START MONEY" to dissolve his 15 years of working his A$$ off , that it is very serious bizness. explain to him what an "R.O." is. restraining order. they work very well if his ex goes ballistic on him. here in arizona if you violate a restaining order your A$$ is TOAST. all a women has to do is call 911 and state "HE HAS BEEN DRINKING AND HE HAS A GUN!" and all your weapons will be confiscated and YOU will be going to 4th ave jail downtown. even though you have never laid a hand on her. they are very nasty and ugly. the courts ALWAYS fear for the woman, and rule accordingly. this rule works in reverse as well. ie. ex goes ballistic and throws cast iron skillet at your friend. in the latter case this works to his advantage when child custody playtime arrives. and if she violates R.O. she gets to wear pink underwear at sheriff joes home for obnoxious psycho women!

good luck w/this. as my friend told me one day.........."YOUR DIVORCE(mine) DAMN NEAR KILLED ME!" due to him hearing about it every day for 31/2 years. they aint fun believe me.
Old 10-07-2006, 04:50 AM
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