and I just found out that she is sleeping with my best friend.
I want a divorce!"
That's the first thing that "Robert" said when we first spoke.
Robert's a good guy who has gone through hell.
Understandably, he was a bit of a mess when we first met.
But he's turned it all around and made a great life for himself and his kids.
I'll show you how he did it, and I'll give you ideas for how you can get a fair settlement, too.
"SOMETHING'S NOT RIGHT."
Robert and Nicole live in New Jersey with their three kids.
The accounting firm he works for has an office nearby where he could work, but he makes far more money in the city, and living in New Jersey is expensive.
It's a long day, but it allows him to provide his family with a 6-figure income.
Nicole stopped working when they had their first child 15 years ago, and she's been a homemaker ever since.
He said that Nicole can be self-absorbed, a "know-it-all", controlling, and demanding.
“She's pretty narcissistic" he told me.
A week before he first spoke with me he put a tracking device on Nicoles's car "....just to make sure that she wasn't cheating."
That day at 12:42 PM, Robert's life changed forever.
The tracking device notified his iPhone that Nicole's car was in his best friend Alan's garage.
"What the hell is she doing there?" he thought.
He quickly got himself a shot of Jack Daniels from his desk drawer.
"Hi Honey!" he said into his phone, his heart pounding out of his chest, feeling the drenching sweat rolling down his hand. "What are you doing?"
"Why do YOU care?" she said. You're a workaholic! All YOU do is work, while every day I have to get the kids off to school and clean the house. I can't wait to get out of here, but you never help, and I've just been too busy today!”
Then a long, uncomfortable silence.
They both knew.
He called Alan. The phone rang 8 times. Then voicemail.
ROBERT IS FURIOUS
He stormed into the house two hours early.
"I'm outta here!" he blurted out as he moved past Nicole to the master bedroom to grab some personal things.
"You stink like Jack Daniels again! I knew that you went back to drinking. And if you weren't working all the time, you would have noticed how unhappy I've been!" she screamed at him.
"I want a divorce, you devious, cheating narcissist!" he yelled back at her.
"YOU want a divorce? I'll give you a divorce that you'll never forget, you obsessive-compulsive workaholic!"
"So now I'm both a workaholic AND an alcoholic? I bust my ass to give you everything that you've ever asked for, and you're screwing that sleazy bum Alan?
You won't get a damn nickel from me, and I'll take custody of the kids from you!" he screamed at her.
"YOU caused this" Nicole replied. "It's not my fault.
You can forget about seeing your kids! They can't stand you as it is. I'm gonna go for the jugular and take you for everything that you've got!...
...and by the way...following me with a GPS device is illegal in New Jersey. I'm gonna ask the Judge to put your ass in jail, you creepy stalker!" she yelled with a smile.
Robert looked at me with a tired, dazed look.
"What a narcissistic nut job.
How the hell did I ever marry that wacko?"
"I won't pay a dime of alimony!" he sobbed after a minute or so.
"And that cheating bitch isn't getting any of my 401(k), my IRA, my pension, or any of my stocks.
She deserves nothing from me. Let that jackass support her."
In addition, Robert said that he wants to ask the Judge for sole custody. He said that Nicole is an unfit mother, and that the kids would rather live with him anyway.
He also said that he wants a full psychological report done on her "...to prove that she is a narcissist."
ROBERT NEEDS HELP
At times, through his rage, Robert realized that he was speaking and acting irrationally, but he was having trouble being calm.
The next morning on the ferry to Manhattan, a commuter friend recommended my DAILY DOSE OF DIVORCE email course to him.
Robert immediately subscribed right from his iPhone and his first email arrived instantaneously.
He read it.
He said that the first email was so useful to him that each day thereafter he looked forward to receiving his email from me.
Robert told me that these daily emails answered a lot of his questions and gave him a lot of emotional comfort.
Ultimately Robert hired me to represent him in his divorce case.
I helped him understand the law, and in particular, the way that our divorce court judges in New Jersey tend to apply the law to situations like his.
Together, we explored a series of realistic settlement possibilities.
I also recommended several therapists and financial experts to him.
Robert hired a therapist who helped him deal with his feelings of betrayal, got him to slow down and think about what his goals are, and helped him to focus on what type of custody arrangement is in the best interest of his children.
He also hired a financial advisor, who helped him get a better grasp on his finances to support his divorce case's financial theory.
He and Nicole attended a special custody mediation program at the Court House.
We exchanged multiple settlement proposals with Nicole's lawyer, and Robert and Nicole, with their attorneys present, participated in mediation of the economic issues.
Ultimately, Robert settled the case in a way that meets his needs and the needs of his children.
Nicole was not able to "take him for all that he's got." Not even close.
It was a fair deal.
There was no need for an expensive, drawn-out contested trial.
Issues of custody and money that at first seemed impossible to resolve were worked out fairly.
Ultimately, Robert and Nicole had a simple uncontested divorce hearing at the County Court House.
He then began to heal.
ROBERT'S LIFE GOT BACK ON TRACK
Robert called me to say "hello" recently.
He sounded like a new man.
He told me that working with a great therapist that I had recommended to him has taught him how to manage his rage that at one time had consumed him.
He said that his relationship with his children has never been better, and that he was surprised to find that he is not lonely but rather that he's enjoying his freedom.
He's able to afford to do what's important to him.
"Life is good!" he told me.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW
The most useful thing that you can do is to do what Robert did: get a solid "divorce education."
The more you learn about how child custody is decided, how assets are divided, and how alimony and child support are determined, the sooner your anxiety will lessen.
The best way to continue your divorce education is right here.
Robert benefitted from this great resource, and you can, too.
Starting right now, if you would like.
Just click the above link to get immediate access to very helpful, practical New Jersey divorce-related information.
Until next time,
Steven J. Kaplan, Esq.
5 Professional Circle
Colts Neck, NJ. 07722
Specializing in N.J. Divorce