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Scorned Dad

Outlet for all those who….

The first signs

We had only been dating for about three weeks when he attempted to break up  the first time. I should have taken that as a sign of what to expect.  But we convinced eachother  and stayed together. Summer was great times no red flags, no signals things weren’t okay. I worked 2 jobs at the time so most times spent together were the weekends and the random off days.

By Fall 2012 he had news that he was promoted to an out of state position. Although we had only been dating a few months we were excited. I was only worried because we would be moving two states away from everything I had ever known and everyone.  As scary as it sounded I wanted nothing more  for the adventure to begin and packed my belongings. I quit my jobs and I said goodbye to my family and friends with promises of regular visits.

I had no reason to feel uneasy until about 6 months later when we had our first real argument. That’s when I thought back to the first break up and those first signs.

 

 

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I am Mel

So I am introducing myself to this blog as an additional author. I have never blogged a day in my life but I have read many. One reason I am sharing my journey is because if anything maybe it will help others in similar relationships and maybe help myself in the process as well as I get your input and advice.

It may take a few days until I have figured out where to start my story. I guess it starts with my name, you can call me Mel.

Divorce Decree

Another lesson learned this week from the ongoing saga called divorce…be sure to check your divorce decree for errors.  During our divorce hearing, my lawyer told the judge he would draft the decree.  Once I received the decree a few days later, I ensured I checked it for accuracy and thankfully I did because it contained a few errors.  Once again, my lawyer, failed to provide the service I paid for.  To me it look liked it was simple copy and paste job from a previous divorce case they had and the only thing they applied was a name change and changed few certain aspects of the hearings.

In some spots in the decree, I swear my attorney was trying to screw me in providing more “benefits” to my ex than what was ruled upon.  One such area was taxes. Considering it’s still fairly early May, the decree stated that I would split refunds or payments regarding our 2016 tax return and we would have to file jointly.  I had to explain to my lawyer…again…that our taxes had already been filed separately and the situation concerning taxes was not brought up in court.  Not to mention it was May and taxes had to be filed a half month ago.  Any changes at this point would incur cost to me and who was going to pay for it.

Another area that missed the mark was the division of debt.  This was the biggest area in my eyes besides the care of my children.  Considering how she is trying to run from this marriage with a clean slate, I was not about to allow her to spend the next 20 years trying to pay off a debt held under my name that she was responsible for.  The verbiage initially read that she would only be responsible for making a $50 payment a month until the debt was paid off.  This was to include the two credit cards she opened under my name without my consent.  I had to get it changed to what was on the court transcript, to read “she will be responsible to pay $50 a month on the two credit cards common to the marriage, and she would will take full ownership of the debt she opened using my name.”  Hell, both of those cards she opened using my name carries a 19.99% interest rate and I’m not going to be responsible for that.

Last but not least…they manage to get my children’s name wrong on the decree.  Really?!?!  I mean it’s not that hard to see how it’s spelled on a piece of paper and transcribe it.  I know it petty in the grand scheme of things but after everything else I had to deal with regarding making things right regarding this process was just icing on the cake at this point.

I’m glad I caught most of these errors early on before the decree was signed by either of us and went final.  It saved me the time and money in the long run of re-hiring another lawyer to file a motion to petition the court for another hearing to make modifications to the decree.  Of course I would always have the court transcript to fall back on to help make the corrections, but knowing my ex, she would try to bring something up or be uncooperative in the process just to create a huge ass-pain for me.

After a few days of back and forth with my lawyer…all changes were made.

Bottom line…check and re-check everything!

Lesson Learned…Part 2

#6 – Gifts Vs Actual/Factual Payments

I know not everything you read on the internet is true, however, one thing I kept coming across while doing my own homework in preparation for court was to see if I was doing what I needed to do to prevent the judge from levying any extra requirements down on me.

One thing I did during the 14 months we were apart was support her more than I needed….monetarily.  Everything I gave her was considered a “gift.”  Gifts are just that.  Like presents at Christmas.

Since the judge didn’t consider that was me supplying her with child support, he bashed me over the head telling me I was lucky he didn’t order me to pay back child support.  Once again, this is an issue your lawyer “should” fight for you.  Since my lawyer did not provide the court with my bank statements showing I in fact did provide her child support…the judge considered it gifts.

#7 – Make sure your decree matches what was agreed upon in court

I recently received my divorce decree from my lawyer and it did not match what was agreed upon in court.  I had to send it back twice just to get the correct verbiage right in order to match what the transcript said.  It was like they took a pre-existing divorce decree and tried to match it with that.  Luckily, I was empowered with the gift of reading…my writing…not so much.  Again I ask you to reference advice Rule #1.

#8 – Ensure you make healthy financial decisions before you divorce

I know some people think money creates happiness.  And for some it does, but when I say make healthy financial decisions, I mean make sure you are buying things you actually need as opposed to things you want.  Although I personally did not make any major purchases in my time leading up to the divorce, it gave me a chance to take a step back and reevaluate what in my life was more important.  Since I became basically broke when she skip town with my kids and all my money, I had to change my mindset, deal, and adjust with the current situation.

#9 – Don’t suffer in silence

Others have been in your position before.  You’re not the only one going thru or have been through a divorce.  Seek help if you need it.  The first few months after she left was VERY rough.  Especially when I thought we reconciled to only be slapped in the face with another set of divorce papers.  Find solace.  It can be a friend, church, the gym, or whatever you want.  For me it was the gym…until I decided to separate my shoulder playing football.  However, I was able to connect with someone who went through an almost identical divorce that I was able to confide in, which helped ease my approach to the divorce.

#10 – Let it go!

What’s done is done.  You, I, nor anyone can change what has already happened.  Divorce sucks.  I learned quickly that I needed to get over it.  You can’t control what your spouse does at this point.  Focus on you and what you like to do.  I actually had this conversation today with one of my co-workers (who is divorced) and we both agreed how nice it is to come home and not be inundated with a “honey do” list.  Don’t get me wrong, I did more than my fair share around the house even though I was the only one with a job.  However, it becomes very tiring when you work all day just to come home and have to deal with the household chores and corralling children.  So I’ll be honest and say…I enjoy the break and the freedom.  I love my children to death and I was (and still am) MORE than willing to be responsible for them but she wanted to take on that responsibility.

Lessons Learned…Part 1

Not a complete list…but hopefully helpful

#1 – Find an attorney who WILL meet your needs.

All attorneys will tell you they will fight for you and your needs, but ask for their track record with similar cases.  Everything they say should be taken with a grain of salt.  Unless presented with hard evidence, don’t believe everything you hear or read about prior success.

#2 – Provide enough details about your case to your attorney EARLY in the process so the court has time to process it.

So in my case, the court wanted “exhibits” (thought this was court not a museum) to be put on display so they could be used as talking points.  I was unaware such a request was even made considering my attorney didn’t tell me about.  Although I did provide them with enough material to present my case, they failed to process them with the court to be used because they were not applicable.  Apparently they were…cost me a little in the end.

#3 – Pressure your attorney to follow thru with #2.

Enough said about that!

#4 – Try and resolve things before you head to court.

It will only speed up the process.  I tried this many times, however, she wanted to allow the judge to make her decisions which helped and hurt her during the hearing.  The judge quickly grew tired of the back and forth that he gave both sides 20 minutes to resolve the issues.  In the end, I got exactly what I wanted which could have been handled before being lectured in court.

#5 – Prepare for the future.

What’s done is done.  Time to move on!  My “demands” where basically to ensure I still had a life to live after it was all said and done.  In my mind she had taken enough.  I was not prepared or willing…to kowtow to anything else.  Save whatever money you can.  Be cautious though as this can be equally divided as well.  Luckily for me she did not come after any of it.  Although, I could have come after whatever she had as well.  It’s not wise to hide things from the court, but sometimes desperate time’s calls for desperate measures.  Think about what you’re willing to give up to ensure a successful future.  In my case, she failed to mention or come after anything I had established prior and during our marriage.

Part of Me Died Today

Today was the day.  It’s all over with the exception of a few documents that need to be signed.  Court…well…it did not go as expected.  Apparently I hired an inept lawyer (things I will discuss in my next blog of “lessons learned”), my now “ex-wife” was not prepared, and of course the judge, who has never served in the Armed Forces, knows more about the military then I do since he lives next to an Army base.  I guess osmosis is a real thing.  Never have I been so disrespected by someone who “thinks” I should command their respect just because they were elected to hold a position of power.  I guess it’s easy when you run unopposed in a small ass city.

I met with my lawyer the day prior to discuss the details of our divorce and to establish a game plan based off any and all requests my ex would probably make.  To say the least, it seemed “our plan” was air tight.  Boy was I wrong.  Not only where we lectured about how we all showed up to court unprepared, my lawyer got a lecture on how he was going too “scorched earth” on my ex because she was representing herself.  No shit judge!!!!  Isn’t that the point of having an attorney?  Hell, that’s the reason I hired one….to fight my battle on my behalf so I didn’t sound uneducated.  Thanks for showing your sympathetic side to those who “can” afford a lawyer but choose not to.  I suppose next time I’ll show up in court with my ball cap backwards…baggy pants…I say “yea” and “naw” in order to win favor.

Before court even started, my lawyer asked my ex if she wanted to “settle” before court got started.  She said no of course because I’m sure she wanted the judge to make all the decisions for her.  Story of our marriage.  Have someone else do all the work while I sit back and enjoy the fruits of their labor.  When we did get started and my lawyer started telling the judge my demands and expectations…we got the lecture I mentioned earlier and was basically told to figure it out on our own in 20 mins.

And guess what…she agreed to everything we could of “settled” before any of this started…even before I hired a lawyer.  For f*** sakes!!!  I spent all this money just to wait 14 months for 15 minutes of actual conversation in a court room to get what I wanted all the awhile.

Well it’s over.  I’m divorced.  The one person I cared for… “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part”…died.

I tried talking with her after court but she seemed uninterested only requesting the timeframe on when the documents would be ready.  I can only assume she wants to remarry as soon as possible.  Really it was just to tell her that I did love her, for what it was worth, and to close the loop on everything else that really needed to be discussed in court.

I do wish her the best…but I’ll know I’ll be back here in Arizona, in front of this judge once again to argue another issue regarding her failure to follow the rules she agreed too.

Final Week of Marriage

It’s weird thinking this will be the final week of my marriage.  In four days I will be divorced…

It’s honestly something I told myself when I as younger I would never do.  I would never follow in the footsteps of my parents.  Unfortunately, however, it looks like I will become another statistic grouped in with the other’s that have marched this road before.  Ugh.  This sucks.  It honestly does.  I have so much disdain for my “soon to be” that I shouldn’t feel this way.  I suppose it’s the love of my two children that keeps me sane knowing they need us both in order to prosper in life.

I tell people all the time if it wasn’t for my children, my divorce would have been an open and closed case within a few days.  I just want what is right for them…my children.  They deserve it.  Whatever makes them happy.  I refuse to let them experience the same bullshit I had to when my parents divorced.  At least they are young enough not to really fully understand what’s going on.  They know that I love them.  They know I did nothing wrong.  I just hope they understand that one day.  I hope they understand that two people can, at one time, love each other enough to not love each other as time passes where they must separate and go their separate ways.

Next few days will be rough.  Not sure what’s in store for me.  Hopefully everything works out for the best!

8 Days Out

Almost a week left before the inevitable is here.  I’ve got so used to being by myself; I almost forgot that I was even married on most days.  The plane tickets are purchased.  Hotels reservations and an appointment with my lawyer have been made.  All that’s left is the battle.  Hopefully the final battle.  End Game!!!  I really hope these proceedings are cordial and fair.  I’ve more than then less have given her a free ride for the better part of over a year.  If it wasn’t for my children, this would have been over within a week…easily!  I just want what’s mine.

I’ve spent the last two weeks collecting and organizing every little piece of paperwork I could find to help my lawyer present my case against her for whatever she decides she wants to come after in a fair manner.  I guess the “real” learning will come after the judge makes his final decision before I can give any hard hitting advice going forward.  I already kind of know what she wants, but it’s going to be really hard for her to get what she asking for given the length of our marriage and the massive debt she rang up under my name.

I would be lying if I told you that I’m happy it’s almost over.  This divorce, by far, has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to endure.  It’s hard to watch the person you love, unconditionally, walk away from you without a reason or an excuse.  Not to say I’m perfect (far from), but there was nothing I wouldn’t do to ensure she was happy.  That is and was the honest truth.  If both of us weren’t going to give it our all, it was never going to work; however, I was willing to give it my all.  I’ve never quit at anything in my life and I wasn’t about to start now.

Now that is gone………….

I suppose I should have seen the red flags over the years, but I was in love.  I guess I was trying to be the person she wanted me to be instead of being true to myself.  Hopefully one day she cuts the umbilical cord from her parents and leads her own life.  They were the problem for the most part…always in her ear.

The rebuilding will begin soon.  Kind of has already.  I’m in a happier place now that I’m free of always having to walk around on eggshells.

More Than A Feeling

21 days.  As each day grows closer to the end, I can’t help to think to think about if there was anything I could have done differently to keep my family together….probably not.

But I remind myself that this is her modus operandi in her life where she runs off just because she doesn’t get what she thought she was going to get.  It’s happened twice in her life and I’m sure it won’t be the last.  You would think the guy she’s dating currently would get the hint, but knowing what I know about him, he’s an idiot.  That fat, out of shape piece of crap is probably just happy getting pussy from where ever he can get.  Lord knows shallow people attract other shallow people…so they are probably a match made in heaven.  Not my problem anymore.  As long as my girls are being fed, clothed, and loved…I will be happy.

I usually don’t write my blogs and thoughts in one day as I started this one a few days ago but looking at the title of this blog, knowing it’s the title of a Boston song, and hearing the first lines of the song is actually what I do every day when I listen to music…slip away!  I’ve always liked gloomy days and depending what was playing on the radio, that song could always start your day in good or bad way.  It’s funny how music can stir emotions…good and bad.  Now Boston is before my time but it’s a band I’ve grown fond of over the past few years.  Sad to hear that former drummer Sib Hashian died today.  Looks like we are losing a lot musician greats from the past at an alarming rate.  I guess it’s true that time waits for no one.

I’m old enough now to really appreciate everything I have.  We never know when our time will end and I would hate to think I spent my final days on this Earth in some silly spat over nothing.  Cherish what you have and what you can do.  Divorces suck!  Some people suck!  However, there is always something or someone out there in the world that will make you happy or be your equal.  No use fretting over the small stuff.

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