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Amicable separation but why is it always on their terms?

Mr K
Community Member

Some background:

Separated initiated by wife for well over a year now.

50/50 shared care of two children both under 10

I'm still paying half mortgage, half rates, childcare as well as my own rent and living expenses.

Life on a day to day basis is relatively good, I still have my job, I'm not being subjected to constant gas-lighting and I'm trying my utmost to build a new happy life myself and most importantly my children. What is now holding me back is the inertia surrounding separation of assets which will ultimately be concluded with our divorce.

The intention mutually agreed was for my wife to remain in and ultimately take over the mortgage of our house. I moved locally into a rented unit so I could stay close and available to my kids including their school, before/after school and family day. I agreed to a percentage split of assets that although unequal would not cause either of us any undue hardship.

My concern now is that there appears to be little or no progress re her taking over the loan, the status quo is going on and on. Although she is relatively unaffected by this as I am still contributing my own quality of life, ability to plan and ultimately move forward is significantly compromised. The situation is frustrating my new partner as much and there is now a genuine risk to that relationship developing too.

I am completely at a loss as to how to progress this constructively. I've explained my frustrations and concerns to my ex and am hoping we can meet together and discuss soon. I am very worried that the gas-lighting will come back into play not to mention the terrible stories I've heard of exes causing serious trouble for fathers, reducing access or worse.

I feel like I have compromised to the point where it would be easier to walk away from the assets but I also know that without some sort of payment mine and my kids lifestyle will be significantly compromised.

Please help,


3 Replies 3

Community Champion
Community Champion


I was in a similar situation and I felt my spouse had all the control.

I suggested mediation which is not lawyers but it gives you both a chance to sit down with a third party who takes notes and you both work out a plan for childcare, distribution of property and other assets.

The document is not legally binding but you will be moving forward.

I can understand your reluctance to put too much pressure on your ex as you worry some of her behaviours might reappear.

It is a difficult situation with children and ex and a new partner , Relationships Australia may be worth a call.

1300 364 277 they can let you know what services are near you and what they offer.

Thanks for sharing your story.

Mr K
Community Member

Hi and thanks for the reply.

Unfortunately my ex has never been willing to go to any mediation, either leading up to the separation or now, during. I suspect her idea of "amicable" is really just a tactic to keep the solicitors distanced rather than any genuine desire to reach a fair settlement.

As things are with me still significantly supporting her lifestyle, there is no incentive to close this matter.

I'm the one unable to move forward wheras she has exactly what she wants.

I feel utterly helpless, caught in a no mans land where hopes of a better future are rapidly fading.


Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Mr K,

I'm sorry to hear you feel helpless and caught in what sounds like a bit of a catch 22.

I don't really have much advice as I've not been in the same situation, but my parents had similar issues as they approached divorce. It was not amicable though, and I did get dragged in far too often, but I heard both sides, and it was very stressful for my parents.

I suppose at some point, the assets will need to be split and divorce finalised - it's not reasonable for you to be unable to proceed with your life. I understand your fear about certain behaviours starting again and also issues with custody, but this current situation also can't continue forever. Have you had a chance to speak to anybody with a lot of experience in this? Relationships Australia, as quirkywords mentioned, could be a good source of information or direction. Otherwise, do you have any thoughts on how you would like to proceed if your partner continues to drag her heels on this?