I've been running a company with my ex since 2010. In 2011 she gave up her career to work for the company as HR, payroll and book-keeper. We've both enjoyed £6-figure salaries until this year. Last year I gave early warnings on failure of the company due to 3 staff (of 5 total) leaving within a month of each other. The workload remained high and all landed on me. Up to that point I used to enjoy a life a David Lloyd playing regular tennis and do all the morning school runs for our daughter. My ex at that time was drinking heavy and I tried many ways to get her to reduce. She was diagnosed with IBS 6 years ago and says a glass of wine at night makes her feel better. Then says a hangover in the morning is 10x worse for IBS sufferers. So one of the moves I did, as advised by father-in-law to reduce her late night red wines, is to make her responsible for the morning school runs. Make her get up early. This worked for a bit, but then the drink and bad moods kicked in. We bought an affluent house 2 years ago with 8 stables. She was meant to rent out those stables thus bringing income to the house and reducing the financial burden on me. She argues with everyone, so of course we had Liveries come and go. Now we have none. So everything is all on me. I was working 18 hour days just to keep the bills going, she was going to horse riding shows and leaving me at weekends to maintain the 14 acre grounds. I'm a self-made tree surgeon, Menage harrower, gardener, house maintenance guy, decorator while also running the family IT business and taking our daughter out at weekends doing things I've always done. I learned to live on 4 hours sleep, until one day, which is one of many, last May I finished work at 3am to find her asleep on the living room floor next to an empty bottle of red. I looked in the recycle bin and counted 8 bottles that week. She usually hovers between 4-5 bottles a week, but that week was plain and simply, more. I already expressed separating in October last year due to her excessive drinking and lack of family role support. We separated for 3 days back then but she promised to reduce. So we tried to work it out. As you can tell, we got to May and I couldn't carry on in this way any more. I said "separate" again, and said the only way we can work this out is if she adopts a 2 glass limit for life. It's fatigue that is getting in the way, the wine is clearly a contributor. Sort the wine and the rest will be easier to tackle, was my thinking. But she said no. She offered 6 months zero booze to "prove" it's not the booze. I said no, it's got to be a life change. We've tried many other ways, this is it. So we're deep in to divorce proceedings. The usual expected nastiness from her to me continues, spitefully were 2 occasions. One where we agreed a long time ago that a personal loan I took our for new carpets would result in property revaluation increase and therefore swallow it up in the next remortgage. She looked at me and said that debt was in my name and does not agree to putting that on the mortgage. The spiteful look in her eyes when she said "you better work harder than hadn't you" made me react with words only where I pointed a finger at her and told her that's exactly the behaviours that's led to this divorce, and walked away. She told her Solicitor that she was "Frightened" and now left unsafe with me. I've never ever lifted a finger to hard anyone or anything. I'm as soft natured as a person can be. The other time was when we agreed she's in charge of all food budget for our daughter, she when I was doing the school run recently, there was no usual breakfast in for her (slice of ham and bread), so I asked her to ask her mother (was still in bed). Waking in a mood, she summoned me and asked why I couldn't feed out daughter on route to school in the car. Highly unusual I thought, however she then told me i was no longer allowed to do school runs. Citing, if I can't be bothered feeding her then she'll take her to school. She told our daughter this, which I felt wasn't right, so I stepped in and told our daughter that I want to take her and that her mother is banning me. And that I love her so much, and sorry, so so sorry. My ex calmed down then after, sensibly, like I was always going to do, was offer cereal, which she accepted and ate. I took her to school and we parents both apologised to our daughter, These are the 2 nasty moments of any merit. I get called names daily. I sleep at the home all the time and my ex has found new friends and goes out a lot, sleeps away 2/3 of the nights over last 2 months. Loud music is often her thing. She has a Solicitor who has advised her to do very little, trying to create a norm of "unemployed wife who was always catered for". I'm not a rich footballer, Our business isn't able to make profit. The last 4 months are loss making. When I speak of dealing with the here and now, she always replies, scared of her future, not the now. If find this infuriating. Leaves me in a situation of inability to do anything, when I can see clear steps of able to do things about it i.e. both of us work. But she won't work. She is 43 years old, says that she's been out too long and can't get a job. I know she's deliberately self-sabotaging her CV but can't prove it. She's purely doing nothing, because she's been advised to do nothing. She wants every penny from our property, which is for sale, saying, for her to provide a home for our daughter, as primary carer, she needs as much equity as possible. She's then saying she has seen professional person and has a certificate saying she is incapable of work due to the IBS. I'm unsure if this is true. But she's after incapacity benefit or something like that. She also says our daughter needs to be in her primary care resident bed during school weekdays, and that I'm "allowed" to pick her up after school but have to take her home after. Who knows how far that might be, it doesn't sound like a practical and workable solution at all. It says to me that she's just after as much Child Maintenance as possible, using the term "sleep" in her favour. Then she wants Spousal maintenance. Basically trying to obtain as close to her £6-figure earnings she used to get. Yet she doesn't want to work for the company any more and now she is declaring herself incapable. Aside from all this, I have started to date another woman, it's very new, but my ex is expressing it as though it's a fully fledged relationship, and it's very far from that. I'm human and not had an intimate relationship for over a year. That means my ex and myself never touched each other in the 7 months prior to separation. For this reason, she's trying to use anything this woman does with me, as against me. She is a long term friend at David Lloyd, someone whom I've known 2 years ago and her child was in the same tennis lessons as my daughter. Now he's very happy we are back at David Lloyd. We rejoined David Lloyd 'after separation' as a means to give us all something new and happy back in our lives. for example, I arranged a play date with my daughters friend, prior to any adult relationship, friends only, and this was accepted by my ex. They had a play date at my home. My brother visited that weekend to help me with the gardening chores while my ex went showjumping for the weekend. For this reason, the mother of the boy stayed to help with the gardening. This is in fact the very act and reason why I then (after) said ok, but keep it low key and away from the kids. That meant a meal date was arranged. I received a letter from her Solicitor saying they can't believe I had the audacity to bring another woman in to the family home. She did gardening, for 6 hours while her son played inside and out, and then had an Indian dinner with me and my brother and then left. Like you'd expect. My Solicitor is taken aback a little by the unprofessionalism. So, as a result, my ex is building up a case saying she is "too scared" to sleep at home, I'm making her "mentally unstable" by pointing out her parental failures (basically I do all the house chores - she's saying i need to be far away for her to operate as a parent), and her IBS is unable to work. All this means she basically trying to destroy me, reduce my access to my daughter, and gain as much money as possible, for as long as possible. To her, it's all about money... to me, I just want to keep my daughter in her private school and equally shared between her parents. I wouldn't want to remove her mother from her. I believe once all this hate goes, behind will return a good mother, one without hate. That would be a nice day. I'm not materialistic. But, with all these "building up a case to destroy me", I'm wondering if I should really be the one going for Primary Carer role? If this is the picture she is choosing to build up for herself, then surely, because I'm willing to continue working to do the best I can to provide a new home, with a bedroom for our daughter, and with my work being basically self employed, I have flexible working so no harm to school runs and usual times marked for child care. I'm after a sensible work-life balance and now believe, so long as I continue to do right and be right, then perhaps I am the better Primary Carer. Last piece of information... my ex-s father is wealthy and can win any financial backing over my affordability. I have £500 a month to live on. My ex receives the same, officially, but I know for sure there's a boost feed she getting from somewhere. Another point... she will not drop the price of the property on the market saying that directly affects her assets. So no. And that she's willing to let this go on for 2 years, to get the sale value. Our business might not last that long. So I'm sure it's all scare tactics to make me sign an agreement that gives my ex loads of money. I need a home myself, is all I say. And then I need to work for "today".
I really want, what's fair... especially regards my daughter. I'm the one who always does things with her, especially days out and every weekend (for example, we garden together).
Any advice from anyone able to hear my story, would be a warm welcome. It's hard alone. I have no time, she has all the time in the world.
wow i was taken aback reading all of that. 14 acre grounds/stables. and now living off £500 a month.i have no experience on the nasty divorce proceeding side of things. all i can suggest is act now to get child arrangements in place first, before your ex starts using your kids as a weapon and says she won't sort out kids access until the house sale/assets is sorted first. you need a c100 Form for child arrangements court order. your doing all the heavy lifting and looking after the kids better. so you should eithe aim for sole custody or a 50/50 shared care court order. if your able to get 50/50, then theres no child maintenance to pay.
also think about signing yourself up to the Child maintenance service. your self-employed so it will not be as bad as being a perm employee. from some of the cases I read, the child maintenance thats arranged during divorce proceedings is very nasty and draconian. you will definitely get a fairer deal by paying £20 and signing yourself up with CMS.
Fathers do not get 50/50, its very rare and not sure where you got that from. Best to settle matters out of court, if you go to court they will emotionally batter you and make you look like the criminal. Most cases children stay with the mother and they take the fathers money..
yes it is always better to settle matters outside court. but not all ex's are reasonable like that. some are deranged and give dads trouble when it comes to seeing kids. e.g mine refused all overnights with my kids, so i didnt have much choice. there are a minority of dads on here that were able to get 50/50 shared care or sole custody. but they did say it involved lot of hearings and money.
my situation is after ex ran off with kids, i was allowed to see them every saturday for couple of hours. but ex said no to overnights as they are not ready for that apparently. the times i was seeing the kids was changing on a weekly basis (reducing), so i had enough and took this to court. ex raised allegations as well as lot of false rubbish.
i admitted to cafcass the stuff that did happen, and that it was a few years ago. cafcass didn't see any child safeguarding issues so they made a load of recommendations and they were in my favour. only rubbish part was cafcass did not recommend mid-week overnights, I assume after being swayed by my ex, or because of kids ages; 5 and 2. so if i didn't go to court i would see summers going by, and not being able to have decent days out with my kids.
Typical, she will claim domestic abuse etc. You do know they encourage parents to make domestic abuse? How long has you case been going on for? So you don't have interim contact order?
You will be very lucky to get more than 1 night per week and most likely you will have supervised access where you pay money to the contact centre. 50% of courts orders are not enforced or fathers give up after they run out of money. This is a one sided system.
court is over. first hearing was end of jan. and 3rd/final hearing was mid may. ex did try and get me to see kids in contact centre and pay for it lol. didnt work. why should i do that when theres no risk to the children. i got a standard arrangement. fri-sun every other weekend. same with mid-week contact but for few hours after school. 2 weeks during summer holidays and ex has to give up passports when i want to take them abroad. i didnt ask for half of school holidays as i would not be available for most of it. am self-employed.
yes i know that solicitors like to encourage women to make allegations, so that they can get legal aid and start doing work for them. my ex did it. i grassed her up to legal aid agency and had it revoked.
Firstly thank you everyone for your replies. Every case is unique and different, I believe mine is too. For example, she's claiming "incapable" as diagnosed IBS. Her friend is a registered Psychiatrist so wouldn't be hard for her to obtain an official report. My question there is, why is she still working as book keeper, HR, pay roll manager duties if she already has "Incapability certificate"... and how come she has been able to enjoy riding her horses at home and at shows? Lastly... she has been getting income from the stables over the last 2 years. That's been her thing. Even though she kept annoying the liveries and they usually left after 6 months, there was still a steady income for her from all that. I never received any of that income, it was all handled through her and by her. I don't ride, scared of horses in fact. But still, she ran a cash in hand operation. I'm afraid to tell fraud people this because it'll open a huge can of worms against her, and no doubt investigations would happen and then a large bill is stamped on her, which can only be paid through the proceeds from the house sale. So ultimately, would hurt us both. She knows full well I'm a good Dad, I have taken her out ever weekend while she enjoyed her horses. It's only since divorce has she suddenly become "incapable" so no longer rides her horses properly.
Would you advice going nasty? Telling fraud people of her announcement of unemployed wife and showing her earnings through my company and also proving other source of income? Does this hurt us both? Does it really get me what I want to achieve, which is for most Dad's, I believe my daughter would benefit the most from having the best life with 50/50 of both parents. I don't want to take her entirely away from her mother, nor do I want to opposite. So... would you... open the can of worms?