Another Dad

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Fried

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Another Dad
« on: December 17, 2015, 08:22:57 AM »
Just wanted to say hello in here.

UK-based father here, planning to start a separation early next year from my wife, who I believe may have BPD.

Two kids aged 5 and 8.

I am preparing for a difficult time, but it has reached the point where I think it is the best thing for the children and myself.

I have talked to a solicitor already. I have the advantage of planning ahead whilst my wife does not at present, I think, suspect I would ever ask for a separation. It will be a shock for her, I need to plan very carefully how to break it to her in a sensible way that minimises any crazy reaction.

I am planning to tell her first and then agree how to tell our children together. I need to constantly put their needs first.

It is really sad that it has come to this.

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coyote

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Re: Another Dad
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2015, 12:48:59 PM »
Fried,
It's a tough call but you have to do what is best for you and the kids. Please be sure you have all your ducks in a row before you break the news to her. Somewhere on this site is a "packing list" for leaving. You will probably want to have a place to leave to right after you talk to her. Good luck man. As I've said before you seem intelligent and capable. It won't be easy but you will get through this.
How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
 Wayne Dyer

The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?
Capt. Jack Sparrow

Choose not to be harmed and you wonít feel harmed. Donít feel harmed and you havenít been. -Marcus Aurelius

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divorcedfromnpd

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Re: Another Dad
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2015, 12:00:00 AM »
I would caution you about telling her first and then agreeing with her on how to tell the children together. How well have you reached agreements with her in the past about emotional issues?

My lawyer advised me not to tell her first. Instead I wrote her a letter to be delivered with the divorce papers. I hired a process server to come to the house to serve her while I had the kids out at a park. I then informed my kids what was happening regarding the separation and the divorce.

I am so glad that I took my lawyer's advice. I have met many divorced Dad's since then who tried to tell their PD wives first and ended up having their wive's file false domestic violence claims against them. Here in the U.S. all it takes is the allegation of violence and you will not be able to see your kids for 3 months.


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solidground

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Re: Another Dad
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2015, 04:46:40 AM »
Hello Fried,
I just read your first post and the ensuing thread.  Seems like you have made a lot of progress the last few weeks.    You seem intelligent, capable, caring and clear.  So I'm sure you will be able to cope, even if there are some tough times ahead.

Everyone's story is unique, but here at OOTF you will hear about the experiences of other people who have been through similar situations to yourself.  Especially that feeling like you are living in some kind of crazy parallel universe when coping with someone with a PD!  For me that was one of the most powerful aspects - discovering I was not alone  And that I was not crazy!

Members (including me) might offer advice re legal issues, based on our own experiences.  Just remember this is not professional advice, of course - always check with your own lawyer.  Or other sources.  e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau.

Here are some thoughts from me specifically on divorce, custody etc.....
(I am UK-based, father, divorced from suspected (by me) BPD woman)


First I recommend you get on Amazon and buy the Which Guide To Divorce or similar.
You probably have a rough idea of the law, but it is sensible to be as well-informed as possible.  This book is very readable and clear.  You don't want to spend expensive time with a solicitor explaining basic facts that you can read up on yourself.

I agree with divorcedfromnpd, that your plan for telling the children together may be rather optimistic.  Maybe your wife will be reasonable - but you have plenty of evidence that she might not.  So I think you need to plan for that contingency.  [I don't remember this, but my mum says my dad's reaction when she said she was leaving him was to immediately wake up us children and tell us in the most scary and distressing way he could.  He deliberately traumatised his children as an act of revenge against her.  Be warned!  My advice would be to tell her when they are not around.]
BUT - if you tell them on your own before you tell her, this could be seen by her and others as quite a hostile act.  So I would talk to her first.  Then see if you can agree how to tell the children together.  But if she goes crazy, have plan to be able to tell them alone asap.

In fact in general, probably the best way to handle her is to be as nice and reasonable as possible - but still standing up politely but firmly for your rights.  The courts seem to give credit to parents who try to be reasonable, and frown upon being deliberately difficult.

Before you set the wheels in motion, you need to work out where you stand on Custody ("Residence" it is called now I think.)  This is the most crucial question - so you need a plan.  Do you want to be the main carer?  Are you assuming she will be?  (Still the norm, though sexist).  What about shared custody?  What do you think SHE will want?   If at all possible, I would advise trying to negotiate an agreement, rather than a nasty (and expensive) legal battle.  There is a MEDIATION service available for this.  In fact, I think the courts may require you to attempt mediation initially. 

Being realistic, as a man in the UK, it is very unusual to get full custody.  There are numerous examples of courts ignoring blatant abuse/dysfunction by mothers.  It's changing slowly, but still very sexist.  BUT I believe 50/50 arrangements are becoming much more common.  So that might be more sensible to aim for.

Here is some absolutely brilliant advice my lawyer gave me -
Obviously there will be a period of separation before you get legally divorced.  During that time you will have to thrash out some interim arrangement for the children.  Whatever arrangement you have during that period will probably be assumed as the default arrangement when it eventually comes to court.  So make sure you start as you mean to go on.  And keep a record of all the time the children spend with you.   
(I'm not sure what the legal process is for resolving any disputes pre-divorce)

I hope this is useful to you.
I'll post some other thoughts on the other thread.

SG

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Fried

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Re: Another Dad
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2016, 11:20:07 AM »
Just wanted to say a huge thank you to solidground for your reply. My aim at present is to go for 50/50 residence. Your thoughts on how to break the news and have a backup plan for telling the kids on my own if necessary, is a really good idea.

One thing that will be tough, following the communication of the decision, will be living together in the same jointly-owned mortgaged house until we can sell it and move into separate living arrangements.