Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: Mek2018 on May 20, 2018, 06:58:47 PM

Title: Divorce Mediation fast approaching
Post by: Mek2018 on May 20, 2018, 06:58:47 PM
So  things are really starting to ramp up rapidly.  To recap, divorce filed by wife March, served papers March 12th.  Now Mediation is set for around June 18th.  Theoretically, if mediation were to go smoothly and we agreed on all points such as child time sharing, child support, and alimony, then our divorce could be finalized by July.

Therein lies the tricky part.  Is it possible to reason or talk sense into my W who is still in Replay?  Should I keep communication to texting rather than a sit down talk?  We haven't had a real conversation in 4 months and I don't think these sensitive topics will  go over well with her.  I think I've answered my own question while writing this.  Start with texting.  Don't start with an attempt at verbal communication now.

Anybody else have a similar experience with dealing with an MLCer while going thru the divorce process?
Title: Re: Divorce Mediation fast approaching
Post by: Ready2Transform on May 20, 2018, 08:52:48 PM
I talked to mine for the first time in 9 months at our divorce hearing in 2013. He was less certain at that point than he had been when he left, and I offered then that he could come back if he wanted, and his only response was, "Okay." (He did not come back, and is married to the OW). Our settlement was not determined at that hearing and never has settled! That has been devastating financially. Several others here have had that experience. It is not lightly that I say you should consider going ahead and getting the legalities dusted if you have the opportunity. If she is going to cycle out of this, it will likely be a long time from now, and the debt and problems that can happen in between then can be huge. Emotionally she will be all over the place before there is any growth and stability as a person. Since it's all very new she's likely still feeling very determined to end it. It's painful, and it may change down the road, but this may actually be the best option for now to insure she get a taste of what "living without you" really means (and you can protect you and your kids' futures).
Title: Re: Divorce Mediation fast approaching
Post by: Treasur on May 20, 2018, 10:32:38 PM
Mek...it's a tough thing to say, but if your W is in replay still, nothing you text or say will make any difference. The crazy noise in her head is too loud. What you can control is the practical things that safeguard you and your kids the best you can. Focus on that first because mediation with an MLC spouse is rarely an easy, rational or straightforward thing.
Title: Re: Divorce Mediation fast approaching
Post by: Thunder on May 21, 2018, 07:25:41 AM
I agree with Treasur.

The mediation is just business, leave your emotional hat at the door.
I wouldn't initiate sit down talks with her, unless she does.
Title: Re: Divorce Mediation fast approaching
Post by: FamilyIsMyGoal on May 21, 2018, 07:50:57 AM
Be careful of mediation in my opinion.  The mediator does not determine what's fair, only helps to facilitate conversation.  If you feel strong enough that you can protect yourself, fine, but it didn't work for me (I am dealing with Monster).  I have chosen to do a relatively new process called "collaborative divorce".  It's really a very healthy process and I recommend it if you can do it.

If you don't feel ready, you can just slow her roll.  She doesn't get to do it all on her time table. 

There is no talking sense to MLCers in early days.  They are in Crazy Land. 
Title: Re: Divorce Mediation fast approaching
Post by: Thunder on May 21, 2018, 08:46:44 AM
Fam, no they don't make the decisions but they know the laws (most mediators are retired judges) and if something they know would not fly with a judge they will tell you that so you don't waste your time.
They also know if things appear really unbalanced and one person is coming out a lot better than the other one, no judge will ok that either.

With us we sat in difference rooms with our lawyers (you can request that),  There was no conversation with the enemy camp.   ;D
I would just recommend have a lawyer present.  We both had proposals ready and then we saw where we were in agreement.
If you guys pretty much agree on everything you don't need mediation, but make sure you are in perfect agreement.

I've heard of "collaborate divorce" but have no idea what it entails.  Maybe you could check that out, Mek.
Title: Re: Divorce Mediation fast approaching
Post by: LearningIamOk on May 22, 2018, 06:20:46 PM
I need to find my old threads to remember what happened at mediation. I went twice. It was a waste of time, but the court required it. My mediator was not a retired judge. They just try to get you to agree so it doesn't become a court battle.

I burst into tears at one point while I was with my lawyer and the mediator. They both promised me things that they were now telling me I couldn't have. I called my sister who was a lawyer in another state while I was hysterical. The outcome was, I didn't agree to a thing. I wouldn't. And I didn't have to.

My advice is to play by the rules. Do what you need to do to be in accordance with the law. Then don't sign anything you are unhappy with. It can't be undone. But do get the finances sorted out. Do have an attorney with you.  The MLCers can devastate you and wreck your credit. The faster you separate things the better.

In hindsight, I should have divorced faster, but I was not emotionally ready for that. I still did pretty well in the divorce, but there were some things I would have done differently. Trust your gut and know that this is the biggest business deal of your life.
Title: Re: Divorce Mediation fast approaching
Post by: forthetrees on May 22, 2018, 06:46:19 PM
I would spend the time between now and then brainstorming what you want- esp. for the kids. Then I´d bullet point the list with space in between bullets and take it to my lawyer and have him/her write it up in legalese to present at the mediation. If your wife is in replay, you will be wasting your precious emotional energy trying to have a logical conversation while you are both in emotional pain. Put on your business/parent hat and come up with a strategy/plan to salvage the security for you and the kids. You don´t have to try to soak your wife, just go for the deal that preserves the continuity of the daily life of you and the kids.
Just my two cents. Disregard at will:)
Title: Re: Divorce Mediation fast approaching
Post by: Stedroy on May 23, 2018, 10:31:19 AM
I am currently in mediation with my W and we live in the same house with the kids.  Our mediation so far has been really good but if you are the breadwinner it can get difficult.  The best thing to do is not to get emotional but it is difficult.   Everyone is correct that the mediator knows the law and it is important that both you and your spouse understand what is happening.  We have a single mediator and we are talking things out right across from each other.  The mediator states what the law is and what a judge could impose and then you negotiate from there.  When mediation is done, it is shipped to lawyers and the mediator can recommend mediator friendly lawyers OR you can pick your own.  Picking your own runs the risk of them changing what was negotiated. 

In our case, the real sticking points where I lost a lot of sleep because I didn't know what was going to happen was alimony and child support.  My W has been completely reasonable and I am using MLC as a benefit.  The benefit is that she wants to be completely independent from me and anyone.  This contradicts what alimony and child support are.  I will always take care of my kids and did not need it to be put into a document.  As for alimony, if it is about being independent then how would you be independent if I am still giving you alimony for 20 years?  We negotiated a lot less time and less money.

One thing you may or may not know that took me a lot to find out is about retirement accounts.  She is entitled to half of what you earned while married.  This can be transferred using what is called a QDRO without any taxes or penalty if it is in a qualified retirement plan.  With a QDRO in effect, your spouse can take cash out and not be imposed a 10% penalty but taxes are still applicable.  This is important if you do not have cash.  I able to buy my W out of the house equity with the QDRO in effect.  If I didn't do this we would have had to sell the house and then both of us would need to find a place to live.

If you have other questions, please feel free to contact me.  I am about 5 sessions into my mediation and we have 1 left to finish it up.  Then its off to the lawyers, then filing, and we should be divorced by December.  Of course, we have to wait for the QDRO to finish cause that happens AFTER the divorce for her to get the cash and then she moves out.  Freedom then!