Question for divorced folks with adult kids

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11JB68

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Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« on: November 13, 2019, 08:30:47 AM »
I keep trying to picture what it would be like if I were divorced from uOCPDh.
We have one son, 22.
H is very controlling.
One of our biggest sources of fighting is him being controlling towards ds and my'not backing him up'.
H usually 'wins'.
Basically ds is sort of indebted to us re college funds/loans etc.
I'm just wondering how this plays out of we're divorced.
I guess I picture that ds would then be free to have a relationship with me separate from his dad, could put space between him and his dad if he wants.
If the divorce agreement said h needs to contribute to ds ed expenses then he'd have very little leverage to tell himwhat to do. ? Is this just a fantasy of mine??

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athene1399

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Re: Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2019, 09:32:00 AM »
I don't know how it works when the kids are older. My guess would be there won't be anything in the agreement that h supports DS in college unless he and you both agree to put it in there (i'm even unsure on saying that. Since DS is an adult, I don't know if they would put anything in an agreement. I don't know enough about that type of situation). If you and uOCPDh both work and make comparable wages, neither would have to pay alimony to the other. SO had the choice of taking half of BPDxw's retirement plan since he didn't have one, but he chose not to (they made comparable wages, but since she had a retirement plan and he didn't, he could have taken half of that). If the student loan is in both your names (you and h), then he would have to pay half (I'm guessing). If the loan is in DS's name, I don't think h would be ordered to pay half (also a guess). Discuss with an L to be sure.

With SD18, BPDxw and SO are only ordered to split medical costs only until SD is 21. SO is the custodial guardian, but chose to not get child support (SD was about 10 when they split). SO and I pay for all of SD's college expenses (What her loans didn't cover). We paid for her advance courses in high school. Since they aren't required, xw doesn't have to split the cost with us (I believe that's what our L said). xw did split the cost of one advance course for SD, but that was it (she probably took at least 6 courses. It was probably more.). xw never split the cost of another one with us, so it's just been SO and I paying for it. IME, that depends on the ex. I'm sure there are exes out there who do split it.

But also, I don't want you feeling stuck with h becasue you don't think he'll pay anything towards DS if you divorce. Maybe see what other financial options could be available. Maybe there is a financial advisor you can discuss this with. I know I could apply for an income driven repayment plan where they decreased my monthly loan payments based on my wages at work. It dropped the monthly payments by about $200. But I took out the loan in my name. My parents didn't cosign or anything.  So if the loan is just in DS's name, there could be options available to make the payment lower. If they have a website, check there for options.


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Penny Lane

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Re: Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2019, 10:24:27 AM »
Here is what I learned about a divorce decree after getting a first row seat to my husband's divorce. The rules are only as enforceable as 1. you can control whether they are followed and 2. you are willing to go back to court.

So, a decree that says your husband has to pay X amount per year toward your son's college, that would be tough. If he simply doesn't follow it, your recourse is to go back to court. That is expensive (thus draining more money that could go toward son's college) and by the time it's resolved the payment will have been long past due.

But! You can also come up with creative solutions that remove his ability to not follow the rules. For example, rather than dividing some assets, maybe set up a fund that comes out of the marital assets as part of the divorce that is to only go to your son's college education (and ideally only you have control of it). Or maybe the money just goes directly to your son, with the understanding that there's no more coming after that. If he's responsible enough to make it work? Or if I'm misreading it, maybe the decree contains language that all joint credits to your son are forgiven?

There is a sad fact of divorcing a PD when there are kids involved. You are no longer there to be a buffer. And that can make it harder on the kids. But it can also be good in some ways. Your son can see his dad for who he is, without you. He can enjoy one stable parent without interference. Your son is an adult and he can decide if he wants to have  relationship with his father and what that relationship looks like. I think it will be freeing to both of you, to not have your whole relationship be focused on appeasing your H and saving each other from him.

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11JB68

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Re: Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2019, 12:12:37 AM »
Thanks for your input and feedback

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11JB68

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Re: Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2019, 12:20:33 AM »
Ds has some small loans in his name. Due to the 'efc' and requirement via FAFSA that we contribute, we have additional loans. My name is first, then uPDh, then ds.
We agreed we'd help.
I do have questions about the finances of this if I divorce.
My bigger question here though is, whether ds would find he has more freedom from his dad's controlling attitude if we were divorced. The way things are now, we are a' family unit' and h expects me to back him up.

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athene1399

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Re: Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2019, 09:25:53 AM »
IMO that's difficult to predict. I think that depends on how well DS can enforce his own boundaries, where he is living (or if he's at home now, which parent he would live if if you divorced), if he feels pressured to do what uOCPDh wants, if he limits contact with uOCPDh after the divorce, ect. Maybe the best way to find out is to ask DS. Like find out if he feels pressured by uOCPDh to do what he wants. Does DS wish he could have space from uOCPDh? I don't know if asking him these questions is possible. Just throwing it out there.

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HotCocoa

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Re: Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2019, 09:36:02 AM »
If you are thinking about divorce, you need to have a consult with an attorney.  I can't stress that enough. 
In my state, my ex does not have to pay any college costs.
Once they hit 18, they are considered adults.
Son can choose to be with who he wants.
I would suggest you stop fighting about your son.  I believe your husband knows what a trigger it is for you.
Do what is best for you in your world.  If you want to move away and have son live with you, then you need to do hard work to make that happen.
Start looking around at places you can afford, look into the costs of divorce attorneys, get all the information from every account you jointly share.
I used to fantasize I was divorced because living with my ex was stressing me out to the point of physical problems.  However, it is also one of the most painful experiences of my life.  Well worth it, but very difficult to get through. 
But please don't make your son feel like he is the reason you had to get divorced.  Do it for you and your peace of mind, no matter what you choose. 
The smarter you become about narcissistic abuse, the crazier the narcissist will say you are.

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Kat54

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Re: Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2019, 12:37:11 PM »
I have older children, 24 my son, and 22 year old daughter. They have stayed in the family home with my ex, who unfortunately is the PD and very controlling, and a bit abusive. He's more verbally abusive.  Which I had a huge guilt thing with leaving them behind. I chose to move out because he would never leave and I had a ton of family support and if I stayed I would not of survived in home separation.  But they are both adults now and out of college and hoping they will move out on their own soon.  But I figured once I'm out and have established a new home they will see me for who I am.

Daughter was in her senior year of college  when I moved out and we both, without involving the lawyers, contributed to the costs the last year. I paid the remaining balance on her tuition and my ex paid her housing and food costs as she lived off campus. They were considered adults so the kids were not a consideration in the divorce, even though they have stayed in the home with him.

They already see I'm happy, and relaxed. Once I buy a home by the spring they will visit or they can stay, it will be their second home, and it will be vastly different from my ex's.  No anger, yelling or barking at them, not being controlling!  They both know my ex's bad behavior is not normal but its all they have known. 

Good luck to you.  The process is very hard but its been worth every second. I not only did it for myself, it was also for my children. I wanted to give them a safe home from my ex if they choose.

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11JB68

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Re: Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2019, 12:51:16 AM »
Thx all. I've consulted 3 different lawyers. Have gathered some good info. I would primarily leave for me, but also as some have said to give my son a pleasant home to visit.

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Poison Ivy

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Re: Question for divorced folks with adult kids
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2019, 11:59:38 AM »
It's hard to predict how anyone, even (especially?) adult children who have challenging relationships with one or both parents, will behave after their parents get divorced.  In your situation, 11JB68, it seems that spending less or no time with your son's father will be good for you, so I suggest focusing on that, rather than on the effects on your son.  If you're happier and stronger, that will likely be good for him, too.