Any and all advice/support would be welcomed. I'll try to keep this as short as possible. We married at young ages, I was 17 and he was 23yrs. We've been married for almost 26 yrs. We have 2 children, ages 25 & 19yrs. We've been sleeping in separate beds for 5+ yrs. We have definitely grown apart. Although we NEVER shared the same goals or money values(I'm a saver, with no debt) and he's a spender with lots of debt. Nor, do we agree on anything, stayed together for the kids sakes. About 2 yrs. ago, I went to a lawyer and had a separation agreement written up (it costed me $1500.00 and several visits) however, he refused to sign it. Now, we live like roomates who don't speak to one another, but my 19yr. old son - still lives in the same household. He refuses counselling, but enjoys his lifestyle - because he comes and goes as he pleases and has even bragged to me about how many girlfriends he's had. Today, I found charges on his credit card statement for a hotel, which I wasn't at. I know I need to see another lawyer, but I have a hard time spendings lots of $$ to interview them, to take on my divorce case and am not sure if they will represent me well or they are looking out for their own wallets. I'm not sure what to look for in a divorce lawyer and was hoping you-all could make some suggestions....These years of drama are affecting me both mentally and physically and I'm at my wits end....He is both mentally & psychologically abusive. And the stress of it all feels quite damaging. Any thoughts or suggestions, please let me know.
Thank you in advance for your time, -Ornament
I'm afraid if I move out, that he will wreck my house and my good credit rating (by not paying the bills) and I really would like to buy him out of the house. Although, the mortgage companies are telling me that I can't buy him out without the proper legal steps being followed - what ever those may be. Nor, do I want abandonment charges being filed against me. Right now, we are splitting the mortgage and there is no way I could afford a place of my own. The cost of living in my area is really high. What did you mean that my legal fees would be less later on, I don't get it. I jut I'm just really frustrated!
Thanks for your suggestion, -Orn.
When you are truly ready to move out none of that stuff will matter. I was in a situation much like yours. When my son left for college I rented an apt. and moved out. I had $2,600 in my own savings account that I used to get the apt., turn on utilities, etc. Before I left I consulted a lawyer who told me to take what I wanted when I moved out and to call him when I had spent 24 hours in my apt. so he could start the paperwork.
Since both children were over 18 I did not have to worry about child support. I had a good job. Yes, I lost the house and a lot of material things I would have liked to keep. Yes, my credit took a nose dive. Yes, I had to take on the majority of the bills or declare bankruptcy like he did. I had to force him to sell the house to get my name off the mortgage so my salary wouldn't be garnished because he was living in the house, but not paying the note.
Was it worth it? YES!!! One million times over. Like I said, when you've had enough and are ready to go, none of the things you are worrying about will matter. You will pack up what you can and start a new and better life.
i agreewith kathy when your ready your ready nothing else will matter. my bbf left in nov with nothing i lent her the money to get an apt. what i meant is if you seperated hopefully everything will get settled faster with a lawyer so itwill be less money. my friend took nothing so he would sign the divorice papers they cost her $850.00 it was final at the begining of june they were married for 15 yrs
I consulted a paralegal who handled all the paperwork for $300! That included the settlement agreement and filing in court. Can this be an option for you?
I agree, I left with not much more than the clothes on my back and a few pieces of cheap furniture, and my son. Not one second have I regretted it, and I lived in poverty for 2 years before things settled down. Still never regretted it.
The thing is, no matter what you do the chances of your credit taking a hit are pretty high. That's just the way it is with divorce. But like others have said, when you are ready those "material" things won't matter as much. Of course you would want to maintain the lifestyle you have now, but that realy isn't realistic. You will be far happier being away from him with or without the house or whatever else you may not get to keep. Isn't that really a small price to pay to get your sanity back?
Thank you-all for all your responses and encouragement.....Wow - you-all gave ideas, that I didn't know even existed....Consult with a paralegal, hmmmm ...how do you find one of those? It sounds like to me - that you're saying I'm not ready if my "stuff" means more to me than my sanity. I've had bouts of depression for the last few years and mysterious pain symptoms that come and go - it's probably all stress related. I look at it as I've worked very hard over the years, to have what I 've acquired and it's kind of a slap-in-the-face, to just walk away from it all. I guess, I am just fearful of being on my own and of failing....I'm 42 yrs. old and have never been own my own. I'm not saying that's a reason, I'm just saying it's a huge fear! And I let the fear consume me. Although, at times I wonder if I'm even capable of being happy and usually convince myself, that I'm not. But, I will admit, I am the type that "takes care of" herself last. Everyone (him, my children, parents,etc) has come first for so long, I lost sight of myself. And I feel like I'm losing my mind living there. I drive down my street after work to go home and have anxiety attacks, luckily I do have medication for it. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I just don't know where to begin...I need some sort of plan, I work best with a plan. But, where do I start? Leave? Seek counsel? File divorce papers? It's soooo overwhelming, but I have to do something!
Thank you all again, please share your suggestions/opinions/stories.
Maybe there is hope afterall.....-Ornament
my bff waited 4yr until she was sick and tired of being sick and tired the mental abuse was too much. she always put eveyone first also she left and filed a few months later she just had everything drawn up what was hers and what was his in the papers so you will get something
You can look in the yellow pages for a paralegal. I've checked online too but that's not as reliable since many of them don't have websites. Most also have a "free consultation". My paralegal was great. They are not authorized to give legal "advice" but they can let you know what the laws are in your state and can let you know the proper forms to fill out (and fill them out for you) and what your rights are as far as property, etc. They are required to consult with an attorney on legal matters. Mine even served my husband with the divorce papers and he came in and signed them in her office. I never set foot in a courtroom. This was 8 years ago and it cost me $300. It may be more now, but it beats a $10,000 divorce attorney!
I was 34 when I divorced, and I had a young child and I'd never lived on my own...but my peace of mind was worth it. I always said, I'd rather be poor and happy than well off financially and materially and still married to that guy. Never once, no matter how hard it got, and no matter how many times I had $4 in the bank with payday 5 days away...never have I regretted it. I made it and I'm no tough cookie, we just do what we have to. You can too, it's worth it!
You-all have brought tears to me eyes, thank-you to everyone....I found one paralegal ad in the phonebook, called it and it's "not a working #". Then I called a few lawyers offices to determine their consulation fees they ranged from $75.00-100.00, and if you select them to handle the case, that money gets put back into the retainer, hmmm not bad. I even had one attorney get on the phone with me and he "actually listened" (w/o talking over me - I hate that, it's plain rude) and made some suggestions. I asked if he's been in practice long and he said 2 yrs, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, any thoughts?? I'm going to go home tonight and see if me & him can talk about re-doing our separation agreement. If he's home and not at his girlfriends (when he's been the last 2 days) and if that doesn't work, I'll make the consulation appt. with the lawyer and proceed from there. I'll keep you-all posted and thank you so much for your posts. I truly appreciate them. At least it feels like I'm moving in the right direction! Cross your fingers for me and again, thank you all.....Currently Hyperventaliting, -Orn
Two years in practice is plenty. I wouldn't worry about that, especially if you got a good vibe from him over the phone. And a $100 consultation fee is very reasonable.
I am concerned about one thing though...I asked my paralegal about a legal separation and she said it was just as expensive as a divorce...except you are still legally married and when you do decide to divorce you have to start all over again and you have to pay again...so unless you want to try to repair your marriage and stay in it, it might be better to forget the separation and just get a divorce, including the property settlement.
You don't need him to be there to start divorce proceedings. My paralegal told me that if I want the divorce I'll get it, even if he doesn't. Of course you may want to tell him as a courtesy, but it certainly isn't required. Your attorney or paralegal will arrange to have him served with papers and it's up to him to answer the summons. And if he ignores it, he will have defaulted and the court will award you whatever you asked for in the settlement.
Confirm all this with your attorney since laws vary from state to state, but that was my experience. Good luck!
Today I am going to the new lawyer's office for the consulation.....I did present the property settlement sheet to my husband, who ignored it for 1.5 weeks and then low & behold, he signed it....I wrote it fairly with a breakdown of who gets/wants what. (of course, listing him first and showing "More items" in his column) This I will be showing the lawyer. The lawyer is to construct the settlement agreement to present it to my husband. Once, he signs it - I can proceed with buying him out of the house. But, in my state we have to live one full year apart before the final divorce can be granted. I'm both excited for a new beginning and both nervous at the same time (stomach issues) In the meantime I've been going back and forth to my house (to see my son) and staying with a girlfriend - who has a fabulous pool, so I've been floating alot, seems like good therapy at this time. Well, thank you all who've read this and I'll keep you posted and to what happens next. Any suggestions, advice, ect. is always welcomed.....-Orn
Good for you, it sounds like you are headed in the right direction and that things are working out. You sound strong, that's great.
You know, even though I KNEW I wanted the divorce and that it was the right thing to do, I still cried (and so did my husband) when I asked for the divorce. I didn't get married with the idea that it would only last 12 years! So it's normal and perfectly ok to be nervous, scared, uncertain, or whatever.