Category Archives: legal proceedings

It doesn’t have to be a perfect world

As we move closer to finalizing my divorce, the STBX will hereafter be referred to as "Jabba"

As we move closer to finalizing my divorce, the STBX will hereafter be referred to as “Jabba”

I called off from working Saturday night because I wanted to go  see The Auteur.  Earlier that evening, i asked my dad if I could borrow his car and go straight out to her house after work on Sunday morning.  He gave me his usual lecture about taking advantage of the car situation –  which admittedly, I am doing – and about getting my proverbial shit together.  I get.  I do:  he’s trying to hit me with the Tough Love approach but it prompted me to make a decision:  I’m moving in with The Auteur.

Her and I have discussed it for at least the last month or two; but talking about it, and making the decision seemed to put her mind at ease about a lot of things, and that put my mind at ease about a lot of things.

Monday would have been (was?) her and Rhino’s wedding anniversary.  He texted her in the morning, which she told me about.  Otherwise, the day went with virtually no matrimonial fanfare whatsoever, as far as I know.

I don’t feel that this decision – for the Auteur and I to live together – is an impulsive one.  Five months into my relationship with Jabba, I had bought her a ring and we had already been living together for months.  Comparatively speaking, this relationship has been a much more deliberate one.  It amazes me sometimes to think that we have only known each other for five months.  It seems like we’ve known each other for year, and not in a bad way; and yet so many things still feel so completely new.

As an outsider looking, in have to wonder, “what the hell is a separated-but-still-married-man doing even considering moving in with a separated-but-still-married-woman and her teenage daughter?”  I mean, i have every reason to believe that this could sabotage any possible visitation or custody attempts I may make at The Boy.

At the same time, being with The Auteur just feels right.  I am happiest when we are together.  I feel complete when I am with her.  This, my friends, is love.

To complicate things even more, I am scheduled to appear in court next week  one one day before the Auteur and I were planning our own trip down to South Carolina.  I’ve come to the realization that I almost certainly will not see The Boy on this trip.  Right now, I’m just hoping to see him at Thanksgiving.  I haven’t heard back from my lawyer since he sent me the court notice. I am very seriously considering firing this guy, but that’s probably not the best strategy with one week until my first court appearance.

I’m not asking for a perfect world.  The world is an imperfect place.  The Auteur and I have both been through our share of shit.  right now our lives are in an indefinite holding pattern until our divorces are completed.  I just want to be happy.  It’s like I keep saying to her: “it’s time for our happily ever after”.

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Sympathy for a deadbeat

I’ve been struggling for the last several days with a topic for this – my 100th blog entry.  Recent developments in my ongoing divorce have however forced my hand keyboard.

I wrote previously about the STBX’s recent decision to prohibit me from seeing The Boy until there is a separation agreement in place. A few days afterward, I realized that I needed to have her admit, in writing, what she was doing.  Here is a snippet of said e-mail from me:

trip confirmation snip 1

I figured this was straight-forward, if not diplomatic.  I simply asked if this was the conversation as she recalled it as well.  Here is the response I got:

trip confirmation snip 2  

That’s not a denial, is it?  You’ll notice that the only thing I have censored are real names of the parties discussed.    Here is a point-by-point breakdown of her response, as discretion is the better part of valor and i chose not to get into a pissing contest:

1.  This “matter” was NOT supposed to be resolved in June.  the EARLIEST we could have had a settlement in place would have been July 1.  The Heiress of Hyperbole rambles on.

2. Neither I, nor my attorney have been “dragging our feet”.  What have been doing is called negotiating.

3.  Ahh, THERE IT IS.  She admits it, as I knew she would.

4.  Funny, she offers to negotiate with me, and yet she tells our landlord that we are “not supposed to be talking to each other”.

5.  “It’s all about the money, money, money..”

6.  Jabba is NOT still carrying me on the medical insurance.  I fell off of that on July 1, 2013.

7.  This is the first time she has mentioned the fact that I am on the lease in the 14 MONTHS i have been out of the South Carolina house.

8.  Preventing my son from seeing me is the very definition of “unreasonable” as far as I’m concerned.

Jabba really has no idea how easy she has it with me.  The Auteur has told me stories about 1B’s father; how he has stopped paying child support,   how he has refused 1B’s requests to see him without his new wife present; how he basically has nothing to do with her.  1B is just one example of the millions of kids in this country who have deadbeat dads.  It would be so easy to just stop being involved, but that’s just not me.  I love my son more than anything in this world, period.  And I refuse to resign myself to losing him altogether.

WAR

300 war

Wednesday started out like any other day under the current status quo of The New Normal: I got in from work, talked / Facebook Messaged The Auteur, slept a bit,  tried to enjoy some daylight.

In the evening, I called The Boy.  And since the STBX refused to take my calls or answer my e-mails, I asked The Boy to put her on the phone.

I reminded her of our rough plans for me to visit The Boy while she was on a work-related trip.  I was planning to turn this into a little vacation of my own with The Auteur and 1B in tow.

After some stuttering and stalling, she tells me that I am not allowed to see The Boy until there’s a settlement in place.

I wasn’t really surprised by this course of action on Jabba’s behalf, but to be told you cannot see your child by anyone is truly shocking.

Amazingly enough, I kept my cool. I didn’t go nearly as ballistic as I did the day of the cable bill calamity although this is clearly much, much worse.

I called my lawyer the next day, and had a phone meeting with him on Friday.  He’s going to call Jabba’s lawyer before proceeding any further.

What the hell have I become?  The Me From One Year Ago would not even recognize the me of today.  I’m not saying this to condemn the current me; rather, I’m just stunned sometimes at how much my life, my perspective and my attitude has changed.

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Love Rears It’s Ugly Head

I get a call from my attorney Thursday afternoon.  Not one of the paralegals, mind you, but the actual lawyer.  I’ve been calling his office for the last 2 weeks trying to get my summer visitation with The Boy to get put on the proverbial front-burner, since his last day of school was TODAY.

Anyway, he calls to tell me that the STBX’s team refuses to budge on only allowing me 4 weeks over the summer with The Boy (I wanted 6 weeks during the summer).  he goes on to explain to me that he had spoken not only with other lawyers, but also some judges who all seemed to think that no judge would give me 6 wee ks and any attempts to pursue it would be, in his words, “throwing good money after bad money”.  Seriously, why the hell did I even hire this guy?  This first battle was the only one I even gave a fuck about.  I could have saved a hell of a lot of money and just allowed the STBX’s attorney to fuck me in the ass this badly without any legal representation of my own.

I spoke with the Old Man Friday and we laid out a game plan for getting down to Charleston and getting The Boy.  I still haven’t spoke with the STBX, but I did e-mail her about my intentions this afternoon.

UPDATE:   Saturday June 1 8:57 PM

I got an e-mail from the STBX last night.  Now she’s apparently saying she wants The Boy back in South Carolina on June 30th.  Once again, I’m feeling like Lando Calrissian in that “this deal keeps getting worse all the time”.  Shortly thereafter, I spoke with The Auteur and told her what was going on.  she was totally sympathetic to Team Rob, of course; but then she proceeds to “uninvite” to the local Emmy awards show in which she was nominated for a student Emmy.  I understand what she was trying to do – relieve me of the guilt of telling her that I can’t afford the ticket to the show, but her timing could not have been worse.

The Old Man and I reconvened today (Saturday) and decided to leave on Wednesday after my dental appointment.  This most likely means that i wont be able to see The Auteur on her birthday (this Friday) but she already made plans to go to a concert that night anyway, so I already felt like I was playing second-fiddle anyway. She’s disappointed, and rightfully so, but I too was disappointed when I couldn’t see her on my birthday. It sucks, but we’ll both live.

I need to find a new way to cope with my impending divorce.  I feel like i’m getting butt-surfed by the STBX and both of our attorneys and I’m not handling it well at all.  The Auteur really called me out on it today, saying that I lay into her too much about it.  In a lot of ways, I think I do. She puts up with me talking about it far more than she should have to.

approaching zero hour

fade to white

fade to white

Time, as it often tends to do, has snuck up on me.  Two days from now is The Boy’s last day of school.  Three days from now will be 11 months since the day I left Charleston; and I don’t feel any closer to being “officially divorced” than I did then.  It feels as if my attorney, and the STBX’s attorney for that matter,  is dragging his heels through this.

I got an e-mail from the STBX about a week-and-a-half ago asking about my plans for the summer.  I didn’t even respond to her – I forwarded it on to my lawyer, whose done virtually nothing about it.  I think I’m gonna have to pull the trigger on this one myself and take the 4 weeks that the STBX is willing to provide me The Boy, at least for this summer anyway.

And that’s only part of my problem:  I’m broke.  Much like my lady-love, The Auteur, I’m looking for work.  I don’t even have the money to go pick him up, that’s how pathetic I am right now.

Although I’ve made it very clear to the STBX that I want The Boy for 6 weeks during his summer break, I’ve been preparing myself for the reality that I may not get him for that long until this divorce is finalized in court. I’m ready for that.  I’d hate it, but I can deal with it.   My problem is that I’m looking at the calendar and nothing seems to have been done.

I guess that leads me to an even bigger question:  What have I accomplished in the last 11 months?

  • I’ve returned to school, with some mixed results.
  • I’ve made a few unofficial child support payments to the STBX – albeit upon advice from my attorney.
  • I’ve brought The Boy up here to Michigan and made a trip to see him in South Carolina on my own dime.
  • Six months ago, I started working out and have never felt better about my body.
  • Most important of all, I’ve met an amazing woman with whom I want to spend the rest of my life…
  • And in doing so I accomplished something I didn’t think was possible in Michigan:  I got comfortable.

The Auteur sees me in a bit of a rut and she’s right.  She summed it up best when she said “You’re comfortable.  You hate your situation, but you’re comfortable”.

three certainties in life

"...and your little tax refund to..."

“…and your little tax refund too!”

Ben Franklin once said that the only two certainties in life are death and taxes. On this Tax Day 2013, I would humbly submit a third absolute to be added to this list: getting financially fucked up the ass during divorce proceedings.

For the first time since actually leaving South Carolina, I am truly beginning to feel the financial ramifications of the dissolution of my marriage. As some of you may have guessed, I am talking about my income taxes for 2012. I had gotten used to kick-back i would receive from the IRS for the living, breathing write-off that is my son. Despite the fact that he lived in my home for one-half of the calendar year –  I fed him, clothed him, paid for his day care and health care expenses –  the STBX is the only one who is reaping the financial windfall of this endeavor called parenthood in 2012.

I don’t want to come across like I’m all about the money. I’m not. I would gladly let the STBX reap the financial benefits of our Son if it meant I had sole custody of him.  Hell, now I would settle for joint custody.  I really would. My income tax returns are just another example from taking it up the wazoo from the Wicked Witch of the Southeast.

To make matters worse, this has probably been the worst year of my professional life. I didn’t work much this past year, and I made even less money. That and I apparently fucked up my with- holdings during my last teaching gig.

I’m really not trying to be all “the glass is half-empty and there’s a hole in it”. Really, I’m not. I’m cautiously optimistic that this tax thing is the final dark cloud bordering on my silver lining. Things are going extraordinarily well with The Auteur. She and I just had what I consider to be the best weekend of my life so far. If taking my lumps with tax season is the price i have to pay for this remarkable relationship with The Auteur, then so be it.

Wow. it’s true. All I have to do is think of her and I feel better about things.

Perhaps I should reconsider that third certainty.

I really shouldn’t even be complaining.  Not today anyway.  Not when a great celebration turned into this earlier today…

Why?

Why?

Counterstrike

With the Boy’s Easter break  about 6 weeks away, I called the STBX last night to discuss visitation.  Here’s a paraphrasing of said conversation – to the best of my memory:

Me:  So the Boy’s Easter break is coming up.  Under the separation agreement that you had written up, I get him for his entire break, right?

X: No, that’s not what I remember.

Me: Well, I don’t have it in front of me, but that is what it says.

X:  We don’t have an agreement.

Me:  We’ve been going by the agreement that you had written up.

X:  You never signed it.

Me:  Really, X?  You’re gonna do this every time it’s my turn to see him? Fine.  I’ll call my lawyer first thing Monday morning and I’ll set up a visitation hearing.

X:  I already made plans to take him to Legoland that week.

Me:  Maybe you should’ve checked that with me first.  I’ll have my lawyer set up a hearing.  We’ll get all this set in stone.

X:  Be sure to talk to him about child support too! hangs up phone

Typical.  Whenever she gets frustrated, she hangs up on people.  Her parents, her siblings, me.  I’m not really sure why she wants me to talk to my lawyer about child support.  That would be like a murderer asking his/her attorney: “hey how much time should I do?  10? 15 years?”

Again, she tries to go back on a separation agreement that SHE had written up.

She doesn’t get it.  She’s not in charge of this thing anymore. And that scares the hell out of her.

All in all, this is a week I would really like to forget.  SHG blows me off.  Ivy makes her move.  The STBX descends further into the role of the stereotypical bitchy ex-wife.  Never have I ever looked so forward to Monday…

All of this and nothing

On Monday morning, I got an e-mail from my attorney, stating that the STBX was served on Friday night. It was anti-climactic to say the least. For all of my thoughts leading up to it happening – the screaming match I imagined, the idle threats for which I mentally prepared myself, the thinly veiled Facebook postings alluding to our relationship – there was no reaction from her.  Nothing.   I’m not complaining. I’m just surprised.

Equally surprising have been my feelings about it. I thought I would be excited about it. I thought it would feel empowering.  I thought I would be gloating.  Instead, I feel none of that. When I saw it, it was just another e-mail.One of my favorite sayings is “the opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference”.  Maybe I’m just indifferent to the whole thing at this point.  For some time, I’ve been telling myself, and anyone who would listen, that I just want to move forward.  I guess I actually meant it.

Maybe she didn’t actually get the letter yet. Maybe she’s keeping quiet to mess with me. The one constant in her personality has been her inability to think before opening her mouth to speak. Maybe getting served knocked her off of her high horse.

Okay, I REALLY doubt that last line.

The Sleepless Knight

As of now, all is quiet on the western front – as far as legal proceedings are concerned.  I would be shocked if the STBX didn’t get served this week.  I just want done.  I’m not anxious or scared about it; I just want to move forward.

Last week, I finally started working out at Planet Fitness.  I can understand why the place is as popular as it is.  They market themselves as “the judgement-free zone”  and I can truly say it is the most relaxed, non-intimidating experience I’ve ever had in a gym.  I’ve woke up a little bit sore the first few times I went, but not enough to discourage me from going back.  In fact, I think I’m on the verge of establishing the gym as a habit.  So far, it is totally worth my $10 monthly fee.

Okay, I admit it: I wanna look good. I wanna lose my gut.  I wanna develop some muscle tone.  I wanna feel good too.  And yes, I’d like to see some results before I see the STBX again. I want her to see that not only am I doing “just fine” but also that I am prospering in The New Normal.

One thing I continue to have trouble with is sleeping.  It’s not because I miss sharing a bed with the STBX.  When it’s dark and quiet, my mind starts wandering.  When I do sleep, it’s usually out of pure exhaustion.

More than anything, I think about my Son at night. I think I miss him far more than I even consciously realize.  More than ever, I’m thinking about talking to a counselor again.  If I do it, I’m gonna have to go before I lose my insurance.

It’s only 12 days until I fly out to get my Son for Christmas.  I suppose it would probably help if I got some Christmas shopping done between now and then…

Going to DEFCON 2….

For some stupid reason, I never bothered to check my e-mail on Wednesday (probably because I was too busy getting homework done).  15 minutes ago, I opened an e-mail from my attorney – sent at about 3:15 Wednesday afternoon.  My attorney got the Divorce Papers back from the county.  The STBX should be getting served any day now.

What kind of sick irony would that be if she got served on Pearl Harbor Day?

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