Author Topic: Newly single mom figuring it all out  (Read 1303 times)

Sweetpotatofries

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Newly single mom figuring it all out
« on: June 19, 2018, 11:56:16 AM »
I am a newly single mom to a 15 month old little nugget. My husband and I were both fairly Mustachian and the divorce is for other reasons I can't share here, but suffice it to say, he has become very un-Mustachian in his attempts to inflate his expenses to decrease support. Oh well. I'm trying to move on and shake off the knowledge that our fairly substantial stache for two twentysomethings (we had hit 500k) is essentially gone, and my little guy and I need to start over.

Just looking for any tips that other single parents here (or I suppose re-partnered people who ever experienced divorce or single parenthood) have about ways to save on childcare, creative ways to establish work-from-home income (I am a writer and looking into Contena and other platforms?), and generally how to start rebuilding a stache as a party of one plus a little one.

Dee18

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2018, 12:16:43 PM »
How did 500K disappear?

Sweetpotatofries

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2018, 12:18:36 PM »
How did 500K disappear?

Something the courts call a Guardian Ad Litem. Plus attorneys who charge 500+ an hour and high conflict personalities who suddenly thrive on spending $1,000 to fight over $100. You would not believe the racket that is the Family Court system - it drains even very well off parents, and oftentimes causes people to spend money they don't have.

« Last Edit: June 19, 2018, 12:22:52 PM by Sweetpotatofries »

erutio

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2018, 12:52:00 PM »
Don't have any specific advice yet, but just wanted to tell you sorry about the hardship you are going through and I wish you the best of luck.

Do you have sole or joint custody?

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2018, 01:16:00 PM »
Congratulations!  You survived your divorce.  You'll survive single motherhood too.  My kids were 15 months and almost 5 when their dad left.  We are all thriving now, almost 8 years later.

I am not a woo-woo person, but I found that once the divorce was final and the negative energy drained away, all sorts of things in my life started to fall into place.  Good things.  This has happened to several o f my friends, too.

Be open to possibilities.  New types of jobs.  A new living situation.  New friends and new experiences.  You never know what you might find or how it might change your life.

Know your custody and support agreement inside and out.  Set expectations up front that the agreement will be followed and enforced.  You can always be more flexible later, after the two of you get used to all of this.  Keep meticulous records.

It took me almost a year to adjust to my new household income and budget.  My ex had been in charge of all the finances, so I had a pretty steep learning curve.  Hopefully you are well ahead of where I was in that you know what you spend and what you have and where you can cut back.  Set yourself new goals with what's reasonable for you to achieve with a single income.

I had to learn to ask for help.  Most people, when they hear "single mom of a toddler", will bend over backwards to give you a hand.  The dad of my daughter's best friend came over to get the Christmas tree down from the attic when I couldn't maneuver it alone.  The guy across the street helped me move furniture outside for the garage sale.  The mom who heard from the day care workers that I looked like death warmed over that morning volunteered to bring my kids home so I didn't have to get out again.  I repaid people with what I could - baked goods, sincere gratitude, and babysitting.

I was able to turn several acquaintances into true friends.  We traded childcare in the evenings and had twice-monthly shared dinners (once at my house, once at theirs).

Embrace the parts of shared custody that will make your life easier.  The child-free time lets you work more or recharge or, wonder of wonders, go to the grocery store without a small person in tow!  (It sucks in the beginning, but you get used to being without your sweetie.)

You really do have a terrific opportunity in front of you, to build the life that suits you now, and not the path that you were on as a couple.
Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

mxt0133

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2018, 02:46:13 PM »
As someone that grew-up in a single parent household for a time, I want to second what others have said on accepting your new reality, moving forward, and being open to all possibilities and opportunities.

You might have had expectations on where you should be now or in a few years before the divorce.  The longer you hold on to those expectations the less energy you will have to live your life now.  Accept that it will be hard and you might have to make difficult choices to make things work temporarily.  For a time my mom had to work three jobs and we literally saw her for like two hours over the weekend for weeks at a time.  My brother and I had to take care of ourselves and the household because there was no one else.  Eventually things got better for us and we got to spend more time with our mom as our financial situation improved.

Continue to keep your ex accountable for his share of parenting obligations, if he chooses to inflate his expenses, that should have no bearing on how much financial support he needs to provide to his child.  I remember by brother in law losing his job but still had to maintain the court ordered amount for support and college assistance because the ex pushed for them.





frugal rph

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2018, 07:35:16 PM »
I spent a long time lamenting the 40k and counting I spent on legal fees and the division of assets that have put early retirement a lot further out of reach.  The average person is not going to understand how it feels to lose a large stache since many people are dividing debts, not assets.  The good news is that even if you actually have to start over from zero dollars, you are only in your 20s.  Try not to focus too much on the money during the first couple of years after divorce and instead create a nice life for yourself and your child.

Sweetpotatofries

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2018, 12:07:03 PM »
I spent a long time lamenting the 40k and counting I spent on legal fees and the division of assets that have put early retirement a lot further out of reach.  The average person is not going to understand how it feels to lose a large stache since many people are dividing debts, not assets.  The good news is that even if you actually have to start over from zero dollars, you are only in your 20s.  Try not to focus too much on the money during the first couple of years after divorce and instead create a nice life for yourself and your child.

Really appreciate this, thanks. That is what I've been doing and I need to stop. Especially since the legal part is not over yet - not that it will be until our son is 18, but we're actually not legally tied up in a bow, still a lot of issues in play and court dates. I need to refocus on moving forward and what I can do to give us a good life in future, not the mess that is the here and now.

frugal rph

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2018, 08:27:37 PM »
Depending on how high conflict your divorce is, the legal drama may not end even after the trial or final settlement.  It does not even take both of you to continue the legal battles unfortunately.  You have to find a way to make a happy life and compartmentalize the battles with your ex.  I have had some success with this strategy, but some days I still wallow in the unfairness of it all.  My youngest is 3 and on my worst days I tell myself that even 15 more years of legal battles is better than a miserable life with my ex.  This may not work for you if your marriage was not that bad, but it is very true for me.

Sweetpotatofries

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2018, 07:02:32 PM »
Depending on how high conflict your divorce is, the legal drama may not end even after the trial or final settlement.  It does not even take both of you to continue the legal battles unfortunately.  You have to find a way to make a happy life and compartmentalize the battles with your ex.  I have had some success with this strategy, but some days I still wallow in the unfairness of it all.  My youngest is 3 and on my worst days I tell myself that even 15 more years of legal battles is better than a miserable life with my ex.  This may not work for you if your marriage was not that bad, but it is very true for me.

I was blindsided when my ex up and left, and the high conflict divorce is 1000x worse than any marital argument we ever had, but I guess it could have been worse had things escalated in front of our son. I just don't want him to get caught in the middle of this. I am frightened by the thought of motions landing us in court every year as you said, but I am trying to compartmentalize which unfortunately is not my strong suit.

frugalmom

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2018, 09:43:33 PM »
I’m so in this group.   Perhaps we need to set up a call.

I am post divorce and in litigation again but my Ex is a lawyer—so it’s a special case🙄

Sweetpotatofries

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2018, 08:16:11 AM »
I’m so in this group.   Perhaps we need to set up a call.

I am post divorce and in litigation again but my Ex is a lawyer—so it’s a special case🙄

Uh...mine too!

Sweetpotatofries

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2018, 08:17:59 AM »
Don't have any specific advice yet, but just wanted to tell you sorry about the hardship you are going through and I wish you the best of luck.

Do you have sole or joint custody?

TBD. Right now sole pending the finalization/trial. I have heard it is uncommon to end up with sole legal though. My ex moved about 3-4 hours away (out of state) so it would be difficult to do shared physical and unrealistic for it to be anything close to 50-50.

frugalmom

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2018, 12:04:10 PM »
I have physical custody.

Legally it's joint.  Let me explain what that looks like--he picks her up each Saturday for a "fun day" about 45 Saturday's a year. 

It's a total mess.  My post divorce fees are more than my divorce fees (and we did not litigate).  I wanted collaborative divorce and hired a nice calm person. He hired a collaborative lawyer who filed lots of subpoenas; she's making partner on his fees.   I wasn't hiding anything.  The end result, I ended up with WAY WAY more than I asked for because his lawyer was a motion generating nut job (and still is).  He has yet to compare our final decree to the piece of notebook paper I presented him with when we sat down together---it's a big difference. 

frugal rph

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #14 on: June 23, 2018, 12:32:53 PM »
My ex is on his 6th set of lawyers. His current lawyers seem willing to file whatever b.s. he asks them too as long as he keeps paying $600 an hour. He used to be far more frugal than I am (almost miserly really) so I can't believe he's been willing to spend this much in legal fees.

He lives 10 hours away but still wants to be able to show up to visit with no notice at anytime. I have been very accomadating in the past, but I've begun pushing back when my older daughter has plans.  It's actually better than him living locally though. I can't imagine trying to do a 50/50 or 60/40 custody split with him.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #15 on: June 25, 2018, 08:01:09 AM »
Don't have any specific advice yet, but just wanted to tell you sorry about the hardship you are going through and I wish you the best of luck.

Do you have sole or joint custody?

TBD. Right now sole pending the finalization/trial. I have heard it is uncommon to end up with sole legal though. My ex moved about 3-4 hours away (out of state) so it would be difficult to do shared physical and unrealistic for it to be anything close to 50-50.

For a high-conflict personality as the other parent, this seems like a good thing for you....although it does make it harder when your "breaks" from single parenthood are few and far between.

I'm lucky that over time my ex and I have managed to figure out how to coparent somewhat well.  I have a friend involved in a very high-conflict divorce.  Her advice was to keep a sum of cash available for future legal battles and focus on your child as much as possible rather than worrying about what may come next.


Boldly leading a blended family into (future) financial independence

Sweetpotatofries

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Re: Newly single mom figuring it all out
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2018, 05:08:05 PM »
Don't have any specific advice yet, but just wanted to tell you sorry about the hardship you are going through and I wish you the best of luck.

Do you have sole or joint custody?

TBD. Right now sole pending the finalization/trial. I have heard it is uncommon to end up with sole legal though. My ex moved about 3-4 hours away (out of state) so it would be difficult to do shared physical and unrealistic for it to be anything close to 50-50.

For a high-conflict personality as the other parent, this seems like a good thing for you....although it does make it harder when your "breaks" from single parenthood are few and far between.

I'm lucky that over time my ex and I have managed to figure out how to coparent somewhat well.  I have a friend involved in a very high-conflict divorce.  Her advice was to keep a sum of cash available for future legal battles and focus on your child as much as possible rather than worrying about what may come next.

That advice seems sound. I am trying to enjoy the summer with my son and do library storytime, go to the park, music class, playdates, as much as we can, and only focus on the legal stuff when I have to. That's why I have a lawyer. I do worry that even if things work out okay now he could keep coming back and taking me to court for stuff in future but I don't want to live my life in constant fear of the next time around.