Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

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Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby Mara » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:30 am

I live in Illinois. I'm currently separated from H and divorce may be a reality down the road. I still have hope of reconciliation but am considering legal separation to protect myself financially (he has been in a manic episode for one year now and is still going on spending sprees).

Could anyone share their experience with lawyers and court system? How long it took, how much it cost?

I don't personally know anyone that I'd feel comfortable asking, but I've heard legal separation could be just as expensive as divorce and takes at least six months. Every time I start looking into it, I get too scared and overwhelmed and don't feel it is worth the time/cost/stress to pursue right now. H's evil, vindictive parents have vast financial resources and are masters of lying and manipulating. Surely advantages in court. But every time H makes another large purchase, I wish I had legally separated already. Thankfully we have no debt, but he is burning through our savings.
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby Melody » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:31 am

Hi Mara. I already mentioned some of mine and you know I'm in NY and that its different in every state - but here's more of my experience. You need to legally separate first, which is almost the same as divorce with the difference being divorce separates insurance and retirement funds.

As you know my background is finance, and I really couldn't tell you how much it cost in total. I know over $40K for MY side but my ex is full of theatrics and TRIED to pull ever stunt in the book. I'm STILL bringing him to court (16 years later) for non-payment of child support. He has outstanding judgements too that I have to bring him back for (NY court system sucks - in other states he'd be doing time. One NY judge told him he was going to put him in jail, but than he retired - NOOOOOOO!!! and it was back to square one).

He's also been the biggest festering pain in the behind. For every pass I gave him he took a mile. He'd threaten to call the police if I tried to take a vacation (I have primary custody, so my legal Agreement doesn't say I also get vacation time - its implied by normal people), lots of B.S. like that. He's always late and unreliable (my kids are older now and know that so its not really so much of an issue now). His parents were pains in the @sses until I refused to deal with them (I was expected to just drop plans when ex wanted to switch visitation day, then his mother would call and ask for a different day both of them telling me I "had to be flexible". Once I stopped talking to her, she was quite cordial in public.

BTW, years of NASTY emails galore - and trying to tell me I was incompetent.

My close friend (whom I met when I went through it, is now going through it herself. Her soon to be ex wanted to do mediation. But my friend was told by everyone in the know NOT to do mediation (too "loosey goosey" and not enforceable) and to use attorneys because her soon to be ex suffers from mental illness.

So for now, get all your ducks in order and take advantage of a few consults with attorneys. The first session should be free - at least for the first hour.
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby Mara » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:57 pm

Melody - thanks for taking the time to write more in detail, I appreciate it! It appears Illinois may be better at enforcing child support so that is a plus. $40k is an insane amount of money! I can't even fathom. I don't remember if you mentioned previously, but low long did the legal separatiOn take to finalize?
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby Mara » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:43 pm

Ok this is beyond ridiculous! H just spent $750 at this same damn department store Hat he has been going to multipl times a week FOR A year now. There was a period of time (jan through_apr) that I believed he was getting better, but it turns out that wasn't the case aT all. MIL was funding him which has ended now. I have too much on my plate to deal with this crap. But I have no choice. I will give him the decision "you have a decision to make. You can decide to return every item you bought, or u can decide to keep it. If you decide to keep it, I will pursue a legal separation."
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby IrishLass » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:57 pm

I think you maybe able to file a legal separation by yourself. Go to the courthouse in your county and ask. If so it maybe just the charge of filing the papers. My ex was mentally unstable so my divorce was done in a different state then the one we married in. At the time the only thing we had a "fight" over was the bills/credit cards he ran up while I lived in another state. Than I find out he took credit cards out in my name.... not once did he ever contest me having full custody of our child, only after his parents threatened to not give him money did he want visitation. Fat chance in hell over that. My divorce took over three years to have finalized, but again we lived in two different states. Divorce lasted longer than our marriage, (but was cheaper then me spending time in jail for beating his narcissistic arse up!) :)
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby Melody » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:46 pm

About a year for the legal separation - which REALLY was the bulk of it. 2 1/2 for the actual divorce - separation of insurance and the division of the 401K. The insurance cost me about $400 a month after. But it was beyond annoying that it was "through him". After the divorce, the HR staff couldn't have been nicer (I had multiple options, but I went with what I knew PLUS the HR's help - they knew my ex was an ahole and they were super nice to me!

I tease my now DH that since we got together after we were legally separated, he was sleeping with a "married woman".
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby Mara » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:17 am

IrishLass wrote:I think you maybe able to file a legal separation by yourself. Go to the courthouse in your county and ask. If so it maybe just the charge of filing the papers. My ex was mentally unstable so my divorce was done in a different state then the one we married in. At the time the only thing we had a "fight" over was the bills/credit cards he ran up while I lived in another state. Than I find out he took credit cards out in my name.... not once did he ever contest me having full custody of our child, only after his parents threatened to not give him money did he want visitation. Fat chance in hell over that. My divorce took over three years to have finalized, but again we lived in two different states. Divorce lasted longer than our marriage, (but was cheaper then me spending time in jail for beating his narcissistic arse up!) :)



IrishLass - what happened with custody for your child? H has only been seeing the kids maybe twice a month lately for an hour or two. He doesn't even seem that interested in them, he mainly just wants to try to seduce me (hypersexualiy, another symptom of his manic episode). I am hoping that if/when we go through custody issues I have a strong case with his history of mental illness, noncompliance with doctors orders, dangerous behavior, emotional and physical abuse, etc...
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby Mara » Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:23 am

Melody wrote:About a year for the legal separation - which REALLY was the bulk of it. 2 1/2 for the actual divorce - separation of insurance and the division of the 401K. The insurance cost me about $400 a month after. But it was beyond annoying that it was "through him". After the divorce, the HR staff couldn't have been nicer (I had multiple options, but I went with what I knew PLUS the HR's help - they knew my ex was an ahole and they were super nice to me!

I tease my now DH that since we got together after we were legally separated, he was sleeping with a "married woman".



Yea I am sure that would be annoying. H set up our kids' 529 education funds and I wish there were some way to get them changed to my name. Can't even access them right now due to security issue and H can't call them to get it settled. he makes such ridiculous choices that I could see him withdrawling all the money for a penalty because he has burned through all the other money he has. He did that a few years ago with our retirement accounts. Withdrew a ton of money for no good reason so now we are disqualified from retirement tax credits on our federal income taxes...
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby IrishLass » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:04 am

On my Child Custody. Ex only got our daughter one weekend a month. We lived in different states and his parents had to be there the whole weekend. I had a ton of notes on his narcissistic behaviors and his bipolar as well. I also had my lawyer get Dr.s notes due to my ex wanting disability payments by trying to "commit suicide". (The man had tons of guns if he really wanted to off himself he would have used those). Most of the time he couldn't be bothered to come get our child, he would rather go atv'ing with his buddies then visit our kid. Thank god my 2nd hubby was a better man and a wonderful stepdad/dad to our children.
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby Mara » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:19 pm

IrishLass wrote:On my Child Custody. Ex only got our daughter one weekend a month. We lived in different states and his parents had to be there the whole weekend. I had a ton of notes on his narcissistic behaviors and his bipolar as well. I also had my lawyer get Dr.s notes due to my ex wanting disability payments by trying to "commit suicide". (The man had tons of guns if he really wanted to off himself he would have used those). Most of the time he couldn't be bothered to come get our child, he would rather go atv'ing with his buddies then visit our kid. Thank god my 2nd hubby was a better man and a wonderful stepdad/dad to our children.


IrishLass - that is heartbreaking that ex didn't bother to show up for his child once a month :( but I agree, it is fortunate your child had a good stepdad. It kills me that my kids don't have the dad they deserve. He never was the greatest husband/dad, but he did have his moments where he'd be sweet and caring, reading books, playing games, etc.
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Re: Your experience with divorce and/or legal separation

Postby PutMILinherplace » Mon Jul 03, 2017 10:47 am

Keep in mind that it would be wise to pretend not to care about the custody of the children. Yeah, I know you care. But if he or his mother thinks this will be a way to upset you, they will declare they are going to get full custody /visitation, etc. The best way to handle them is," ok, whatever, at least that means I wont have to pay for everything for the kids. Now you will have to pick up the rope some. One of the kids needs braces and of course there are the school fees , that is great I wont be stuck paying it all myself. " Your DuH & MIL will not want to be part of that plus you are acting like you don't care.
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