The only thing tougher than divorce, is divorce when you have kids. If you think your time, money, energy, negotiation skills, and your sanity is at it’s breaking point, you are not alone.

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26 Comments

  1. Anyone know a good lawyer in Maine who can stop your ex from taking your kids out of the state?

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  2. May sound odd, but I have a question to help my ex (I know, but it makes sense).

    I’m in the military, divorced, and my wife lives in another state from me with the kids. I move too much and that’s just how it is.

    Lately, my 10 year old son has been arguing with her very heavily. When he gets mad, he tells her he wants to go live with me.

    I’m all for that and will make it work. But, I want it to be because he wants to, not to make mom mad or out of anger.

    Any advice about how to tell the difference and work to help him (and her) figure this out, and then us figure it out?

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  3. Anyone deal with a flow of clothes, toys etc from your house to your ex’s? My ex doesn’t provide much for the kids. When they come over, I make sure they have things at my house for them to do and wear.

    I can’t help notice that new clothes and toys go from my house back to their moms. I feel like I’m always stocking up.

    I don’t want to tell the kids they have to leave my stuff here, but seriously?! Can’t my ex buy any clothes?

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    • It’s simple, really. What Dad buys Dad maintains at his house for the kids visits. Just ensure as best you can that packing for return to Mom’s house is without the toys and clothes that Dad had in inventory before their arrival. If need be, inspect their packed things to ensure Dad’s stuff for the kids stays Dad’s stuff.

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  4. Can somebody tell me why I pay so much child support , yet my kids come to visit without decent clothes?

    It’s hot out now, and I get the kids this weekend. My ex just informed me that I’ll have to take the kids shopping for shorts and bathing suits. wtf??

    I’m not against getting things for my kids, but I’m not made of money. I pay high child support. Plus, I don’t need to take marching orders from their mother anymore. This sucks.

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    • Wow. I know how you feel. It’s more important to take care of the kids and their needs that to fight over how the Ex is using the child support. Buy the kids the clothes that they need but ensure those items stay at your place. No reason to give the Ex MORE when she appears to be spending the money on herself rather than the kid’s needs.

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  5. I cheated, I get it. I screwed up. But should I have to pay for it for the rest of my life? My ex is turning my kids against me and making up lies. They don’t even want to come to the phone to talk to me about their day when I call. Yes, I messed up with the wife, and yes, there’s nothing I can do about that, but how can I stop her from turning my own kids against me? It’s killing me and I can’t handle them not wanting to talk to me. I would never hurt my kids, I love them more than anything, how do I make her stop this crap!! Can I sue her for slander or something?

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    • Dude, you cheated on your FAMILY. You broke up your FAMILY. What lies does your ex need to tell your kids for them to be angry and resentful? The truth is that Daddy wanted to be with another woman instead of mommy and his children. The truth is enough to make them want to stay away from you. No lies needed!!

      You would never hurt your kids?? You have already caused serious hurt and damage that may take years to repair. Your kids will have lasting scars.

      Got a daughter? You just taught her how she can expect to be treated by men. Got a son? You just taught him that honor and integrity can be tossed aside for selfish pleasures.

      You broke up your kids home, deprived them of emotional security, and blame thier mother?

      Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you should be apologizing and begging to be allowed to participate in professional family counseling with them.

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      • Wait, I call foul! I’m the one on the receiving end of a cheating wife before our divorce, so I also can call foul!

        He’s owned up. The cheating is between the two adults. She is clearly in the wrong bringing the kids to her side. What logic are you applying to the son teaching moment above? The failing of the marriage is between them. It is NOW a teaching moment for his son because she brought the boy into the conversation. I can think of NO child therapist that would recommend bringing children into these adult issues!

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  6. I’ve been divorced for more than two years and I have two kids, a 12 year old daughter and a 9 year old boy. My ex and me don’t talk more that absolutely necessary because we had a nasty breakup. Now the ex wants to talk with me about my daughter. She’s trying to tell me what she thinks I need to say and do with a teenage girl. It was her constant picking at me and trying to control everything that wrecked our marriage. But I don’t want my daughter to get messed up either. How much should I listen to her mom?

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    • Warning: Female response. But trying to help!

      None of us want to listen to our ex. But you are not a woman, so you have to get over the bitter feelings with your ex and figure out what she’s trying to tell you about your daughter. Maybe she’s finally able to see past the bullshit she laid on you in the past (and you likely laid on her) and is trying to help your daughter. Maybe this is the first of many steps where the two of you will finally be able to parent your kids together. You can’t go it alone, and whether you like it or not, the parent that likely “gets” your daughter and her issues best is the mom. Bitter pill, but true.

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      • I’ve got news for you Bev, being a woman doesn’t make someone an automatic expert on parenting. I’m lucky my kids are boys, because my ex is a cheating mess and is not anyone who should be raising little girls, or any kids for that matter. Wish the courts would see that.

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  7. I feel like I’ve made a huge mistake. I divorced years ago, met someone, and then remarried. Looking there today I feel I missed or ignored too many warning signs. Today my new wife is horrible to my daughter. They can’t stand each other.

    Now my son wants to come live with me full one and my new wife is very resistant to that. I believe she wants our new family going forward, with me as dad to her son and our baby, and my precious kids are an inconvenience.

    I’m tempted to punt, tell her to piss off, and just go it alone, but in fearing failure…again. Thoughts?

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    • Hey, I know how you feel. My second wife was horrible to my son from my previous marriage. Even after professional counseling, she just couldn’t get past being a nasty, evil step mother. So, I dumped her for the sake, sanity and welfare of my son. Good luck with it. This is a huge issue for all of you.

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  8. I’m very recently divorced. I have three kids and just settled into a nice apartment. With the divorce, I have 50/50 custody of our three kids, with the oldest being 11. All is good, I’m no longer walking on eggshells around the house, but I have one problem…the 11 year old.

    She won’t come over. She won’t speak to me. The other two come and are doing well. I don’t pressure them about their sister, but she refuses to even see me. I did nothing wrong!!!

    She’s in therapy and the therapist has told me to be patient and they will let me know when I can text her little messages.

    This is driving me crazy! I know my ex is part of the problem. This is MY BABY GIRL! She used to rush to me when I came home and the way it is today is ripping me apart.

    Any advice about how to keep my cool? I’m heartbroken and mad all at the same time!

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    • I HAVE LIVED IN YOUR SHOES. I’ve been there and trust me, it takes years to turn this around. I don’t know your situation but my guess is that either your daughter is just purely angry about the divorce and Dad leaving the house, Mom and the other kids all alone or there is some parental alienation going on. Losing the anger is key. Changing your heart is essential. You love your daughter with all your heart, I can hear that. The fact that she’s in counseling is a good thing. She’s working through her feelings and emotions and trying to sort all of this out, just as my oldest daughter had to do. If I could offer any advice to you at all it would be – RELAX. Be patient. Don’t pressure or even bring the subject up with the other kids. Let your kids know you love them. Ask your kids how their sister is doing. Always express your love for her, even to her siblings. Always keep an open mind when it comes to your daughter. When you do start texting, never ever talk about Mom or the divorce. Just your openness and desire to be with your daughter. Invite her to lunch or dinner. Don’t become angry or defensive if she doesn’t reply. Just keep the positive spin on everything that you do for her. It took me three years of open, positive, inviting dialog with my daughter to see her start to turn the anger into trust again. It will happen, but this too will take a lot of time, effort and patience on your part. This might be 10x harder than the actual divorce process itself.

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  9. Third time in 2 months and I’m pissed (out of 5 visits)

    She’s called with some lame excuse why she can’t bring them over today and either I need to come get them or wait till the next day!

    She’s over an hour away and we agreed to share the back and forth. This time she’s sick!

    Am I over reading into this or is she just screwing with me?

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  10. This was the first year that I didn’t get to spend Easter with my kids. They were with their mother and her family. I get them next weekend, and I’m going to do Easter with them, at least the basket and candy part.

    I decided to tell my kids that the Easter Bunny came to my place, too, because the Eater Bunny goes where kids have a mom or dad that loves them. I figure that might work for Santa, too.

    Do you think the kids will be okay with that?

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  11. I’ve been divorced over 5 years and thought I was over the anger and nastiness from then. It was the worst time of my life. I never knew my wife could be so spiteful and vindictive. She dragged me through hell during the divorce. She’s evil.

    Now my 15 year old daughter is turning into her mother right before my eyes. I can’t hardly stand to be in the same room with her. by the time the divorce was over, I hated her mother. I don’t want to hate my daughter, but it makes me sick to be around her. What should I do?

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  12. How can I get my child support reduced when I can’t afford a decent lawyer? The one I used for the divorce didn’t keep me from getting screwed. They’re even taking it out of my paycheck. I know dam well all that money isn’t going just for the kids. It’s not right.

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    • I was right there with ya! What helped me was the Internet. I just started plugging away looking for calculators for my state. Took a bit, but found one, along with several for others (marylands was online. Not my state but it was a good example).

      Then I laid out my budget to the penny and ran these calculators. I found I was $100s over what I thought was fair and right compared to these numbers. All this on my own and cost nothing but time!

      Then I paid a different lawyer for 1 hr to ask if I was on the right track. He was wishy washy, but I got the impression I was on right track (he was pushing to represent me).

      Now I’ve filed on my own. The court had some handouts to help. I’m pressing ahead on my own to file and get before a judge if needed.

      Not there yet, it’s a pain, but I’m trying! Will let you know!

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  13. This is my first time posting here and I am not generally the type of guy that “shares” online, but I feel like I have to share this because I don’t know what to do. I first met my ex over 10 years ago through work and we quickly became friends. Nothing happened between us then and a few years later I switched jobs and we didn’t really keep in touch. Fast forward 3 years, she reaches out via Facebook and we reconnected and eventually started dating. Everything was good we ended up getting married and 2 years later had a little girl. It was amazing and I love my little girl too bits, the 4 years we were a family was the best of my life. Then 6 months ago it all blew up … My wife served me with divorce papers out of the blue and went for full custody with no visitation!!!!!!! Why you ask? Well it turns out my baby girl isn’t biologically mine!!!!! And she knew for a year!!!!!! My whole life blew up in a matter of hours. Basically, she had an affair around the time she was conceived and hid it all from me. Then a year ago the guilt of not knowing got to her and she had a DNA test done with my daughter and the guy she had the affair with and he was the father. My life has basically stopped over the last 6 months and I haven’t been able to deal with anything, but the hearing is getting closer and my lawyer basically says there is nothing I can do. Is this true?!?! Any help you guys can give me would be amazing. Thank you.

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    • This is definitely one to take up with your attorney! You are established as the father for your girl. In her best interest, does she deserve a break from her dad? No!!! Paternity test will grant him access, but should not deny her the right to see her dad….aka you!!!

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  14. First let me say that I’m a huge fan of the forum being added. Your site has been a big source of help for me over the past months since I found it, but I am looking to see if others are really going through the same shit as me with their ex.

    Ok, so maybe not ex, but she will be soon enough if I could only get the damn court to actually move on our paperwork (another issue).

    We split and are headed for a divorce because I was sick of her finding a new dude to shack up with anytime I had to go on a work trip to pay for the house while she sat on her butt, or pleased the neighborhood. That’s fine, it happens, and I’m looking forward to that being well behind me.

    But my kids are still feeling the pain from it. My work is busy, so it made sense for them to be with her during the week, and I see them on the weekend. Everytime I pick them up, they talk about “New Dude 1” or “New Dude 2” hanging out at the house or having a sleepover. WTF?!!! On top of that, one of the b*stards actually yelled at my daughter the other day for not picking up her mess. I’d kick his ass except he’s out the door for New Dude 100 now.

    Anyone else dealing with these issues with their ex in front of their kids? It floors me what they are living, but I feel powerless to stop her actions and their witnessing her train wreck of a love life. My lawyer says I’m stuck…unless they hurt the kids, wasted fight. Are you serious?! Is our world that f*cked up?!

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    • Dave,

      The short answer is YES, the world is that effed up. My husband’s ex is doing the same thing to his kids, so we are trying to get custody. If you think your kids are in an unhealthy situation, you need to go for primary custody. it will probably cost money if your ex fights it, but if it’s better for your kids, then do what you gotta do.

      Maybe you’ll get lucky and your ex would rather have more time with her boyfriends that dealing with her kids, and will let you take them.

      Talk to your lawyer and make arrangements for daycare. Better your kids are with a sitter than a trashy mother, IMHO.

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