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Old 08-14-2011, 07:05 AM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,479,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
My spouse has two children by a previous marriage, who I couldn't love more than if they were mine by birth. They will inherit all our worldly goods when we pass and my two children from a previous marriage will get $1. They divorced me when I divorced their mother and no matter how many times I tried to contact them, they turned their backs. "You get what you give."
I had much the same experience with my two youngest daughters after I divorced their mother. She severely, maliciously alienated them from me and also did so, to an extent, to my three oldest. My wife, whom I married two years following the divorce, suggested caution and patience in the belief that in time, the girls would come to me to get to know their father on their terms, not their mother's. She was right. It took about 11 years but we now have good relationships. You may wish to rethink writing off your own children. All "our" children, mine and my wife's, will be treated fairly and equally when the time comes.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,735,102 times
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Default Very interesting point/counterpoint

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
My spouse has two children by a previous marriage, who I couldn't love more than if they were mine by birth. They will inherit all our worldly goods when we pass and my two children from a previous marriage will get $1. They divorced me when I divorced their mother and no matter how many times I tried to contact them, they turned their backs. "You get what you give."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I had much the same experience with my two youngest daughters after I divorced their mother. She severely, maliciously alienated them from me and also did so, to an extent, to my three oldest. My wife, whom I married two years following the divorce, suggested caution and patience in the belief that in time, the girls would come to me to get to know their father on their terms, not their mother's. She was right. It took about 11 years but we now have good relationships. You may wish to rethink writing off your own children. All "our" children, mine and my wife's, will be treated fairly and equally when the time comes.
This is a very interesting point/counterpoint. Although I think Ellwood is justified, I do hope he is open to changing his mind if his children change theirs. I wonder how old Ellwood's children were at the time of their parents' divorce? The older they were, the less chance that their cruel behavior toward their father can be laid entirely at the doorstep of their mother. The lasting bitterness of some divorces is truly staggering. I'm sure we are all glad things worked out as they did in Curmudgeon's case. And his case creates hope for Ellwood's. But life is not a fairy tale and there is no assurance of a happy outcome. I have a male cousin, now in his early 50's, who hated his father so much that he hadn't spoken to him in over 10 ten years before the father's death, and he refused to come to the memorial service. He still hangs onto that hatred five years later.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,735,918 times
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I agree good point/counterpoint.

I admit when I hear people say I was the good one, the other was the bad one, I always take it with a grain of salt.

Few parents ever said their child was to blame for a divorce. Most blame I hear is it was the so and so in-law.

Also like it or not and sorry to say, some people have done much more harm then good and might just deserve what they are getting.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
326 posts, read 674,191 times
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There are so many sides of the stories in a divorce. It can be so devastating for kids and families. I had a friend who mom divorced her dad when she was 2 b/c the mom was having an affair with a 17-yr old. Her mom told her all kinds of lies about her dad abandoning them growing up, she hated her dad and discarded all his attempts to have a relationship with her until she was almost 40 year old when she found out the truth. By then, her dad was in a really bad health and she lived thousands of miles away and could have only visited a couple of times before he passed away.

I also know a guy whose wife supported him and provided for the family for years while he was starting his business. Later after the business became very successful, the guy started to have affairs after affairs and finally told the wife that he wanted a divorce when she was diagnosed with cancer. He hired teams of lawyers and tried to give her only a fraction what she deserved (50:50 here in Texas). He left her battling with cancer and raising 2 teenagers all by herself on top of fighting for her fair share in the divorce. The kids were trying so hard to have a relationship with the dad that they could not see how he and his new girlfriend treated her kids much better than them. As an outside observer, I often thought whether I would divorce my dad had he done the same to my mom, or whether there were more sides of the story than what we could see.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:42 AM
 
5,822 posts, read 13,315,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I had much the same experience with my two youngest daughters after I divorced their mother. She severely, maliciously alienated them from me and also did so, to an extent, to my three oldest. My wife, whom I married two years following the divorce, suggested caution and patience in the belief that in time, the girls would come to me to get to know their father on their terms, not their mother's. She was right. It took about 11 years but we now have good relationships. You may wish to rethink writing off your own children. All "our" children, mine and my wife's, will be treated fairly and equally when the time comes.
No need to rethink my decision. After 18 years and too many tries on my part to count, I wrote them off. Ex is remarried and their families have merged. I, myself, am adopted, and I certainly understand that biology doesn't make someone care about another. I'm smart enough to know you can only kick an old dog so much.

PS I think girls have more empathy than boys.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,973,893 times
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All these posts have gotten me to rethinking the whole inheritance thing. Now I am in an either-or frame of mind:

1. Leave it equally to family members, or all to the spouse/partner and s/he can keep it all or distribute as sees fit.

2. Decide our money has to "do good" in the world and that, despite having family members some of whom are deserving and/or needy, choose one charity (not many) for which the money will make a difference. In this scenario, assets like real estate, cars, antiques, jewelry can be given to family members. Just give the cash/liquid assegts to charity and know it will be put to good use.

That's it.
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,354,730 times
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This is a great thread, full of wisdom and experience!

As I said before, we're just leaving everything to our son. He doesn't expect anything, or much, and he might not get a lot.

My husband's parents both had interesting situations:

Divorced when my husband was 8 years old, both remarried, multiple times. His mother's last husband is a lovely man, he is the closest my son has to a grandfather. But, when she died, my sister-in-law expected something. Mainly the beautiful grand piano be sold and the proceeds split. What both children got was formal glassware from their grandparents (much of which was broken in shipping)--he kept the piano! This caused no distress whatsoeveer to my husband, as he loves the man, and did not expect a *thing*. His sister however, still has not forgiven him for this. But then she's the greedy one.

Case in point is their father, who was fairly wealthy at one point: never gave them much after he left, and he also remarried multiple times. His last marriage made him moderately happy, and that involved a (grown) stepson. So, when he died, he left a trust fund for his wife, with eventual disposition of the final proceeds deferred until after her death to the 3 of them, including the stepson. My husband is a trustee, but his sister has no recourse but to wait--she complains constantly about this, and my husband, who never wanted a cent, still doesn't care. I would like to see some of this money go to our son, eventually, but I also don't count on any of this (and we really don't need it.)
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Old 08-18-2011, 02:07 PM
 
5,822 posts, read 13,315,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
This is a very interesting point/counterpoint. Although I think Ellwood is justified, I do hope he is open to changing his mind if his children change theirs. I wonder how old Ellwood's children were at the time of their parents' divorce? The older they were, the less chance that their cruel behavior toward their father can be laid entirely at the doorstep of their mother. The lasting bitterness of some divorces is truly staggering. I'm sure we are all glad things worked out as they did in Curmudgeon's case. And his case creates hope for Ellwood's. But life is not a fairy tale and there is no assurance of a happy outcome. I have a male cousin, now in his early 50's, who hated his father so much that he hadn't spoken to him in over 10 ten years before the father's death, and he refused to come to the memorial service. He still hangs onto that hatred five years later.
The entire divorce issue revolved around money; $2500 alimony, plus half my military retirement $1500 a month wasn't enough for the ex, she spent $35K on lawyers trying to get $4400 + military retirement. She was a hypochondriac who played her illnesses on her sons (23 and 25 years old) and would disown them if they had anything to do with me. I didn't divorce her for another woman, I divorced her because she was killing me. Her sons turned their backs on my elderly mother and father who lived 2000 miles away and had nothing to do with the divorce. They also tried to contact them to no avail and died with heavy hearts. So Curmudgeon, in my case, I have wiped my hands of them. No hatred, no feelings.
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Old 08-18-2011, 03:07 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,479,691 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
So Curmudgeon, in my case, I have wiped my hands of them. No hatred, no feelings.
Sounds reasonable, Ellwood. Just remember that the opposite of love isn't hate. It's indifference! It can truly be a blessed state.
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Old 08-19-2011, 08:13 AM
Status: "Be yourself. What's the alternative?" (set 19 days ago)
 
8,690 posts, read 10,839,690 times
Reputation: 12744
Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
If you don't want there to be animosity amongst your beneficiaries once you are gone, you need to be sure to leave every one of them an equal amount.

I'm totally serious about that.

Besides, I've never believed in punishing someone for their success.
My husband's parents left most to my husband's brother and sister. My husband, the more successful do it yourself type person who always took care of himself, got the least. His brother is a lazy, bizarre guy who worked at a correctional facility nights just aiming the gun, waiting for someone to escape. He couldn't barely tie his shoelaces without the mother telling him how to tie them. The sister never worked a day in her life until she hit 40 or older. Then her husband, took up the banjo and played all day while she worked. Ha. He never worked more than maybe 5 years part-time or something like that in his whole life. And, they actually got the most. It pays to be lazy...and to know a few strings of the banjo.
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