Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Show me the money!

In the short two months (almost) that have flown by since the STBX and I officially separated, I have already accumulated $1,800 in attorney fees. How the? That's about $34/day for my attorney and the only thing that's been handled to completion is our custody agreement. We have joint legal custody, I have primary physical custody and it was agreed that I could relocate with C as it was in his best interest (there is that phrase again!). My attorney handled the custody agreement and relocation provision with flair, finesse and most importantly, efficiency. It was signed within a week and a half of our separation and subsequently filed with the court.

That's it.

That's all that has been settled. For an initial $1,200 retainer and an additional $600 for the next phase. You can pick your jaw up off the floor now.


Child support has been calculated as that was the very next thing my attorney initiated, but I have yet to see a dime since both the STBX and his attorney are actively stonewalling my attorney's attempts to get payments started earlier than the day the judge will sign the filed motion into agreement (um, yeah that's not 'til January). No visitation petition has been filed, our house is entering foreclosure because we are behind with getting the short sale application together and just the idea of litigating negotiating a settlement agreement makes me want to slit my wrists.

I try to be a financially savvy individual (thanks Grampa!), but I'm not always successful (thanks ADHD!) and I'm totally feeling the pressure of the continued attorney bills that are going to come my way through the process ahead. And as much as I can hope and pray that we can negotiate and/or mediate and do what is best for our child, my gut is telling me that the STBX is seeking revenge on me for escaping his web of lies and manipulation through leaving swiftly and abruptly ... I anticipate misguided attempts to "get back at me" through the court system regardless of what impact that may have on me or our child. Did I mention that he is stalling on paying child support?

I'm currently living "in the red" so-to-speak and after draining all of the available savings I did have to pack up and leave the STBX, I am freaking just a tad. I don't like living paycheck to paycheck.  Looking back, I lived like that with the STBX and sacrificed the peace of mind I wanted in life in favor of supporting him and his dreams of everything bigger and better. Because that's what married people do. Support one another with the hope that love will make up the difference for whatever isn't fair.

Now I'm the one with the dreams of living bigger and better and I will move on better than I lived in my marriage. I didn't bust my rear in college to have nothing to show for it.  I want every possible advantage I can have for C and raising him over the next 18+ years and I will always put his needs over my own. You know, that's part of my plan for this whole starting over wonderful thing ... new dreams, bigger and better dreams. But I am at a loss as to how I am going to do any of it when I have a STBX who's goal is to do nothing but ruin me financially and take me to the cleaners. It is totally not what you read about. This is not the middle-aged divorce where the homemaker wife gets custody and wants to take the non-custodial cheating bastard father for all he is worth. No. This was a starter marriage where the breadwinner (that's me) is both initiating the divorce and has custody. This is a non-custodial STBX trying to take me to the cleaners for revenge purposes only because his free-loading off of me has been effectively terminated. Even if I was an Emmy-award winning writer for some twisted soap opera (I'm guessing, because I don't watch that crap) I still wouldn't be able to make this shit up.

How do I start over wonderful?

Uggghhhh (that's my groaning, in case you didn't catch that) ... I guess I'm still just trying to figure it all out. I hope the small lot all of you reading this can bear with me with my last few negative posts as I try to sort out this mess that I am currently in the middle of. I'm not interested in money per se, I do just want to be wonderful (as the great Marilyn Monroe once said), but I also don't want to be so broke I'm living on ramen noodles and don't have an emergency fund. I have a dog and a baby and I just moved back to New England at the beginning of winter. An emergency is just waiting to happen.

I guess the positive out of all this stress and uncertainty would be that I know, beyond any doubt at all, that if I had stayed in my marriage I would have lost a lot more than money and financial stability. I would have lost myself, my values and my strength. I would have lost my will to live wonderful. Because despite all that I've already lost I still have all of those essentials, therefore I am hopeful. I am living my truths and I know who I am. I have values and I am strong. Maybe that is all I really need to start over wonderful.

3 comments:

  1. Lawyer fees are ridiculous. My divorce was very smooth and straightforward in terms of the legalese part, in particular, yet I still paid 3K for it! It is one of the worst bits to face, and as I too was starting over financially, after short selling our home and having to also then rebuild my credit, it was a scary feeling. No net, just me. But from this will come the 'starting over wonderful' you are seeking, as hard as it is to see now, it is there. I promise. Hang in there.

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  2. I'm trying to not freak out over all the financial "what ifs", but I am scared. I have a child to provide for and a less than reliable STBX to deal with for the next 18+ years. It is so hard not to worry myself sick with all the unknowns.

    I have a feeling my divorce is going to cost a lot more than $3K. I want to throw up just thinking about it.

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  3. It's sick that despite the separation and impending divorce he is still allowed to be a drain on your wallet (and your emotional well-being)even if he's not the one spending it. I wish there were a way to make this all go away, I really do.

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