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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:37 am 
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torque wrote:
big hugs, wookie. you can do this.


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:43 am 
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I'm glad to hear the collaborative process is looking so positive from your perspective, I'm sorry he's being so hostile towards it.

I'm sure this is a dumb question but what is poly?

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 6:55 pm 
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Hey Alden,

I'll get off topic to answer your question. Pardon if it is long winded. I identify as queer because I don't like the word bi. Bi implies there are only two genders, so queer it is. I like guys, gals, transfolk, trees, and most shrubs. Poly is short for polyamorous, meaning I don't subscribe to monogamy. It just doesn't work for me. This is not to be confused with swinging. Poly just means I'm open to being in more than one relationship and that I can have many different types of relationships.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 8:46 am 
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jewbacca wrote:
Thanks, everyone.

I'm having a bad morning. Sitting here typing and crying because this sucks so hard. I feel like Mr. J. is making me out to be the bad guy. When I proposed the collaborative process, all Hell broke loose and he ended up just being snotty to me on the phone. He apologized a little later, and it was just a solid reminder of why I'm doing this. So sick of the back and forth with him saying pointed and hurtful things to me, then retracting them all the time.

I know he's hurting and that is why he's being an enormous dick, but god--dude, just forking let me go and quit telling me how I've ruined your life and how I'm making a stupid mistake that will destroy the kids as well. Last time I checked, the only lives I was responsible for were mine and the kids. I doubt by divorcing you I'm ruining the kids.

I know I don't have to justify squat to anyone here on PPK--I just can't bring myself to be in this marriage and teach my kids the value that relationships are situations where it is all about what you can put up with from someone else instead of something that allows you to be your own person. I haven't truly been able to be my own person in a while, which is something I don't think STBNMJ understands. It's not his fault, it's mine for not standing my ground and being clear with him about finances, my sexual identity, and saying yes when I meant no. Not being able to be me is killing me. I'll end up drunk.

I'm pretty sure he's going to try to use my queer and poly identity as ammo.


If he tries to use that against you it will surely backfire and not just in his karma. You're in the rainbow zone of Indiana! Your judge is probably gay! :D

Lots of people get divorced and their kids aren't ruined. I'd say that staying in an unhealthy marriage and making your kids deal with that is way more likely to mess kids up...but, honestly, it takes a lot more than that to ruin kids. I'm no expert on marriage, or kids, or any of this...but, it sounds good, so I'm going with it ;-)

You're a rock star. Keep being awesome <3

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:30 am 
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ol' garly cooch
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I have some new news to share: there is a possibility that STBNMJ and I **might**not be split up, we might practice a roommate situation that would be very specific, purposeful, and open. I don't know what will happen, but this possibility is a huge relief for me.

I told him specifically what that would mean, and that if he couldn't consent to it, the divorce would happen. He's thinking about it. I told him that I would want the freedom to be poly, queer, and actually see other people without him getting crazy about it. I would also want him to practice some financial responsibility and pay for things like he's supposed to and to continue working his 12 step program. I would also want him to give me mental and physical space, and know that I am just not going to want to be with him in any romantic/physical way for a while.

I know that's all a bunch of TMI, but y'all have been so supportive of me, I wanted to let you know about this possible development. If it doesn't go down, I'm still fine with divorce. Bottom line: Jen needs to take care of herself, so she can be a good mom. Part of me taking care of myself is me being who I Truly Am. I cannot live a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:42 am 
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You are awesome.
I hope this new situation works out. It sounds as though it could be what is best all around.

Do what is best for you and the kids.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 11:07 am 
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Good for you for being upfront, straight up, and bold. Fingers crossed

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 12:45 pm 
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ol' garly cooch
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choirqueer wrote:
jewbacca wrote:
Thanks, everyone.

I'm having a bad morning. Sitting here typing and crying because this sucks so hard. I feel like Mr. J. is making me out to be the bad guy. When I proposed the collaborative process, all Hell broke loose and he ended up just being snotty to me on the phone. He apologized a little later, and it was just a solid reminder of why I'm doing this. So sick of the back and forth with him saying pointed and hurtful things to me, then retracting them all the time.

I know he's hurting and that is why he's being an enormous dick, but god--dude, just forking let me go and quit telling me how I've ruined your life and how I'm making a stupid mistake that will destroy the kids as well. Last time I checked, the only lives I was responsible for were mine and the kids. I doubt by divorcing you I'm ruining the kids.

I know I don't have to justify squat to anyone here on PPK--I just can't bring myself to be in this marriage and teach my kids the value that relationships are situations where it is all about what you can put up with from someone else instead of something that allows you to be your own person. I haven't truly been able to be my own person in a while, which is something I don't think STBNMJ understands. It's not his fault, it's mine for not standing my ground and being clear with him about finances, my sexual identity, and saying yes when I meant no. Not being able to be me is killing me. I'll end up drunk.

I'm pretty sure he's going to try to use my queer and poly identity as ammo.


If he tries to use that against you it will surely backfire and not just in his karma. You're in the rainbow zone of Indiana! Your judge is probably gay! :D

Lots of people get divorced and their kids aren't ruined. I'd say that staying in an unhealthy marriage and making your kids deal with that is way more likely to mess kids up...but, honestly, it takes a lot more than that to ruin kids. I'm no expert on marriage, or kids, or any of this...but, it sounds good, so I'm going with it ;-)

You're a rock star. Keep being awesome <3


Thanks.

BTW, the judge is gay. Very gay.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:33 am 
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ol' garly cooch
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So Vin's wages are being garnished now because one of his creditors is hell bent on getting their money. Since Vin and I have opened up a bankruptcy case and paid for part of the retainer, Vin has paid $250 two months ago, and I have paid over $500. I'm furious. He makes almost twice what I make and he can't forking budget his shiitake.

I'm done. I've prayed, meditated, and I understand he wants to save our marriage, and give me everything I want. What I want is to trust, and I just can't financially trust him anymore.

I want to scream.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 11:25 am 
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jewbacca wrote:
So Vin's wages are being garnished now because one of his creditors is hell bent on getting their money. Since Vin and I have opened up a bankruptcy case and paid for part of the retainer, Vin has paid $250 two months ago, and I have paid over $500. I'm furious. He makes almost twice what I make and he can't forking budget his shiitake.

I'm done. I've prayed, meditated, and I understand he wants to save our marriage, and give me everything I want. What I want is to trust, and I just can't financially trust him anymore.

I want to scream.


Have you guys gone to therapy together? It seems like you're both open to the idea of changing the dynamics and rules of your relationship but don't really know how to get past the major stuff. Broken trust can be healed (if that's what you want) but it is an active process. My two cents for what they're worth.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 11:31 am 
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jewbacca wrote:
Hey Alden,

I'll get off topic to answer your question. Pardon if it is long winded. I identify as queer because I don't like the word bi. Bi implies there are only two genders, so queer it is. I like guys, gals, transfolk, trees, and most shrubs. Poly is short for polyamorous, meaning I don't subscribe to monogamy. It just doesn't work for me. This is not to be confused with swinging. Poly just means I'm open to being in more than one relationship and that I can have many different types of relationships.


ah gotcha, thanks for enlightening me!

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Ugh I saw all these cave paintings complaining about vegan cheese options. I don't miss those days. -Isa


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 3:51 pm 
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jewbacca wrote:
I understand he wants to save our marriage, and give me everything I want. What I want is to trust, and I just can't financially trust him anymore.


You can make your continued marriage dependent on him giving you his paycheck. It goes right into your account and you budget for both of you. He gets $X of play money and the rest goes to bills etc. And there are therapists who can work on financial issues with you as well. If you are doing a Ch. 13, I assume you'll be working out a payment plan for creditors, so it makes sense to put all your funds together, getting a handle on your expenses and start setting aside money for making plan payments.

And you know he needs to be doing some step work. Does he have a sponsor? Is he working on getting his shiitake together? Can you get support as the spouse of someone with addiction issues?

I wish you tons of luck, but it really sounds like you can't stay in this marriage unless Mr. J makes some pretty big changes. And as you know, you can't make him make those changes until you're ready. If money were no object, I'd suggest that you leave until he can show you that you can trust him, but I know that isn't the case.

Good luck sweet Wookie.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 9:04 pm 
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I surrender. The situation is not likely to change, so a few days ago we decided that divorce really was the best move for both of us. I've been thinking this all along, but now he gets it, I think.

He was kind of douchey about it at first, and I called him on it.

I'm done with this shitstainy part of my life. I'm ready for my new exciting life of me getting to really be me.

Let the fun begin.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2012 5:28 pm 
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i send you peace and love jewbacca, for you and the littles.


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 1:50 pm 
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My *&$% husband has not yet told me where he is living. He has been gone 2 weeks and 2 days (not that I am counting). My oldest son, who is almost 20 and lives at home, has been to see him so he knows where he is but I am not asking him, the son or the husband, where he is. It's his job to let me know! We have two younger teenagers.

I sent him an email last Friday to let him know I would be at dinner/book club from 6-11 on Saturday and if he wanted to come over to the house and hang out with the kids that would be fine. The youngest had a soccer game during that time and I arranged a drive for both of them so he could go to the soccer game as well (he doesn't drive). The kids tell me he showed up and went to the game and stayed for a while after. That's it for me, though. Now he has to arrange his own visitations but I am not holding my breath.

Mustard. Just venting. I have spoken to a lawyer and don't need or want to do anything yet. I have already protected financial stuff because he never interested himself (i.e. couldn't be arsed) in household financials.


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 1:47 pm 
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Hi Arisaig, it sounds like you're having a really hard time breaking the patterns of your marriage, where you arrange everything for your soon-to-be-ex, as though he were another (ungrateful) teenager, instead of an independent adult.

I think you're really wise to stop arranging transport, visitation, finding out where he is, suggesting meeting places and things that may work for him to see his kids. He is a father, and its about time he started generating that relationship, instead of having you do it for him. And its time for you to start getting some distance from your resentments, and you can't do that if you're still in the old patterns.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:11 pm 
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The only resentments I have toward him are for the kids and his relationship with them. This was a long weekend here and he has not contacted them at all. I have no idea when he is taking vacation this summer, if at all, and if he plans on spending time with them during his vacation, so he it is my decision that he is not. I have money put aside so that if he refuses to pay child support for a while we will be okay, knowing that he is required to by law and I will have his pay garnished if necessary.

He has only been gone three weeks and last weekend was the first and only time I arranged or will arrange anything for him. I have to admit my alternative motive was that he would take more of his stuff while he was here, kill two birds with one stone, but I don't think he did.

I don't have any old patterns with him at this point - I have been changing the way I behave toward him for the past 6 years, demanding more, not putting up with shiitake, so I am well and truly done and over. We were living separately in the same house for three years, different bedrooms, no joint activities, etc. I am just worried about the kids and the fact that their father left and doesn't seem to care about them, except when he wants something like when he got oldest son to go over and help him move some stuff.

I honestly don't believe that he is ever going to change, so maybe it is better that he keep his distance for now at least. The one I am most worried about is my oldest son but luckily this son is moving to another city in September. His dad likes to blame other people for his woes (classic) and get others to take on the weight of his burdens, and I could see him burdening the boy with his shiitake.


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:26 am 
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I am here for opinions. My best friends and I meet tomorrow night but I am asking for your wise input, PPK.

It has been six weeks since Himself (my husband) left. He sent me numerous eamils in the beginning, most one liners saying how sad he was or somesuch, always about him. Then nothing. He has not yet let me know where he is living or contacted me about spending time with the minor kids (ages 13 & 17). The 20-y.o. has been to his place a couple of times to help him move stuff. I believe his new place is not far from us but I am not positive. I will absolutely not ask 20-y.o. son for the address.

Last evening son3 had a soccer game and dad showed up to watch, which he has done several times since he left. After the game, while I was waiting at another part of the field, he chatted with son3 for a minute and gave him some things for him and his brothers: an SD card, a dvd, etc. Then he left and I took son3 home.

About ten days ago son3 called me at work in the afternoon and asked where the garage key was. At home that evening I asked him, in casual conversation, if he had gone for a bike ride, if that was why he had wanted the key. He said, No, dad was over and wanted to get some things from the garage. I was upset about that, not about him getting things from the house but that a) he didn't tell me first and b) he hasn't seen his kids (other than son3 at a few soccer games) and he shows up out of the blue for a few minutes to get some "stuff".

The only time he has actually visited with the boys was the first weekend after he moved out, when I arranged for him to go with son3 to his soccer game (he does not drive so I asked the friend driving son3 to take dad as well) and then go back to the house to spend time with the boys while I was at book club. I am not going to arrange visitation for them any more, which would feed his dependency desires/complete unwillingness to take responsibility for himself and his relationship with others. However, son3 goes to Scout camp for ten days this weekend and son1 will be moving to Montreal to live in a month.

I would like a separation agreement eventually (but it's not a necessity) and talked to a lawyer in a preliminary way a few months ago. I do not want to have to be the initiator in this situation, though - the ball is in his court - but I want to keep my children's best interests in the forefront. I would not only be mature and civil if he wanted to discuss the children and money issues, I would be thrilled. I am just not sure it will happen without me starting it and I don't want to. I want him to realize that he has no choice now as an adult and a parent that if he wants things he will have to work for them.

So what should I do? Wait for him to contact me about the kids? Or set a deadline for contact from him and then send him a short email asking how he plans to set up visitation with the kids?


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:30 am 
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AmandaMelanie wrote:
It's gotta be the most frustrating thing when someone says they can't afford to give you any support money, but they spend more per month on booze and cigarettes.
Once you start cutting ties, things get easier and easier (you'll always have a tie because of the kids, but all other ones I mean). They become less involved in your life, you're free to find someone new (when you're ready). You'll become a more efficient, stronger mother because you have to be. It's like a new girl scout badge. The "I can do this by myself, and pretty darn well too" badge. Wear it proud on your sash.
Jewy, you're an amazing mother, and you're going to be even more amazing doing it yourself. You can totally do this. <3

This. Cutting ties is the worst, but ultimately it seems to be for the best. Because after you've cut ties you might both get to a place down the road where you can be in a better place together. If you have a university nearby check their Women's Centres, many offer free/low cost child care or other single mothers! Swap shifts or exchanges can be helpful. A friend of mine moved into a very single parent family heavy neighbor hood and many of them trade services for child care, like cookies, or helping with carpools etc.

Best of luck, thinking about you <3<3

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Arisaig wrote:
I am here for opinions. My best friends and I meet tomorrow night but I am asking for your wise input, PPK.

It has been six weeks since Himself (my husband) left. He sent me numerous eamils in the beginning, most one liners saying how sad he was or somesuch, always about him. Then nothing. He has not yet let me know where he is living or contacted me about spending time with the minor kids (ages 13 & 17). The 20-y.o. has been to his place a couple of times to help him move stuff. I believe his new place is not far from us but I am not positive. I will absolutely not ask 20-y.o. son for the address.

Last evening son3 had a soccer game and dad showed up to watch, which he has done several times since he left. After the game, while I was waiting at another part of the field, he chatted with son3 for a minute and gave him some things for him and his brothers: an SD card, a dvd, etc. Then he left and I took son3 home.

About ten days ago son3 called me at work in the afternoon and asked where the garage key was. At home that evening I asked him, in casual conversation, if he had gone for a bike ride, if that was why he had wanted the key. He said, No, dad was over and wanted to get some things from the garage. I was upset about that, not about him getting things from the house but that a) he didn't tell me first and b) he hasn't seen his kids (other than son3 at a few soccer games) and he shows up out of the blue for a few minutes to get some "stuff".

The only time he has actually visited with the boys was the first weekend after he moved out, when I arranged for him to go with son3 to his soccer game (he does not drive so I asked the friend driving son3 to take dad as well) and then go back to the house to spend time with the boys while I was at book club. I am not going to arrange visitation for them any more, which would feed his dependency desires/complete unwillingness to take responsibility for himself and his relationship with others. However, son3 goes to Scout camp for ten days this weekend and son1 will be moving to Montreal to live in a month.

I would like a separation agreement eventually (but it's not a necessity) and talked to a lawyer in a preliminary way a few months ago. I do not want to have to be the initiator in this situation, though - the ball is in his court - but I want to keep my children's best interests in the forefront. I would not only be mature and civil if he wanted to discuss the children and money issues, I would be thrilled. I am just not sure it will happen without me starting it and I don't want to. I want him to realize that he has no choice now as an adult and a parent that if he wants things he will have to work for them.

So what should I do? Wait for him to contact me about the kids? Or set a deadline for contact from him and then send him a short email asking how he plans to set up visitation with the kids?

You need to see a lawyer to protect yourself. A formal separation agreement is necessary. You can't make him parent, you can't make him responsible. You need to protect yourself and your children.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Agreed. I also would add that it would probably behoove you to be more proactive. I know these things are incredibly hard, but waiting around for him to make a move when you're capable and aware of the need to make a move yourself isn't going to benefit your kids.

On a personal note, my mother took a similar tack to the one you are taking when she and my dad split up. They didn't have a separation agreement for a long time, and it really, really hurt us economically. I went without clothes that fit for a couple years because we didn't have the money for them. It was terrible, and it left me with a lot of emotional hangups about money and a lot of weird feelings about both of my parents. I was about the age your youngest is now. I hope that doesn't read like a guilt trip (it's absolutely not intended that way), but looking back, things would have been a lot better for us if my mom had pushed for a separation agreement/hammered out matters of child and spousal support and division of property much earlier.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:02 pm 
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I also mention this because while I know zero about Canadian law, when I talked to a lawyer down here he brought up issues that I had not even considered. There are things I needed to do to protect myself that would not have occurred to me. You also want to be separated from him financially so that he can't hurt you that way.

He does not have an option to not support his kids financially. You need to get a court order for that. If he wants to abandon them, that is sad but nothing you can fix.

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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:48 pm 
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That's terrible, jp, and I am sorry that your mom acted that way, but maybe she felt she had no choice?

Maybe I wasn't clear that I am not avoiding dealing with issues by not dealing with him. I have a good job and I have money put away, and there's more to it than that. I don't want to go into very much detail on a public forum but money is not an issue.

Vantine, a formal separation agreement is not necessary, not according to the laws of my province. If we want to get divorced we have to have a custody arrangement but that is all. If someone were to convince him that he should have the house or some other crazy idea then I would hire a lawyer to protect me. I intend to file for divorce exactly one year after he left (according to the no-fault divorce laws of our province) and we will need to have custody arranged by then.

The only issue here that is important right now is the teens having some interaction with their dad. I really want to encourage the children to have a relationship with their dad but I can't do that without a willingness from him. I think he would be willing if I were to initiate the discussion but I don't want to do that. You can say, you can't make him parent, but in fact that is what he wants and he may not ever be a parent without my help, so...my choice may be to continue to help him be a parent for at least 5 more years, which might be better for the kids but might make me crazy, or, go completely hands off and possibly end up with the kids not having any sort of relationship with him, which would suck. I have sought out good male role models for the boys, especially as teenagers, to help counteract their dad's bad parenting - not a cure but I think it worked okay for the oldest.

I hope that makes sense. Take money off the table, and think mediation, not antagonism.


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Posts: 19114
Location: Cliffbar NJ
Quote:
I really want to encourage the children to have a relationship with their dad but I can't do that without a willingness from him. I think he would be willing if I were to initiate the discussion but I don't want to do that. You can say, you can't make him parent, but in fact that is what he wants and he may not ever be a parent without my help, so...my choice may be to continue to help him be a parent for at least 5 more years, which might be better for the kids but might make me crazy, or, go completely hands off and possibly end up with the kids not having any sort of relationship with him, which would suck.


I've said it before upthread, but you can't make him be the parent he isn't. He has to generate that relationship, and if you step away he either will do so, or he won't. I feel like by you doing a ton of work to step in and manage everything for him so that he has some parenting role for 5 years, (1) you are going to be wasting valuable energy on a man who doesn't even care enough to tell you where he is living and (2) don't you think he and your kids are going to know that it is all forced and arranged by you and not organic? But the crux is the bolded portion - he has to generate his own being a father in his own way.

Perhaps some counseling might help you find clarity about what is best for you and help you let go.

And unless you're a family lawyer, you should see one, because it is a very complicated area of the law, and you might be surprised by what you learn.

Good luck. Your soon-to-be-ex sounds pretty frustrating.

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My oven is bigger on the inside, and it produces lots of wibbly wobbly, cake wakey... stuff. - The PoopieB.


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 Post subject: Re: Do we have a divorce support/single parent thread?
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:04 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs
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Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:03 am
Posts: 1320
Location: Nova Scotia
Vantine wrote:
I also mention this because while I know zero about Canadian law, when I talked to a lawyer down here he brought up issues that I had not even considered. There are things I needed to do to protect myself that would not have occurred to me. You also want to be separated from him financially so that he can't hurt you that way.

He does not have an option to not support his kids financially. You need to get a court order for that. If he wants to abandon them, that is sad but nothing you can fix.


I too would encourage anyone in my position to talk to a lawyer. Some will give a half-hour (or so) free consultation just to let you know your rights and obligations.

I have already seen a lawyer, as well as spoken in a more casual but probably more insightful way with a friend and some acquaintances who do family law. I am not worried about getting him to pay child support - that is a fight I can take on myself without the kids having any knowledge of what is going on.

There is a whole range of grey in my experience, with not-so-great parents. Some may completely abandon their children but most don't want that exactly, they just may never get to a point, or never want to be at a point, where they are fully-functioning parents. A friend and I had a great long discussion about this recently. She split with her husband when their son was 3 and she did do things that helped him parent better but always she questioned herself - who was she helping and would it be the best thing in the end. Another friend allows her ex to come over to her house twice a week to hang out with the kids because he has a crappy apartment and his business is struggling and he may not otherwise see them. My brother has shared custody week on week off. Who knows whether these are good or bad solutions?


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