I'm hoping to gather some wisdom and advice from the community as I prepare for what I anticipate will be a challenging divorce. My wife and I have been married for 15 years and have a wonderful son, 7. Unfortunately, our relationship has reached a point where we both are unhappy. I want to divorce. My wife wants to stay together for financial security.
However, I'm concerned things could get messy, primarily due to some past dynamics and my wife's history of making threats involving finances and child custody. While I'm committed to an amicable solution that prioritizes our son's well-being, I need to be prepared for potential roadblocks and ensure I can protect both him and myself during the process.
Key Points to Consider:
Financial Disparity: My annual income is approximately £200,000 (fluctuates based on basic salary, bonus, and shares). I covered most household expenses, including the purchase of our £700,000 home (mortgage ~£500,000). We borrowed from my in-laws, which has been repaid.
Child Custody Concerns: Our son, while undiagnosed, exhibits strong indicators of ASD. My wife and I have differing views on diagnosis and support, but his well-being is my top priority.
Communication Challenges: My wife has historically utilized intimidation and threats as communication tactics, which I fear could escalate during the divorce proceedings. I have documented instances of emotional abuse (against me, my son and her own family) as a precaution.
Past Incidents: Several years ago, I reacted poorly to some stressful situations with anger outbursts, though never directed at my wife or anyone physically. I recognize it was unhealthy and have sought therapy to address these triggers.
Given these complexities, I'm seeking advice on:
Protecting my son's best interests: What steps can I take to ensure his well-being remains the central focus throughout the divorce?
Mitigating potential financial risks: Considering the income and asset disparity, how can I approach a fair settlement that protects my and my son's future? Specifically, how should the income volatility be factored in, and the house equity handled?
Effective communication strategies: Are there any recommended methods for navigating difficult conversations with my wife, especially if she attempts to use intimidation or manipulation?
Preemptive measures: Should I document anything specific beyond the existing records of emotional abuse to safeguard myself from potential false accusations?
I understand every situation is unique, and I appreciate any insights or guidance you can offer. This is a difficult time for everyone involved, but I'm determined to navigate it with integrity and prioritize our son's needs above all else.
I am located in the UK.
I am a black man, and my wife is white-British. While I'm not overly concerned about racial bias, I'm aware it may be a factor and would appreciate any insights related to it.
Thank you in advance for your time and support.