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Too_Many_Tools
07-12-2009, 01:44 PM
I would like to hear a discussion of what has happened to the shops of HSMers when a divorce occurs.

From what I have seen, it is not good with the contents of the shop that has taken years to accumulate usually being auctioned off.

Is this the norm or am I just seeing one side of the results?

Your thoughts?

Thanks for anything you might want to contribute.

TMT

Cheeseking
07-12-2009, 02:16 PM
I have no experience (hopefully never will) but yeah, sometimes the thought runs through a guys head. Just supposing... I'm gonna say
usually you would think this kinda eventuality is seen comming well in advance. If that be the case, I would start quietly dis-assembling, relocating, evacuating a little at a time beginning with the big$ or prized stuff. Pc or two every day on the way out to work. where? I dunno but anywhere out of reach of the opposition. She knows you have "stuff" but not exactly what. Most Lawyers and wives know jack chit about machines and tooling. They may however know you hold it dear and try to use it as leverage.

Reminds me of when you see viable small family businesses closed cause the wife demands half and forces sale of the co assets. Talk about killing the goose that lays the gonden eggs. The shrewd ones get judgements to collect the profits and let the stiff keep it running.

Liger Zero
07-12-2009, 02:22 PM
Shape-charges, thermite, and large quantities of hydrofluoric acid and mercury to saturate the ground with.

Shuuuuuure hunny, you can have the shop... lemme make a phone call real quick. *inputs final code*

:D

Too_Many_Tools
07-12-2009, 02:57 PM
I have no experience (hopefully never will) but yeah, sometimes the thought runs through a guys head. Just supposing... I'm gonna say
usually you would think this kinda eventuality is seen comming well in advance. If that be the case, I would start quietly dis-assembling, relocating, evacuating a little at a time beginning with the big$ or prized stuff. Pc or two every day on the way out to work. where? I dunno but anywhere out of reach of the opposition. She knows you have "stuff" but not exactly what. Most Lawyers and wives know jack chit about machines and tooling. They may however know you hold it dear and try to use it as leverage.

Reminds me of when you see viable small family businesses closed cause the wife demands half and forces sale of the co assets. Talk about killing the goose that lays the gonden eggs. The shrewd ones get judgements to collect the profits and let the stiff keep it running.

I too have seen a number of small businesses liquidated because of divorce.

I was told that over 60% of marriages end in divorce. If so, it would seem to be a major threat to a HSM shop's existence.

TMT

Evan
07-12-2009, 03:45 PM
Lease your machine tools. If you see a divorce in your future you sell all the contents of your shop to a leaseback company and lease your tools from them. The proceeds of the sale covers the repayment of the principle, all you pay is the lease charges on the agreed value of the equipment. This can be lowballed to minimized the leasing charges while protecting your equipment from seizure. This is very hard to get around in court since you no longer own the equipment even if you have the right to terminate the lease at any time with an agreed buyback clause.

This especially makes sense if you make money with the equipment as the lease charges are an operating expense and fully deductible. It's also a good way to bring expensive new items into the shop without exposing them to a settlement.

bob308
07-12-2009, 03:57 PM
well when i got married the first time .[the one that did not take] i did not put her name on my car,truck or motorcycle. when i saw the trouble comming i signed a leasse on my tools and machinery with my father.

wierdscience
07-12-2009, 04:04 PM
Here it's called the "12 x 12" program-twelve miles offshore and 1200 feet down:D

dp
07-12-2009, 04:07 PM
Lease your machine tools. If you see a divorce in your future you sell all the contents of your shop to a leaseback company and lease your tools from them.

This doesn't work in a two-paycheck situation where the cost of the lease is shared but the work is not. One party in such a situation loses everything he or she has invested, while the other retains the business that investment provisioned.

Say the missus is a teacher and puts the bulk of her income into the home shop in the way of leases and credit guarantees. The divorce comes, the leased equipment is returned, the home shop business folds, and there is nothing to liquidate.

He is left with the customer base and the skills needed to restart and she is left with a bitter heart and a cabana boy in Cancun.

It isn't a good investment move for both parties. I don't think there is one, though.

hawgwrench
07-12-2009, 04:15 PM
I've been divorced for dunno how many years,mostly my fault,a little hers. I've remarried since,but the lesson I learned there is that the reason divorce costs so much is 'cause its worth it:rolleyes: . If this round goes south,as long as I've got a pulse I can start over,so I dont really worry over it. Cut the deck,I'll play either half.

Steelmaster
07-12-2009, 06:38 PM
I was told that over 60% of marriages end in divorce. If so, it would seem to be a major threat to a HSM shop's existence.

TMT

One could look at it another way as well:

HSM shops can be a major threat to a marriage's existence.

Too many of us lose sight of that fundamental fact, please invest some of your time in the relationship, wifes are not low maintenance!:)

gda
07-12-2009, 06:47 PM
I always tell my wife:

If I die, what is in the garage is worth some money, but if we get divorced, it's really just all junk.

macona
07-12-2009, 06:53 PM
Divorces are well over 50%. o if you do go for it get a good lawyer and get a good pre-nup. It will cost you but it may save you in the end.

Evan
07-12-2009, 07:07 PM
It isn't a good investment move for both parties. I don't think there is one, though.


My advice isn't intended to be a good investment move for both parties. The other way to save your shop is to buy the 50% from your wife. Depending on what machinery you have that may not be very costly. Market value for used machine tools is very low most places. I picked up several $1000 worth of tools and equipment here a few years ago for about 10% of replacement cost.

rockrat
07-12-2009, 07:10 PM
I always tell my wife:

If I die, what is in the garage is worth some money, but if we get divorced, it's really just all junk.


My understanding was always "Once married, whats mine is hers and whats hers I dont want". You give it all up when you get hitched.

I have been told that the only way out is to have everything you want before the marriage and dont get tied up unless you have a signed pre-nuptial agreement. I have also been told that anything gained after your hitched is fair game no matter what, even with a pre-nup. But that could be totally false.

Best to just not get a divorce, which may mean that you rent for the rest of your life. :)


rock~

Too_Many_Tools
07-12-2009, 07:51 PM
I would like to hear a discussion of what has happened to the shops of HSMers when a divorce occurs.

From what I have seen, it is not good with the contents of the shop that has taken years to accumulate usually being auctioned off.

Is this the norm or am I just seeing one side of the results?

Your thoughts?

Thanks for anything you might want to contribute.

TMT

Anyone care to discuss what happened to their shop in relation to a divorce?

atty
07-12-2009, 07:59 PM
Best to just not get a divorce.....

rock~


Anybody ever consider it's just best not to get married?

I personally feel the State should be held criminally responsible for issuing a marriage license without first sending both parties to a course entitled "Here is what happens when you divorce". What nobody tells you is that there are three parties standing at that altar... him, her, and the State of (insert your favorite state of matrimony). That State person is silent until the petition is filed, then look out. Suddenly that silent partner is wearing a black robe telling you what you can and cannot do with all the fruits of your sweat and blood.

Take it from the voice of experience. Keep your partnerships down to two. They are trouble enough.

oldtiffie
07-12-2009, 08:08 PM
I would like to hear a discussion of what has happened to the shops of HSMers when a divorce occurs.

From what I have seen, it is not good with the contents of the shop that has taken years to accumulate usually being auctioned off.

Is this the norm or am I just seeing one side of the results?

Your thoughts?

Thanks for anything you might want to contribute.

TMT
Thanks TMT - as that is the crux of the matter and the central question in your original post in this thread that you started that has not only not really answered the question but has in large part been hi-jacked or de-railed - as so/too often happens.

gnm109
07-12-2009, 08:15 PM
Anyone care to discuss what happened to their shop in relation to a divorce?


I've not had a divorce yet and hope not to. In my former life, I've done hundreds of them for clients. One in particular I recall was when I represented the husband in a divorce. He was a car mechanic (they call them technicians now) at a large vehicle dealership.

He owned literally every hand tool made by Snap-on having bought them from the truck that came to the dealershp wher ehe worke dfor many years. When the divorce started, his wife wanted half of the full value of the tools at the then-present retail value. IIRC, the total value was someting like $75,000 over a period of some 20 years during the marriage adn while he workled at the dealership.

That wasn't what the law provided however. The law in California says that property is to be evaluated at the time of trial or settlement and it is to be the true value at tha time. That would be the depreciated value, not the new retail value. In other words, the actual value at that point in time.

I arranged to have the tools appraised by a noted professional tool appraiser. He noted that each tool and fixture had been duly initialed by the husband since the tools were used in a shop where other men had Snap-on tools. It ws therefore important to personalize the tools so that they woudln't get lost or borrowed and not returned.

To make a long story short, the then resale value of the tools without initials would have been approximately $30,000. Since the tools were used and initialed, the appraiser stated in writing that they had a value of only one third of the appraised value since they had his initials on them.

Thus my client had to pay only one half of $10,000 or $5,000 to equalize his community property value to the wife. There was never an issue that the tools would be sold since he was using them to make a living and the Court won't take away the tools of a man's trade, especially where support issues are involved.

The moral of the story here would be to make sure that all hand tools, fxtures and other tooling are clearly initialed and personalized.

With regard to machine tools, we all know that used manual machine tools often go for their scrap weight. If a man uses them to make a living or even part of a living, then so much the better. He will retain them at a low, realistic market value. With a good professional appraisal from a certified professional appraiser, your Monarch 10EE might be worth a great deal less than you think.

So, if you have a 15 year old ENCO 13 X 40 like I do, you might have to pay someone to haul it away. LOL.

Don't give up the ship. There's more than one way to skin a cat.

:D

dp
07-12-2009, 08:16 PM
Thanks TMT - as that is the crux of the matter and the central question in your original post in this thread that you started that has not only not really answered the question but has in large part been hi-jacked or de-railed - as so/too often happens.

Tiffie - he specified "any comments" which opens the door for related conversation.

Evan: My point, if there can be one, is that in an Adam Smith universe any transaction that fails to benefit all parties will not likely happen. Exceptions occur, of course, depending on how well all parties understand the transaction. In other words, I don't think the little missus is going to get sucked into something like funding half a business she has no guarantee of return from. If it were tried, chances are excellent a lawyer would work that against you as proof of premeditation.

I learned this from my ex who is now living comfortably on my SS earnings :)

oldtiffie
07-12-2009, 08:38 PM
Good replies gnm 109 and DP.

Both replies seem to only infer a shop where there is a commercial interest or a full or part commercial enterprise.

That is the case with many but by no means all HSM shops.

What of the HSM shop that is "hobby only" and is not or has not been funded by a "business" but from private non-commercial "out of pocket" expenses for "hobby purposes" only? In this case there will be no written down or depreciated values. It would or might seem more appropriate to apply "fire sale" or "scrap" prices as values.

And what of real and inferred "joint ownership"? And what if bought from either a "Joint Account" or a (one person) "Single" account (in the name of the shop nominal owner)?

And does anything that is "fixed" to the building (which is fixed to and is therefore part of the property) become part of the property (ie not a "chattel") as would be the case here under the "Law of Fixtures"). If it is, then removal without the agreement or approval of the other party may be regarded as theft.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&search=law+of+fixtures&fulltext=Search

Your thoughts?

dp
07-12-2009, 08:47 PM
Your thoughts?

In this state, which is a mutual property state, the sheets are torn down the middle in such cases. If there is much contesting, she gets the sheets, too. Best to go quietly in many cases. Where a family business is concerned the lawyers win it all. Where it is seen there has been an attempt to cheat the other, the courts get pretty brutal.

gnm109
07-12-2009, 09:01 PM
Good replies gnm 109 and DP.

Both replies seem to only infer a shop where there is a commercial interest or a full or part commercial enterprise.

That is the case with many but by no means all HSM shops.

What of the HSM shop that is "hobby only" and is not or has not been funded by a "business" but from private non-commercial "out of pocket" expenses for "hobby purposes" only? In this case there will be no written down or depreciated values. It would or might seem more appropriate to apply "fire sale" or "scrap" prices as values.

And what of real and inferred "joint ownership"? And what if bought from either a "Joint Account" or a (one person) "Single" account (in the name of the shop nominal owner)?

And does anything that is "fixed" to the building (which is fixed to and is therefore part of the property) become part of the property (ie not a "chattel") as would be the case here under the "Law of Fixtures"). If it is, then removal without the agreement or approval of the other party may be regarded as theft.

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&search=law+of+fixtures&fulltext=Search

Your thoughts?


Well, machine tools, (Mills, lathes, fixtures) wll depreciate in value due to market conditions regardless of whether or not the user is a professional and using them to make a living. A used lathe will have a certain value, perhaps on eBay or Caigslist or just between private parties.

The difference in a pure HSM setting might be in whether or not the Court would force a sale if no agreement could be reached. If the tools are not used to make a living, the situation could be in a different light, although the party who wishes to reatain certain items will almost always have the option to evaluate the items and then pay the community value to the other spouse. That's why a professoinal appraisal is so important.

As to fixtures, those are things added to real property which give added value and which if removed could damage the value of the real property. Once added to real property, they "run with the land" and become real property. An example might be a furnace, AC system or new kitchen cabinets.

The law on fixtures is similar in the UK and likely NZ and Oz as well. It came to us here almost unchanged in the common law.

Frank Ford
07-12-2009, 09:32 PM
Divorce is a painful process, and sometimes in the heat of it all, people forget that the one from whom they are separating is the very one to whom they had pledged so much. For that reason, I try never to remember my ex in anger, and during the divorce, I had saw no reason to try to punish her. In fact, I always felt it would hurt her more that me, although she was the one who insisted there was no alternative.

Once it's in motion the best course is to get it over with ASAP and FINALLY, if possible. For sure, kids can really complicate the process, and not being a parent, I have no direct experience with them in this regard.

In early 1991 I got divorced after a 22 year marriage in which we had virtually no assets outside community property. We owned our house outright, and had a small investment in a rental property, no savings or other liquid assets, and I had my business to protect (a little over half the value of the house) along with my home shop, so that was my first goal. She wanted to move out and leave everything behind, and I wanted to keep everything. She was then unspeakably angry at me (for everything, of course) and probably still is, I suppose, but that's not the issue here.

Here's how it played out. I talked to my attorney, and asked him what would happen if we duked it out in court and I lost every battle. He said she'd be likely to walk away with about 10% more than I would get. He also told me that was really a fair split since women tend to recover more slowly both emotionally and financially - a statistical "fact" I wouldn't dispute. So, I simply cut to the chase and made a formal offer that we would evaluate EVERYTHING and she'd get 55% of the value and I would have 45%. She immediately refused, until she talked to her attorney who told her to take the money and RUN.

My offer was simply that we'd assign values to everything. She’d evaluate the house and I’d evaluate my business, with both evaluations subject to review. We set about enumerating and valuing all our possessions - that was a lot of stuff. I'd start by "buying" my business from the community pot. Then, she could take any or all of what's left and we'd settle the money. In fact, she took very little, leaving me with the house and virtually all the contents to either sell to pay her off, or to refinance and try to buy myself.

I made the offer conditional on only one point. She would WAIVE support payments. In fact, support payments would not have been due in our case - we had similar incomes. But I insisted on that because a support payment of “zero” could always be renegotiated in court, and I didn’t want that axe hanging over my head.

The sizable loan I would need to pull this off had monthly payments higher than my TOTAL before-tax income. Everyone around me presumed I’d sell the house, but I figured that would be a last resort, so I could always fall back on that plan. With the help of an incredibly agile loan broker, I was able get a mortgage, and a second mortgage. I told the loan companies that I’d be taking a second job to handle the expenses, and she helped me convince them I was serious. My brother helped by giving me a loan, too, which had a balloon payment in three years to pay it off.

It took six and a half years of working two jobs to do it, but my plan worked! It didn’t hurt a bit that my business started to grow, and my income picture improved through the 1990s. Now I work a mere 40
hours a week at the shop, and manage to live without credit card debt.

During the six month “waiting period” between filing for divorce and the final decree we had numerous conversations, and I let her win every argument, tease or taunt me, or whatever. I kept my focus strictly on what would work for me, and not what I could do to hurt her. I was intent on winning the war, not the little battles. Five years of marriage counseling taught me the futility of “winning” those skirmishes.

Over the years, I’ve been asked by other fellows how I managed to have such a successful divorce. I tell them of my buyout deal, and almost always I hear the same reply, “Why, that bitch ain’t gettin’. . .” As far as I know, the folks who talk that line lose the war on both fronts. They wind up angry and resentful, and their attorneys go home with all the $$$.

One guy I know went through a divorce in which he and his wife used the kids as weapons, and fought over every little scrap like a pair of hyenas. They took lavish individual vacations to punish each other, and tried to buy the kids’ affections in the process. In the end they lost BOTH the houses they owned outright, and a recreational vehicle or two.

Considering all the pain and anguish that accompanies and leads to a divorce, my contention is that ANY amount of money is “chump change." You CAN’T hide assets, or use the process to try to punish the other person and come through a divorce with your self esteem and peace of mind intact. And, it seems, the more you fight for it, the more $$ you lose.

The bright light at the end of my tunnel:

A couple of years after my divorce, I met Joy, and we married a year later. She’s been Palo Alto’s full time potter for as long as I’ve been the local guitar fixer - 40 years now.

How are things these days? Well, like this:

My car and her van are 15 and 19 years old respectively. For our tenth wedding anniversary five years ago we decided we’d saved up enough to get a new vehicle or two. After a couple of months battling car dealers, we both came to the conclusion - it just wasn’t worth the hassle. So, I said, “Why not spend the dough and get that big fancy gas kiln you’ve been wanting - I’ll plumb it into your studio.” (A really cool thing about potters is that their equipment is CHEAP compared to machine tools!)

She said to me, “So, go ahead an buy that new lathe and mill you’ve been wanting. I’ll just repaint my van.”

HAH! Now, when I go out to my home garage shop, I behold a Sharp 1118H Hardinge clone, and Sharp 9x42 Bridgeport copy, both of which I bought new.

So I drive an old Toyota with dings in all the fenders - so what?

hardtail
07-12-2009, 09:40 PM
The answer is to make getting married as difficult as it is to get divorced......many hopefuls would fall to the wayside during the process......

Having been divorced once and hopefully knock on wood honey never again, the lesson I have learned is to never become emotionally attached to any material object but make them think you are.......when the dealin and tradin is done and you look at how much you bartered away to keep the said item(s) then you offer them that deal.........9 times out of 10 they don't want it......I told my now wife years ago she can have half the bikes, just let me know which half and I'll light the torch......if she picks the front with the engine we cut it between the jugs........if she wants my heavy equipment just give me your new address in town and I'll unload the cats off the lowboy at 6 AM Monday morning........and spin around on your lawn........your new neighbours are gonna love ya..........LOL

tony ennis
07-12-2009, 10:42 PM
The other way to save your shop is to buy the 50% from your wife.

Seems prudent and fair. I for one like being able to sleep well.

A.K. Boomer
07-12-2009, 10:55 PM
Anybody ever consider it's just best not to get married?

I personally feel the State should be held criminally responsible for issuing a marriage license without first sending both parties to a course entitled "Here is what happens when you divorce". What nobody tells you is that there are three parties standing at that altar... him, her, and the State of (insert your favorite state of matrimony). That State person is silent until the petition is filed, then look out. Suddenly that silent partner is wearing a black robe telling you what you can and cannot do with all the fruits of your sweat and blood.

Take it from the voice of experience. Keep your partnerships down to two. They are trouble enough.


Despite Ole Tiffers coming down on everybody for getting off topic of the "what to do" in the original post,
Your post was in response to rockrat saying its "best to just not get a divorce" ---- Thats wrong --- If she's a bitch - then get a divorce -- i cant imagine living with a C_ _ _ just to keep my machinery, Thank god there's people like you out there who are trying to enlighten the other readers to a more "preventative maintenance" common sense approach,
Just say NO!
its worked for me - never had a problem with losing a bunch of stuff --- And I in no way shape or form have to "tip toe" or "worry about spending too much of my free time in the shop" or on and on with all the other crap --- the thing that women have to realize is it takes two to tango ------- I get that established right off the batt --- they don't present themselves correctly - they get no weener - plain and simple ------ its all the spineless wimpy guys in the world that empower them ---------- I mean -- what are they so freekin afraid of? dying alone ---- I can only hope that im that lucky.:)
In the meanwhile I just score a little strange now and then... :p

oldtiffie
07-12-2009, 11:25 PM
Thanks gnm 109 and dp.

Now we are getting into the "guts" of matters which were or seemed to be the requirement of the OP - and probably quite a few others.

It might be quite a reality check for some who either don't know, don't want to know or rely on uninformed "opinions" or just plain "gossip".

Just because "everybody says so, does or knows so" does not necessarily "make it so" nor does bad practice make good precedent.

Many of those "informed parties" - who may not be - who are everywhere about to give "advice" may be very thin on the ground when you need them or their support. The usual response then is often along the lines of: "Well, I was just saying" or "Don't quote me" or "I heard it from Fred who heard it from Bill all about Bob" ("Bob" was probably never asked to explain it) and it might be largely based on spurious "fact" hear-say and out-right and possibly vexatious gossip.

Get a good Legal opinion as soon as it looks as if you are going to need one - the sooner the better.

Bitch about Lawyers and the cost of them etc. all you like but the only thing dearer than getting one when its needed is either not getting one in time or having to get one after the "event".

The times I've needed a Lawyer, it was a very good investment indeed.

All that aside, even if you get all your own way and get all the contents of your shop, what are, or how are you going to deal with it if you are given a set date on a Court Order to vacate the premises and take all your goods and chattels off the premises by a "due date"?

How are to going to transport and store them let alone re-install them? Have or will you have "some-where" (else) to go that will involve minimum inconvenience and cost?

Perhaps that "win" where you "won" that "shop" etc. may well turn out to be the ultimate mill-stone (or "White Elephant"?).

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/a+millstone+around+neck

http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=millstone+around+neck&meta=&aq=8&oq=millstone

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_elephant

And just to "rub it in", a reference to gnm 109's post is "interesting":


Well, machine tools, (Mills, lathes, fixtures) wll depreciate in value due to market conditions regardless of whether or not the user is a professional and using them to make a living. A used lathe will have a certain value, perhaps on eBay or Caigslist or just between private parties.

The difference in a pure HSM setting might be in whether or not the Court would force a sale if no agreement could be reached. If the tools are not used to make a living, the situation cold be in a different light, although the party who wishes to reatain certain items will almost always have the option to evaluate the items and then pay the community value to the other spouse. That's why a professoinal appraisal is so important.

As to fixtures, those are things added to real property which give added value and which if removed could damage the value of the real property. Once added to real property, they "run with the land" and become real property. An example might be a furnace, AC system or new kitchen cabinets.

The law on fixtures is similar in the UK and likely NZ and Oz as well. It came to us here almost unchanged in the common law.

If in removing "your" "goods and chattels" you damage the property or in anyway reduce its "value" you may well be liable for "restoration" either by doing it yourself and/or having it "contracted out" (at commercial rates) to have the "restoration" carried out to an agreed standard.

It is quite possible that "winning" your "shop and tools" may cost more than it is worth.

But even if all turns out to be (more or less) "OK" will you have the interest or resources to set that shop up again and have the time and money to "run" it?

What if "having" that shop causes you to move away from your family, friends and contacts or to relocate and try to get a new job or establish new contacts if you are retired.

Its much better to be pro-active than re-active.

What if spending excessive time and resources in and on your shop was a significant "cause" such that you "didn't see it coming" - the more so if you should have?

"Values" in a shop have a lot of intangibles in them as well as a lot of "hidden" (or ignored?) costs.

Too_Many_Tools
07-12-2009, 11:33 PM
Thanks TMT - as that is the crux of the matter and the central question in your original post in this thread that you started that has not only not really answered the question but has in large part been hi-jacked or de-railed - as so/too often happens.

LOL...Well I have no problem with a side discussion at all...they are in themselves of interest.

I hesitated to even posting the original post...this has got to be a sensitive subject for those who have had to walk down this lonely road.

I did post the original post because I think people can talk to the subject from a faceless keyboard and we could all learn a heck of a lot from their experiences.

As I said before, first time marriages have a failure rate of 50-60% and subsequent marriages have even higher failure rates. When you consider those sobering stats, anyone with a substantial home shop should have a Plan B in place in case a divorce occurs.

TMT

mechanicalmagic
07-12-2009, 11:47 PM
I've been down this road a couple of times. BOTH parties agree on the value of the community property, down to the hammer and plate if needed. Then start, alternatively cherry picking. My choice was retirement benefits over cash value. Wife #2 ended up with a paid for small house, I had my retirement and tools. I have a clear conscience, we both made our decisions and must live with them.

gnm109
07-12-2009, 11:49 PM
Divorce is a painful process, and sometimes in the heat of it all, people forget that the one from whom they are separating is the very one to whom they had pledged so much. For that reason, I try never to remember my ex in anger, and during the divorce, I had saw no reason to try to punish her. In fact, I always felt it would hurt her more that me, although she was the one who insisted there was no alternative.

Once it's in motion the best course is to get it over with ASAP and FINALLY, if possible. For sure, kids can really complicate the process, and not being a parent, I have no direct experience with them in this regard.

In early 1991 I got divorced after a 22 year marriage in which we had virtually no assets outside community property. We owned our house outright, and had a small investment in a rental property, no savings or other liquid assets, and I had my business to protect (a little over half the value of the house) along with my home shop, so that was my first goal. She wanted to move out and leave everything behind, and I wanted to keep everything. She was then unspeakably angry at me (for everything, of course) and probably still is, I suppose, but that's not the issue here.

Here's how it played out. I talked to my attorney, and asked him what would happen if we duked it out in court and I lost every battle. He said she'd be likely to walk away with about 10% more than I would get. He also told me that was really a fair split since women tend to recover more slowly both emotionally and financially - a statistical "fact" I wouldn't dispute. So, I simply cut to the chase and made a formal offer that we would evaluate EVERYTHING and she'd get 55% of the value and I would have 45%. She immediately refused, until she talked to her attorney who told her to take the money and RUN.

My offer was simply that we'd assign values to everything. She’d evaluate the house and I’d evaluate my business, with both evaluations subject to review. We set about enumerating and valuing all our possessions - that was a lot of stuff. I'd start by "buying" my business from the community pot. Then, she could take any or all of what's left and we'd settle the money. In fact, she took very little, leaving me with the house and virtually all the contents to either sell to pay her off, or to refinance and try to buy myself.

I made the offer conditional on only one point. She would WAIVE support payments. In fact, support payments would not have been due in our case - we had similar incomes. But I insisted on that because a support payment of “zero” could always be renegotiated in court, and I didn’t want that axe hanging over my head.

The sizable loan I would need to pull this off had monthly payments higher than my TOTAL before-tax income. Everyone around me presumed I’d sell the house, but I figured that would be a last resort, so I could always fall back on that plan. With the help of an incredibly agile loan broker, I was able get a mortgage, and a second mortgage. I told the loan companies that I’d be taking a second job to handle the expenses, and she helped me convince them I was serious. My brother helped by giving me a loan, too, which had a balloon payment in three years to pay it off.

It took six and a half years of working two jobs to do it, but my plan worked! It didn’t hurt a bit that my business started to grow, and my income picture improved through the 1990s. Now I work a mere 40
hours a week at the shop, and manage to live without credit card debt.

During the six month “waiting period” between filing for divorce and the final decree we had numerous conversations, and I let her win every argument, tease or taunt me, or whatever. I kept my focus strictly on what would work for me, and not what I could do to hurt her. I was intent on winning the war, not the little battles. Five years of marriage counseling taught me the futility of “winning” those skirmishes.

Over the years, I’ve been asked by other fellows how I managed to have such a successful divorce. I tell them of my buyout deal, and almost always I hear the same reply, “Why, that bitch ain’t gettin’. . .” As far as I know, the folks who talk that line lose the war on both fronts. They wind up angry and resentful, and their attorneys go home with all the $$$.

One guy I know went through a divorce in which he and his wife used the kids as weapons, and fought over every little scrap like a pair of hyenas. They took lavish individual vacations to punish each other, and tried to buy the kids’ affections in the process. In the end they lost BOTH the houses they owned outright, and a recreational vehicle or two.

Considering all the pain and anguish that accompanies and leads to a divorce, my contention is that ANY amount of money is “chump change." You CAN’T hide assets, or use the process to try to punish the other person and come through a divorce with your self esteem and peace of mind intact. And, it seems, the more you fight for it, the more $$ you lose.

The bright light at the end of my tunnel:

A couple of years after my divorce, I met Joy, and we married a year later. She’s been Palo Alto’s full time potter for as long as I’ve been the local guitar fixer - 40 years now.

How are things these days? Well, like this:

My car and her van are 15 and 19 years old respectively. For our tenth wedding anniversary five years ago we decided we’d saved up enough to get a new vehicle or two. After a couple of months battling car dealers, we both came to the conclusion - it just wasn’t worth the hassle. So, I said, “Why not spend the dough and get that big fancy gas kiln you’ve been wanting - I’ll plumb it into your studio.” (A really cool thing about potters is that their equipment is CHEAP compared to machine tools!)

She said to me, “So, go ahead an buy that new lathe and mill you’ve been wanting. I’ll just repaint my van.”

HAH! Now, when I go out to my home garage shop, I behold a Sharp 1118H Hardinge clone, and Sharp 9x42 Bridgeport copy, both of which I bought new.

So I drive an old Toyota with dings in all the fenders - so what?


My congratulations. The manner in which you and your former spouse handled the issues was exemplary. I had a few cases like that where the parties were logical and calm. In such a case, both parties came out better both financially and emotionally than if they drew swords and chose to do battle.

In such a case where emotions rule, the lawyers get rich and they are generally the only ones smiling when the smoke clears. The judges will assist the parties in spending all of their funds as well. I know of several cases in Sacramento where attorney fees on each side were in excess of $100,000 dollars. Try sleeping after spending that kind of money for a divorce!

oldtiffie
07-13-2009, 12:23 AM
My congratulations to Frank Ford and his previous and present wives in the way they addressed it sensibly as adults and "worked it out" to the satisfaction of all parties.

The sensible and co-operative approach beats the adversarial approach - just about every time.

There is no point in making enemies unnecessarily.

One of the best courses I ever did (did several) was "Negotiation" in a "Union" situation. It was a week "live in" course with no distractions allowed and it was "full on". Meals were part of it as well. There was a huge range of scenarios. The "Unions" were there as well. It was a great success in every way.

Probably the best of many outcomes was that it is a total loss to try and "win everything" as that only makes life-long bitter enemies - particularly if you rub their nose in it or brag about it or lie about it.

It is better to only win 50>75% so that each side is a "winner" and neither is a "loser" and neither have lost (too much) "face". If its getting "difficult" its best to "give" a bit "more".

Skilled mediators and Lawyers are pretty well priceless in these situations as even if the aggrieved parties can't part as friends, that can at least respect each others positions and not part as enemies.

Needless to say, I've been there and done that - all of it!! But not through divorce - thankfully.

Carm
07-13-2009, 06:48 AM
I'm always surprised at those who refer to the ex as some sort of ravenous monster...where was their mind when they got married? Were they somehow not involved?

Frank Ford, you continue to impress me. Doing the right thing is hard ,but knowing what it is, harder yet.

tdkkart
07-13-2009, 10:06 AM
I'm sure we've all been half way through a project and scrapped it altogether, liquidated the whole mess, cutting our losses before it got worse.

I think I'd be seriously tempted in this situation to simply cut my losses and walk. In reality very little of my "assets" are irreplaceable, and the fact is that the majority is old used junk that I would replace with something completely different if given a chance.
It may be much easier, and in the end a better situation, to let her think she got the mine when in reality she gets the shaft, and has to figure out how to get rid of it.
Leaving yourself with income, retirement and peace of mind seems like a much better option. Hard assets are replaceable, our sanity is not.

Why and how do we get ourselves into these situations?? I think we all know what pointed the way initially, no denying it. What came next was what really gets us in trouble, again not knowing, or being willing, to scrap the project and move on, cutting our losses before going down with the ship.

As for myself, so far I've been lucky with our relationship of nearly 25 years. We laid down the boundaries early and have adhered to them. We've both gotten used to the give and take.

IMO the real crime in divorces is the child support situation. The amount of money most non-custodial parents end up paying for child support is simply criminal.

Liger Zero
07-13-2009, 12:07 PM
Do what I did... marry someone who was a machinist/understands machining.

She's not into it the same way I am but she understands when I need a special thing for the other thing that does the stuff.

...may have to turn in my Man Card over this but there was one time when I "needed" to buy a specialized tool-holder for a specific cut I wanted to take with the lathe. It was a weird angle that I couldn't adjust for and the QCTP I had wouldn't "reach" it anyway. I was wanting to spend $100 on an "extended" tool-holder and cranked bit...

She came out took a look at it... grabbed a block of steel out of the bin and milled up a tool-holder that did the job.

She's much happier doing what she does in that office of hers but at least she understands my hobby and can share in the fun.

A.K. Boomer
07-13-2009, 12:43 PM
That's a great story LZ, that's how it should go... (gotta admit id pay good money to see a video of her elbowing you off to the side while saying "why not just do this?"!)

tdkkart
07-13-2009, 12:48 PM
IMO the real crime in divorces is the child support situation. The amount of money most non-custodial parents end up paying for child support is simply criminal.


And here's a perfect example:
I know of guys paying $600-1000/mo child support for 2 children, + they'll later be responsible for at least 1/2 of their college education, an amount which in this state is determined by the state.

Today my wife officially joined the ranks of the un-employed, went to the local state job service office and signed up for unemployment. $375/week plus a whole $10/wk for our dependant child.

The dependant child is 21 years old and in college, she costs me right at $1300/month if I want to keep up with her student loans and rent payments.
She costs me alot now, but never cost me $3-500/month prior to being in college, especially in the younger years.


BIG difference between what you WILL pay, as opposed to what you GET paid.

vincemulhollon
07-13-2009, 01:40 PM
No one has yet discussed prioritizing their inventory for "insurance" purposes and justifying stockpiling of excess stuff.

For example, I really like my lathe and my mill but I have no emotional connection to my collection of 6061 bar stock. So, as long as I have 1/2 the scrap metal value of my lathe in 6061 then no big deal. Now aluminum resells on ebay or whatever for somewhat more per pound than the cast iron scrap price at the junkyard, so you don't need a ton of bar stock per ton of lathe... How big of a pail of brass pipe fittings do I need to equal the scrap value of a small desktop mill?

Similar thinking when dealing with small tools. Everyone's got their micrometer that they got from their father whom got it from his father, etc, etc, and I've got my really good mic and my really good caliper, and thats all I really need. The rest, stuff that was top of the line for me, when I picked it up 10 years ago, but not my top of the line now, is still oiled in a drawer, and if sold probably would net about 1/2 the cost of my "good stuff", or at least 1/2 the value of my irreplaceable stuff.

Similar with my collets. If I never saw my 5/16 inch square again I would be OK, but I'm keeping my 1/4 round... She can have all the odd /64 sizes and I'll keep the evens, OK.

Similar thinking with drills. Come christmas time, everyone thinks a machinist probably does not own any drills, so lets buy him some Chinese set of drills...

And screwdrivers, yeah a machinist probably does not own a screwdriver, that's a great gift idea. So I got four sets of screwdrivers, tell you what you take these three (Chinese "manufactured") sets and I'll keep this old (American made) set.

So, I'm thinking those folks that sell everything they don't "need" are selling their insurance.

Keeping some spares is also insurance, in that I have occasionally broken something, err, I meant to say the manufacturer included a hidden defect that was not detected until after years of hard use, yeah that's it, so I had to use my "spare".

And inevitably, the day after I sell something, I end up needing it again, at great expense.

A.K. Boomer
07-13-2009, 02:24 PM
Yes for the most part most of the time you can see it coming, start storing stuff piece by piece at a buddys house, then when the day comes there's a little crap left over for the "bride"
So what if she say's "hey that mill looks different" Just say oh no it dont - Its always been missing its table and iv milled and attached my vise directly to the saddle -- remember honey? Your the thing that changed - you were once thin and now your a grazer...:D

hardtail
07-13-2009, 04:17 PM
I'm always surprised at those who refer to the ex as some sort of ravenous monster...where was their mind when they got married? Were they somehow not involved?

Frank Ford, you continue to impress me. Doing the right thing is hard ,but knowing what it is, harder yet.

Carm what was in their mind......we got married on a deck in a ski resort.....had my buddy ride my scoot down before so we could ride off after, he asked where to park it, I told him on the side of the deck and to leave it live so if I changed my mind I could walk 10' and ride off......after the post routine I walked over and hit the ignition.....full lights ready to go.......now theres a good bro and at times after wonder if I shouldn't have exercised that option.........LOL There not monsters but I gotta admit God must have a twisted sense of humour sometimes to think we can co habitate together........I think caveman had it better.......LOL

FF displays the proper way........no drama and wasted efforts,....keep your eye on the prize..........

Liger Zero
07-13-2009, 05:12 PM
Your the thing that changed - you were once thin and now your a grazer...:D
If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So from my personal point of view
Get an ugly (machinist) girl to marry you

A pretty woman makes her husband look small
And very often causes his downfall
As soon as he marries her, then she starts
Doin' the things that will break his heart (close his shop!)


But if you make an ugly woman your wife
You'll be happy for the rest of your life
An ugly woman cooks your meals on time
An she'll always give you peace of mind (and make extended tool holders!)


Don't let your friends say you have no taste
Go ahead and marry anyway
Though her face is ugly and her eyes don't match
Take it from me, she's a better catch (especially if she knows the difference between HSS and Carbide!)

A.K. Boomer
07-13-2009, 06:02 PM
L.Z. -- I was about to say you better be careful there fella and then I seen your title "posted with her blessing" she sounds like a great gal -- good for you.

A.K. Boomer
07-13-2009, 06:13 PM
There not monsters but I gotta admit God must have a twisted sense of humour sometimes to think we can co habitate together........I think caveman had it better.......LOL




I don't know if a god came up with the idea --- Im reminded by a saying from one of Tom Robbins novels "jitterbug perfume"

"Only mankind is capable of inflicting the kind of pain and suffering he does upon himself for neither god nor nature could ever be so cruel."

I think caveman did have it better in many of ways -- knew a few girls who liked to kinda role play and try to escape -- man that's hot...

Dawai
07-13-2009, 07:22 PM
THE original Nordic story was, Humans, male and female were joined at the waist, at a rib..

They worked together, co-habitated together, got along cause they had to.. very nearly conquered the gods, so.. they sent a angel with a invisible sword that seperated the two.. immediately, the pairs started arguing and no longer accomplished as much..

Been like that ever since..

Too_Many_Tools
07-13-2009, 10:46 PM
A question...what happens to another party's stuff (with no written proof of ownership) when it has been stored in a shop of someone who begins a divorce?

atty
07-13-2009, 11:33 PM
For the everyday situation, not much. If there happens to be something in there that somebody thinks is worth a lot, or if one party decides to be aggressive (I'm using that word loosely), then an injunction can be obtained preventing removal until further order of court. Since domestic injunctions generally involve the two parties to the divorce and not a third party, there is usually some wiggle room, i.e. self-help repossession. If that is not available, then the worst case scenario would be the aggrieved party would have to hire a lawyer to file a Motion to Intervene for the purpose of retrieving his property.

Unless one of the parties to the divorce can establish a clear case of ownership, these sort of things would never get that far.

A.K. Boomer
07-14-2009, 12:11 AM
This whole thing sucks ------ just because guys are more practical and put there money into something tangible once again they get screwed ------ If you have any doubts start saving all the receipts from the brides nail/hair/facials/body massage and suntan places -- then after a decade when she wants half of your old beat up mill tell her you want half of the 1.2 million she spent trying to make herself look like a hoe :mad:
im really getting upset now. no really.

chief
07-14-2009, 07:17 AM
For this to work you will need a trusted family member or friend.
1. Sart siphoning off cash and put it into savings bonds with you and the family member or friend as co-owners.
2. Slowly remove tools and equipment to firnd's house or rental storage in frinds name, pay cash for storage, hide paperwork.
3. Talk to frineds and neibghors about how much you enjoy gambling and lottery tickets.
4.Sell larger machinery to trusted friends, create bogus bills of sale with cheap prices, don't write down that you sold the mill for 1k make it $200
5. In court the correct response is to say that you sold the items dirt cheap to cover gambling losses, excessive drinking and prostitutes, money from these pasttimes cannot be traced.
6. My sure your lawyer points out that a tool is only valuable to someone who knows how to use it, if you have a lathe without and operator it's only value is as scrap metal.
7. Let the judge know that your tools are used to make a living without them you have no source of income.

hardtail
07-14-2009, 07:57 AM
5. In court the correct response is to say that you sold the items dirt cheap to cover gambling losses, excessive drinking and prostitutes, money from these pasttimes cannot be traced.



Chief you sound my like kind of guy.........if I'm ever down your way I'll look you up so we can party..........LOL

Of course one must emphasize to the judge that the above "good times" had no bearing on the marital breakdown.......LOL

bgott
07-16-2009, 11:57 PM
"For this to work you will need a trusted family member or friend.
1. Sart siphoning off cash and put it into savings bonds with you and the family member or friend as co-owners.
2. Slowly remove tools and equipment to firnd's house or rental storage in frinds name, pay cash for storage, hide paperwork.
3. Talk to frineds and neibghors about how much you enjoy gambling and lottery tickets.
4.Sell larger machinery to trusted friends, create bogus bills of sale with cheap prices, don't write down that you sold the mill for 1k make it $200
5. In court the correct response is to say that you sold the items dirt cheap to cover gambling losses, excessive drinking and prostitutes, money from these pasttimes cannot be traced.
6. My sure your lawyer points out that a tool is only valuable to someone who knows how to use it, if you have a lathe without and operator it's only value is as scrap metal.
7. Let the judge know that your tools are used to make a living without them you have no source of income."

You might want to be careful pulling stunts like this. I know a guy with an auto repair shop that decided to get cute with his ex and it came back and bit him in the butt. It was over child support and I can't remember all the details, I can remember that his checks started bouncing one day, his ex and her lawyer had had a talk with the IRS and handed them all the bullsh*t paperwork he had given the court. It took him years to straighten out the mess.

oldtiffie
07-17-2009, 04:20 AM
The level of intellect of some in this discussion is only exceeded by their modesty, self-esteem and self-worth.

Their perception of female intellect seems to be diametrically opposite to their own.

In the off-chance that they are wrong - oh, surely not, not ever!! - it seems that the women will triumph just by simply being themselves - as so often happens.

We really do have the strong assertive, morally right, heroic figures here - don't we?

[Edit]

I have removed the pics/images that were here as some might have had a fit of the "vapours" and "swooned" at some of them - and had a bit of a self-righteous grizzle to George B etc.

I still have the removed part of this post stored away - for future use - if needed.

[End edit]

Dawai
07-17-2009, 08:05 AM
Be aware there are black widows out there in slinky outfits. Just waiting on a man to make a mistake.

You never really know another person, be it friend or mate for a long time. Everyone presents false facades to the world, or as pink floyd sung, a wall.

When you open you heart, your door, your wallet up to others you can expect some may take what they want and leave the culls.. Each woman that came and went in my life took my music and towels. Normal. Pots and pans, gone, jewerly, well most times too, thou I have had very little I kept.

I have tools I bought at 16 years old. Thou I have lived with some blood sucking beasts who sit in front of a mirror and paint and comb for hours to cover their vampire features.

http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs125.snc1/5380_1082606347551_1298124187_30194604_3865648_n.j pg
As you see.. I have me a mate now who acts and thinks as I do. Not perfect, Not on any calendars in a swim suite, but I care for her.. there are good ones out there, till they change. People change.

I can recall tho, backing a harley to the curb in a local college town, my waist length black hair over my leather jacket and bell bottom pants with the custom patches. All the college girls spread the rumor I was rich and I took well advantage of them throwing themselves at me. Or another bud who owned a sailboat won in a poker game, women would walk aboard with a sixpack and take bikinis off.. thinking they were about to capture a millionaire.. aww... Of course you know they had a nice personality?? Not..

gnm109
07-17-2009, 10:28 AM
Ahh, Dave, ahh, err, ahh is that you on the left?......or on the right?...oh, sorry, never mind. Ahem.




http://photos-e.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc1/hs125.snc1/5380_1082606347551_1298124187_30194604_3865648_n.j pg

lazlo
07-17-2009, 10:41 AM
THE original Nordic story was, Humans, male and female were joined at the waist, at a rib..

That's a weird transliteration of Plato's theory of Complementarity.

In Plato's Symposium, he describes an ancient Greek creation myth. Plato wrote that there were three original humans:

A double man (two men in one body)
A double woman (two women in one body) and,
A double man-woman (a man and a woman in one body)

According to Plato, each double person had two faces, two sets of genitals, four arms and four legs. Each person had the perfect complement, so everyone was happy and content.

Zeus was afraid that humans would take over heaven, so he split each double person in half, making two from the one. Humans were then compelled to spend eternity looking for their perfect complement. Their attention turned to finding their perfect match, Humans lost interest in taking over heaven.

Dawai
07-17-2009, 10:51 AM
I wonder.. did Plato travel much.. HA.. well..

Plus I got only a few brain cells left working hooked to the memory cells.. you can never tell. All them bumps on the head and all that.

(spittin tom) I only got two nerves left and you are getting on one. I got enough friends. (Then he died all alone under a assumed name in a hospital, then was buried under that name)

Dawai
07-17-2009, 11:03 AM
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/ibewgypsie/Carrol_David_Jessie.jpg
G:. better picture?? I almost look normal, but:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/ibewgypsie/03mowhawk.jpg
Or not?? well beauty is in the eye of the beholder, My wife accepted me looking like this. Living in a travel trailer, sleeping with a bottle of moonshine in my hand. Little did I know I was a Family member of the insane clown posse. Aww..

She has been the best one yet.. and I have ran off quite a few. She has stopped me from a slow suicide. Even had me in a church a few times. (and the walls didn't burst into flame)