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Discussion Starter #1
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wave.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wave"> there is a verrry long <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=566209" target="_blank">thread</a> in parents as partners telling my whole sordid tale but briefly: my stbx left me very unexpectedly 5 months ago after 11 years. we have a 3 year old dd and a 9.5 month old ds. stbx was formerly a great dad but has become less and less involved over these past months. we're doing therapy but he has filed for a divorce and refuses to reconsider. he has agreed to give me physical custody and i'm trying to convince him to give me legal custody as well. we are going to try and use a mediator so as to not get into a nasty lawyer battle.<br><br>
my questions: what didn't you put into your divorce settlement and/or parenting agreement that you now wish you had? what specific things should i ask for? what are the things you are glad you now have in writing? i have trusted this man wholly for years but i want to leave <i>nothing</i> to chance! help me to avoid making mistakes i'll regret later on. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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My divorce is in progress. But some things I've learned along the way are :<br><br>
1. My ex priorities money vs. custody much higher than I would have thought. He is much more concerned about the financial aspects, overall. I assumed that wouldn't be the case early on. I'm going to try negotiating by letting him have a bit more in the $ department if he'll let me have the custody wording that I want.<br>
2. Make sure you know what you are getting tax-wise and whether you'll still be able to claim head of household. Make sure it's settled who claims the exemption for your DC.<br><br>
My financial planner gave me some very wise advice. He said that he felt I should focus less on the short-term financial stuff (like giving ex $5k here or there... we have a lot of retirement assets) and concentrate on the long-term things (like who has what financed in their names, andwhat custody arrangements we have, and whether I will be able to do what I feel is best in terms of schooling or letting Phoenix visit now that ex wants to remarry).<br><br>
As he pointed out, a few thousand here or there in retirement is something I can make up for as I wish. But having things worded poorly in the custody arrangement is something I will have to live with for a long time.<br><br>
I started out thinking that the less specific things were worded custody wise, the better, but I"m also rethinking that.<br><br>
It's too soon for me to know what I'll end up regretting... hopefully mamas with finalized divorces can chime in because I want to know, too!
 

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I really like the clause we have that if our kids have extra-curricular type activities (anything over $100) we split based on our percentage of income.
 

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not to feed the children food they're allergic to.<br>
payment for preschool and activities<br>
ability for 1 sport season per year or alternate year to be priority and scheduled around for visitation. (ex hasn't expressed any willingness to take dd's to birthday parties on his weekends let alone a soccer games etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>KristiMetz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7915992"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">1. My ex priorities money vs. custody much higher than I would have thought.</div>
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i'm finding this to be true as well...so mind boggling to me. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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I had a clause that if he was over fifteen minutes late picking up, visit was cancelled, because I got tired of waiting around for him and he would call after an hour or two and say he was "on the way" only to show up another hour or two later.<br><br>
You could ask for copays and prescriptions to be split.<br><br>
Also if you think your children may need braces, put it in now who will pay.<br><br>
You need to think about who gets the tax deduction.<br><br>
You could try and use language that neither parent will disparage the other parent and both will be supportive.<br><br>
You could put how college expenses will be paid.<br><br>
Hope this helps...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>HappyAgain</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7916272"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I had a clause that if he was over fifteen minutes late picking up, visit was cancelled, because I got tired of waiting around for him and he would call after an hour or two and say he was "on the way" only to show up another hour or two later.</div>
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this is a problem i'm having already! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: wouldn't have thought to put this in writing.
 

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Hi, Still_Snarky, I'm at the very beginning of this, too.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>HappyAgain</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7916272"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">You could ask for copays and prescriptions to be split.<br><br>
Also if you think your children may need braces, put it in now who will pay.</div>
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I am so confused. So these things, and the other things like activities, copays, college, that pp mentioned, would be in addition to c/s?? I thought I was on my own for those.<br><br>
Similarly, the house. If we need a new roof or whatever, I was thinking I would be on my own for that since I would be the one living here (god willing I can afford to), even though we would co-own it. So this kind of thing could be written in?<br><br>
Basically, I thought that once his alimony and c/s were fixed, that was that, and I was on my own for the rest.<br><br>
Also, my lawyer was suggesting that I offer him 2 of the 3 kids as dependents for tax purposes. early on that would make sense since he'll be earning more money, but as times goes on and the alimony disappears, i'm thinking I'm going to need those exemptions. ??
 

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Personally, I kick myself every day for not doing only TWO things...<br><br>
1. SPECIFICS layed out for financial arrangements. Right now my ex pays CS. That's IT. It's seriously not much. It'll buy her maybe gas money for me to pick her up from his weekend. If i could go back i'd make sure it was in stone... 1/2 daycare, extracurricular, medical co pays, private school, and college. My DD wasn't going to daycare at the time so CS was fine. I've literally been paying for EVERYTHING for the past 4 years. I"m so bitter about not requesting that he provide more b/c I feel like I do everything financially.<br><br>
2. When can significant others/friends whatever be involved with the childrens daily care. Obviously it's hard to put this on paper, but having simple steps like "children cannot meet significant others until they have been dating for ___ months and parties will both agree to meet the other significant other prior to introducing children" Of course it doesn't have to be that extreme and you can make it to your own preference. It seems ike my ex totally uses his "father" status as a crutch. He cannot be alone with my DD for any period of time. He hasn't been alone with her in 3 years!!! I just wish we had something in the custody agreement that specifies who are going to be around my child and what their involement and relationship will be specifically realted to the upbringing of my kiddo. Im not opposed whatsoever, but I haven't met ANY of the people he brings around my child and I feel like I should at least know who they are. Then again *cough* I have control issues <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/loveeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Loveeyes">:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MSM, #2 is something I've been thinking about too. He already introduced Miss P to the woman he cheated on me with. O.M.G. When I told him it was completely inappropriate he seemed confused. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/censored.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="censored"><i>Riiiiight</i>.
 

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I didn't read this thread, but it just popped out in new posts and I thought I would post really quickly that my mom was always really happy she had college funds in her agreement. Good luck!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Still_Snarky</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7919820"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">MSM, #2 is something I've been thinking about too. He already introduced Miss P to the woman he cheated on me with. O.M.G. When I told him it was completely inappropriate he seemed confused. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/censored.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="censored"><i>Riiiiight</i>.</div>
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Exactly. I mean my ex has his flaws (as do I) but seriously i have a feeling if those two SMALL things were outlined in our custody agreement, there would be no arguing! PERIOD! Those two things are the ONLY things we constantly bicker about. I wish I could go back and totally change it. the only thing it says in our agreement is that "both parties shall not engage in immoral acts in front of the child" Uhhmm... define immoral b/c i'm pretty sure we have two totally different perceptions. Obviously the whole "have an orgy on the couch while you're kid is sitting there watching Monsters, Inc" falls under the immoral clause, but i'm not sure what else <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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Also...a right of first refusal clause....meaning that if its his time with the kids and he's going out, he has to give you the first choice to have the kids before using a babysitter or someone else to watch them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
these are great! keep 'em coming! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy">
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MsChatsAlot</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7920460"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Also...a right of first refusal clause....meaning that if its his time with the kids and he's going out, he has to give you the first choice to have the kids before using a babysitter or someone else to watch them.</div>
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Ooooh, that is a good one to have in there!
 

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No overnights until 3 years. And, then it should be a gradual process that takes into consideration the individual needs of the child.
 

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I wish I had put something about...<br><br>
him being responsible for any outstanding debts. I was a sahm that had no access to our bills our back acct (one of the reasons I am gone now) and yet I get all the bill collectors calling me because he put things in my name. Grrrr!<br><br>
I'm glad that I included these things...<br><br>
Child support is to be the sum of $600 or one third of net income per month, which ever is more, divided into weekly payments.<br><br>
Visitation- The children will not travel to visit until such a time that the youngest child is 5 years of age. Visitation is to be every other weekend and three weeks per year with alternating Thanksgivings and Christmases. Contact with the children must be consistent and often before children will travel to visit. The father will prove stable environment before the children will travel with/to him.<br><br>
I wish that I hadn't included...<br><br>
There is to be a morality clause included that specifies no adult that is not either a relative or spouse may be in the home with our children after 10 pm.
 

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I have<br><br>
uninsured medical expenses cover at 20/80 me/him. He makes 80% of the children's combined support.<br><br>
1% of his salary every year, until he retires, payable in full by April 15, for my retirement purposes. (too many single moms end up working, supporting themselves and the children with no extra money for retirement) He has yet, in five years of divorce paid this..... I am not too worried, I have the court order and eventually I will start taking him to small claims for each year. (most likely this year)<br><br>
9.9% interest on all unpaids.<br><br>
48 hour notice of visits. first refusal, I have them all birthdays, we work out an EOH, thanksgiving... his, Winter break.... mine, Easter is always mine.... spring break EOH.<br><br>
CS continues until they are out of college, after age 23 the CS amount goes to them directly if they are in Grad school. His family has a family trust that SHOULD pay for their college... if not, I have a 529 that I am putting some into, and we will pay books and tuition for undergrad, and as much as we can with grad.<br><br>
I wish...<br><br>
Now that the kids are older, and soccer costs over 900 a year, and the girl's riding lessons are no longer enough to do what she wants.. (she wants to jump and dressage.. with her own horse) I wish I had put in that he pays half of these expenses.<br>
half of summer camps expenses.<br><br>
half of transportation costs... they go to a non local school, and will need their own transportation, whether it is a car or a decent bike in high school. (no easy city bus route, and live over 10 miles from the high school they will attend.. international high school, Spanish immersion el, and middle schools.. public, but there is no way we could afford to live in the neighborhood)<br><br>
That if we ever had to go back to court because we could not work things out... HE paid all legal fees.<br><br>
IMO, CS is only for the basics, food, shelter, clothing, childcare. In a perfect world, my former spouse would happily pony up for the activities his children love and would happily take care of their medical costs without my having to take him to court. It is not happening.<br><br>
Before you all think I am being way to harsh with him, he makes well over 100K a year, and draws over 50K a year from his family trust.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">1% of his salary every year, until he retires, payable in full by April 15, for my retirement purposes.</td>
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preach on! I am taking notes!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">CS continues until they are out of college, after age 23 the CS amount goes to them directly if they are in Grad school.</td>
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perfect as I hate it when there's some arbitrary age for cut off...anyone think if a kid goes to trades or aprentices how to word that?<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">That if we ever had to go back to court because we could not work things out... HE paid all legal fees.</td>
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ooh good one!
 
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