Menu

Divorce/Alimony – trying to be fair and move on

Home General/Welcome Divorce/Alimony – trying to be fair and move on

  • Jaqen Haghar, MD Jaqen Haghar, MD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 155
    Joined: 07/27/2017

    They say what does not kill you makes you stronger, but this is a child’s dream.  Some experiences in life will hurt you badly, and the wounds will scar, leaving you changed forever.

    I was together with someone amazing once, and I was there for her through thick and thin. The things I did for her pretty much saved her life.  But when I went down physically and needed her, she looked me in the eye and said, “You have a bigger heart than I do, contact me if you ever make it out of this” and she walked out the door and into another relationship pretty quick.  It was a gut punch I could feel in the depths of my soul.  Nothing hurts more than betrayal, especially when it’s someone you totally trusted and adored.

    A few years later I had made it well out the other side.  Things were humming along nicely again, when I got a call out of nowhere…   “Hey there, I’m engaged,” she said.  “Are you going to do something about it or just let it happen?”

    I did not do anything about it.

    Sometimes you can’t help who you are attracted to, or fall in love with.  But you can control your reactions so that you don’t hurt yourself.

    Fight for your daughter and whatever you are owed, but don’t let this situation consume you.  I’ve seen too many friends eaten up by divorce and the battle that ensues.  Move on as best you can, and have a great life.

    I wish you peace and the best of luck in this @!$#%y situation.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Avatar Queue 
    Participant
    Status: Resident, Spouse
    Posts: 84
    Joined: 03/26/2017
    I am going to brutally honest here.

    Click to expand…

    I appreciate the brutal honesty. I can only tell you to take my word that my daughter is the #1 priority in this whole thing, not the alimony. I’m just presenting the financial side of things to you all since that’s what this website is mostly devoted to.

    Please tell me that you are seeing her regularly?  Skyping?

    Click to expand…

    Thank God for the internet. I have gotten to video chat with her for about 5-10 min most days. It’s difficult with the huge time change, and only 1 time during the day works for both of us, but we’ve made it work pretty well so far.

    You absolutely have rights as a military spouse, including support.

    Click to expand…

    I did do research on what my rights are as a military spouse. I’m thankful that at least I still have to be supported financially throughout the divorce process and that I can retain my health care for 180 days after the divorce is final. At least there is 1 less thing for me to immediately be worried about.

    For the sake of this post I am taking the OP at his word that all of this is true.

    Click to expand…

    That is a difficult thing about presenting only my side of the story, but I do make every effort to tell facts and keep it as objective as possible. A pretty impossible thing to do in this type of situation 🙁

    Any sanction against the other military doctor?  If this was her superior or rater, then things are just that much worse.

    Click to expand…

    The other doc is the same rank as her. If this were fraternization, then things would have gone very differently.

    And if that guy is married, I’d sure as heck make sure his spouse knew, too

    Click to expand…

    He’s single.

    the lawyers are going to battle each other and if you want future visitation, you can’t just present the (logical) case that it makes sense for daughter to stay there right now

    Click to expand…

    I’m learning the pains of the real world the hard way on this one. I don’t know how some lawyers sleep at night when their job is to “win” and not necessarily do what’s best in everyone’s interest.

    If all this is true, why would you not get alimony until you are self-sufficient professionally? If you made documented efforts to save your relationship, another poster characterized this as cruel and I would agree. I think the circumstances would be viewed differently if you were the doctor’s “wife”. I am relieved that you say you’re handling this with equanimity. I couldn’t. Per your post, your spouse behaved dishonorably as a wife, parent and military officer. That’s a trifecta. I would get an aggressive lawyer.

    Click to expand…

    This is basically my argument for getting at least transitional alimony. It took months and months of not feeling very calm for me to be able to even start looking at all this in a more tempered way.

    First of all, I’m sorry you’re having to go through this.   Secondly, a service member (officer or enlisted) committing infidelity isn’t a small thing in the military.  I’ve watched many careers destroyed because of it, and my experiences with the commands in Japan made it seem like they take it more seriously than most.  May just be the OCONUS aspect of it. Depending on how you and your lawyer want to play this, the buck doesn’t stop with her commanding officer.  The other doc’s CO also needs to be contacted.  If it’s the same CO, then work your way up the chain to his CO, or even the IG can get involved if you feel it isn’t getting the necessary attention. I’ve seen general officers removed because they tried to cover up subordinate’s infidelity; so don’t just assume that you have no recourse in the military.  The more pressure you bring to bear, the more custody and alimony leverage you will have.  There are no guarantees, but don’t just roll over unless you want to.

    Click to expand…

    I agree it’s no small thing, and am pretty disheartened at the level of seriousness it was treated with. The issue was brought before the commander of the base, but you make a good point that if that since the military’s response didn’t satisfy me, I can always continue to go up the chain.

    this is very complex, especially in your situation.  I would not base your own opinion off of the lay opinion of the internet.

    Click to expand…

    I concur. I will not be basing my opinion solely on the opinions of the internet, much as I think the majority of the folks here have good intentions 🙂 I do however believe that there is a benefit to at least hearing the opinions of others, either to give me a different perspective or to strengthen my resolve. Given the magnitude of this situation, I’m open to at least hearing lots of points of view. My main contact has and will continue to be with my lawyer.

    #194309 Reply
    Avatar Queue 
    Participant
    Status: Resident, Spouse
    Posts: 84
    Joined: 03/26/2017
    They say what does not kill you makes you stronger, but this is a child’s dream.  Some experiences in life will hurt you badly, and the wounds will scar, leaving you changed forever.

    Click to expand…

    Thank you for sharing your story. Lots of good points in your post. I let this situation consume me for much longer than was healthy. I’m quite optimistic about my own future and I believe I have a happy life and successful career to look forward to if I keep focused. It would be wonderful to be able to completely shut out the feelings that I still have towards my wife, but of course it’s not always that simple.

    You’re spot on with your comment about controlling our own reactions. I think that’s one of the most important skills one can learn in life.

    I’d also like to take this opportunity to say thanks for everyone’s words of support during all this back and forth between us. I don’t have a very outgoing personality and tend to keep just a few very close friends, so it’s nice to have some additional words of comfort, brutal honesty and all. 🙂

    Avatar jbmitt 
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional, Spouse
    Posts: 50
    Joined: 07/14/2017

    We’ve also moved (twice now) for my spouse’s career as a physician. My career trajectory has changed based on the lack of opportunities in my initial area of expertise.

    I’ve also gone back to school to complete my instrument rating and commercial certificiate in order to fly professionally. I share the OP’s concerns because my income plummeted and it will take some time to replace what I was previously earning.

    I supported her choosing the best group and environment to practice with, at the expense of my prior career. I trust that she will do the same until I’m eligible for my restricted ATP.

    To the OP, feel free to PM me if you want to talk aviation or away from a public forum.

    #194324 Reply
    Avatar pulpsnatcher 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 8
    Joined: 09/10/2018

    While I am certainly not an attorney, my first thought is that your attorney should be able to guide you or point you to case law that would give you some idea on how this should unwind given the jurisdiction.  I would want you to know your attorney’s particular experience in regards to your case. If ill-advised, this mediation could soon turn to a costly and ugly divorce…. and that serves no one.  I wish the best for you and your daughter.

    #194332 Reply
    Avatar Queue 
    Participant
    Status: Resident, Spouse
    Posts: 84
    Joined: 03/26/2017
    What amount do you think is fair?

    Click to expand…

    I think around 2k/month for 2-3 years is a reasonable amount. At that point I should reasonably be able to provide a similar quality of life which we established during our marriage, which seems like a fair thing to ask for.

    #194342 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1967
    Joined: 05/01/2017

    OP/Queue:

    I wasn’t specifically trying to suggest you were being dishonest just so I’m clear, I believe you. It just sounds like a crazy story.

    I would be near mad with grief to be across an ocean from my daughter so you have my deepest sympathies.

    #194351 Reply
    Liked by Kamban
    Avatar veritablpenguin 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 42
    Joined: 04/11/2017

    Sometimes you think you’re having a rough day and then you read something that reminds you (again) how lucky you are, and that there are so many people out there that have it way worse than you.  As the father of a 3yo and a 1yo, I cannot even comprehend what you must be going through.  But I wish you peace and happiness and hopefully a long and healthy relationship with your daughter.

    #194377 Reply
    Avatar wideopenspaces 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 905
    Joined: 01/12/2016

    I have a hard time understanding why your wife would send you an impossible distance from your toddler. It’s just unimaginable to me. I am so sorry. I understand why you have let her remain in Japan but you need to request 50/50 custody now, which would mean bringing her home with you for the next 9 months, I would guess. I very much worry that you will not get equal custody if you don’t do this. Plus a kid needs both parents. They just do. I am guessing the plan is to then move wherever she does for residency? I have no idea about alimony but quite frankly wouldn’t give a crap about that until I had reassurance of equal custody. I hope you are able to give a happier update a year from now.

    #194380 Reply
    Avatar ozweepay 
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 10
    Joined: 09/18/2018

    I read through most of this thread.  I will agree with everyone who said to worry about your daughter first.  But I understand (having gone through this) how terrifying it can be to suddenly realize you have no income and no way of supporting yourself.

    My advice:

    • Try to avoid lawyers.  As someone already said, they’re expensive and they tend to make things worse (which is better for their business).  If you can mediate without lawyers, do it.  You may not get as a “good a deal” as if you fought for years with lawyers, but you and your ex and your daughter will all be better off.
    • When shopping for a mediator, make sure you find someone who understands how med students, residents and attendings evolved, what their projected income looks like, and what PSLF is.
    • Get rid of the idea that you “deserve” alimony.  Yes, she cheated. It’s a horrible way to end a marriage (speaking from experience) and anger and resentment can fester and make you feel angry and vengeful.  And yes, you supported her through med school, so you are “entitled” to some of her earnings, right?  Forget it.  Focus on this: you are going to be single.  You need to live somewhere, feed yourself, and work toward being able to sustain yourself.  So, alimony is not to be seen as “punishment” or “loan remuneration”, but rather “managing cash flow”.  You have $X coming in between the two of you, and you need to allocate it so you can both survive. That should be the thinking.  And of course the amount should change year-by-year to account for the changes in income you will both experience.

    My divorce was in 2012.  It was the worst experience of my life.  But now, 7 years later, things are great.  If you’re finding this to be your darkest hour, hang in there.  It gets better.

    #195636 Reply
    Liked by mapplebum
    Avatar Queue 
    Participant
    Status: Resident, Spouse
    Posts: 84
    Joined: 03/26/2017
    My advice:

    Click to expand…

    Thanks for the advice ozweepay. As I’ve stated before, my daughter is the number one priority.

    I am planning for and expecting to be able to take care of myself within the next 2-3 years. I don’t expect, nor do I really want, to continue to be supported at that point. I just think it’s fair to help me get up and running.

    The silver lining about all this is that I’m getting to fully invest myself into my flight training, which has been going very well.

    I am guessing the plan is to then move wherever she does for residency?

    Click to expand…

    The great thing about working for an airline is that you typically can choose where in the country you want to live, as long as you are willing to commute. Because of agreements made between airlines, pilots get to commute for free. This should allow me flexibility in the future so that I can ensure that I will be near my daughter.

    #195645 Reply
    MPMD MPMD 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1967
    Joined: 05/01/2017

     

    • Try to avoid lawyers.  As someone already said, they’re expensive and they tend to make things worse (which is better for their business).  If you can mediate without lawyers, do it.  You may not get as a “good a deal” as if you fought for years with lawyers, but you and your ex and your daughter will all be better off.
    Click to expand…

    I am certainly not a lawyer and don’t have experience in anything like the mess the OP finds himself in but this seems like a situation where a lawyer is basically required.

    He is thousands of miles away from his daughter on a different continent and sounds like he was sort of forcibly sent home from Japan and now basically only sees his kid via skype.

    I think he not only needs a lawyer but if this were me I’d be shopping for one of those aggressive dad’s rights firms. They often seem a little seedy but I worry that the OP is going to have a heck of a fight on his hands to keep himself in his kid’s life.

    #195682 Reply
    Liked by G
    Avatar Queue 
    Participant
    Status: Resident, Spouse
    Posts: 84
    Joined: 03/26/2017
    I am certainly not a lawyer and don’t have experience in anything like the mess the OP finds himself in but this seems like a situation where a lawyer is basically required.

    Click to expand…

    I’ve been pretty happy with my lawyer so far.

    #195688 Reply
    Avatar Brains428 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 145
    Joined: 11/09/2017

    I would work towards the custody and hard terms on that. The negatives for you are that it sounds like your daughter has a “better life” with mom right now (home and daycare). Also, don’t commercial pilots have schedules just as bad as physicians with the added stress of not always being in the same town? I would wonder if she would argue that the child would have a more stable home life with her. Her character flaws as a spouse may not translate to being a bad parent.

    I’m lucky that my past long term relationships that ended in infidelity had no such financial obligations, but the emotional component is difficult. Do what you need to do to stay healthy and keep moving forward.

    #195746 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 1419
    Joined: 09/18/2018
    I’ve been pretty happy with my lawyer so far.

    Click to expand…

    Not to insult you, how much did you pay your attorney and what was accomplished? You have a complex case with the military and the Japan assignment and you are here in the states. The state laws and the county court will make a big difference. I hope your discussions lead to a settlement. You do not have a to right to an attorney, but in family court one will be hired for your daughter. Unless your parents “charity” extends to legal fees, happiness with your lawyer counts for zero. Good luck.

    #195768 Reply

Reply To: Divorce/Alimony – trying to be fair and move on

In case of a glitch or error, please save your text elsewhere, clear browser cache, close browser, open browser and refresh the page.

you're currently offline

Notifications Mark all as read  |  Clear