I recently initiated the process of seperation with my wife. There was marital fault on her part, but I understand that does not really affect the outcome of my ED question here now… We are still currently living in the same house, and here’s why. . .
We pretty much agree on everything, 50/50 physical and legal custody of our children, etc. because we have both been very active in their lives and day-to-day care. But the one thing we do not agree on is who should get the house. It is my desire to keep the home and continue to make the payments so that there is something that stays the same in my childrens’ lives. I want as little to change as possible, recognizing that much is going to change and that is unavoidable to a large degree. I have been the sole provider of income throughout most of the marriage, and I understand that in order to keep the house I must buy out my wife’s portion of the equity, which I believe at this point is around 16k - 18k- another appraisal is likely, and I’m fine with that- although the value is likely to drop given the economy (last appriasal was about a year ago). I have proposed taking on the car payment for the car she drives and paying that off… That loan has a balance right now of just shy of 24k, so in my mind she’s not getting a bad deal there. She is not in favor of this and wants to either “find a way” where she can be the one to remain in the home, or sell the home altogether (again given the economy, that’s likely to take forever). She is concerned how it will look to our children if she is the one to leave, and that no matter what we tell them that she is going to look bad to them for this, etc. I mean, I get what she is saying, and I sympathise, but I do not want to lose this house and have my children out of the only place they have known their entire lives (my oldest was 3 when we moved here, but still), and I would never speak badly of my kid’s mom to my kids, I wouldn’t do that to them, and I wouldn’t allow anyone else to either.
She believes that I can be made to pay for the mortgage, and be the one who has to move out. I do not believe this is fair considering I will have to then pay two mortgages (or 1 mortgage, one rent) and I would be completely unable to do that and take care of day care, other debts I will be taking on, etc. I have already filled in the NC child support calculator here, and it comes to $780 / month. I have not yet put in anything for child care expenses that I will most likely have to pay for, and that would, I believe, only lower my CS obligation payable to her… She thinks I could be forced to pay additional child support to make up the shortfall to make the mortgage payment (which is about $1,550 / month). I do not believe this is correct, but is there something to her position? I also worry that when she does get a job (she is seeking administrative / office type positions now I believe, until she finishes school in a few years), and we agree that she “give it a go” with taking on the mortgage here, that if she falls behind later that I will be put into a position to either help her out, or my kids lose their house at that point. I just feel I am in the better financial position to be able to live here, and I am willing to do it. It would be much easier for me financially to agree to sell the house, and go live in a cheaper house or apartment elsewhere (although the sale would take who knows how long, we need many repairs on the house before it’s going to be good enough to market), but I want to keep this house for my kids, not to make her look bad.
I have 100% proof of her infidelity, I have not pursued many options that I could have because I do not want this to be a nasty process, but I feel a bit like my good nature is being taken advantage of here. She has told me numerous times she “refuses to be the one to leave”… I have absolutely no desire to “screw” her out of anything or alienate her from our children… I just want to be seperated for the best benefit of everyone, but I do not want to be taken advantage of in the meantime.
I have said I will not agree to a written alimony requirement, given the marital fault. Nonetheless, I have offered to help her with a security deposit and maybe some money for a first month’s rent as I am able to help her get on her feet, but I cannot break myself in order to keep her afloat in this house… I believe with my CS and her income from a job, she should be able to afford a nice apartment or townhome somewhere real close by. I am extremely flexible in what I am willing to do to help her out because I know she’s concerned about what is going to happen, how things are going to get done, etc. so I do not feel I am being unreasonable here.
We are going to seek a collaborative divorce and try to seek an answer to this at the meeting hopefully later this week, but I would appreciate any legal opinions or personal experience that I can get in the meantime. I make decent money but I am not rich by any means, so I am nervous myself about how I am going to do some of this stuff and not fall too far behind myself.
Thanks for this forum, it’s an excellent resource.