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Parents and Divorce

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by spongesam, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. Ok, wierd place to ask about this... but anyway...

    how many of you guys have gone through, or had your parents gone through a divorce?

    IN particular... a situation where 1 party is forcing the other party to show financial assets via a solicitor?

    how messy did it get?

    reason i'm asking, is my olds are about to do this, have been living seperately for a few years already, but kind of seperated for long as i can remember...

    i am very close to both of my parents, whereas my brother isn't close to either... this causes a bit of a problem for me...

    being close to both sides, means that they both will talk to me about something, effectively, and unintentionally making me a middleman for some things, all the while going (but don't tell your mother, or don't tell your father)

    have you guys any suggestions?
    like, do places exist where they can both sit in a room and discuss things, each with a solicitor? (like the movies, or something)


    so yeah, as much as i don't want to know about any of it, i want to be able to do soemthing about it so that they end up both ok... ie: when i go to visit i'm not getting "rant rant rant, you father caused this* and vice versa.

    but anyway, i duno what to do... thanks for sparing your eyes for this!

    *feels better now*
  2. This topic is an absolute minefield. :shock:

    The best advice anyone could give you, is go and speak to a counsellor. Something as emotionally volatile as this should be handled by an expert.
  3. Agree with Pinky, this can be a dangerous topic.

    But, there are lots (and i do mean LOTS) of people who have been through this before and come out all right, so stick in there.

    From my experience i'd say just try to explain to them that perhaps your not comfortable being stuck in the middle. I personally wouldn't try and get too involved in the settlement process because it is far too easy for it to get ugly and you dont want to be in the middle of that.

    And remember that its nothing to be embarrased or ashamed about, it happens and it works out in the end. hopefully your olds will be able to work things out in a relatively amicable way and you can all get on with your lives with as little disruption as possible. Of cause it will be a disruption and it will be hard and it will change everything, but hopefully it is a painless as these things can be.

    Good luck mate.
    Feel free to yell out if you need a chat or just a vent.

  4. Hi spongeman,

    Can say i've experience similar situation however was younger than you. Parents seperated when I was 11 and all the financial stuff when I was 14. One parent consulted with solicitor over a previously agreed settlement , however that parent thank seeked agreement went back on their work and solicited for another arrangement in which now they in a worse state financially than if had of gone along with original deal.

    I love both my parents equally. They will probably unintentionally make comments or request on you on what you think or just want to vent their frustration on you. It's not fair they do this but I don't think its intentional as such or appreciate what position it puts you in.

    I don't know about councelling for some people it maybe their cup of tea, but I had couple years dealt to me by force basically and hated it.
    By all means I believe talking to people that have a genuine interest or that you know would help however to a councillor that is paid to listen just not so sure.

    Don't know if this helped at all.
    All I can say is try and keep positive and not get bogged down in the crap that flys.
  5. I actually got divorced yesterday, no really.

    Luckily, we (I) had the good sense to not argue about finances, but that was because I was going to be sensible and not try and take as much as I could. I figured that it was in everyone's best interest to sit down calmly and work it all out UNemotionally. It was well worth it the end.

    Your situation is different in that it sounds like your parents no longer have dependants, (ie you and your brother are both adults ?).

    I would encourage you to encourage them to use a mediator (a nuetral person that facilitates calm rational discussion), you can get in touch with such people by ringing the Family Court
  6. i agree to pink angel on this one
    devorce is a very touchy subject and in then end no one in the end
    and the only one that get effective the most are the kids
    look i really would put both of them in a room and then yell at them
    that usually opens there eyes a little .... as they see that its really effecting thier sons
  7. Can't help you with personal experience here, but didn't I hear something about the government trying to set up some form of mediation in these cases that doesn't involve legal professionals?
    I'm sorry I can't recall the details but the idea was to keep costs down and remove the motivation of lawyers to turn it into a long drawn out, expensive bunfight. I don't know if its up and running though.
    I had a friend who told her divorcing parents upfront that she was going to tell the other party EVERYTHING she knew or heard, so if they had any secrets, not to tell her. That way she was being impartial and totally honest, and couldn't be accused of taking sides.
    Best o' luck.
  8. You are talking about a subject that is always going to be tough.
    My Parents went through there split when I was 3, and it wasn't particularly ugly (They didn't have many assets worth splitting), so I'll be honest my interaction with the field is not any where near what you are facing.

    The reality is it all comes down to what fits you, and what fits your parents. If you can talk openly as an equal with each of them (Hard thing to get any parent to do no matter how old you are) then you might be able to sit each of them down and explain the position they are putting you in. But be careful, even if they are logical most of the time, the most mature adult can behave like a spoilt little brat when emotions get involved.

    Whatever you do, tread carefully, and have a good escape plan from any conversation that is getting out of control, because things can be said in those conversations that can't be taken back, and can leave lasting marks.
  9. cheers for all your thoughts guys :)

    i guess it's just something i have to go through but don't...

    might first have a talk to my olds seperately about it all, and hopefully calmly, but i never argue with them, so it should hopefully be all good

    i hope it doesn't come to a long drawn out court case, it's just something that's not affordable in the end :( anyway, cheers for your thoughts again... appreciate it :)
  10. Ouch a touchy subject. Bieng a Father who is seperated and as a child going through hell with my parents when they seperated and for the 30 odd yrs since they got divorced it aint easy.

    Luckily my divorce isnt nasty, for my daughters sake, but Mediation is avaliable and should be done. Whatever you do dont let yourself get dragged into it. My parents for years used me to hurt each other. It doesnt help you or them one bit. It actually makes it worse.

    One point on your side, your 21 so you can understand and rationalised. But get them to see that they have to talk the divorce and work it through. Not get stuck fighting going to the courts and making everyone hurt, especially the kids.

    For your sake I agree with some of the others. See a counsellor and have good friends to help you out through this challenging time.
  11. I personally do not think you need to go to a councillor if the majority of what your feeling is anxiety at being the middleman.

    (Just an idea)

    This issue is quite fixable by asking your parents to meet with you together. Tell them you love them both very much and that you will always be there for either of them if they need, but you do not wish to be placed in the midle of their divorce and have no interest in keeping secrets from either. This will keep them from telling you things "in-so called-confidence".

    Chances are you will get a "this affects you as well", or a, "whats the problem, aren't you interested in your parents lives", or even name calling..... Maybe not right away but it could happen.
    Important to remember that THEY DO NOT MEAN THIS. They are just under immense pressure.

    If they will not meet with you together then explain to each of them separately.
    You may even need to back off and stay away from both of them for a while, which is what your bro has done, and I would expect that once the dust has settled he will probably become close with them again... Maybe... (I don't know him)

    These situations have great impact on people around them and a certain amount of sorrow is expected, however, if they have been separated as long as you can remember then you have probably already adjusted to the fact that they will not be getting back together. . . . . This is just the last of the "bad blood".
    If it really upsets you, then by all means seek counselling but really think about it first... sometimes counsellors can read a bit much into things. (Just my opinion)

    I'm sure they both love you very much and as funny as it sounds, once they are rid of each other , and this burden anging above them, you will probably find that you will have a closer relationship with both, as everyone will value "time with family" a lot more.

    Anyway, just my thoughts

  12. Also,

    A mediator is a great way to get them in the same room and is an extremely attractive option compared to going to court.

    Mediators aren't cheap but nothing compared to what dragging the whole thing through court is! Just ask them and explain to them rationally that they were once able to talk about problems together and that your sure can but they may need a little help from someone.
  13. Yeah I think a mediator is the best way.

    Put it this way I ended up being the middle man and you end up taking a side even if you dont really mean to. The end result being I havent spoken to one of the parents for 4 years nor do intend to in the future, but thats a whole other story :LOL:

    So keep yourself out of it as there is a chance it will become messy and drag you in.
  14. Hi Spongesam,

    Hang in there!

    I've been through something pretty similar - i suppose the best advice is to try to stay out of it as much as you can. Try not to get involved in the arguments. I know this is hard though, especially if one side is being particuarly nasty and / or taking advantage of the other side (as happened in my case), but it just ends up causing more pain for yourself. chances are it won't have any effect on the outcome.

  15. Ditto, The exact same thing happened to me years ago. There is nothing that you can do now to change what is happening just stay out of it as much as possible.

    Hang in there and don't let their argurments or what they tell you change the way you feel abouit either parent.
  16. Good advice above. Don't take sides, if one parent tries to lead you down that path, tell them you won't take sides.
    If your parents get too much for you, just tell them and go find some time for yourself.
    I have never understood the whole grab as much money as you can mentality, surely, you loved each other once, and pretty much both contributed to things? Why not sit down and deal with it yourselves? The only people who win when you involve solicitors is solicitors.
    Personally, in a divorce, I feel both parties should live apart for say six months, and then, when they are both calmer and more rational, they can sit down like adults and sort things out. Nothing gets achieved when everyone is still bitter and angry about things.
    Just my thoughts....

    Regards, Andrew.
  17. very very hard situation :( wont go into my family background or life; its complicated and loooong story, but I will say go to a counselor, if you are at uni there are resourses for discounted/free counselling there. Even though you probably dont feel like its affecting you that much, the counselor can do alot, to benifit you AND your parents if you let them.
    just go for one session and if you dont like it/dont feel its any benifit (some people arent helpful anyway :p) just dont go again.

    I know how hard it is to stay out of the battle between them but try your best, and if its getting too much tell them you need time out and go stay with a friend or something for a few days (im assuming you still live at home). and if you feel up to it tell them why you are going!!!

    Dont worry too much about them right now, they are adults (even if they are acting like kids) and they will sort it out; dont feel the need to get overly involved.
  18. oh and counsellors can organise a mediator for you too :)
  19. My olds split when i was young and proceeded to argue and do battle in court for custody and the like for years and years till i was 16 and walked away from it. None of it ever really phased me too much, i just ignored it and did my own thing.

    Mainly stayed out of it and was switched on enough not to play their silly little games of gathering info through me and tryin to become the favourite. All i asked from them was that they didnt biatch about or insult each other in my prescence. Nothin pissed me off more than that, which my old man had to learn the hard way as i grew up.

    I was generally more interested in takin care of my younger sis than even worrying about their petty arguments.

    Spose you just have to do what you think is the right thing. Maybe consider counselling, it might help. But i always much prefered the crankin a metallica cd option :wink: :)
  20. I'm divorced, and it was a nasty divorce. The ex was out for blood. No matter how had I or my solicitor tried she continually refused mediation *sigh*.

    Counselling didn't really help us a lot though... at the end of the day if a relationship is gone it's gone, although it can help some people accept that it's over (which my ex had lots of trouble doing).

    I would strongly suggest that you consider at least one counseling session, and recommend to your parents that they seek a mediated settlement for the sakes of you kids though.

    If they won't then do _not_ let them drag you into the middle of things (and it sounds like that is already happening).