Well, yesterday I had court. I wasn’t looking forward to it and enlisted a very good friend to come with me and hang out while we waited.
We were scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. presentation by our respective lawyers to a mediation board. This board consists of two divorce lawyers and a mediator. They take into account all of the information presented by two parties and then suggest what they think would be an amicable economic/custody solution to the situation. If we both agree to the compromise, then the divorce will be final. This is a way for the court to save time and money by not having a judge hear the case.
I arrived with my friend at 1:15, my lawyer showed up at 1:30. The asshole was there when I got there and he looked like a tool, not unusual. His lawyer, on the other hand, showed up over an hour late. My lawyer, always on the ball, went in and asked for lawyer’s fees cause the hour we sat waiting cost me $275!
The lawyers go in and present the memos. They come out and then are called back in pretty quickly. This is the compromise they came up with:
$300 a week spousal support for 10 years. Or $250 a week spousal support for 10 years and the GI Bill.
Each claim one child on the taxes
Child support by law
Equitable distribution of the last of the marital property (which is only a motorcycle that I want to sell)
He pays $2500 in lawyer’s fees to my lawyer (effectively wiping out any balance I had with him)
I take half of all the debt accrued during the marriage
Distribution of his retirment check as allowed by regulations of the military
So, as my lawyer is reading this down, I’m nodding my head. This is sounding alright. Until he gets to the bill part.
Um, excuse me????
Are you freaking kidding me? I was never, ever on the checking account and I was never, ever on any of the loans that he says he has out. I have no idea where the money went and I’m sure as hell not assuming half of the reponsibility for the $13,000 credit card balance he has. The same credit card that he used to pay his lawyer and to go spend a week with his girlfriend! You have got to be freaking kidding me!
I would have approved that damn agreement if it weren’t for the bill portion. That is ridiculous.
I sent the following email to my lawyer (warning, it’s a bit long):
I cannot, and more willnot, assume responsibiltiy willingly for any of the loans that he took out where we were married. I was thinking about this last night. None of these loans has my name on it and I can’t be sure what he spent the money on. I know that at one time there was a $5000 loan that he took out, about 3 years ago, and I know that one of the big purchases was a flat screen television….that now resides in his house in VA. Why should I have to pay for half of that? Did he use the credit card to take me to dinner? Am I supposed to go dutch on a date night with my husband when I didn’t work for 16 years because I was supporting his career and raising the children?
I want to make very clear: my name has not been on the account through Navy Federal Credit Union for over a decade. I was completely financially dependent upon my husband. In exchange for him paying for all living expenses, to include groceries, health care, hygiene needs, etc, I took care of the children and the household making sure that his attention was not diverted from his career and making it possible for him to put the mission of the military first. This was my job and I was proud to do it.
I did take out a student loan to pay for college classes. He cosigned this loan. The loan originated 5 years ago and was for $11,000. After 5 years of his paying on the loan (which was taken out so that I would have a college degree and would be able to get a substantially paying job after he retired), I still owe over $10,500 on this loan. I willingly took that debt on because it is mine. The other debts are his.
I had no control over how money was spent. All of that was controlled, to the minutae, by him. His choices to get a loan were never discussed with me and how the money was spent was never discussed with me. Yes, he shared the largeese that he had because of the money, but most of the money was spent on things to benefit the family, not just me. As a housewife, someone who tried to work but found that daycare was too expensive, I do not feel that I should have to be responsible for debt that I had no hand in the decision about.
As for the money that he continues to state that he took out a loan to cover some of my debts so that I wouldn’t go to jail, I would ask that he present evidence of same. I do not recall where the money went and how much it was.
The other terms of that agreement sound good to me. I understand that I would lose my health insurance a year after the divorce. While that is a worry, it is one that I can deal with. I would also assume that I would be responsible for my own cell phone bill and car insurance, both expenses that he is currently paying for. I would ask that there be a 30 day window where I could change over the cell phone and insurance into my name without loss of service and/or coverage on both. My cell phone is the only phone that I have and is the only way for my parents and my children to contact me. I would take care of it immediately, but I do not want my cell phone cut off before I have made changes in the service to my name. I am fully willing to take over the existing cell phone contract as long as he is willing to front the disconnect fee for his phone line. Again, 30 days would be made available for this change over to happen. I know that he expressed an interest in going with another cell phone carrier, so this may be an option for him. The existing cell phone contract was originally in my name and it could be put back in my name with very little trouble on his part. This would make me responsible for the boy’s cell phones as well, a responsibility I would willingly take on.
I would chose to take the $250 a week for 10 years and the GI Bill. I would ask if the marital property that is supposed to be split evenly includes the motorcycle. This is the only marital property, that I know of, that is still in question. If I sold the bike, would he be entitled to half? If that is the case, he needs to sign the title over to me and I will get on with the business, and trouble, of selling the motorcycle. I would ask that he not get fully half as I assumed the responsibility of moving it and will have to take on the responsibility of moving it again, if and when I get a new place. I have had to find a place to store it and I have had to make sure that nothing happens to it.
I am happy with the lawyer’s fees that they awarded. I would also like to point out that I am an hourly wage worker. When I have to wait for his lawyer to show up I am losing $16.56 for work that I am not doing because I have to wait on him.
I think that’s everything. Have we heard about an economic mediation time? Is it possible to send this email to his lawyer so that he understands where I am coming from and why I won’t agree to the bills? Would that possibly speed up the issue? I’m at the point now where the insurance is an issue, but I would rather be divorced. I am done with this. I am finished with him and I want to move on with my life without having to worry about court dates and lost hours at work.
Thank you so much for your time and consideration in this matter.
I hope that this works out. I’m done with this. I’m done with losing sleep and having anxiety because of upcoming court dates. If we can finish this outside of court, so much the better – and cheaper. 🙂