Getting a Divorce? So here's what...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fave new shirt, you can get one HERE..

I have been thinking for awhile about writing a post on how to go through a divorce. Not that there is a right or wrong way to do it but it's kind of one of those baptism by fire type of deals. You just learn as you go. I didn't buy any books although I am told there are a lot. I relied on my girl friends (and a guy friend or two) to give me advice and hold my hand. I learned a lot and I really hope that no one reading this ever has to get a divorce but hey... let's face it... for every 3 people that read these words one of you will get divorced. I know... thanks Debbie Downer... womp womp.

And it's not always a bad thing but I am coming from the perspective of the leave-er not the leave-ee. There is a vast difference in how you experience it for sure. For me my marriage was over and I was checked out long before I hired my attorney. In fact, at my initial consultation with him after the first five minutes he took the obviously placed box of tissues on the conference table away with a chuckle and a "I can tell you won't be needing these". And he was right, most of my tears had already been shed. So I am just gonna go with a list here and do a little exercise in word vomit about my divorce and see where it leads me....
  • Go with your gut every step of the way. Because when you know, you know. If you don't feel like you are ready to make a decision drink on it think on it for a minute. 
  • Hire a good attorney and research him/her to make sure he's not going to drag it out and rob you blind. Whose kids do you want to put thru college? His or yours? 
  • Know that every time you call, email or think about contact your attorney in any way you will be billed, for every solitary second of their time. At $650.00 an hour that shit adds up fast so use your head and you can figure a lot of this stuff out yourself.
  • If you can't afford an attorney you can get a divorce on your own and it's pretty easy. I had mine draw up the initial paperwork and then I ran out of money cause douche bag wouldn't sign a thing. I spent the next 8 mos. getting my own divorce with no fancy attorney. It can be done. Ask me how, I'd be happy to help.
  • Before you have the initial meeting with your attorney or start drafting your own settlement agreement, take some time, sit down and write out what you want. In terms of custody, support and division of property. This will save you time and money.
  • Be prepared for a fight or at least for some name calling, mud slinging  back and forth . Mine went from uncontested to contested in about 30 seconds and I never saw that coming.
  • Be very careful who you talk to. Some people have a hard time picking sides. 
  • If your divorce is anything but 100% civil, document everything you do and everything your spouse does or doesn't do. I posted everything I did with my kids on facebook. Sounds weird I know but it documented the fact they they were in my care 99% of the time and I did all of the extracurricular activities, school functions, doctors appts. etc. 
  • Do not document your shenanigans personal life. Take a break from checking in at the hair salon, Starbucks, the liquor store or your favorite night club. When the shit hits the fan the craziest things can come back to bite you in the boo-tay. 
  • Court is scary but it's not horrible. Unless you are doing something illegal or immoral the judge will be at the very least cordial to you. But don't argue with him, I was shocked at how many idiots (my ex douche bag being one) actually stood there and tried to go toe to toe with Hiz Honor. "Yes Your Honor, No Your Honor, Thank You Your Honor, May I be excused Your Honor" is pretty much all you need to know  unless he asks you to be esplainin' your biznatch a little more. If you have an attorney you just sit there and look intelligent and engaged.
  • Shut off your cell phone!!! OFF people!! The judge does not want to hear your Brittney Spears Toxic ring tone when he is in mid sentence. You want him to like you, don't give him a reason not too.   
  • When you go to court empty all of the miscellaneous shit out of your purse. They don't like tweezers, nail clippers, scissors, leatherman tools, glass perfume bottles or previously opened water bottles. They will confiscate it or make you haul ass back to your car and dump it off there then haul ass back and hope to god you don't miss the judge calling your name on the docket.  The judge does not like it when you come in after court is in session. My ex douche bag did this twice. Idgit!
  • Don't go to court without first filing your paperwork. This makes your honor very irritated when you appear in front of him and he doesn't have your papers. 
  • When the court orders you to appear, APPEAR. Even if you don't know why, just go. Cause ain't nobody got time for jail. 
  • You have to take your shoes off every time you go thru the metal detector at court. Plan accordingly... think buckles, zippers, tall boots, socks with holes in them... ya see what I'm gettin at?
  • Keep your divorce moving through the court system. If you are doing it yourself schedule your temporary hearing as soon as you file whatever initial paperwork is required. After that, immediately file your next court date, it usually takes 6 weeks anyway. My divorce took 9 mos. to from start to finish once I filed. 
  • Talk to your friends who have gone through it before you. This is actually where I learned the most valuable information! If you have a friend who has been divorced more than once start referring to her as your personal "Elizabeth Taylor", an expert on divorce... she'll love that. 
I admire this woman... she never gave up on love and she wasn't afraid to try again.
  • If you want it to be over sooner rather than later be willing to be flexible with your ex. Go to mediation if you can't reach an agreement. Mediators are there for a reason. Take advantage of their skills. (By the way this was the most difficult and gut wrenching thing I had to do. Sitting at a table with your ex and a stranger taking your life and possessions apart piece by piece is extremely emotional and final. No one prepared me for this. It was awful.)
  • If you feel like you want to start dating do it, but cautiously. Remember you are still legally married. Your ex might wait for you after work and follow you with your kids in the car. Won't you be surprised when your six year old says "Mommy we followed you after work today!" Oh yes, that happened to this girl right here. 
  • It's OK to keep on living and do fun things. Just because you are getting a divorce and everyone is sad for you doesn't mean you have to be miserable and sad too. You will have your moments of both. Expect it. 
  • One of the most brilliant things about getting divorced is that you get to start your whole life over. Now I know it's not what anyone plans when they first take those forever vows but... Shit. Happens. Life is all about how you move through the shit... deal with it.  Not everyone gets the chance to completely start over or takes the opportunity. And life is too precious to spend it with the wrong person or in an unhealthy relationship... it just is. I am looking forward to what the journey has in store for me. It hasn't been easy but I am still here and everything is going to be what it will be and I'm down with that.

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