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Marriage, CS & Ex's

brittnydee's picture

My BF of 4+ years keeps talking about marriage. We have a dog together, recently bought a house together and are talking about having a child together, so its a logical next step. He was previously married to SK7's BM and obviously it didn't go well. 

What I'm curious about is how BM could use it against us. She has a history of trying anything and everything she can to get whatever she can. Examples: In the middle of the divorce/custody battle, BF's grandfather died and he had to travel for the funeral, she refused to cover or allow alternate care so we had to file an emergency motion to allow my mother to watch him. She then tried to claim part of his inheritance from his grandfather passing and managed to get $10,000.00 of it since technically they were still married when he passed. This was after she made him cash out his retirement to pay her off for a portion of the house they had bought together, then retracted the deal and went after even more money for the house. This after he had refinanced solely in his name when they seperated and paid her out so she could move out.

She also previously made the assumption we were getting married based on a comment from SK7. We have never even mentioned marriage around him so it was just one of those offhand comments kids make. She blew it out of proportion and he fed into the attention. She then claimed that he wasn't handling it well emotionally and we needed to figure out a way to "imitate human emotions" and support him through the hard time and basically accused us of being narcissists and not caring about him.

What I'm curious to know is how could she use us getting married? What power would she have to extort the situation? Financially, custody wise (currently its 50/50 physical custody but she has legal custody), etc?


Aunt Agatha's picture

I'm working through this myself.  Our marriage was delayed by the pandemic.  But a good prenup separating assets is a must.  Keep separate finances, so it's clear your money is separate.

But I would seek legal advice just to made sure you are covered.

As to chaos she might cause, well that's what crazy people do.  Don't tell her or SS anything about the wedding or that you're planning to get married. Plan it for your time with him, and just do it.  

Plan to have someone at the wedding and reception on watch and available to chuck her out or worst case call the police should she show up to cause a scene.

Also think long and hard about this.  My fiancé's girls have not been alienated and are all now teens, the eldest having just graduated HS.  So they are all now pretty independent and contact with their crazy pants BM is now much less.  She still gets all up in her crazy, but it's much more limited and in less than 3 years when the youngest turns 18, she is on permanent block from any way of contacting my fiancé.  Right now, she is on email only with him.  She has long been blocked from contacting me. Point is: you are signing up for long term with this woman when you marry her ex.

Consider if marriage now, knowing what you'll be locked in to is really worth it.  Or if you can wait it out like I did.  

tog redux's picture

You can be sure she will TRY to use it, she's already told you how - she will petition the court for your BF to have less time because SS "isn't handling it well," it might become that he "hates you", or whatever.  Especially if more time for her means more child support. 

She sounds very intent on punishing and controlling your BF, and I'd think carefully before you sign on for this. She probably won't stop until she's managed to alienate your SS from you guys (or at least she will put up a good effort and make your lives miserable in the process).    Been there, done that - we survived, but it was not easy.

brittnydee's picture

You are definitely right that she will try. She is already manipulative, we just have to hope that SS begins to see through it. All we can do is continue to give him stability and love.

tog redux's picture

I once hoped that too - my SS did NOT see through it, he became gradually more and more manipulative like her. He also ended up alienated from us for over 3 years. We see him now, but he's damaged and just like his mother.

ldvilen's picture

You have to be proactive and not naive.  Don't just assume that children or children once adults will somehow see through this.  If I had to do it over again, one of many things I and my DH would focus on is DH being more proactive with his kids early on regarding being honest with them, telling them both he and I love them, and reiterating (rather than shying away from) that he and I are a couple, a married couple, both with their best interests at heart (to counter what BM may be implying).

And don't underestimate the power BMs have with their children.  Sure, it is 50:50 DNA, but I'd say BMs have about 90% of social and psychological control over their kids.  That is why bio-dads in these types of situations have to be very proactive vs. just waiting.  Most bio-dads wind up waiting their lives away holding on for the kids to have some sort of epiphany.  Unfortunately, the only epiphany that winds up coming is for dad when he realizes that he kept his head in the sand for far too long and now his adult kids don't even know him that well other than as some sort of symbolical "dad," and one that BM still has every right to control, as she has in the past.  THAT is what makes it a hell for SM too, because the kids don't or won't recognize her role at all, other than as dad's piece-on-the-side or such.

Rags's picture

This is exactly why it is critical that the NCP demand their time, to set and enforce strict boundaries with the X, and to apply any and all consequences on the manipulative CP to protect their relationship with their children.  

Waiting, being "reasonable", etc... sacrifices too much and gives the manipulator far too much leeway to manipulate and alienate the kids.

BethAnne's picture

If you choose not to get married make sure that your partner has a good will written up and all joint assets are in both of your names otherwise you could end up being screwed in the event of his death. Even if you do get married it is a good idea to go over wills etc with a lawyer to get things set up how you both want it, especially as you jointly own a house and are thinking of having kids together. 

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

The fact that its been 4+ years, tens of thousands of $$ down the drain and a money hungry BM leads me to believe that your BF's lawyer or legal advice he is receiving is sh**. He needs a new/better lawyer and a divorce ASAP. Why has it taken so long?

brittnydee's picture

He has a divorce. BM keeps taking him back to court demanding more money because she can't hold a job down and the courts are biased towards the mothers.

hereiam's picture

What I'm curious to know is how could she use us getting married?

She could try to pull something, like try to use your income to up child support, but I've not heard of that happening, here in the states.

You already live together and have a house together, personally, I wouldn't tell either of them if you you decide to make it legal. What difference does it make to them?

Besides the BM thing, do make sure you are protected, overall, whether you make it legal or not.


Rags's picture

Generally there is not a whole lot she can do with your marriage except be a huge PITA.  SParent income is generally not subject to use in setting CS amounts though some US jurisdictions can award a income reduction credit for CS calculation if the CP's spouses income is extensive. That is what happened to us. 

The SpermClan's lawyer requested that my income be used in setting the CS level in the mistaken belief that SP income is included in the CP's for CS calculation.  This was disallowed. Though the Judge did award the maximum income reduction credit to the Spermidiot of -$1000/mo which reduced his maximum CS obligation by $50/mo.  It really made no difference his CS was a pittance for 9 years and even when it went up by 600% was still inconsequential to our family income levels. The Judge awarded the income reduction credit to the Spermidiot because "Step dad makes a significant living and BioDad should not be punished by having to provide for an artificially elevated standard of living for the child." So, instead of $183/mo, he had to pay $133/mo.  They tried this each time we ended up in court and CS was under review.  The maximum income reduction credit was applied, the the new CS level was reduced from the maximum by $50/mo.

She certainly can interfere in your SO's relationship with his failed family child, PAS the kid, poison the kid against you and her dad,  and inject a whole lot of tension and crap into your marriage. But.. if you and DH are a strong team and tolerate none of her crap, there really is not much she can do differently once you marry than what she has apparently been doing.

This is how my bride and I have lived our blended family marriage.  We raised the Skid as equity life partners and as equity parents (he is an only child in our home) and we made sure to bring as much pain as necessary to bear on the SpermClan when they played their toxic manipulative crap.  It was not difficult to maintain the upper hand because we both have had successful professional careers with associated continually increasing incomes.  Zero tolerance and fully committed resources go a long way to controlling the toxic opposition.  Though it can be extremely expensive. In our case, the total legal fees for the 16+ years we lived under the CO and periodically battled the SpermClan's crap until SS aged out from under it was about $10K.