How much coordination?

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Lauren17

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How much coordination?
« on: August 18, 2021, 12:22:29 PM »
I need some advice.
I have filed. We are currently living separately in the same house. UNPDh is full on love bombing and has been for weeks.
I have three paid professionals on my support team: therapist, attorney, financial advisor. Two are encouraging me to start working through division of property and parenting plan with H on our own. The third is saying to work through attorneys only. 
My fear is that when the love bombing ends, any wishes Iíve expressed, or any plans made now, will be used as a weapon. Those will be the very things he goes after.
On the other hand, I want I be the cooperative person here. And I keep thinking I should take advantage of his current ďgenerosityĒ while I can.
What have been your experiences?
Iíve cried a thousand rivers. And now Iím swimming for the shoreĒ (adapted from Iíll be there for you)

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stcroix1979

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Re: How much coordination?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2021, 01:07:57 PM »
Hi Lauren,
I hope you are doing ok, thank you for sharing. I think your use of quotes around "generosity" says a lot. And I can relate. My ex could be so incredibly generous, thoughtful and loving during lovebombing phase of the cycle. And during this time of no contact I have to stop myself when I think back to those good times. Because they were always followed by something dark and cruel. Mine would bring pets into our life and then threaten to re-home them if I did not comply with his wishes. I think you are right to be wary. 

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Penny Lane

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Re: How much coordination?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2021, 03:51:01 PM »
I think both your points here are valid concerns.

If it were me, I would want to get going on creating an agreement. Because if you can't come to an agreement the court process can drag out f.o.r.e.v.e.r. and might as well start now. And you can maybe take advantage of the love bombing like you said, although my guess is that the good behavior won't extend that far. However, there's a really good reason to wait, too, which is that if you think he's going to escalate when you start working on a plan, it might be a good idea to wait until you're in separate houses.

Have you considered going through a mediator? You might get the best of both worlds. It might get him to the table without triggering bad behavior, giving you a chance to take advantage of love bombing for a little longer. I would lean toward having some professional help here rather than trying to negotiate all on you own. If nothing else, I wouldn't trust that something he agrees to with you will be something he actually signs.

I think it is very very smart to play your cards close to your vest. Don't let him know what your sticking points are. In fact I would throw out a few asks that you don't care about at all so that he can feel like he "won" in some areas. Having the distance of going through lawyers or a mediator also gives you some room to have a poker face, so to speak, and not give away what you really want the most.

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Lauren17

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Re: How much coordination?
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2021, 12:39:38 PM »
Thank you for your responses.
Oddly enough, I cannot leave until weíve negotiated. And I donít want to negotiate until Iím out.
Another PD double bind?
Latest development is that stbxh wonít  negotiate unless a third party is present. Iím trying to take that as a positive and not focus on the fact heíll use it as a delaying tactic. 
Iíve cried a thousand rivers. And now Iím swimming for the shoreĒ (adapted from Iíll be there for you)

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PlantFlowersNotWeeds

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Re: How much coordination?
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2021, 06:04:51 PM »
In my situation, I decided to immediately avoid mediation/collaboration.  My husband is unable to discuss anything with me.  He tried to get me to do mediation, but I saw this as his way to delay and control the situation.  As he has basically sucked me dry financially, I have more to loose - therefore,  I need representation.

Do you feel like you can trust your inner voice?  What is it telling you?

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Kat54

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Re: How much coordination?
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2021, 07:58:36 PM »
I would listen to the financial advisor and the lawyer. And the love bombing, take advantage of that while you can.
Mine delayed and tried to control with lawyers, which dragged it out for a bit, but going the lawyer route will be pretty costly when he starts trying to control and possibly stall, if you think that could happen. But To go with a mediator I think both sides would have to be very cooperative and in total agreement in my opinion.
With my ex it did end up costing him $2,000 to me in lawyer costs for stalling and being very uncooperative.

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Lauren17

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Re: How much coordination?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2021, 12:37:17 PM »
Can I trust my inner voice? I think so. But sheís pretty frightened.
My instinct is that he will find a way to retaliate sooner or later. It will probably be done by picking a ridiculous point and refusing to budge on it.
The local laws here require mediation prior to a court date.
I think that stbxh is frightened of court and of court appointed mediator. Those people have control over him. So I think heíll use negotiations to try and manipulate me. But the courts have given a clear end date to negotiations. For that, Iím thankful.
Now, what can I do to prepare to protect myself going into negotiations?
Iíve cried a thousand rivers. And now Iím swimming for the shoreĒ (adapted from Iíll be there for you)

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Penny Lane

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Re: How much coordination?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2021, 02:23:38 PM »
I wrote this earlier this year on another post, but switch up the genders and I think it applies here.

1. Be clear in your own head about what is your absolute bottom line on all things that are likely to be in dispute. What is the minimum parenting time you will accept, realistically. Split of assets, how the house is valued, child support (your state probably has guidelines on child support, so there may or may not be wiggle room there). All that stuff. Then figure out where you would like to end up - what do you think is truly fair to both of you? Then the final category: your nice-to-haves, that in your ideal world would be included in the plan. What is your pie-in-the-sky dream for the divorce decree? Keep it mostly realistic. In all these categories think about things like provisions of the parenting plan - do you want to have a binding agreement that the kids will go to a certain school, be raised in a certain faith, have drop offs and picks ups happen at a certain place, do you want to restrict access to new significant others (although that ship has probably sailed). Who is in charge of insurance?

2. So, you know what you want and you will accept. Figure out from your lawyer (if you don't have a lawyer, get one, this is not the area to save money) what a judge is most likely to order if the case goes to trial. So you know if your asks are at all reasonable or not. For example if a judge is likely to order LESS than your minimum - then either you need to lower your minimum, or you need to be prepared to negotiate something else in exchange for it. If a judge is very likely to give you your pie in the sky asks - there's no need to ask for anything less for that, however, you might negotiate it down in exchange for something you want more.

3. Then, figure out what is motivating your ex. In DH's case this is 1. money and 2. fear of public embarrassment, for example in the form of her information becoming public as part of a divorce record or in the form of not having custody of the kids and other people finding out why.

4. At some point, you will make her an offer and like I said earlier this is likely to become the basis of the final agreement, even if it doesn't come for several months or years. My recommendation, depending on the situation is: File in court and ask for your pie in the sky. Include at least several things that you would like to have but don't really care about, and bonus points if they are something you don't care about that she will REALLY care about. This will make her worried that she will lose those things and it will give her something to negotiate out and feel like she has a "win." Then send her the settlement agreement that is category 2 - what you think is fair.

5. At some point you will probably have to go to mediation. You most likely won't get anything good out of it, but it's nice to know your bottom line. Sometimes the negotiations in mediation end up being the basis of the order, even if you don't get it agreed to right there.

6. No matter how close or far you seem to a deal, keep pushing the court case forward. Don't push back a deadline because you are thisclose to an agreement. DH did this several times and she kept moving the goal posts. Finally, when he refused to keep delaying the hearing, she settled for exactly what they'd agreed to months earlier. And be prepared to go to court - no matter how reasonable you are, and how many concessions you offer, she might just not be willing to engage meaningfully. You might lose in court, but in so many ways that's better than being jerked around forever with no end in sight.

And an addendum:
DH's ex likes to throw in a curveball at the end every single time. Like everything's agreed to, they just need to sign off ... and she wants more than 50% parenting time that they'd already agreed to (and a corresponding increase in child support). Or, in one case, she wants pictures of how we clean our house. I think these asks are an attempt to exert control. But that's why it's important to know your minimum and to be prepared to go to court, even if it seems like you're on the verge of settling. Because you don't want to give in on parenting time below your minimum just because you aren't ready for the next scheduled court date. (He did send her pictures of how we clean her house - I don't know what she got out of that, or what she thought she was going to see). She often does fold on those curveballs, though, if he's ready to walk away from the deal.

The leverage he has over her might not be anything court related. If she's filing now there might be a reason that she wants it done quickly. One thing that's come up more than once on these boards is that a PD ex gets a new girlfriend or boyfriend, and all of a sudden they're motivated to get the divorce finalized. (Sometime because they've told the new significant other that they're already divorced). That kind of external pressure is just as good or better than the in-court pressure of, say, not wanting to submit discovery of their finances! If they seem motivated to settle, jump on that.

One other thing on finances: Try to avoid any agreement that requires her to act. For example, DH's ex was supposed to roll over half of an account she had, and she was supposed to take on half of the debt that was on a credit card in his name. That process was a NIGHTMARE. It took years, she didn't do either of those things until well after he and I had been dating. She just simply would not sign the forms, and he couldn't do it without her help even with the court order in hand. He finally got her to do both by asking her parents to help him out. But not before she'd pulled some money from that account that was supposed to be joint/split in half. If possible, set up financial agreements so that he can unilaterally enact the provisions. Like, DH bought her out of the house. In retrospect maybe he could have agreed to take on more of the debt in exchange for her getting less cash, and she'd keep the full amount in the shared account. Or maybe he could've at least brought the paperwork to the final divorce meeting and had her sign it right there. Actually, this probably goes for any agreement at all, finances or no - it's practically impossible to get her to do pretty much anything even if she's required by the court order.

He probably will try to retaliate, but you have leverage too. All divorces, even with the most difficult PDs, come to an end one way or another. That's why you keep pushing the case toward court - you might end up there anyway, plus it gives you more leverage to get him to settle.

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Stillirise

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Re: How much coordination?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2021, 01:06:33 PM »
All of what Penny Lane said!  My tactic was to let him see I wasnít afraid of court, mediation, or any other thing that got me across the finish line.  After a few false starts, I stuck to a firm boundary that I would not negotiate with him outside of the supervision of someone else, even if it was as simple as ccíing my lawyer, when replying to an email from him.

Also, as advised, be solid on your bottom line.  Know there are some things that you may want, but be prepared to cut to the bone, to get what you really need. One thing my ex thought he could use for leverage was thinking I wanted certain things, like the house.  My bottom line, never shown anywhere but here, was freedom from him, primary physical custody, and enough assets to properly care for my children.  Since he was so hung up on the money and property, I ended up with exactly what I wanted.  Meanwhile he twisted and thrashed around, thinking we were arguing about the rest. It wasnít easy or pretty, but it is over. Best wishes!
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, Iíll rise.
óMaya Angelou

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Lauren17

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Re: How much coordination?
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2021, 11:54:37 AM »
Thank you, so much, Pennylane. Iíve started writing out those details.
Iíve agreed to working with a counselor (not a mediator) for preliminary agreements. Of course, my lawyer will review everything before I sign.
Itís looking like counselor is going to slow roll this. He played the victim in our first meeting. So she counseled him on filing extensions with the court so he has more time to process.
Why should his need to process outweigh my need to be out?!
Trying to focus on my end goals. But failing about half the time.
Iíve cried a thousand rivers. And now Iím swimming for the shoreĒ (adapted from Iíll be there for you)