Author Topic: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell  (Read 7872 times)

OldStachesRule

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FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« on: March 16, 2015, 08:41:11 PM »
I am interested in hearing from divorced mustachians, especially those folks who were in long terms marriages.
 
(1) What was the haircut to your NW?  How are you doing on the road to recovery?  What specific challenges and successes can you share?
(2) For those who have indefinite spousal support, have you ever consider going back to court to challenge?
(3) Thoughts on second marriage?  I envision living with my GF in the future.  We both are completely comfortable with that notion.  However, getting married again seems pointless at our age and raises a host of unnecessary complexities such as trust/will modification.  We both have kids and would like to leave our staches to them.  Does anyone have a comprehensive checklist regarding this manner?
(4) Owning vs renting.  I purchased my first home in 1985 and have been a continuous homeowner until 2011.  I've been renting for the past 3 years and absolutely love it!  I'm leaning towards renting for the forseeable future.  The write-offs of owning are nice, but right now I'm enjoying the benefits of renting such as flexibility to move, no maintenance, and no repairs/upgrades plus associated costs.

Here are some of my gory details.
My Attorneys Fees: ~70K
Total Duration: About 3.5 yrs to finish.  Separation in 2010, legally divorced 2011 and all outstanding issues settled in 2013.  Yes, it shouldn't take this long, but the ex intentionally dragged it out.
Child Custody: Shared legal & physical custody.  Yes, this was another big battle.
Net Worth Haircut: I haven't added everything up.  If I were to guess, probably over 700K.

frugaldrummer

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2015, 09:40:23 PM »
Well, since you were in a long term marriage, I suggest you first stop thinking of everything that went to your spouse as being stolen from you. You two were a team, she probably did a lot of valuable childrearing and homemaking chores, and likely put her own career on the back burner. So before you start adding up all you "lost", start first with splitting all your assets down the middle.
I was married for 24 years. My professional career went on the back burner because my husband had a high powered career and we didn't want our kids to be raised exclusively by nannies. I also developed some health problems probably hastened by bearing three kids, and had a child with an eating disorder who needed close supervision throughout high school.
Despite being a loving, loyal, sexy, steady spouse, my husband had a midlife crisis and bailed for greener pastures. We would probably both be retired right now if he had stayed. Our divorce was civilized but still cost me several thousand dollars and took almost two years.

Fallout:  I have half the 401k, but although I was married to him during the years that he earned 80 percent of his pension, I only get about 30 percent of the pension (the formulas used kinda scr@w the nonemployee spouse). We counted on his pension to fund our retirement.
Also since I'm four years older than him, I cannot collect the pension until he does. I'm hoping he will still take the early retirement at 59 as  we planned, but since his new wife is 20 years younger and appears to have expensive tastes, he might not be able to retire early.
He has remarried but I cannot have my boyfriend live with me or I lose my alimony (ten years only). I work but make less than a third of what he does; I could have been a star in my field if I hadn't been holding down the fort so he could be a star in his.
Meanwhile our children, in their twenties, suffer with mental health issues (worsened by the divorce) and he leaves me to be the one to help them, because "he pays me alimony". I haven't been able to save that money to pay off my house because of this. My youngest son understands that alimony isn't child support and despises him for this.
Still I'm luckier than most. Ill have a reduced percentage of a defined benefit pension. I have a nice house in a much cheaper part of town. My half of the 401k has grown. I do good work and get asked to lecture in my field, and my new boyfriend treats me like gold. (Actually, EVERY man I dated since my divorce has said they can't figure out what my ex was thinking, to let me go).
Also, when my ex left, I learned to play the drums in a punk band :)
Someone once told my ex, the secret to financial success was "one wife, one house". He blew that. But I'm busy making lemonade from the lemons. And I'll never trust another man financially again.
As for marriage...I'm like you, I don't see the point at this age. But my boyfriend has never been married and dearly wants to marry me, so someday we will.....with a good prenup.

RetiredAt63

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2015, 09:45:55 PM »
Definitely a long term marriage (36+ years up to the separation) followed by divorce.  Actually we were in a typical situation, in that couples who are seeing the children leave the nest and are coming close to retirement start looking at the future, and decide whether that future should be together or not.  For me the answer was "not".

  • Actually your timeline was fast.  We separated mid-2009, divorce finalized early 2015, not all marital assets have been disposed of yet.
  • I have not added up my legal costs, it is too depressing.  Sometime down the road I will, but not yet.
  • DD was old enough that she was away from home, we agreed on support while she finished her education.
  • Our working incomes were similar so no spousal support, either direction.  We did a mediated financial settlement that divided up assets "equitably".  Legally they were divided equitable - in reality my pension got nailed, because I started working while he took 4 extra years to finish his Masters (we started at the same time) and get a full time job.  Of course that meant my pension assets were greater.  There are times I resent it because I was the main income earner for those 4 years, (when I would have preferred going on for a Ph.D that was offered to me) while he fooled around, but that is life.  Intellectually I understand the legal reasons (like those encountered by FrugalDrummer) but it hurt.  Really what hurts is I gave up a big dream for him but he didn't give up any of his big dreams for me. So for that pension split I feel double suckered.  Other than that, yes marriage is a partnership and the assets belong to the partnership, so a 50/50 split of assets accumulated during the marriage is equitable.  It doesn't really matter who did what to earn/manage the money. 
  • Ongoing - money was one of many issues in our marriage, but not the one that caused the split.  Money has been tight since the split, but now that I am not paying legal fees my finances are OK, this despite the fact he told me at one point I would end up a bag lady.  I was not sure whether he meant that as a prediction or a threat.  His delays were certainly expensive for me. I have no idea how his finances are, they are no longer my problem.

Re second marriage - my Mom died relatively young (early 70's) and after several years my Dad met a woman who had been widowed twice.   Since they were in their late 70's, children together were obviously not an issue, and both had children and assets from their previous marriages.  They ended up living together with a co-habitation contract, for the reasons you mentioned.  That worked out well.

At my age the sex ratio is starting to shift, not in my favour, and in a rural area there are virtually no single men around my age, so I do not expect to re-marry or equivalent.  Not that I would mind if the right guy came along, mind you.  But I would follow my Dad's example in that case.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2015, 10:04:42 PM by RetiredAt63 »

Bstarr

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2015, 10:20:34 PM »
My Mom and step-dad never married.  They have been together for over 20 years, since I was in junior high school. They got engaged but never married for the complexities you mention.  My Mom has a lot more money in retirement savings and he has built a VERY successful business, so it always seemed easier to them to just keep it separate and not have to deal with each others kids.  They wrote wills where they leave almost nothing to each other baring their primary home and its contents, but the other homes and the investment properties are held in a corporation with specific instructions on how to dissolve in the event a death.  I think its smart to handle it this way for blended families.  Keeps the nonsense to a minimum.   

secondcor521

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2015, 11:07:27 PM »
Like spartana, mine was as amicable as things can be when one wanted to leave and one wanted to stay.

4 years dating followed by a 15 year marriage with three kids, divorced in 2006.

Separation to divorce was about 10 months - most of that time was spent negotiating over custody of the kids as well as sorting through the last few details via the lawyers.

1a.  51.6% of our net worth, her engagement ring/wedding ring set, plus several thousand to the lawyers.
1b.  Financially, really well -- debt free, FI, earning more than I ever have.  Emotionally also very well -- over the emotions of it all, not bitter or jealous, get along well with the ex and her new husband, became a better person as a result I think.
1c.  Specifically:  try not to be bitter, try to learn from the experience.  Use mediation as much as possible.  Do what's right for the kids, they didn't ask for it.
2.  n/a.  Idaho is more of a transitional alimony state typically.  I ended up paying a lump sum alimony shortly after the divorce of about 1.6% of our net worth.
3.  99.999% sure that I will not remarry.  No advice here.
4.  This doesn't seem to me to be a divorce-related issue.  In my case, we sold the marital home, split the net profit 50/50 that we each used as down payments on individual homes shortly after the divorce.  I would like to spend some significant time traveling and have thought renting would be better for that, but haven't figured that part out yet.

ZiziPB

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2015, 05:11:22 AM »
My divorce was amicable and we were able to settle pretty fast.  Our DD was over 18 by then so not having custody issues definitely helped.  I don't think about the division of our assets as a haircut to my NW.  We both worked for what we had and it certainly was not mine to keep.  We had no debts  other than a mortgage on the house (which was too large to keep so it got sold with proceeds divided as part of our settlement) and that helped in reaching a quick settlement.  I have done fine since then.  I'm not currently dating and I don't think I will ever get married again even if I meet someone special.  I rented for a bit but decided to buy a condo after a while and am happy with my decision.

Retire-Canada

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2015, 07:04:50 AM »

(3) Thoughts on second marriage?  I envision living with my GF in the future.  We both are completely comfortable with that notion.  However, getting married again seems pointless at our age and raises a host of unnecessary complexities such as trust/will modification.  We both have kids and would like to leave our staches to them.  Does anyone have a comprehensive checklist regarding this manner?

You can sign a pre-nup if you want to get married again or a cohabitation agreement if you just want to live together. Both are relatively straightforward and will prevent a messy situation should you two split up down the road.

I've never been married, but my GF and I are signing a cohabitation agreement to avoid holding any shared property and avoid any support obligations in case of a split due to the common law situation where we live.

-- Vik

frugaldrummer

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2015, 09:55:06 AM »
Oops - realized that although I rambled on about my marriage above, I may not have answered all your specific questions; let's give it another, more organized, go.

(1) What was the haircut to your NW? How are you doing on the road to recovery?  What specific challenges and successes can you share?  Since assets were split 50:50, my main "haircut" was being downgraded from 50% of the pension to about 30%.  Also the loss of lifestyle that comes from going from a two-income family to one income, although I mostly compensated for that by taking my equity from our expensive although modest house in a rich neighborhood, and buying a larger nicer house in a much more blue-collar neighborhood 45 mins away.  I don't miss the pretentious, gossipy "friends" we had in the old neighborhood.   Also, since I no longer have to deal with my ex's occasional financial splurges, I am doing ok on my income, as I can control expenses.
(2) For those who have indefinite spousal support, have you ever consider going back to court to challenge?  I am the receiver of alimony, ours is not indefinite, should have been 12 years (half the length of the marriage) but he bargained it down to 10 (I got something in return, and figured, since he would be retiring at about 10 years, he could always get it reduced at that time based on his reduced income).  It's my understanding that if your income goes down, you can get it modified?  Bear in mind, when you think of your alimony, that what you pay is deductible to you.  I'm sure my ex is peeved when he thinks about what he pays me, but in reality, he gets a 50% reduction because of his tax rate, and what it actually costs him is less than the  cost of rent and groceries for one kid in college - I think after 24 faithful devoted years on my part, and his infidelities, he owes me at least that. 
(3) Thoughts on second marriage?  As mentioned above, boyfriend really wants to marry.  Besides a prenup, though, I have other financial considerations.  I have to first assess whether I would receive more social security by filing for ex-spouse benefits based on my ex's high income, or whether my own earnings by that time will be sufficient to earn me a higher SS payment? Also, my boyfriend has very little SS work history, so would we come out ahead by being married and him collecting spousal support off of me, or by staying unmarried and me collecting spousal support off of my ex?  Also, if I died, I would want to provide for BF, but not at the expense of my kids.  My ex is remarried to a much younger woman and I have no idea what his will is like, whether he would leave anything to the kids or not.  I would probably put my house in a trust, BF could live there but ultimately it would belong to my kids.  (BF has no kids so that simplifies things somewhat).  BF does not bring much savings to the table (long story) but is 8 years younger and is likely to work and make a reasonable income for the next 15 years or more; my goal is to make sure he saves enough of that to provide for his expenses in retirement, short of housing costs. 
(4) Owning vs renting.    I bought a home large enough to accommodate my aging mother and any children who might come home to roost - currently have 2 of my three kids living with me as well as my mom, so this was a good move.  If I had put all the money into investments instead of the house, a 4-5% withdrawal rate would NOT cover the rent on a similar property, so I am happy with owning right now.  I may downsize in later years when these needs are no longer present, or may rent out some bedrooms for extra income.  My house has a small yard and even that seems like a lot of work - luckily the younger, big strong boyfriend likes to work on it for me :)  If I didn't have all these people in my family, I could see being happy with a rental, but would worry about inflation eventually pricing me out of it. 
« Last Edit: March 17, 2015, 09:58:07 AM by frugaldrummer »

civil

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2015, 10:43:06 AM »
I am interested in hearing from divorced mustachians, especially those folks who were in long terms marriages.
 
(1) What was the haircut to your NW?  How are you doing on the road to recovery?  What specific challenges and successes can you share?
(2) For those who have indefinite spousal support, have you ever consider going back to court to challenge?
(3) Thoughts on second marriage?  I envision living with my GF in the future.  We both are completely comfortable with that notion.  However, getting married again seems pointless at our age and raises a host of unnecessary complexities such as trust/will modification.  We both have kids and would like to leave our staches to them.  Does anyone have a comprehensive checklist regarding this manner?
(4) Owning vs renting.  I purchased my first home in 1985 and have been a continuous homeowner until 2011.  I've been renting for the past 3 years and absolutely love it!  I'm leaning towards renting for the forseeable future.  The write-offs of owning are nice, but right now I'm enjoying the benefits of renting such as flexibility to move, no maintenance, and no repairs/upgrades plus associated costs.

Here are some of my gory details.
My Attorneys Fees: ~70K
Total Duration: About 3.5 yrs to finish.  Separation in 2010, legally divorced 2011 and all outstanding issues settled in 2013.  Yes, it shouldn't take this long, but the ex intentionally dragged it out.
Child Custody: Shared legal & physical custody.  Yes, this was another big battle.
Net Worth Haircut: I haven't added everything up.  If I were to guess, probably over 700K.

My partner is divorced so I asked him.

1) ~1MM. I've seen the numbers, and this is perhaps an UNDERstatement. 10 year divorce after 6 years together and one kid. It was ugly. The ongoing costs are about 40k/year (roughly equal his taxable income) of support payments and legal fees - the ex does not like to honor visitation. Challenges include not knowing the legal costs for the upcoming year, and not being comfortable contributing to tax-deferred savings because of the unknown expenses.
2) Support is not forever, but he will have to try and modify it soon. The court decided support based on his absurdly high BAH at the time. He will retire soon and his entire income will be roughly 1/3 of his support obligation. He would need a civilian job of about 120k to equal his current take-home, which he is unlikely to find.
3) He is fine with getting married again. He's not in a hurry, but he will have TRICARE for life while I have a HDHP, and we want kids. That pushes the issue. He is not a fan of pre-nups.
4) Owning, but he would only want one name on the mortgage/deed, to avoid being forced to pay for an underwater, out-of-state money pit for another decade.

OldStachesRule

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2015, 10:21:02 PM »
Quote
Well, since you were in a long term marriage, I suggest you first stop thinking of everything that went to your spouse as being stolen from you. You two were a team, she probably did a lot of valuable childrearing and homemaking chores, and likely put her own career on the back burner. So before you start adding up all you "lost", start first with splitting all your assets down the middle.

@Frugaldrummer - Thank you for sharing your story.  First, consider yourself lucky to be receiving a portion of the your exes defined benefit plan (rare these days).  It's a standard calculation called the Brown formula and simply prorates your 50% max portion of his pension based on years of marriage over years worked at company.  I think it's a fair calculation if you analyze it.  Second, my situation was much different than yours so please do not assume anything.  My ex did not work over the course of the marriage.  I was already working and had significant assets coming into marriage.  Near the end, she went full anti-mustachian blowing 3-4k/month on nonsense.  Also, please do not play the domestic engineer card.  Yes, she had chores, shopping, child rearing, etc but these tasks were essentially split even as I would take over on evenings, as well as do repairs, yard work, remodeling, etc.  on weekends. Oh and by the way, I also had a 40-50 hr per week day job.  Trust me in that I'm completely justified in initially being angry, however I have long moved on and have not been angry for many years since it serves no purpose.  The shenanigans the ex pulled would take pages to describe and qualify for some hall of fame.  Some highlights include: telling judge I was planning on kidnapping our child out of the country to increase % custody and child support, magically develop a disability to maximize spousal support (walking into court with limp was unbelievable, it didn't work but I had to pay for a vocational evaluation to impute income), choosing a realtor at her sole discretion then claiming I was in collusion with realtor to screw her out of equity and refusing to even review offers (judge got pissed and made her sell), not showing up to court dates at least 5 times to drag out temporary spousal support which is always higher than permanent support.

Quick thoughts on marriage...  There is no guarantee any marriage will survive the test of time.  I always smile to myself when I hear couples claim how madly they're in love and that they will live happily ever after.  I always ask "So do you think the 50% of divorced couples didn't feel the same way as you do?"  The fact is people change continuously in terms of life goals, personality compatibility, attraction, chemistry, etc and it is easy to fall out of love as it is to fall in love even if you work at it.  If 50% of couples end in divorce, I claim the remaining 45% are unhappy at worst and simple love at best (living as roommates or staying together for kids, finances) and only 5% are truly connected for the long haul based on anecdotal evidence.  I think that's close to reality folks, so choose very wisely.  I do not have any reliable answers.

@Vikb - Did you write the cohabitation agreement yourself or did you pay a lawyer to review it for enforceability?

frugaldrummer

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2015, 12:40:49 AM »
The brown formula was used but did not accurately represent our situation. My ex earned his pension at the rate of 2 percent of his salary per year for the first 20 years of service, then 1 percent per year for the next ten years, maxing out at 50 percent of his salary.  I was married to him for the first 20 years while he earned 80 percent of his pension. But the brown formula treats every year the same. so instead of getting 80 percent of the half of his pension that I am entitled to, I only get 66 percent of my half.  Even less if he continues to work past 30 years (which adds nothing more to his pension but continues to dilute my share).  So no, it's not a fair calculation in my case. It only works if the pension is earned at the same rate every year and doesn't top out.

Sorry your wife flamed out. some get pretty crazy. I think mine has brain damage, but he insisted on this, he's some other woman's problem now.

fields

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2015, 06:00:49 AM »
Not sure this is the right place for this question, but what do you plan to differently in areas other than finances, to help ensure your current or future relationship is more sustainable (and happier!) than your marriage was?  I ask because I am in a similar, post-divorce type situation.

frugaldrummer

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2015, 08:27:19 AM »
I participated for years on the divorcebusting message boards in my attempts to save my marriage, people there dud a great job of forcing me to reexamine my own weaknesses and assumptions. After divorce I worked a lot on figuring out why I kept picking emotionally unavailable men to date. Once I broke that habit I found my current boyfriend who is a great fit.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2015, 09:00:25 AM by frugaldrummer »

MsPeacock

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2015, 10:57:41 AM »
1. Haircut - well `200k in legal fees (just mine - his are presumably about the same). Assets were evenly split. No spousal support. I bought out his share of the house - so new mortgage but I didn't lose money in the transaction, but had to give him 50k in cash. Definite loss of lifestyle because my income, even w/ child support, is a lot lower than his. So, no gym, no new clothes, no housekeeper, etc. etc. Neither of us took any of the other's retirement savings. No claims on future pensions. I had to wipe out all my savings to pay for my lawyers, sell my rental house (which was not a martial asset), and use an inheritance I received. Still have 40K credit card debit from last legal go-around.   
2. I did not ask for spousal support. Ex has repeatedly challenged the order for child support (thus the 200k in legal fees). He makes over 300k per year and thinks that he should not pay child support (or should pay very little). He also doesn't buy clothing or other supplies for the children.) Ex has also repeatedly challenged the custody order, and violated the order - thus additional legal fees. He likes to file court motions. Last two were w/ the same judge and she refused to hear them, so hopefully some of this nonsense will stop.
3. I will never get married again, even w/a pre-nup. I have a very nice boyfriend. But I have no religious beliefs that compel me to marry. I have no financial needs that compel me to marry. I won't be having any more children (and even if I did - not a reason to marry). Maybe we will live together in the future - but I would never get married again. Too difficult to then have to get unmarried rather than just "breaking up" with a BF/GF.
4. I own a home - one of my top priorities in the divorce was to stay in the family home and minimize upheaval for the kids as much as possible (their dad was busy causing enough upset and problems for them).

Bottom line: served him w/ divorce papers in July 2010, mediation was a complete failure and waste of large sums of money. Divorce finalized in October 2012. Back to court on custody and child support challenge January 2014 - January 2015. 3rd challenge to custody January 2015. 4th challenge to child support February 2015. I expect the next one will come soon.

fields

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2015, 11:02:25 AM »
Me Peacock, I'm curious--on what grounds does your ex believe he should not have to pay child support?

DoubleDown

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2015, 11:08:26 AM »
(1) Marriage was about 9 years. All totaled the divorce cost me well over $1 million. Ex wife was a SAHM. Net worth was approximately $1.3M at age 39, which got halved plus about $40k in attorney fees, leaving me with approx. $600k. Plus alimony totaling around $180k, plus child support for 15 years, plus she'll get a large chunk of my pension for life. I have recovered fully and FIRE'd about 1.5 years ago. Describing challenges and successes could literally fill a book, as I was dealing with a very bitter spouse with extremely difficult custody and legal battles, full-blown parental alienation, parental kidnapping, made-up claims of abuse as attempted leverage, and so on.

(2) Spousal support was for a fixed term, so this does not apply to me. However, if it was indefinite, I would not consider trying to change it unless I had a very compelling case to do so. The bar is pretty high in my state for changing an alimony order, so I would only attempt this if I had a strong (and legitimate -- not just because I wanted to pay less) case to do so.

(3) I've remarried (with a comprehensive prenup) but I hear you on the "what's the point?" reasoning. Once you look at the legal structure, you recognize that making marriage a legal contract can seem a bit weird/archaic, and that you do not need the imprimatur of the State to validate your relationship. But, there are some practical benefits like Soc. Security survivor benefits that you cannot get outside of marriage. Marriage is becoming less of a default expectation in our society, but there's still a pretty strong pull for it, especially where children are involved. If you remarry, a comprehensive prenuptial agreement and a solid estate plan (including a revocable living trust to provide for your children and surviving spouse) is a must IMO.

(4) I own our primary residence and a rental home. I'll likely always own RE in some fashion for the benefits you mentioned plus as a financial diversification and hedge against inflation.

(Other stuff) The divorce process for me and my kids was horrible and unnecessarily contentious (see above), but now that we're through it life is 100% better for us. Staying in a bad marriage that will not improve is a pretty crappy way to go through your whole life.


MsPeacock

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2015, 11:18:11 AM »
Me Peacock, I'm curious--on what grounds does your ex believe he should not have to pay child support?

He doesn't want to. That is it, as far as I can determine. He just doesn't want to.

The court obviously does not agree w/ his reasoning. He can't really make a reasonable argument for not paying. He did claim that his child related expenses are $9000 per month - based on ????? (His new wife provides childcare when he works and he doesn't purchase anything for them). He claimed that part of the children's housing expense was a second home that he owns that is unoccupied.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2015, 01:14:40 PM »
I am interested in hearing from divorced mustachians, especially those folks who were in long terms marriages.
 
(1) What was the haircut to your NW?  How are you doing on the road to recovery?  What specific challenges and successes can you share?
(2) For those who have indefinite spousal support, have you ever consider going back to court to challenge?
(3) Thoughts on second marriage?  I envision living with my GF in the future.  We both are completely comfortable with that notion.  However, getting married again seems pointless at our age and raises a host of unnecessary complexities such as trust/will modification.  We both have kids and would like to leave our staches to them.  Does anyone have a comprehensive checklist regarding this manner?
(4) Owning vs renting.  I purchased my first home in 1985 and have been a continuous homeowner until 2011.  I've been renting for the past 3 years and absolutely love it!  I'm leaning towards renting for the forseeable future.  The write-offs of owning are nice, but right now I'm enjoying the benefits of renting such as flexibility to move, no maintenance, and no repairs/upgrades plus associated costs.

Mine wasn't long term, so I guess I'll keep my contribution short since it probably doesn't fit what you're looking for.

Married for 6.5 years, divorce took only 6 months from her telling me she was leaving me for her boyfriend on the side until I had the signed docs from the court.  Virtually all assets were dealt with by the time the paperwork went though.

1) The divorce itself only cost me $600 or so because it was uncontested and my company provides legal insurance that covers uncontested divorces almost 100%.  Officially I lost $230k in cash & property, but I calculated that she cost me about $400k because she never worked, she spent a ton of money, and she convinced me to make bad financial decisions, especially with regards to selling the house that I owned outright before I even met her so she could get a hold of the money.  My NW at the time was about $420k so really it was horrific: I lost over 50% NW due to a 6.5 year marriage that my wife never contributed to financially or emotionally.
2) I only agreed a small sum for 2 years of spousal support.  Child support is more, but was only for 3 years since my son was already 15 at the time.  There's a whole side story to that one, in that she waited until I legally adopted her son before she asked for divorce, knowing she'd get a bunch more money that way.  I could have sued for fraud (the whole marriage was basically a long con she ran me and her son through) but decided against it because it would harm my son.
3) Its been a year now and aside from looking at how awful the ads on craigslist are a couple times, I don't even want to think about dating, much less marriage.  I feel like my wife cheated and scammed me so badly that I'm simply broken and unable to ever be a good husband for any woman.  I know its only been a year, but sometimes the hurt is so great that I can't even imagine what normal is supposed to be.
4) As part of the settlement, since she'd already screwed me over by getting me to sell the house I owned before I met her, I just surrendered the (mortgaged) home that we were living in.  That's the bulk of the $230k settlement.  I've been renting a year now and would say it could go either way.  I like the flexibility in choosing a different property or location every year if I want to, but OTOH I know for a fact that I could save by owning long-term.

On the bright side, prior to the divorce I was in a pretty unfulfilling marriage.  It was "ok" from my perspective, but my wife wasn't invested at all due to the fact she was actually with another man, as I came to learn.  Still, I'd have been working 25-30 years more if I stayed with her and I can't say things ever would have gotten better.  Instead I have been beaten and bruised badly but came out of it with a new outlook and possibly only 8-13 years of work ahead of me.

MishMash

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2015, 01:33:19 PM »
I am interested in hearing from divorced mustachians, especially those folks who were in long terms marriages.
 
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3) Its been a year now and aside from looking at how awful the ads on craigslist are a couple times, I don't even want to think about dating, much less marriage.  I feel like my wife cheated and scammed me so badly that I'm simply broken and unable to ever be a good husband for any woman.  I know its only been a year, but sometimes the hurt is so great that I can't even imagine what normal is supposed to be.


Your ex, and my husbands ex could be twin sisters.  Although we finally got out of the child support when a court ordered DNA test revealed what we all thought was true, that her THIRD husband (and the one she was sleeping with while married to my husband and married to 5 days after the divorce was finalized) was actually the father of the child.  Cost us 40k for that one.  Their marriage was only three years and she took him for 100k (he was 23 at the time) between debt repayments and cash, then there were years of child support for a child she never let him see, but let him think was his, so probably close to another 100k there.  But it is FINALLY all over.

My husband felt the same way you did when I met him.  We ended up getting married but were together I think 5 years before that (I didn't want to get married either, never thought I would, he actually made the push for it) and it's been nice.  Your feelings may change when you meet the right one, but I wish the best of luck to you, vampire bitches are a hard thing to deal with. 

OldStachesRule

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2015, 12:06:19 AM »

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(3) I've remarried (with a comprehensive prenup) but I hear you on the "what's the point?" reasoning. Once you look at the legal structure, you recognize that making marriage a legal contract can seem a bit weird/archaic, and that you do not need the imprimatur of the State to validate your relationship. But, there are some practical benefits like Soc. Security survivor benefits that you cannot get outside of marriage. Marriage is becoming less of a default expectation in our society, but there's still a pretty strong pull for it, especially where children are involved. If you remarry, a comprehensive prenuptial agreement and a solid estate plan (including a revocable living trust to provide for your children and surviving spouse) is a must IMO.

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3. I will never get married again, even w/a pre-nup. I have a very nice boyfriend. But I have no religious beliefs that compel me to marry. I have no financial needs that compel me to marry. I won't be having any more children (and even if I did - not a reason to marry). Maybe we will live together in the future - but I would never get married again. Too difficult to then have to get unmarried rather than just "breaking up" with a BF/GF.

I hear you on the pre-nup, but honestly I prefer not to deal with anymore blood sucking attorneys, nor worry about worst case scenarios of a second divorce with opposing counsel trying to poke holes in an iron-clad pre-nup.  The tax, estate planning, employment, medical, consumer, etc. etc. benefits of marriage either don't apply to our situation at present or are simply not worth it.  The marriage license as a legal contract really highlights how invasive the state can be, since it essentially conveys jurisdiction to regulate personal relationships.  However, if you do find the "one", I see nothing wrong with having a commitment ceremony to exchange vow and rings in front of family/friends, or have a covenant marriage if you have strong religious beliefs.  Both of which would not involve a state issued marriage certificate.

The concept of marriage without a license also offers a simple solution to the gay marriage issue.  Allow the state to issue marriage license to straight and gay couples.  Allow churches to marry whomever they choose issuing only a symbolic non-binding document.  Conservative churches can choose to marry only traditional straight couples, moderate churches may choose to marry both straight and gay couples, while fringe churches can marry whoever or whatever they choose.

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3) Its been a year now and aside from looking at how awful the ads on craigslist are a couple times, I don't even want to think about dating, much less marriage.  I feel like my wife cheated and scammed me so badly that I'm simply broken and unable to ever be a good husband for any woman.  I know its only been a year, but sometimes the hurt is so great that I can't even imagine what normal is supposed to be.

Don't give up.  May I suggest you put away the Mustachian playbook for awhile, go buy yourself a nice Robert Graham shirt and put yourself out there.  Hit up friends, church, reputable online sites, social functions, etc and go out on some dates and have fun!  Yes be very picky, but it's truly just a numbers game before you meet someone with potential.  Nothing wrong or risky with having a gf.  Best of luck on your future.

Sid Hoffman

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2015, 02:15:44 PM »
The concept of marriage without a license also offers a simple solution to the gay marriage issue.  Allow the state to issue marriage license to straight and gay couples.  Allow churches to marry whomever they choose issuing only a symbolic non-binding document.  Conservative churches can choose to marry only traditional straight couples, moderate churches may choose to marry both straight and gay couples, while fringe churches can marry whoever or whatever they choose.

Keep in mind that as soon as you say that the government shouldn't regulate marriage, it also raises the "fringe churches" like you say.  For example there is no limit on the number of wives you can take in the FLDS church.  Under Islamic law, you can take up to 4 wives.  I've also seen non-religious people argue that it should be legal to take kids as young as 12 as husband/wife.  Right now it seems there's still a great deal of picking and choosing who is allowed to marry when you look at the big picture.

damize

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Re: FIRE Journey - Post Divorce From Hell
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2015, 02:49:28 PM »
My own divorce was very amicable. She left right at the 18 year point, so the kids were already out of the house (college,etc).  She didn't touch my TSP or military pension, but I got the Parent Plus loans.
1. Around $150,000, between the loans and setting her up with around $35k to get a fresh start.
2. Not applicable.
3. I doubt I'll marry again. I was never a big fan of the institution to begin with, and don't feel like it is a fit for me.
4. Rent without a doubt.