Be Friendly with his Ex? Aw, Hell Naw!

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Dear Robin:

OK, so I read your reply about trying to be friendly with the ex-wife. In my case, I just can’t do that and neither can my husband. For one thing I’ve never had the opportunity to even talk to her (we’ve been married for 4 years now). She avoids us, even ducking into a store at the mall with the daughters. We saw her… My husband thinks she’s afraid of me. Have no clue why except that she probably knows that what she is doing is wrong.

She is no positive role model for the kids. She’s one of those overly entitled sociopaths. And, unfortunately, her youngest daughter (20 – who otherwise has a big heart) is following in her footsteps. She has guilted her oldest daughter (28 and making really good money) into staying at home and paying the bills “until she gets on her feet”.

The ex has 2 degrees and is working and probably making more money than my husband and has free health care through her tribe, as do all the kids, who also had a free education.  Even though she is now working and making more money, my husband (who is also now working at a lower paying job than before) is hesitant to go back to court as he thinks the judge will up the support instead of ending it (she was awarded “indefinite” alimony).

We appealed a prior decision of this judge when my husband lost his job and the judge took the case under advisement and made up his own rules with regard to the divorce agreement (support should have ended when he lost his job according to the divorce decree – it didn’t).  We got a small reduction on appeal but not enough to make a real difference.

We are sick and tired of supporting a perfectly healthy and educated person.  All I want is for her to put on her big girl panties, get out of our monthly financial planning and do something to make her kids proud of her and show them the difference between right and wrong before its too late to curb entitlement symptoms.

Any advice?

-Broke and Fed Up

Dear BAFU (I like that name, it has a soothing ring to it…):

Thank you for sending me this lovely photo of your husband and his ex-wife the day the divorce decree was signed:

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Anyone want to guess who is who in this shot?  Hint: the female is wielding a dildo constructed of legally-endorsed sexism (50%) and PMS (Princess Mentality Syndrome) (50%).

I want to address your modification issue before we delve into the “getting along with the ex as prescribed by AskDesCamp” portion of the blog.  Please see disclaimer first: Don’t Even Think about Suing Me – I’m NOT your Lawyer.

Please remember that I am not your lawyer, I am not giving you legal advice, and any attempt to sue me for malpractice will result in your utter failure and humiliation in court, but that’s OK because you and your husband are quite familiar with that feeling, am I right?

If your ex-step-wife-in-law is making as much or more than your husband and the property was divided equally in the divorce AND there was no provision for “compensatory support” (also known as the most bull-shitty basis for alimony of all time truly appropriate in about 1% of all cases in which it’s awarded) I think you have a very solid case for a modification.

Take a look at the judgment and it likely defines the purpose for the alimony.  If the purpose has been met you should have a shot at eliminating or at least reducing it.

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That baby is laughing as hard as your ex-wife’s lawyer because baby knows the system is utterly skewed against alimony payers even when they desperately need and deserve relief from the yoke of indentured servitude that is Not-my-Spouse-Anymore-Spousal-Support.

The problem with seeking a modification, of course, is that they are terribly expensive to fund and can drag on for months or even more than a year.  In addition to other invasive and ridiculous discovery requests*, the Starter Wife will almost certainly try to access your financial records and claim that since you are married to and living with the payor, your income should be included in the calculations for how much he can afford to pay.

Right now you are thinking to yourself, “that can’t be right!  She’s nuts!”  While your observation regarding my mental state may be accurate, I can tell you that in the state of Oregon (where I happen to know you reside because I’m clever) the courts can look at income from “any and all sources,” and that includes you, missy.

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Even if you hold out and wind you way through the torturous morass of the discovery process and get to a hearing, the courts care very little about giving relief to a payer or (Goddess forbid!) holding a recipient responsible for their own care and feeding.

I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s expensive and if your husband represents himself he will likely be overwhelmed by the process.  I truly wish you luck but the best advice I can give you is to figure out how to make more money OR find out if she’s doing something naughty and then blackmail her into accepting a settlement.

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As far as getting along with her, I don’t blame you and your husband for feeling the way you do, and frankly the question is moot because you told me she has zero interest in a positive relationship.  The fact she lives off both your husband AND her daughter is reprehensible and tells me a lot about who she is as a person.

While I often advise people to have the most amicable divorce possible, the key word is “possible.”

It doesn’t always work out that way, especially when one side is bleeding the other dry financially with little concern for their former spouse’s dire situation.  I also have seen couples who, once divorced, cannot get along because only one party wants to improve the relationship.

Unfortunately, that’s just the way it is sometimes.  You can’t force people to get along for the benefit of others (the children).  Sometimes folks just need someone to hate and with whom to fight.  It’s kind of the human condition, wouldn’t you say?

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-Robin

*Ridiculous and invasive discover requests I have personally seen include but are in no way limited to:

– Receipts for new wife’s birthday party;

– Receipts for athletic club snack bar charges;

– Tax returns for new wife going back 10 years when she was married to another man;

– Tax returns and “estimations of potential inheritance” from new wife’s parents;

– Records relating to new wife’s home including purchase price and improvements made before marriage to recipient’s husband; and

– Resume of new wife.

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Perhaps if Wife #1 spent more time building her own resume she wouldn’t need to worry so much about her ex-husband’s wife’s resume.

 

 

 

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Debbie

    People need to learn the value of “encouraging” the ex to take a settlement. Whatever tactic is available, USE IT!

    1. askdescamp

      The great thing about being able to peruse the recipient’s tax returns is sometimes you get lucky and catch them cheating on their taxes.

      1. Debbie

        That was pure brilliance with a little luck mized in!

  2. Brian

    “It’s kind of the human condition, wouldn’t you say?” ——– Is it really human?

Comments are closed.