Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

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Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby PHRoG » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:31 pm

Hello everyone,

What a whirlwind week it's been for me. I'm looking for a lawyer currently and waiting for a few referrals to come back to me. But, in the meantime, as I'm sure you all have experienced it before, my head is swirling with questions. I'm hoping, from the collective experience here, that I might be able to find some answers and put my mind at ease.

Preface:

I apologize if this is long, but there is a lot involved, and I have so many directions I could go; I'm completely lost and confused.

The idea of divorce is nothing new between us. So when she came to me yesterday, and once again asked for one, my first thoughts were, "YESSSSSSSSS!". We have two children, 7 and 11. We've had lots and lots of good times, but our history is a damp, leaky basement filled with not-talked-about abuse of myself. The latest episode was Jan. 2011, where she slammed a metal digital camera into my head, fast-ball-pitcher style, from about a foot away. By the way, big thumbs up for the Canon Elph series. It not only survived, but I'm still using it to this day.

She was arrested and faced felony charges...we quickly reconciled when she agreed to goto anger management classes. What can I say, I love the woman and she's a good mother to the kiddos. So, with a lot of luck, we were able to get the charges reduced, as a felony would have ended her career in the nursing field.

Our frustrations are pretty much just between the two of us, and her desire to control every aspect of my life. I've had almost no social life for 12 years because of this. Female friends? Not a chance in hell. Obviously this has caused some serious insecurity, and mental issues in my life. Although it took some doing, I've finally climbed the mountain to overcome them, and I've taken my stand against her trying to control me.

The Roller Coaster:

So, here I am, just pleased as punch. We both agree we don't feel any anger about it, and that it's time for us to do this. We agreed we will take our time, plan things and do what we can to minimize the effect on our children, and our involvement with the state. We would have shared custody of the kids, but they would stay with her mostly as I will be away often with the new business. However, I have no guarantees she's going to stick to this.

Our financial situation is that of the lowest class. We're on food stamps, and state Medicaid, we do not use daycare or cash benefits. We are drawing full time student loans, which is allowing both of us to attend full time. She works part time, 8 hours per week. I worked part time doing website maintenance, but that came to an end last week. I'm a 4.0 student.

However, also last week I identified a niche market that I can enter for low cost that is stagnant, weak, and fragile right now. I can leverage my situation of being a developer myself, whom can provide unlimited labor at no cost, to push them out of the market. They're all just sitting there, taking their piece of the pie, not wanting to grow out of their basement operations. I've got over 10 years experience in this market, I know all the players well, and I have additional advantages that they have failed to consider as solutions to problems in search engine marketing. They have also failed to market the product to the actual market it was intended for, and I believe I have the skill set to push that market into success. That market is medical, and there is big money to be made.

Of course, I had dreamed of doing all this with my wife...but, the subject of divorce has many questions floating around in my head, and how I should proceed from here. Why she chose to say she wants to divorce me, when things are about to turn around, I have no idea. I've already sourced capital to start the business and I will be putting in 100 hour weeks, and an ungodly amount of traveling over the next 3 years. I'm hesitant to do all this, just to have her have an emotional fit later down the road and take me to cleaners, and ultimately destroy the thing.

Questions:

I figure the best way to handle this is to take a shotgun approach and spew them all out there. Any knowledgeable answers would be highly appreciated.

1. I've long heard the nightmares fathers have gotten themselves into with the state over kids whom are enrolled in state Medicaid and food stamp benefits. As mentioned previously, I live in Oregon. I really know nothing about this, but from what I understand the state wants money for helping to care for the kids. Ok, I get this, and to be honest, I don't mind paying what I have to pay. I'm worried about falling into hard times and getting my license revoked and whatnot. I did the state calculator for estimated support, which said it would be about $400/month. I can live with that.

Is there a separate payment to the state I have to make because of food stamps and Medicaid, or is that all done through child support?

2. If she flips and decides to turn this into a huge debacle, and with the new business coming (hasn't been formed yet), what should I be looking at to protect myself?

3. An option we've previously discussed was stay married for now to keep the status quo, and just separate; so it doesn't effect our loans or public assistance, or deal with getting tangled into payments to the state. This is an option we've discussed before, just me moving out, but keeping the marriage intact until school is done and we're both on our own two feet. If we do this, how do I protect my interest in the new business?

4. Is there a way to structure the business to protect it from the divorce if it gets nasty? I do trust my business partner 100%.

5. Is it even possible to get divorced, without all the hassles of getting involved with payments to the state, if we are both wanting it?

6. Would moving to a different state, waiting for residency, and then filing there be of any benefit? I could easily relocate to WA or AZ...or others if the benefits are worth it.

Finally, if anyone has a recommendation for an Oregon attorney they've worked with in the past, feel free to send the info my way.

Thanks a bunch,
PHRoG
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Re: Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby defaultuser » Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:56 pm

PHRoG wrote:What can I say, I love the woman and she's a good mother to the kiddos.

Good mothers don't throw things at people. Good mothers don't control their husbands lives. I think you need to re-think her mother skills. This 'good mother' will likely hold your kids ransom and collect as much money as possible.

PHRoG wrote:She was arrested and faced felony charges...we quickly reconciled when she agreed to goto anger management classes

PHRoG wrote:1. I've long heard the nightmares fathers have gotten themselves into with the state over kids whom are enrolled in state Medicaid and food stamp benefits. As mentioned previously, I live in Oregon. I really know nothing about this, but from what I understand the state wants money for helping to care for the kids. Ok, I get this, and to be honest, I don't mind paying what I have to pay. I'm worried about falling into hard times and getting my license revoked and whatnot. I did the state calculator for estimated support, which said it would be about $400/month. I can live with that.

Why don't you have the kids and have her pay you child support? She's a violent person. That is documented and will help you out lots.

PHRoG wrote:Our frustrations are pretty much just between the two of us, and her desire to control every aspect of my life. I've had almost no social life for 12 years because of this. Female friends? Not a chance in hell. Obviously this has caused some serious insecurity, and mental issues in my life. Although it took some doing, I've finally climbed the mountain to overcome them, and I've taken my stand against her trying to control me.

This is one of the only positive points in your post. Hopefully you're coming out of the fog of being twisted by her and will realize that what she wants doesn't really mean squat.

PHRoG wrote:6. Would moving to a different state, waiting for residency, and then filing there be of any benefit? I could easily relocate to WA or AZ...or others if the benefits are worth it.
Possibly. You need to research the laws of each state and try and find one that is father friendly. I'm thinking WA may be better than AZ or OR based on some horror stories on here, but I'm not sure...

Your first steps are to figure out what you want out of the divorce. Set your goals. Come here and post them and get feedback. Then, when the time is right, hire an attorney and file for divorce. You may not want to start a business until the divorce is filed.

Do you really want to be relegated to seeing your kids a few days a month while leaving them with her? Would you want to be left alone with her if you were a kid?
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Re: Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby PHRoG » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:42 pm

defaultuser, thank you very much for your input.

defaultuser wrote:Good mothers don't throw things at people. Good mothers don't control their husbands lives. I think you need to re-think her mother skills. This 'good mother' will likely hold your kids ransom and collect as much money as possible.


I'm not certain I agree with this. It's entirely possible to be great at certain things and suck at others. i.e. being a mother vs wife. The only violent trends she has shown have been towards me. She is never violent with the children.

defaultuser wrote:Why don't you have the kids and have her pay you child support? She's a violent person. That is documented and will help you out lots.


I agree, I've got a solid case to do this. My problem is entering the business that I am in is going to result in a whole bunch of traveling and unavailability on my part. I feel it's better for the children to stay where they are at, at the school they're in, and keep things normal for them as much as we can.

defaultuser wrote:This is one of the only positive points in your post. Hopefully you're coming out of the fog of being twisted by her and will realize that what she wants doesn't really mean squat.


Yes, and I just keep saying that same thing over, and over. She doesn't get to dictate who I socialize with. ;)

defaultuser wrote:Your first steps are to figure out what you want out of the divorce. Set your goals. Come here and post them and get feedback. Then, when the time is right, hire an attorney and file for divorce. You may not want to start a business until the divorce is filed.

Do you really want to be relegated to seeing your kids a few days a month while leaving them with her? Would you want to be left alone with her if you were a kid?


The business can't wait...I have to act quickly on this, the busy season is two months away, and I've got two complete storefronts to build, plus the other mountain of work simply setting up the whole thing.

This isn't the first time we've split. I've moved out before, and she has never attempted to relegate when I could see, or speak to my kids. Her father was murdered when she was young, and she has very strong feelings about keeping me involved in the kids' lives.

Really, the only thing about our family that doesn't work is when she gets jealous, which turns to rage against me. When I leave, and take that option away, we seem to function top-notch.
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Re: Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby defaultuser » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:51 pm

I'll leave you to your opinion, but I've never seen someone who was unstable and mentally ill to some people and a loving role model to others.

You're either ok, or you're not ok. People who are violent and get arrested of felony charges are not ok in my book, but I'm biased against horrible mothers...

If you haven't filed when you start the business she owns half of it depending on how the financial settlement is done.
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Re: Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby hanzblinx » Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:20 pm

4. Is there a way to structure the business to protect it from the divorce if it gets nasty? I do trust my business partner 100%.


It sounds like the business has no assets. I have a service based LLC and I didn't worry at all about it because it had no assets (or market value). If you are on food stamps, chances are your business is not terribly valuable.

If it grows after the divorce, that's fine and dandy, it will be too late for her to cash in on it as an asset. Just make sure it's listed as your asset during divorce. She has no reason to want it.
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Re: Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby Anything4Her » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:07 pm

PHRoG wrote:I do trust my business partner 100%

You once trusted your wife 100%.

defaultuser wrote:I've never seen someone who was unstable and mentally ill to some people and a loving role model to others.


From your description, she is a control freak. She may be a loving mother to young children, but what about when those [teen] kids start having their own strong opinions? When they disagree with her?

Personality traits tend to come in bundles. You don't get 'abusive to husband' and 'loving to everyone else' in the same person. I'd bet my car that you have blinders on and are overlooking a lot more personality problems than you are stating.

OR... it could be that she is so disgusted by your submissive (beta) behavior that she is constantly sh|t testing you and you are failing.
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Re: Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby defaultuser » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:13 pm

Anything4Her wrote:OR... it could be that she is so disgusted by your submissive (beta) behavior that she is constantly sh|t testing you and you are failing.
LOL. I've never heard of felony assault as a < feces > test, but who knows?

+1 on the business partner thing. Lots of people are easy to trust when there is no money involved. Not quite the same when there is money to be had.
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Re: Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby Fatheroffour » Mon Apr 30, 2012 6:15 pm

It's definitely a < feces > test.

1)Smack around
2)Gauge response
3)?????????
4) Profit!
Everyone lies.
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Re: Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby PHRoG » Tue May 01, 2012 10:43 am

First off, thanks everyone that chimed in. Believe it or not, it did help settle the storm in my head.

Ahh, yes...the fitness test, sh.!.t test, etc, etc. I'm well aware of this concept. I can honestly say the book, "No More Mr. Nice Guy," helped greatly with changing my perspective in life, and overcoming my fear from it.

I should probably mention, I'm no stranger to the forum, tons of lurking over the past several years, here, and other boards too. Just this time, I know it's real. I'm scheduled to talk with an attorney via phone in the next few hours too.

I read the responses yesterday, slept on them, slept on them some more, and have carefully pondered them.

It took me a bit to get a full perspective on, "What do you want?" It's very hard to see things that way. Initially, my response to that is to keep things as peaceful as possible, just walk away, and give her what she wants. Mostly because I don't want to see the kids suffer, but also because I wasn't thinking I had a choice. Feels like a "give the kids to her, or nothing," situation at times.

But, the comments about the fitness test, brought my mind back to the No More Mr. Nice Guy book I've read. I have the leverage in the situation with her recorded violence, and a CPS report, that I had nothing to do with. The CPS deal really was nothing, just a cautious school and everything was dropped. But, it's still there.

So, enough babbling I guess, and answer the questions.

I want shared < parenting time >. I can't possibly provide for the kids full time while tackling my new business venture. But, I don't want her to be able to say when I can see my kids either. I'm not unreasonable, nor disrespectful enough to show up out of the blue demanding them. Mostly, I never want to hear from her, "The court says you can't see them until, blah blah blah". I don't think she would ever do this...but you just never know. All it takes is a conversation with a friend, an idea to get something she wants, and all my kindness I'm trying to offer her now can be taken advantage of. I want to see her succeed in life, but it's far safer for me to be able to help her on my own terms, instead of on a courts terms.

I talked to a friend who has been trying to get divorced in WA, and from my understanding, they make it hell up there, and do not offer shared custody. As far as I am aware shared custody is an option in Oregon.

While I still believe that she is a good mother, and staying with her is best for the kiddos; the comments have changed my perspective. I believe I have the leverage to demand what I want, shared < parenting time >, no problems with paying child support, but I won't do alimony.

As far as the business, and trusting my partner. I mean that along the lines of, set everything up under him for now, then pull me in once all the dust settles on paper. He can't do this without me, and he's a lifelong friend that has long supported me leaving her. I wouldn't just leave it all to him. ;)

Thanks again guys, really helped ease some stress. Can't wait for the attorney to call now.

Peace,
PHRoG
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Re: Questions, Oregon divorce: kids, taxes, student loans...

Postby PHRoG » Tue May 01, 2012 1:20 pm

So, just got off the phone with the lawyer, and I feel 1000% better now.

We're going to go ahead and file for divorce first...with the record of violence, and the CPS report, and the county we're working in, he thinks I can pretty much get whatever I want out of the divorce.

He made a very good point about me wanting her to lead a good life, and helping her as much as I can. He explained that it's best to get as much as I can now, because it's easy to give more to her afterwards, than it is for me to gain anything afterwards. Yeah, that makes a whole bunch of sense now.

So, we're going with the following terms:

    I move out and she keeps most everything other than my tools, clothes, computers, and workout equipment.

    She keeps the pets.

    Shared custody with her being the custodial parent.

    He believes I should have child support minimums, which is about $400/month. He also thinks he could get that lowered based on our financial circumstances.

    I make payments to her, not the state. Since I have no record of failing to pay before, this can be allowed.

    No alimony.

    No stake in any current or future business dealings.

    I claim my son on the taxes, she claims our daughter.

    She gets the car, I get the van. She'll want it this way anyway. However, I almost want to take the car, because I'll be doing a bunch of traveling, and it's in better mechanical shape. All she does it putter around town, and I think the minivan is safer for the kids.

The call ran longer than we both expected, so I'm curious if there is anything else, other than the above, that I should maybe consider?

Much appreciated,
PHRoG
Last edited by PHRoG on Tue May 01, 2012 1:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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