Happily never after is more like it. After a Dec. 23 separation announcement -- noting their prevailing "love and respect for one another" -- things quickly got ugly between  Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy in their divorce and custody battle. Last week, Hoppy, 41, issued an aggressive rebuttal to the Skinnygirl mogul's Jan. 5 divorce filing, demanding child support, exclusive access to their luxurious Tribeca loft and primary custody of Bryn, their two-year-old daughter.

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Why the about-face for the handsome, mild-mannered pharmaceutical exec, 42? A source tells the new Us Weekly, out now, that Hoppy (who still wears his wedding ring!) had initially intended to "play nice," but was shocked by how the Bravo starlet, 42, behaved in the aftermath of their split. "Jason is livid with how cold Bethenny has been with him since the the split," the pal tells Us. "He wants to make her pay."

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In turn, the former Real Housewives of New York star has been blindsided by Hoppy's court maneuvers "Bethenny thought she could just roll him over and get out with no hassle," another pal reveals.

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For much more on the ugly fight -- why Hoppy thinks he's the "better parent," why he wants to "publicly embarrass Bethenny" and more -- pick up the new Us Weekly, out now!

This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Bethenny Frankel, Jason Hoppy Split: "He Wants to Make Her Pay"