Keeping The Peace
As it involves two people in a failed relationship, divorce can get ugly fast. Breakups get nasty enough and they don’t even involve legally declaring yourself as single, splitting up assets, and determining who gets custody of the kids when. How are two people who, whether justified or petty, couldn’t manage to mend a relationship supposed to find common ground on any of the aforementioned aspects of their lives? There’s a reason divorce lawyers make so much money!
Our friend, “Jane,” and her ex-husband, “Chris,” had what very few former couples can say they had; “a great divorce.” Although Chris did cheat on Jane after 12 years of marriage while they had two kids under the age of 4. As great of a divorce as it can be considering all of that!
Jane’s parents had a nasty divorce when she was a kid. She remembered the jarring shift in her parents from a couple who loved each other to two people who hated each other with a passion. Not the greatest thing to grow up with. As a result, Jane decided to do things differently. Jane “never said anything negative about Chris to their kids or during any of the divorce proceedings. She even tried very hard to defend him when the kids got upset with him.”
Jane even extended an invitation to “Sarah,” the younger woman Chris left her for. She didn’t want Sarah to feel uncomfortable around her and they were as best of “friends” as they could be given the circumstances. Jane thought of it as “She’s basically the kids’ stepmom now so why not include her in everything?”
Based on the evidence we have so far, Jane might be the most levelheaded person I’ve ever heard of. Is it entirely for the sake of the kids? Probably. Does that make it any less impressive? Nope. Chris should feel lucky he cheated on such a cool cucumber, right?
The Fine Details
On holidays, they all had one big dinner. Jane, her new boyfriend, Chris, Sarah, and their kids were all present. “This made everyone comfortable and the kids never had to choose one side or the other. It was such great relationship that when Jane had back surgery, she recovered at their house and Sarah even cooked for her. Jane and Chris remained coaches for the kids’ basketball and baseball teams. Jane even helped at Chris and Sarah’s wedding.”
As far as keeping the peace went, Jane was doing great.
When Chris initially left Jane, her divorce lawyer got her “a separation agreement that was really great for her.” Chris requested that Jane not take half of his retirement fund and instead, he would pay her child support and additional alimony every month.
Chris was making a lot of money and as a result, Jane had been “a stay-at-home mom with a country club membership.” After Chris left, Jane had to return to work to support their kids while Sarah got to quit her job and live the stay-at-home mom lifestyle.
“Normally, alimony ended after 5 years; however, Jane didn’t get half of Chris’s 401K so the monthly payments only ended either when she was remarried or dead. Chris agreed with all of it.”
All was going well with their agreement until Chris moved and left his cushy job to live with Sarah in a different state with her kids.
He Dug Himself In Quite The Hole
He took a promising position with another company that didn’t deliver and really put him in a bad spot financially. You truly hate to see it.
Most people immediately go to their lawyer and get the alimony payments reduced in this situation. Chris was too proud to do so. Instead, he borrowed from his mother. Much cooler than getting the alimony payments reduced. It wasn’t long before Jane discovered Chris was mooching off of his mother.
Instead of reaching out to Chris, Jane reached out to his mother. Jane expressed how she appreciated her covering Chris’s alimony payments but suggested she stop as he should still have plenty of money to make the payments despite losing a decent chunk of his income.
It seemed Chris hadn’t changed his lifestyle whatsoever and Sarah was still a stay-at-home mom. Adjusting his lifestyle probably would have allowed Chris to make his own alimony payments but instead he continued to fall back on his mother.
She even co-signed on a second home for Chris when he moved back after Sarah’s kids had moved out and he and Jane’s kids were in high school.
Chris did approach Jane and ask if she would be willing to accept her regular child support payments and half of alimony. He promised when he returned to making good money he would increase his almony payments to make up for it.
“Not wanting to make waves in an otherwise great divorce, Jane said yes and kept track each month of what was owed in a shared spreadsheet with him so he could see how far in debt he was getting each month.”
This agreement ended up lasting ten years, where Chris racked up $1,000 in debt every month. Chris said when the child support payments ended, he would continue paying Jane the full amount to make up for his debt.
When their daughter aged out, Chris continued the same payments. However, when their son aged out, Chris seemed to have a change of heart.
Quite The Change Of Heart
No more than two weeks after their son joined the military, Chris called Jane.
Before Jane opened her mouth, Chris said, “I’m only making alimony payments to you now, both of the kids are aged out.”
Jane responded, “What happened to continuing both payments to pay off your debt?”
Defensively, Chris retorted, “I’m not legally bound to pay you child support anymore.”
Shocked, Jane calmly responded, “You still owe me $120,000 for the years I only accepted half of the alimony payments.”
Chris exploded, “If you think I’m going to make payments to you forever, you’re freaking nuts!”
It completely blew Jane’s mind as they had such a fantastic relationship prior.
Jane responded, “It’s not my fault you can’t manage your money! You dug yourself into this hole, not me.”
Chris shouted, “You can take me to court! There’s no freaking way I’m paying you another cent,” and hung up.
Jane was “completely freaked out but took his advice.”
Jane contacted her attorney and the first advice she was given was to send every one of Chris’s increasing number of angry calls to voicemail. Not only did this help Jane avoid confrontation with her newly irrational ex-husband but it gave them plenty of evidence to work with.
“You’ll Never Get A Penny From Me!”
It turned out yelling, “I don’t care how much I owe you! You’re not getting anything,” on many voicemails can really hurt your chances of winning in court.
After about the twentieth aggressive voicemail, Jane’s attorney decided to play hardball. They “put a lien on both of Chris’s homes.”
Her attorney explained, “Now he can’t change ownership to Sarah or his mother prior to the court hearing. Meaning if the judge sees fit, you could get one of his homes as payment for his debts. Forget this guy.”
When Chris got word of this, he left the angriest of voicemails.
“You greedy ‘blankety blank!’ You’re trying to take everything I worked for! You’ll never get a penny from me! My attorneys are going to rip you to shreds!”
Jane still has the voicemail saved in her phone to this day. She listens to it when she’s sad sometimes.
“Since Jane had kept such immaculate records from the day Chris changed payments, and he was aware of his debt rising every month, it was a slam dunk for her attorney.” The twenty voicemails of Chris angrily acknowledging his debt and vowing to never pay it certainly didn’t help his case either.
Instead of making payments to Jane “for the rest of his life,” the judge ordered Chris to pay the full $120,000 in 30 days.
Jane didn’t know how he came up with the money but she received the full amount on day 29 and never heard from Chris again.
Sarah, on the other hand, kept in touch.
She informed Jane the reason for Chris’s sudden change of heart. His mother refused to help him with his alimony payments after their son aged out.
Chris also cheated on Sarah two separate times before they were even married. Unfortunately, Sarah already quit her job when she got together with Chris because she had found a “sugar daddy.” She had nothing to fall back on so she was stuck in the relationship.
She felt comfortable being so open because Jane had been good to her and was well aware of how big of a scumbag Chris was.
Unfortunately, the kids had to choose who to visit on holidays but they knew it wasn’t Jane’s fault.
Thoughts From The Author
Well that couldn’t have happened to a better person. Chris sounds like an all around horrible person. He cheats on his partners. He lives a lavish lifestyle that is nowhere within his means and falls back on his mother when it catches up to him. Chris moved away from the family he started to raise his side piece’s family and hilariously tanked his career as a result. On top of everything, he couldn’t believe there were repercussions to leaving his wife and their two kids. What a guy! I wish Jane got both of his houses.
From the very beginning, Chris didn’t deserve Jane whatsoever. She gave up her own career to stay at home and raise their kids, although it does sound like a pretty good gig. Then she was a great sport when he cheated on her and left her entirely for the sake of the kids. She had every single right to go scorched Earth and didn’t because she’s a great person. The amount of levelheadedness it takes to befriend the side piece is actually insane.
Back to flaming Chris. Judging from the context clues, I’m going to assume Sarah is much younger than Chris. Chris gives off the vibes of someone who uses his money and status to attract younger women who probably wouldn’t look at him twice because he suddenly grows tiring of being in a relationship. Which makes him a creep. Absolute gem of a human being. He couldn’t even stay faithful to Sarah leading up to their marriage. How do you cheat on your side piece you left your wife and kids for? If it were possible to bet on Sarah leaving Chris, I would bet my life savings on it.