Sharing Assets in a Split

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In a divorce, there usually is a splitting of finances, property and assets. It is rarely a neat, equal 50/50 split, due to the different amounts that each person contributes to the marriage. In a perfect world, this system would take into account all the factors, but unfortunately, in a court where both judge and jury have their own biases and assumptions, this is sometimes not the case.

I am, of course, referring to cases where the ex-husband was a working father, while the ex-wife was a stay at home mother. I would argue that in a divorce, there should not be a 50/50 split, rather, the majority of the assets, if split fairly, should go to the male, because he is the one who earned most of it. In this scenario, the ex-wife, while probably being ideally supportive, has contributed very little in terms of earning money, and therefore should not receive even half the financial assets. Yet in the current system, a woman may assert to a court that she has been living at a certain standard of living, and should be given the means to continue living at that standard. Is this wrong?

Most definitely. No matter how supportive someone is, or how much they complain about staying home with the kids and doing housework, I guarantee you that the person who is working at a job away from home is having it tougher. They’re making money, working hard to support their family. When it’s a woman who’s working, the stay-at-home man is made fun of and ridiculed. If it’s the other way around, then the working man is seen as a person who is never there for his family. As unfortunate as this is, those are the gender roles and stereotypes constructed by society.

This is my suggestion – get rid of this idea that women need to maintain their quality of life after a divorce. What about the quality of life for the men? Surely a split where each person gets what they actually deserve is fairer than taking the default route of rewarding the woman playing the victim in a divorce.

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Fathers and Children

Due to the fact that traditionally men are the breadwinners in a household, it’s assumed that women look after and care for a child more than the men do. Because of this stereotype of a working man who doesn’t spend as much time with his children, divorce courts assume that the child is best off spending most of their time with their mother. And consequently, in many divorce scenarios, fathers get very little time to spend with their children.

Working fathers are rarely working long hours because of choice, but rather because they’re forced to do so as a way of supporting their families. Contrary to what is assumed, fathers do love their children just as mothers, but due to gender roles that currently exist in society, they might not be able to show it as well as a mother that stays home with their children. While gender roles in society are changing, with more mothers working, and the option for fathers to stay at home to care for their kids, in this current time, the majority of working parents in families still are men.

So this is a call of support, and action, to fathers, both divorced and otherwise. Show your love for your kids, and remember, it’s not the amount of time spent that shows it, but the quality of that time. If you work long hours, make use of the little time you get with your children wisely and make sure that you’re present in their lives. Change never occurs easily, but that is exactly why you must all fight for your children, for the right to spend enough time with them.  And only through doing this will the perception of society change to reflect the actual truth of the situation.

Bias in Courts

The current system in a divorce court is biased towards women when it comes to splitting finances, assets and property.  In most cases, it is assumed that the ex-wife needs more support in maintaining the quality of her lifestyle than the man, regardless of situations. Although this is a ridiculous assumption to make, there may be a reason for this bias, and like most biases that exist, it might very well be socially constructed.

Since very early on in history, women were viewed as the ones to be protected, along with children. A man is able to reproduce with little effort and risk, and more often too, but a woman is much more limited in this. When there is a war, the men go and fight. When there is a hunt, the men participate. In any event that is dangerous or risky, the men are the ones that take part, because they are expendable to a certain degree. In a village setting, if the majority of men were killed, it would not be very difficult to repopulate the village if the women survived. If the case was reversed, with the majority of women killed, then the repopulation process would be much, much slower and difficult. Hence, historically. there has always been a precedent to protect the women.

This has carried on to the present day. However, in our society, there are no longer wars or battles or hunts or slaughters where the protection of women are the priority. Women can be, and very often are, independent, capable of surviving on their own. There is no need to favour the ex-wife in a divorce court. If child custody is split 50-50, there should be no need for alimony, or awarding them assets and properties that they do not require. In a divorce situation, both parties will face difficulties, and there is certainly no need to make it more difficult for the men by forcing them to support the woman after the marriage has been dissolved. Once the marriage is over, that should be the end of things.

jamesbrownrecluse’s divorce

"I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed." Source

Reddit user ‘jamesbrownrecluse’s story is a very real reminder that divorce settlements continuously affect men long after the actual divorce. And sometimes, it isn’t the ex-wife that’s the problem.

‘I had a 50-50 custody deal for a couple of years and I had the same view that you do – that divorces aren’t all that bad. Then two things happened: my ex got married and I moved away from the small town where my kids go to school.

Since I moved, I was unable to accommodate the 50-50 custody agreement because I live too far away to take my kids to school. I sent my ex many messages telling her that I was moving and that we should talk about child support changes since she would have the kids more often. Her only response was that she was upset that I was moving and that I was not doing my job as a father. Then she took me to court for more child support.

In Texas, you either have a 50-50 custody situation and no child support is paid; or if it’s not 50-50 one parent owes the other 25% of their income. So, my ex sued me and now gets 25% of my earnings for “child support”. Her husband owns multiple homes, multiple vehicles and they vacation down in Cozumel every summer. It’s clear to me they don’t need my money. But I decided to not let that bother me.

That was until a couple of weeks ago, when they served discovery papers to my attorney for all my financial records to see if I was hiding any income. I sent a text to my ex telling her she was wasting her time. Then I went to pick up my kids and her asshole husband meets me in the driveway to tell me that HE was going to get 25% of everything from me. Then it became clear to me that this was all about him.

Anyway, my divorce was okay for a while, but it didn’t stay that way. I hope things work out better for you.’

John Cleese’s Divorce

retrieved from http://famebiography.net/john-cleese/

John Cleese is a great man. He is known mostly for his work as part of British comedy team Monty Python, his character Basil in television series Fawlty Towers, and his black humour. However, despite having a successful career and being quite renown, Mr Cleese has fought battles of his own against ex-wives. His second divorce costed him 12 million pounds, and his third and most recent divorce has forced him to pay another 12 million pounds in alimony.  This is a ridiculous amount of money to pay to women who clearly have gotten used to the quality of life that comes with being with a great man like John Cleese, and don’t want to lose that. They certainly do not need 12 million pounds  to survive, or even live well.

This money is paying for a life of luxury – a life that they perhaps don’t really deserve. While these women might have been successful in their own way, they are most certainly not more successful than John Cleese himself. Here is a man who has done so much, and been so incredible in his particular field, has made himself financial strong by his own efforts. Yet, after completing the alimony payments to his third wife, Mr Cleese is now less rich than her. How does that even make sense? Even if she contributed to his success, the major bulk of the work was due to Mr Cleese himself – he built up his fame and fortune by himself, from before he had even met her. It’s completely ridiculous that a woman is able to obtain half of a man’s asset in a divorce settlement, especially in this kind of situation, where it’s so obvious that those assets were almost completely earned by the man.  But no, British divorce laws allows this to happen, on the grounds that the woman has grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle and should be able to maintain it.

And so, this great man, John Cleese, has lost 2/3 of his wealth to women who almost definitely don’t deserve the amount of money that they’ve taken. At the age of 75, Mr Cleese has been forced to start touring and performing comedy shows just to be able to pay alimony. What a terrible situation, and a reminder that even great men are ruined by divorces.

Flimflamsam’s story

Redditor Flimflamsam’s experience, where the relationship was seriously jeopardise by a manipulative wife.

‘My actual divorce came quite a bit after my separation (law here mandates 12 months of being separated before you can apply for a regular divorce). I still didn’t get divorced until a good 3 years later because she has a touch of the crazy/manipulator in her and I frankly feared all kinds of drawn out BS (meaning: costly legal shit for me) arguing over money she thought I owed her (I didn’t). I only got divorced maybe… 3 years after the separation because of this procrastination.

I tried, quite hard, to keep the relationship together for the sake of our infant (she was just under 2 when we split) but about a year after our separation things went south very quickly when I found out she’d called the police with a false domestic assault claim. I had a bunch of hoops to jump through with that, it was all dismissed but definitely sealed the “never going back” decision.

I still keep in contact with her because of our daughter, if I had a choice, I’d never talk to her again – not because it’s particularly messy now (it was in the past, however) – but I just find her very irritating and I just don’t want to be around her – so I avoid it unless absolutely necessary.

Immediately after separation I did the financial split, I left her with just about everything we owned (we rented our accommodation, so just furniture and appliances were the big ticket items) except my clothes and a few things I’d had before (computer, stereo and CDs).

Because of the long drawn out timeline, it wasn’t until 1.5 years after the separation that I eased myself into getting over the whole thing – it was particularly hard because of the police shenanigans and she’d withheld access to my daughter for 186 days, so I missed a summer of my daughters life. This was a tough summer and I drank a lot. I drank a lot when the initial separation happened as well (right before Christmas, I moved out just after) – mostly because I held myself to the “normal family life” standard, and didn’t want that to break down – I felt like a failure and that I was letting myself, my family and my daughter down. Regardless of the self guilting, I knew it was unhealthy to continue. I saw a marriage counsellor after the separation, she refused.

The biggest thing I remember specifically about not being with my ex-wife is that I lost a friend, when we were together, I knew I had someone to talk to about anything at anytime – and that was gone in an instant, so that took some adjustment. Other than that, the relationship had basically died off anyway – so it wasn’t THAT emotional on that side of things – it was more that I couldn’t see my daughter that tore me up.

She still tries to eek more money from me for X, Y and Z here and there but I don’t sway – and I just try not to engage and play into her games.

It’s hard for me to compare this to a “normal” break up, because I have a child with my ex-wife – so there’s a significant complication and requirement to still communicate, etc.

I’ve never really been one to keep in touch with exes, except for one – no real “bad” feelings as I’ve let it all go, but I just have no need to be in touch with them anymore – they’re not my friends, despite being amicable – it’s just not a friendship.’

Bill Burr on Divorce and Alimony

Comedian Bill Burr has very strong views on unjust divorce settlements. He discusses property splits in a divorce and quality of life after a divorce. It seems that women are the ones who retain their life styles and quality of life, and this is something that is a legitimate point to make in divorce court. Women are allowed to make this point, that they’re used to a certain way of life, and they should be able to retain that. Even when the ex-husband was the one bringing in the bulk of the income, it seems that his quality of life is significantly less important that the ex-wife’s quality of life, from the perspective of the courts. Hence, so many men lose their rightful share of property and money to their ex-wives after a divorce.