It is a scenario that plays out over and over again in divorce courts everywhere.
You took care of the home during your marriage while your spouse made the money. When it became clear you were heading for divorce, you discussed your case with a lawyer, who told you that you had a “classic” alimony case.
Then out of the blue, your spouse lost his job. Now, your spouse’s position is that alimony is not appropriate because the money is not there.
If this has happened to you then take action immediately. While most State laws will put a burden on you to prove that your spouse is voluntarily unemployed, the divorce courts provide you with all the tools you need to succeed.
Below are the four steps you must take when your spouse quits his job during divorce.
Pull Your Spouse’s Tax Returns to See Total Income Earned When Working
If you and your spouse filed jointly, then you can pull your tax returns yourself in less than 15 minutes.
Simply go online to the IRS here: www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-Transcript. . or simply google “Pull Tax Transcript”, and click on the IRS website.
You will be prompted to create a username and password on the IRS website, and you will be asked private questions to confirm your identity.
Once complete, you can simply download a PDF of your Record of Account transcript, which will provide all of the information you will need.
If your spouse filed separately, then your attorney will have two options to get the tax returns from your spouse. Preferably, your spouse will simply comply and turn over a copy of the requested returns. If your spouse is being difficult however then it will be easier to have the Court force the Husband to execute an IRS Form 4056-T and go directly to the IRS to pull the statement.
Gather Your Spouse’s Previous Employment Records with a Subpoena
Now that you know exactly what your spouses reported income, you want to dig further into the employment file.
You will be looking for additional income and benefits as well as nature and reasons that your spouse is currently unemployed.
Your attorney can get this information by sending a simple subpoena to your spouses’ former employer requesting his file.
Because unemployment compensation is a real issue for businesses big and small, employers usually thoroughly document the details surrounding an employee’s’ exit.
You are looking for records that show your spouse either left his or her job voluntarily or that the poor performance by your spouse that led to termination coincided with the divorce.
Frequently, the employment file provides slam dunk evidence when a spouse leaves a job to tactically help his or her divorce case.
Gather Your Spouse’s Medical Records
Is your spouse claiming an inability to work for health reasons?
While this is a common tactic in alimony and child support cases, you can swiftly and quickly debunk this claim by requesting authorization for release of medical records.
Simply, you will ask your spouse to sign a document allowing your attorney to pull any and all medical records related to his or her ability to work.
And if your spouse refuses to sign this document, your attorney can ask the Judge to force the signing of the release.
A common tactic to increase leverage is for a spouse to feign ill health and the inability to work. By pulling health records immediately, you can disarm this tactic before you enter settlement negotiations.
Find Job Opportunities and Your Spouses Potential Income
Now that you have gathered your spouse’s’ employment and health records, you need to show the Court the jobs in the community and earning potential available to your spouse.
And while you can certainly gather this evidence yourself, when possible you should hire a vocational expert in your community to prepare an occupation report.
These reports typically do three things:
- First, the expert takes the employment and health records that you and your attorney have gathered and delivers an opinion on your spouse’s ability to work and whether unemployment is voluntary. The best experts are qualified to discuss medical records when giving their opinion. Judges tend to lean heavily on expert opinions in family law.
- Second, the expert finds job openings for your spouse. The expert searches your town and neighboring towns for actual job leads, and then calls the job leads and verifies that your spouse is a fit.
- Finally, the expert draws a conclusion as to the amount of money your spouse is capable of earning in a given year.
These expert reports can be very difficult for your spouse to defend.
A voluntarily unemployed spouse can seriously damage the value of your case unless you take action. While it will require work, you have the tools needed to cut through the gamesmanship and get a fair resolution in your case.
The post How To Fight Back When Your Spouse Quits His Job During Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Talk about a tricky conversation, announcing you want a divorce is not something any of us look forward to. It may mean facing conflict; it may mean hurting your spouse and most of us shy away from either of those situations.
How you tell your spouse will greatly depend on whether or not divorce has been a subject of discussion in the past or your husband is under the impression that all is well in the marriage.
If there have been discussions of divorce in the past, breaking the news that you’ve decided to divorce should be met with less conflict, anger and hurt feelings. If your spouse is unaware of your unhappiness this is going to be a hard conversation to have.
Whatever has been going on in the marriage you should always consider how the news is going to affect your spouse emotionally. In other words, don’t let your fear of telling your spouse you want a divorce to tempt you to do something that will only make the situation worse.
This article is born out of my initial divorce experience. I wasn’t given the “talk.” I came home from work one day with my child and my husband had packed up and left without any notice. The way he left the marriage not only impacted me greatly, but it also caused my daughter to lose all trust in her father. This is a subject I take seriously because I’ve lived the damage that can be done by someone who let the fear of having a discussion about divorce do a lot of harm to all concerned.
How Not To Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce
- Don’t skip the divorce conversation and go straight to having your spouse served with divorce papers. This tactic is an easy out but the easy is only momentary. You want to piss someone off and start a war? Serve them divorce papers out of the blue!
- Don’t pack your bags and leave one day never to return again. I mean seriously, is this really the mature way of dealing with a subject as serious as divorce and dismantling a family? My ex pulled this one on me. It sends a clear message, says “I’m out of here” in a way that can’t be misinterpreted but you may find it hard to live with your cowardice once the dust settles.
- Don’t tell your spouse’s family and friends before you break the news to your spouse. Divorce is hard enough when it is between two people only. Bring the rest of your community into it and you not only muddy the waters you look a bit foolish also.
How To Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce
- Sit them down, share your feelings and express your desire for a divorce.
- Allow them to respond to your desire for a divorce. It’s important that they are given the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings.
- Validate their feelings but let them know you’ve made up your mind and will be moving forward with a divorce.
- Tell them you will be filing for a divorce and they will be served with divorce papers and then, politely excuse yourself from the conversation.
Dealing with Your Spouse’s Reaction
If your spouse is surprised by your desire for a divorce, there will more than likely be a lot to deal with once you share your feelings. “Dealing” means being able to take into consideration the needs of the spouse you are leaving.
Let’s look at the situation from the perspective of your feelings. Divorce is something you’ve been thinking about for a long time. You’ve put effort into being happy, you’ve come to terms with the fact that you can’t stay in the marriage and more than likely have already emotionally divorced yourself from your spouse.
In other words, you’ve already worked your way through feelings of loss, hopelessness, and depression and have now detached from your spouse and the marriage.
When you share with your unknowing spouse that you want a divorce, they’re going to begin the process of working through those feelings of loss, hopelessness, depression and a myriad of other negative emotions.
You are ahead of your spouse in the grieving process that comes along with divorce. I spoke with a man recently who was surprised by his wife’s reaction to the news that he wanted a divorce. He told me that she was “fragile” and, “seems to be falling apart.” He couldn’t understand why she wasn’t sharing his sense of relief and had no idea how to deal with her behavior.
There can be a HUGE contrast between what you are feeling and what your spouse will feel once told of the divorce. You are ready to move on with your life, your spouse will question how you are ready to move on so quickly and be hurt by the fact that you are.
It is always helpful to the spouse being left behind if the spouse leaving can show compassion and empathy for their pain. It may not be easy to be around the person you’ve hurt but taking the time to give your spouse closure is something you won’t regret down the road.
When a spouse is left and handed an unwanted divorce, they feel like they’ve lost control over the path of their marriage and plans for their future. You, the spouse who wants the divorce are now in control and if you behave badly toward the spouse you are leaving this will only promote more conflict and do more emotional harm.
I’m not telling you that you must like your spouse’s reaction. More than likely there will be some very unlikeable response to your desire to divorce. I do believe that showing compassion for what he is experiencing and the transition they are going through will make the process of divorce easier for all involved.
The post Here’s The Right Way To Tell Your Spouse You Want a Divorce appeared first on Divorced Moms.
Midlife crisis is an emotionally uncomfortable period that some men and women go through between the age of 35 and 65. For most, it is a time of question priorities and adjusting their lifestyle to fit better with their emotional needs.
For others, midlife can bring about a true “crisis,” one that causes them to stray outside the marriage for the affections and attention of a member of the opposite sex. They can question every choice they’ve made during the first half of their life. It is these folks who usually destroy their families and seem to completely change their character and belief system.
Signs Your Spouse Is Suffering a Midlife Crisis
Feeling a Need for Adventure and Change
He goes out and buys a new sports car or Harley. She becomes a bar-fly who comes in at 3:00 am every morning. It’s all about having fun and re-capturing their youth. If your spouse is neglecting things that were once important to him/her in favor of skydiving…something they have never expressed an interest in, they are probably experiencing a midlife crisis.
You have choices in such a situation. Skydiving and hanging out in biker bars is better than sitting home alone wondering what your spouse is up to. Participating a bit in their new found need for adventure can bring you closer together instead of creating the distance that can cause the midlife crisis spouse to start questioning whether or not to stay in the marriage.
Feelings of Depression
Some who go through a midlife crisis will experience depression that affects their mood and to the point that activities and relationships are negatively affected. Friends, family, and work may all be neglected. If you think your spouse is suffering from depression watch for the following symptoms:
- Sadness, hopelessness, helplessness, pessimism
- Loss of interest in once enjoyable activities
- Lack of energy
- Inability to focus or make decisions
- Unusual sleep patterns
- Unusual appetite, weight loss or gain
A Loss of Interest in Things That Used to be Important
I received a letter from Jason who was concerned about changes he was seeing in his wife. After 23 years in a career as a nurse, she quit her job. According to Jason, she wanted to go back to school full-time and major in philosophy. His wife had gone for a “straight-laced Christian” to a woman who questioned whether or not there was a God.
Jason said he no longer knew the woman he had been married to for 18 years and was concerned she might be going through a midlife crisis. One thing is sure, she is questioning her values and beliefs and no one knows where these questions will lead her.
Anger and Blame of The Spouse
You are the problem! If it weren’t for you, life would be grand for the midlife crisis spouse. If he trips on a banana peel at work, you will get blamed. The spouse who is in a midlife crisis never looks internally and examines why he/she is feeling discontent.
They look outward and blame others and since you are the main relationship in their life it makes sense that you will bare most of the blame for their bad feelings. Expect your spouse to be short tempered and angry. Do not respond when your buttons are pushed. A response is what they want and you don’t want to play into their need for conflict.
Unable to Make Decisions About Their Future
Joan’s husband found a new woman and wanted a divorce. He refused to file for divorce, though. He left Joan telling her that he had never been in love with her, that marrying her had been a mistake. Joan was devastated!
Over a period of eighteen months, Joan’s husband changed his mind about his feelings for Joan on a regular basis. He would pack his bags and leave out the door spewing verbal abuse. A month later he would call in tears wanting to come home. Before long he was out the door again and moving back in with the other woman.
Joan eventually filed for a divorce and helped him make the decision he seemed unable to make. They are both now living with the painful consequences of his indecision.
Doubt Over The Choice to Marry
You may have just celebrated your 29th anniversary. You may have lived with a spouse who, from all outward appearances, seemed to have been happy in the marriage. It isn’t uncommon for a husband or wife who has never complained about being married to suddenly tell you that they have “lived in hell” from the very beginning.
The spouse in midlife crisis will question whether the marriage was ever legitimate. They will demonize you, accuse you of forcing them into marriage all in an attempt to make the marriage illegitimate. You will be painted as the evil spouse who never met their emotional or physical needs so the midlife crisis spouse can justify their feelings of discomfort with the marriage. If this is the case in your situation you should believe nothing you are told and very little of what you see.
A Desire For a New and More Passionate Intimate Relationship
The husband/wife who is going through a midlife crisis may become tired of the “same old, same old” in the bedroom. It isn’t uncommon for someone married to a spouse who is going through a midlife crisis to suffer the negative consequences of their infidelity.
If your spouse is spending more time in chat lines on the computer, working strange hours or on his/her cell phone more than usual you are seeing signs of a cheating spouse. These are only signs but coupled with the other symptoms of midlife crisis you should consider the possibility that your spouse has found someone to fulfill the need for a more passionate, intimate relationship.
When a marriage loses the positive dynamics it once had, it is easy to say that there is no hope, no love anymore. The thought may be that, “We have just grown apart and it’s time to move on,” but it’s important to realize that there is almost always hope if there is a desire to make the relationship work.
The post Are You Turning Toward, Away Or Against Your Spouse? appeared first on Divorce Magazine.
Emotional Divorce is a psychological mechanism some spouses use when they feel the marriage has become a threat to their well-being. The “walk-away spouse,” in most situations has already emotionally divorced themselves from their marriage and relationship.
When you divorce yourself emotionally from your spouse, you have separated your emotions from the marriage. For some spouses, this happens before the divorce. For others, it doesn’t happen until after the divorce process.
Most divorces are one-sided. Very rarely, will a couple sit down and come to the decision to divorce, together. There is almost always a “walk-away spouse.”
Normally a spouse who has already separated himself /herself emotionally from the marriage wants the divorce. That spouse has gone through an “emotional divorce” and now needs to be unattached legally from their spouse.
Some spouses struggle for years with feelings of emotional distance before they come to the conclusion that divorce is the solution to the marital problems or the way they are feeling emotionally.
These spouses are commonly referred to as a “walk-away spouse.”
A walk-away spouse may become emotionally detached for a variety of reasons. Most commonly detaching emotionally from the marriage and spouse is a mentally assertive way of allowing the spouse to maintain boundaries when they feel they are being hurt or the marriage has become unsafe for them.
Emotionally divorcing a spouse helps a person maintain a sense of psychological integrity if faced with what they feel is an emotionally demanding situation.
Basically, emotional divorce comes before legal divorce for some because they’ve felt the need to withdraw and protect themselves from problems in the marriage.
The spouse who is left to deal with her/his emotions after the legal divorce is commonly referred to as the “left behind spouse.” No matter which role you find yourself playing, you have to come to grips with the end of your marriage and begin to view yourself as a separate individual, no longer a husband/wife.
Either gender can emotionally divorce themselves from the marriage but, it is more common in women.
Characteristics of a “walk-away spouse”
- Uncommunicative after spending years trying to communicate frustrations.
- Cold and distant. Finally given up, no longer interested in working on the marriage.
- Spends large amounts of time away from home to escape an unhappy marriage.
- Irritable and impatient. Resents spouse’s attempts to save the marriage.
- Wants the divorce process to move along quickly.
Characteristics of a left behind spouse
- Shock, he/she had no idea there were problems in the marriage.
- Looking for ways to save the marriage.
- Becomes clingy, often begging and pleading for another chance.
- Exhibits bizarre behavior such as stalking and harassing.
- Feelings of anxiety and fear about the future and being single again.
- Tries anything to delay the divorce process and cling to their marriage and spouse.
Exerting control over your emotions
The basic instinct of a left behind spouse is to control the situation. They failed to see the warning signs, signs that the marriage was in trouble and don’t know how to respond effectively. As a result, they respond in ways that pushed the walk-away spouse further away emotionally.
They want to do or say something that will draw their spouse back to the marriage emotionally. Due to the fear and emotional pain that comes along with losing someone they love, the left behind spouse often causes conflict during the divorce process that is unnecessary.
It is important to understand that a spouse who has already divorced himself/herself from the marriage is not an evil person. They are not carrying around an agenda of hurt and pain. They are looking for an escape from a situation that is causing them hurt and pain. And, this may cause them to respond to their spouse’s shock and pain in what appears to be a cold and calculating manner.
Their desires and needs can’t be controlled by irrational, bizarre behavior. The best thing a left behind spouse can do is come to terms with the fact that they only have control over their own emotions.
Focusing on controlling their emotions will help them move smoothly through the process of emotionally detaching from their spouse. In turn, they will find it easier to find their way through the legal process of divorce.