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#770244 - 07/08/15 11:35 PM 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce
TXUSMC Offline

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Registered: 07/08/15
Posts: 6
I have been active duty for 17 years and married 14 of them. After a ten month separation for the military my wife decided that she has been really unhappy the prior 13 years. We are treating each other completely respectfully but there is no intimacy and she says she has no place in her heart for me any longer. We have had a rough go with many ups and downs. I have suggested we go to counseling many times but she flat out refuses. We have two kids, 11 and six. We have both agreed that we can have a completely mature uncontested separation. My main concern is that because we have children, two homes and my pending retirement benefits that even if we draw up everything that we agree upon that the courts will not let us make those decisions. We will either file in Az or Tx, similar laws, she is an Az resident and I am from Tx. Can this happen to reduce cost and emotional stress?

The kicker is we are PCSing to Japan next week and she is going with me so that I don't have to be away from the kids, plus she is not ready to be on her own just yet. She has been a stay at home mom for 11 of the 14 years married. I agreed to pay for her car, pay all our bills, support her and the children with food and shelter. I asked her to get a job and start an account so that when she decides to go she will have a foundation of financial support. We will be married 17 years by then, assuming we don't reconcile but she is not entertaining that right now.

I want to protect myself and my children both financially and emotionally and enable her to be a supportive mother when all is said and done.

If I've left out any needed details please let me know.

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#770245 - 07/11/15 12:10 PM Re: 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce [Re: TXUSMC]
Redlegg Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/06
Posts: 27903
You have to figure out what you want to do, and you need to talk to a lawyer. Protection can mean different things to different people, but your retirement will considered divisible as property.

If you separate, outside of a court order, you may have a requirement to support her/the kids, from the Corps or the Navy, however that chain works. Every year you stay married, while on active duty, her share of your retirement gets larger. There are couple of ways it can be divided, it can be a dollar amount, which means she gets no COLA adjustments, or it can be a percentage with COLA adjustments. There are a couple of ways to determine the percentage, but it will be higher, the more years you are legally married, (separation counts as married for division purposes)

Do as much research as you can on USFSPA (Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act) as you can, talk to a lawyer. You will get an idea of what the division may look like, and you can proceed from there. Sounds like you have some time to work with it, but protecting, and fair may not look the same to you, as it does to others.

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#770246 - 07/11/15 07:01 PM Re: 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce [Re: Redlegg]
TXUSMC Offline

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Registered: 07/08/15
Posts: 6
I was really more curious about our ability to completely outline the conditions of the divorce without a judge getting involved.

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#770247 - 07/11/15 08:47 PM Re: 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce [Re: TXUSMC]
Redlegg Offline
Carpal \'Tunnel

Registered: 10/06/06
Posts: 27903
A judge is going to have to get involved at some point. We did a DIY type. We used one lawyer, and she drew everything up, as we agreed. She also said if we argued about anything in front of her, she would have to withdraw, because even though we were both there, she had to legally represent only one party. After everything was drawn up, still had to go to court, have a witness, and it was done. The property settlement no one batted an eye, it was filed and done with.

I think you can find what you want, as long as you have everything worked out. Best thing, talk to a lawyer, where you plan on filing when you get back.

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#770248 - 07/13/15 05:23 AM Re: 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce [Re: Redlegg]
TXUSMC Offline

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Registered: 07/08/15
Posts: 6
Thanks. I was just afraid even if we agreed on everything that big brother would double check it. I don't intend to screw anyone over, I just want out if that is what she wants.

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#770249 - 07/17/15 09:05 PM Re: 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce [Re: TXUSMC]
TJMH Online   content

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Registered: 07/17/15
Posts: 347
It sounds like you intend to stay married (at least legally if not emotionally) while you're in Japan, which is probably a good idea in terms of benefits, housing, etc.. Which also means that you have plenty of time to figure out the details of the divorce.

I believe that where you file for divorce (jurisdiction) typically has more to do with where you're currently living than what state you're a legal resident of. For civilians they're typically the same thing, but not so for military folks.

As for a settlement agreement there are some things like child support that state law usually governs and you and your ex won't have total say in, but most of the other stuff in terms of property division, spousal support and even division of military pension can be whatever the two of you agree to. As long as nothing is dishonest or blatantly unfair, "big brother" will figure that you're both adults and know what you're agreeing to.

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#770250 - 07/29/15 08:37 PM Re: 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce [Re: TJMH]
TXUSMC Offline

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Registered: 07/08/15
Posts: 6
That is what we intend to. Unfortunately she believes we should begin seeing other people before the divorce, which is a no-no per the UCMJ, but no real implications for her. It's going to be a very rough three years.

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#770251 - 07/30/15 09:56 PM Re: 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce [Re: TXUSMC]
TJMH Online   content

enthusiast

Registered: 07/17/15
Posts: 347
UCMJ aside, living in the same quarters and seeing other people sounds like it would be very difficult for both of you not to mention very confusing for your kids at the age they're at. Do they know about the pending divorce? If that's her position you're going to need to have a very serious discussion about ground rules.

It sounds like you're kind of bitter about the situation and that's understandable. But I'd offer two pieces of advice:

1. First priority should be to do what's best for the kids in all cases.

2. Treat the divorce itself like a business transaction. Try to be fair and above board and don't try to spite or punish your ex no matter how badly you think she's behaved. Deal with the personal, emotional parts of the divorce separate from the business parts, and I'd recommend getting a therapist to help you with that.


Edited by TJMH (07/30/15 09:57 PM)

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#770252 - 08/02/15 03:39 AM Re: 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce [Re: TJMH]
TXUSMC Offline

recently joined

Registered: 07/08/15
Posts: 6
Our children do not know anything official but they are intuitive. I'm sure they sense something. I am grieving separately and have enrolled in counseling. I have already had a discussion with her about ground rules if she intends to see other people. Any chances of reconciliation would be hampered by her doing so as I see this as an insult and would take it very hard.

The business side has been laid out in discussion but not on paper. We are using all savings and proceeds from home and vehicle sales to get out of debt then anything left over will be split 50/50. I told her I would take care of household expenses while she is in Japan but I expect her to get a job to begin saving for her planned departure as I will not fund that. I need the financial separation so that I can start dealing with my emotional and eventual physical separation.

I do not prefer divorce. I prefer reconciliation but she is not willing at this point. I'm close with my sister, who is close with my wife, but she has helped me to see things that I may have become numb to which is helping me stop idolizing my wife and our relationship. The truth is that we have some significant differences and my wife has grown and changed noticeably to others. I'm doing my best, one day at a time.

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#770253 - 08/04/15 03:33 AM Re: 17 years active, 14 years married, facing divorce [Re: TXUSMC]
lessalinas2 Offline

recently joined

Registered: 08/03/15
Posts: 4
My husband is currently seeking a divorce from me because he wants to "find himself" and claims i trap him due to his duty to take care of me and feels he doesnt take care of himself. He is army and we have been married only 2 1/2 years and I basically get nothing from this dissolution of marriage. However he has given me the option to stay legally married as long as I feel, in order to gain $600/month in BAH support. I will not be receiving anything else besides some furniture. No kids and no real estate. I currently finished my AA-General and had plans to transfer to university. However when I move back to my hometown I will have no car, not a lot of money, and i will have to pretty much start my life all over. Also by weird circumstances I only have my driving permit and this hinders me currently with him pretty much having to take me everywhere and we only have one car.
He however shows no guilt or remorse because he will have that steady paycheck/home/support provided within the military.
Do you believe I should ask for extra?
I really related to your post even though we are in two different situations because I also do not want my marriage to end however he refuses to try and make things work. In my opinion he is basically forcing me into this divorce that I absolutely do not want even after how poorly he has treated me since moving out.

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