How Did My Husband Get His Divorce So Wrong Financially?
I read with shock tales from ex-wives whose husbands contrive to be penniless, who never want to see their children and who get away with it all. Now, I have to be honest. I also read them with a bit of cynicism as my husband's ex-wife loves to tell everyone that he has left her penniless.
I see that there are father's who allegedly have never paid a pence in child support and who get away with it and I think - how do they do this? First off, I have to say I believe that both parents have a responsibility to support their children. How they do that is up to them - whether one is stay at home and they live on one salary, whether both work - whatever it is it is a joint decision. One stay at home mom I know says her job begins at 8am when her husband leaves for work, and finishes at 6pm when he returns. After that, parenting responsibility is equally split. During the day school runs, doctors, sick children all fall under her job description.
When my husband separated, he had one 6 year old and one four year old. He agreed with his then wife that they should have a mother at home until they went to school as that is what they had agreed as husband and wife that they wanted for their children. And this is where it all started to go horribly wrong. For whatever reason, he decided that meant he had to give her everything. He couldn't look forward to a time he might be ready to move on with his life and would need some financial support to do so.
She received 100% (yes, you read that right, it is not a typo) of the capital from their marriage which she used to buy a new home virtually mortgage free. She received in an informal agreement to take 60% of his monthly salary. And from what I understand, she was happy with that arrangement. My husband lived in a tiny rented cottage but that was okay as his ex didn't like him to have the children overnight anyway.
Then a year or two goes by, I enter the picture, things get serious and we want to buy a house. Now my husband realises he has been paying way too much. He tries to agree something informally with his ex but why would she? So he goes to a solicitor and that is where all hell breaks loose for the next ten years.
She told everyone we knew how he left her destitute with two children and now was trying to get out of child support. She told everyone we made her life a living hell. She said we were 'hiding money' in my accounts. During this time we put one child through private school with no help from her (the other was on a scholarship) and paid for school uniforms, music lessons, international school trips - all the things their friends had.
And it was interspersed by trips to solicitors and courtrooms trying to get the insane financial agreement reached early on changed. My husband has always expected to pay for his children. That was never in doubt. But on top of all the child support he paid, plus spousal maintenance we also paid for every dance, special event, school supplies and holidays. Because we were going to court I added it up and it amounted to a lot of money. And to this day all we get is grief from her.
So I look at his ex-wife who has had so much support and is so bitter and angry and then I look at parents who receive nothing but still go on and I think, how did he get it so wrong?