Sunday, September 11, 2011

Imagine: 10 years

Imagine no possessions.  I wonder if you can. 
No need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man. 
Imagine all the people sharing all the world...

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. 
 I hope someday you'll join us and the world will live as one. 

I can't believe it has been ten years.  I think back to that day, and I still feel it as fresh as if it just happened.  I remember sitting on the couch with my mom, watching the news, with my little boy playing in the bathtub a few feet away, oblivious to the world and what was going on.  I finished getting ready, finished getting him ready, and took him to daycare then headed off to school and work.  It seemed odd to be doing such common place things on a day when there was so much pain and sadness so close to home.  I went to one class, and then school was cancelled for the rest of the day.  I went to work for my shift, and spent most of it gathered around the tv with the rest of the staff watching the news as they replayed the images over and over.  The death count just kept climbing and climbing.  Most vividly, I remember picking up my little boy from daycare, barely two years old, and, after hearing countless apologies from the daycare owners about how they thought he was too little and wouldn't understand, having to explain to him over and over about the bad men in the airplanes who had hurt all the people. 

It seems like it has been a lifetime since then.  I can still remember it as if it was yesterday, but it seems like our nation has been at war forever.  So many lives have been lost since that day, and it seems that there is no end in sight.  My heart is sad for all the people who have lost loved ones, both on that horrible day and every day since then.  I admire the soldiers who have been willing to lay down their lives for our country and the families who support them in their desire to help fight this war.  Today my thoughts are on all the parents who have had to say good bye to their children, all the spouses who have to go on alone whether it is for a shorter time during deployment or for the rest of their lives, and all the children who are missing their parents.  I am so grateful for all of them.  I love our country, and I am grateful for all I have.  I love my family, and I can't imagine my life without them.  I am so blessed.    

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mr. Cranky-Pants

Out of all of the things my lawyer could have said about Delinquent Ex, I was not expecting "cranky".  That word is normally reserved for toddlers who have missed their naps, but I guess in this case it is just about right.

Today was the hearing before the commissioner to see if our case has enough support to be heard before the judge in my order to show cause with Delinquent Ex.  It has been quite a hectic week and a half since I was served with the papers.  The Monday after I called Cory's lawyer and told him that I had been served and had a court date scheduled for today.  I was beyond amazed when he actually answered the phone, and then I realized I had called him from my work phone which was a number he didn't recognize.  He told me that he didn't have his calendar right in front of him and he'd call me right back.  Four days, eight calls, and five voice messages later, I finally got the hint.  I felt like the bad first date that takes forever to get the message that the guy just isn't interested.  I made a last minute decision and mid-panic attack called the lawyer who had done my divorce papers to see if she had room to squeeze me in.  She set an appointment for the next day. 

We went back and forth on whether or not we wanted to push for a continuance since Delinquent Ex had not given me the time required by law to prepare.  After deciding to file for one, I received a call yesterday from my lawyer who told me that they wouldn't decide on the continuance until today at court, which meant we had to be there for it.  We showed up, and there was Delinquent Ex with his girlfriend of two years, his partner in crime.  We avoided them until they went upstairs, and then we headed up to the courtroom.  Ten minutes after court was supposed to start, the bailiff asked us if we knew if they were present.  I told him we had seen them downstairs, but had no idea where they went.  I recommended they look over by the drug court since that was their second home, and the bailiff chuckled.  He asked what to look for, and I said a shaved head and a leather jacket for him, and a black miniskirt and pink hair for her.  At that point, my lawyer started laughing.  I think she thought I was kidding.  Sadly, no..

The bailiff tracked them down, and the commissioner called the three of us to come up.  Delinquent Ex has decided he has such a strong case he doesn't need legal representation.  She asked if we still wanted the continuance, and my lawyer said that she had a settlement arrangement ready if he was willing to agree to it.  I feel it was a pretty fair arrangement, and a smart person would have taken it.  I guess I should have known with that logic that he wouldn't.  So, we got the continuance, and now we have to go back in another month.  My lawyer pulled us aside at the end and gave us a run-down of their settlement negotiations.  She said he is "mighty cranky" and thinks that he'll be able to get everything he wants without having to sacrifice anything..  This is obviously his first divorce.  I'm anxious to see how it goes. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

At What Point Do You Fire Your Lawyer?

You know that little judgement thing that we've been waiting for in Cory's case with Lovely Ex?  That decision that basically every choice we are thinking about making right now is waiting for?  Well, hold on to your hats..  It's been finalized and signed for over a month now.  Unfortunately, no one bothered to tell us.  It's a dang good thing that Cory and I decided to go to the courthouse today to get a copy of the order to show cause in my case I have a REALLY bad habit of losing important papers.  While we were there, Cory decided to check on his case to see if they could tell us what was happening.  The clerk gave us a copy of the signed judgement, and we were shocked to see that it was signed and filed on July 27th, and a copy was mailed to our lawyer.  The same lawyer who has been avoiding our calls and failing to answer our voicemails for the last three weeks.  I'm trying to decide if he got the copy of the judgement and was afraid of us ripping him a new one over the stuff we lost, or if he was trying to come up with a good spin to put on it so we wouldn't. 

Overall, the judgement wasn't really that bad.  The only major thing we lost was the fact that the judge doesn't consider the alimony "alimony" so it doesn't terminate.  We have to continue paying for another three years because he sees it as a property settlement.  We also have to pay half of all medical including the premium on the additional coverage she has on the kids now that she's moved, but we kind of expected that.  We had some good wins for our side too, however.  The judge said that there is no way she can expect Cory to pay for any extracurricular activities seeing as how he is already paying her so much.  This means he is not responsible for over two thousand dollars worth of swimming lessons, gymnastics, and preschool.  He determined that the property that we have in our possession is truly ours.  She has been going after us for over two years now for property that Cory took that belonged to him, but she wanted him to either give it back or pay her for it.  Finally, he determined that the money he gave her right after they divorced did in fact count towards the settlement she was supposed to get, and it wasn't a "gift" as she tried to claim in court. 

Best news of the whole thing, the judgement gave us a splitting point.  It handled all matters that occurred before June 2011.  It's nice knowing that we don't have years of debts that seem to grow every time they are addressed.  We now know exactly what we are responsible for and we can begin to make plans on how to pay for it.  It was hard to hear because we had made some plans hoping the alimony would go away.  It'll be a few more years before we can even consider owning a house or getting a second car that works.  We're taking another look at getting Cory's monster of a car fixed, just in case we need a second, but for the most part we're lucky we've been blessed in the ways we have.  We have some awesome landlords who are letting us live in this great house.  We work at the same place so carpooling is working for now.  My mom is great and watches the kids so we don't have to try to figure out how to pay daycare on top of everything else.  We have amazing neighbors.  I know that we are blessed in so many ways, way too many to name, and for this I am very grateful.  This isn't going to have that big of an impact on us, we'll just keep fighting for the important things.  Love, family, and friends.  Those are the only things that matter.