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Help with a Divorce

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So it looks like after all this time the old wife is moving out, on top of that I'm about to PCS and she has said for work reasons she ain't coming with me. I searched topics and didn't find anything specific so if this is a repeat please kindly point me in the right direction and I'll delete this.

No doubt someone else on this forum has gone through it...any advice on how to not get completely screwed as a military guy? I honestly don't want it to go that far but at the same time, I am quite tired of her shit. I have two kids that I adore more than anything in the world so I want to make life as easy as I can on them. I would be fully willing to mediate this out like two grown adults but since she is already perusing the yellow pages for the woman lawyer with the bitchiest expression on her face that may not be possible.

I admit I'm looking for help on an internet forum but since I don't want to publicize this yet at work I figure this may be my best place to go for quick advice and what I need to do right away.

Thanks in advance.

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I would say, speak softly and carry a big stick. It's great that you want to mediate, but you also need to cover your ass and go talk to a GOOD lawyer (one who can be either reasonable or ruthless if you need them to be). Having a nuke in your arsenal will go a long way towards ensuring an amicable split if it comes to that. Speaking from the experience of others around me, not personally.

Again, name of the game is CYA. Just talking to a guy shouldn't cost you anything.

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That sucks.

Protect yourself. She can make a lot of traction with accusations alone.

Get a damn good lawyer.

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Get a good lawyer - they're worth it. But it's usually better if you can get your lawyers to come to a reasonable agreement rather than fight it out. It helps to make your expectations & wants completely clear to your lawyer - such as tell him/her what's worth fighting over to you and what's not.

If there are any lawyers you don't want her to use - get to them & interview then first - once you've visited with them, they can't represent her even if you don't use them.

Get your own PO Box ASAP

Stash away some emergency money - preferably in your own bank account. If possible, transfer your pay there. Understand if a divorce is filed, there will usually be a TRO that prohibits spending any money except for usual expenses.

Cancel any joint credit cards ASAP. Get a copy of your credit report so you know what accounts are in your name. Perhaps enroll in one of the services that notify you if there's a change in your credit report.

Don't allow yourself to get in any position that could even remotely suggested to be associated with domestic violence.

Be good to your kids & yourself

In most states, there's a set formula how most of it is going to work out. For example in AR, marital assets are divided in half. There is a state-approved formula for child support and alimony is rare. It's unusual to get any other settlement so it may not be worth fighting over it that much

If you can agree on child custody & visitation issues it's so much easier.

Sorry to hear - all the best.

Edited by jcj

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FYI,

I didn't check the links below for your situation specifically, but this should get you started. I would start by agreeing with above postings that you need to treat your wife very well, and be amicable about everything. I would recommend sitting down with her and trying to reasonably discuss mediation, and the usual attorney's fees associated with divorce (~25%) of whatever you end up getting, plus fees on top. That is unless the attorney charges a flat rate for each stage of the divorce instead of by the hour. By the hour attorneys are usually better in some instances, because they are more experienced than others, but that is not always the case.

Best of luck.

http://www.airforcetimes.com/community/ask_lawyer/offduty-askthelawyer-050211/

http://usmilitary.about.com/od/divorce/Military_Divorce_Separation_Issues.htm

http://www.military.com/money/retirement/military-retirement/understanding-divorce-in-the-military.html

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CB:

Lawyer up and don't loose your SA, easy to have your buttons pushed and spiral. Was in your shoes 12 years ago, mine was more emotional from the sound of your original email. Best advice I got was from a fellow NFO that had a real rough "Big D"... there is a business side and an emotional side to a divorce. Don't let the two cross. Making business decisions when your emotions are spooling is a recipe for trouble. It could be a tough road (roller coaster is a better term), but you have to realize when the two are starting to mix. Best to stop, reset and try again with a clear head. Take the high road, CYA, and set the example for your kids. I took the offensive and drove the situation best I could (got the lawyer first, suggested amicable terms...things like that), which helped me in my situation. Watch your POA if you have one... one of my buds was burnt by that (we were stuck on the boat and limited comms...lot of damage was done before it was finished and fixed).

One thing I distinctly remember from my "Big D", a lot of those around me had gone through it and I had no idea. When the word got out, damn if there weren't a bunch of guys circling the wagons to help me out. They made themselves available for comments and questions (or bitching) I had.

All the best with your situation.

Collin

Edited because the font looked larger after a sip or two of Vincent Van Gough Double Espresso Coffee Flavored Vodka (highy recommended).

Edited by ATIS
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Sorry to hear this bro. It sucks especially when you're not the one that wants the divorce.

Contact every family lawyer in town. Every one of them. You don't have to have to retain but one, but if you do a quick phone consult then they are not allowed to represent your ex because of that contact you had with them. Make her go outside of town to get a lawyer.

Make sure you spell out exactly when you get the children (if there are any) and who pays for travel costs. If you two end up living across the country from each other this will be very important. If you want to see the kids every summer and every other Christmas, for example, make sure specific dates are put in. If you're ok with the children flying unaccompanied put that in the decree. If not she could force you to buy an extra roundtrip ticket just to go pickup the kids and bring them back to your area.

In may case I pay for the kids costs to come visit, my ex pays for the costs for them to go back home. If she uses the excuse that she can't afford it... then the kids stay with me until she can (that's actually written in the decree now after the ex jerked around my visitation for a number of years).

Get a family plan stating the kids are allowed phone contact with you at all times. Meaning she can't turn off their cell phone or ground them from the phone when you are the one calling.

A good family lawyer should point things I may have missed. The point is to be very very very specific in the decree.

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Realize that your PCS can be delayed or turned off at your request and if approved. You don't have to do this from a distance.

AFI 36-2110, Humanitarian Assignment. A24.7.9. Threatened separation, divorce action, or the desire to pursue child custody.

Talk to 1st Sgt or CC if you so desire....

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Hide your guns!

Better yet, get them to a trusted friend's place so she cannot say that you used one to threaten her. I've done this for a few guys to help them out.

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A lawyer and a thick skin. Separate accounts now. The other financial suggestions above are good as well. Don't forget about any insurance policies that have a cash value that she could access.

Mentioned above, but the crossing of "bidness" and emotion has to be avoided otherwise it WILL cost you more and as well as hurt just as much. Unfortunately, the other party is no longer your friend and partner. At best it's an adversary, at worst it's an enemy. Sounds like you are trying to keep it the former and I commend you for that, but do not allow softness when it comes to negotiating. This is now strictly a business transaction.

Don't try to tough this out by yourself. Way too many have been down this road and will be glad to have you avoid the landmines they found out the hard way. Talk to them and/or other friends that she doesn't have a connection to. Support and someone to pour a beer and say, "That sucks," is much better than the stoic, don't say nothin' to nobody route.

Get a lawyer ASAP. You are too close to the situation to think of all the angles and all the details. Hire an objective professional to do that for you. 99.69% it will be cheaper in the long run for the lawyer to run this than for you to try and have your USAF job. In that case, chances are neither the divorce or your job gets done well.

Best of luck.

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My ex-wife dropped the divorce on me at the 17-year Air Force point...I got custody of our kids and she gets no part of my AF retirements. A few things to consider:

1. Mediation is good. However, the attorney NEEDS to represent one of you "officially", so I'd find the lawyer for mediation and bring her in. Mediation is good start because it attempts to keep things civil initially and that what you need from her to keep your retirement.

2. Give her 70/30 on any equity of home and split IRAs/bonds/savings etc., 50/50. By giving her 70/30 on the home make move for sole custody of your retirement...home is chump change compared to 1/2 of your retirement (if applies).

3. Move all household goods to your next location of PCS. She has option to get her stuff beforehand or will be forced on her own dime to go to your next location and collect stuff there (Court ordered this).

4. Let your supervisors and leadership know what's up. Seek out counseling from Military One if necessary and leadership will fully support (I'd let first O-6 in your chain know--that level gives you top cover from bad deal TDYs until you're ready again). Just be open and honest with leadership on your mental status.

5. Your attorney (even in mediation) will have her sign over all her rights to your retirement. Judge received this and sent message back via attorney, making her sign a 2nd time acknowledging she what she was giving up. She signed again. (thank God!).

6. Most (yes MOST) states are now giving military members (and Dads) rights on divorce preceedings and custody. I was in the highest ops tempo unit in the AF (brought up in Court by wife's attorney for child custody fight) and Judge (female) looked at me and her and gave me cusody of our 3 kids.

7. Look for attorney's who are JAGs in Reserves or have spent time in the Service. They know the newest laws that protect Servicemembers while deployed, about to deploy on divorce, legal issues and child custody, etc.

Best of luck!

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...That is unless the attorney charges a flat rate for each stage of the divorce instead of by the hour. By the hour attorneys are usually better in some instances, because they are more experienced than others, but that is not always the case.

Couldn't disagree more. Most of my family are lawyers and while that doesn't make me an expert in law, I've heard enough over the dinner table to know that the opposite is true. More experienced lawyers don't charge per hour because they don't need to spend as time on a case, thus they would actually make less as they get experienced.

Get a lawyer if she does but don't hire one you see on a billboard or on TV (they have to advertise for a reason) and don't use a cut rate per hour lawyer, they'll cost you more in the long run. Check with the BBB and if you're really worried, try to befriend a worker at the county clerks office; they know all the lawyers in town. They may not give you advice, but it wouldn't hurt to try. Not all lawyers are crooked, but ignore this advice and you'll likely find one that is.

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You have got lots of good advice about lawyers and money.

You mentioned you have two kids. Keep in mind that there will actually be a time when the emotion/anger/frustration towards your wife is gone. It will be gone for her too. You both will move on. When the dust settles, it's the kids that are left with all the emotion and love for both of you. As hard as it is, you need to look past the bullshit and find a solution that benefits your children. It's not about you or her anymore.

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Keep in mind that there will actually be a time when the emotion/anger/frustration towards your wife is gone. It will be gone for her too. You both will move on. When the dust settles, it's the kids that are left with all the emotion and love for both of you. As hard as it is, you need to look past the bullshit and find a solution that benefits your children. It's not about you or her anymore.

I wish you would remind my ex of this... it's been 13 years since our divorce and she's still harboring anger/frustration/resentment.

Catbox-

If you happen to be in the Valdosta, GA areas I can recommend a shit hot lawyer who won't rob you and knows her shit.

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From my father-in-law's recent divorce experience:

- If you've got a joint cellphone plan, dump it NOW and get your own NEW plan. Somehow my ex-stepmother-in-law was able to get all my FIL's texts from his phone after they were already living separately, then she changed his voicemail password and started returning his voicemails. Got ugly quickly.

- Change your passwords on every email and social networking account you've got RIGHT NOW, to something she could never guess. See above...

Sorry to hear about your situation.

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Fantastic advice everyone and why this forum absolutely rules. Several of the steps you guys recommended are already underway, the lawyer stuff is great but other things like guns, bank accounts, specificity in all agreements, etc... I would never have thought of. For my kids’ sake I hope we don't have to go through with this but the roots of this were laid a long time ago...I guess time will tell.

Thanks again.

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try the forums at dadsdivorce.com read "the list" its not specific to military divorces but you can find some extremely useful info. and if you plan on retiring after 20, you better damn well read up on the USFSPA. my ex was awarded 27% of my retirement plus any annual COLA increases for the rest of her life.

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... my ex was awarded 27% of my retirement plus any annual COLA increases for the rest of her life.

You got off (STS) cheap. I know several dudes that lost 50%. One guy was so bitter at the bitch that he bailed at 19.5 years just so she couldn't get a dime. Gotta be really pissed off to do that one seeing how you're really hurting yourself at the same time. Wow.

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You got off (STS) cheap. I know several dudes that lost 50%. One guy was so bitter at the bitch that he bailed at 19.5 years just so she couldn't get a dime. Gotta be really pissed off to do that one seeing how you're really hurting yourself at the same time. Wow.

yeh i got off cheap i guess, our marriage overlapped 12 yrs out of my 20 yrs TIS-- thats why she only got 27%-- and thats why i didnt stay past 20. what alot of guys who get divorced while on active duty but who stay in and eventually retire don't know is that if the ex is awarded a % of your military retirement as community property in the divorce decree, the ex won't get her % of your retirement pay based off the rank you were when you got divorced-- her % of your retirement pay will be based of the rank at which you retire in.

the ex can also remarry another another military member, divorce them, and be awarded a portion of their retirement and end up collecting from 2 retirements. awesome huh?

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You got off (STS) cheap. I know several dudes that lost 50%. One guy was so bitter at the bitch that he bailed at 19.5 years just so she couldn't get a dime. Gotta be really pissed off to do that one seeing how you're really hurting yourself at the same time. Wow.

I've always heard rumors of people doing this, a flight engineer at my first squadron was threatening to do this but I lost his nerve at right before it was time to get out or be eligible to retire.

I thought 50% to the spouse was pretty much the standard after 10 years of marriage...is this not the case?

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One thing to keep in mind too about spousal support. Not sure what state you're in, but here in VA, I had a clause put in the settlement agreement that spousal support would end not only upon marriage or death, but if she "actively cohabitates with a domestic partner, or habitually cohabitates with another person in a relationship analogous to a marriage for one year". She lives with someone now, so I took her to court , and last month was my last payment. (No child support was involved, all our kids were over 18). I also had to make her beneficiary to $500K of my life insurance, but that was tied to support, and is no longer required.

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I thought 50% to the spouse was pretty much the standard after 10 years of marriage...is this not the case?

nope. most states use the hunt formula for computing division of retired military pay.

the significance of being married for 10 or more years is that the ex can apply for DIRECT PAYMENTS of your military retired pay from DFAS. so in essence you wont even see her awarded portion of that money, it will automatically be sent to her bank acct on the 1st of each month.

Edited by Q1Checkride

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