If you're reading this, chances are you're consumed with a lot of emotions right now. You're not sure which end is up, why this is happening, or when it will end. We're sorry that you're going through this, but we're glad that you are here. /r/divorce is dedicated to helping those suffering through divorce with general advice, internet hugs, and just the solace and comfort that comes from talking to people who have walked the road that you're on.
We encourage you to talk about your situation. The first step to healing is getting it all out in the open. A word of caution: If you feel your situation may be a difficult legal battle, or you are worried that it might become one, avoid sharing very specific details that may allow someone else reading your posts to figure out who you are. There have been divorce cases where social media posts were brought into the courtroom.
Here are some general guidelines to help you:
Tell us how old you are, how long you were married, how many kids, if you own a house, etc.
Tell us if you're using a mediator, collaborative divorce process, attorneys, or trying to DIY/Pro Se. Please note, most people in this sub (and pretty much all the mods) are going to urge you not to go Pro Se, especially if children are involved.
The basic reasons for the divorce. Infidelity, physical/sexual/emotional abuse, addiction, irreconcilable differences, etc. This is where details are important, but careful consideration of how much you reveal can be important. "Infidelity with a co-worker" is fine. "STBX is traveling to Vegas and hooking up with co-workers at the ABC Pharmaceutical Sales Convention this weekend" is not a good idea.
Tell us where you are emotionally, as best you can. This is an important step in the healing process.
Tell us what you'd like us to do to help. We can't offer specific legal advice, although we can let you know what to expect from the legal system, and we do have a handful of attorneys who are kind enough to offer their opinions from time to time. But this sub is no substitute for a competent family law attorney.
Rant or vent if you need to get it out of your system. We've all been there before, we know it hurts.
Realize that the family court system is not meant to be a place to seek justice, revenge, or moral victory for you. Family courts exist to legally dissolve a marriage in the most efficient and fair manner possible, and to look out for the best interests of the children. Your hurts, anger, bitterness, sense of betrayal, whatever, have no place in the courts and are irrelevant to the consideration of your child's best interests.
Remember that you can no longer dictate/control/demand any sort of behavior out of your STBX. They are free to spend their/your money in any manner they see fit; live with, sleep with, date with, cavort with, hold hands with, write the great American novel with whomever they see fit. They can make whatever parenting decision they choose on their time. We have a saying in /r/divorce: There is no law against being a bad parent. There is also no law against being a bad ex-spouse.
Bash your STBX. It is okay to be angry and hurt. You should be. But calling them names, tearing them down, and generally dragging them through the mud does not help you in any meaningful way. We want you to tell the truth ("STBX has a drinking problem.") without badmouthing ("that [censored] waste of a [censored] who do they think they are [censored] drinking all day and spending all of our [censored] money). We're not going to ban you, remove your posts, or chastise you for violating this suggestion. But we may remind you that it isn't helping you with your recovery.
Assume that custody will go for/against you because of your gender. "The courts are biased against fathers" is pretty much a myth in the US today. The courts are definitely biased against fathers who try to go to court without a lawyer. Especially if the mother has an attorney. Overall, however, most courts in most states are very open to 50/50 physical and legal custody if the circumstances allow it. If you insist on posting a "I know I won't get/will get custody because my state is gender biased" thread, be prepared to have this notion challenged.
Take legal advice from your STBX or their attorney. Once an attorney is involved, they represent you or your STBX. Not both of you. Do not fall into the trap of letting your STBX convince you to "let my attorney handle it for both of us."
Make it a gender thing. Men cheat. Women cheat. Both sexes choose to cheat at roughly the same rate, depending on what studies you want to point to. Making generalized "why do all men cheat?" or "why can't women be trusted?" statements are not well received and will usually result in the post being removed. Your STBX may have cheated, but one person does not a data point make.TM
Use this sub as a place to further your own agenda. If you have a burning desire to publish your misogyny or misandry manifestos, there are plenty of repositories of hate elsewhere on the internet. This sub is not one of them. We have one mod in particular who will relish in mocking your posts as he removes them. Consider yourselves duly warned.
Attack others. We have a very diverse viewpoint in this sub. We have Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, hippies, yuppies, hipsters, old farts, gentle curmudgeons, sarcastic barwenches, webcam girls, attorneys, gypsys, accountants, soldiers, sailors, airmen, police officers, peaceful resistors, lost souls…get the picture yet? We're all different, but for one reason or another, we all belong to the fellowship of suffering that is divorce. For that reason alone, we all respect one another's advice, opinions, and perspectives. You do not have to agree with someone, but you do have to respect them. All of the mods are very quick to support this. This sub exists to aid in the healing of all members of this fellowship. Not just the ones that adhere to your particular view of it.
We're sorry you're here. But we hope we can help during the time you choose to remain part of our fellowship.
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