I think my insides have finally stopped shaking. Even though I’ve come so far, it’s hard to let go of the fear that is associated with my Ex. I have a hard time facing him in such adversarial settings, and I did get a bit weepy beforehand, and it took two days for the aftershocks to calm down. But hey, that’s progress! In 2010-2011, I would have been cowering for days, sleepless for a week, I can still remember that knot of fear lodged in my chest. So just keep swimming, right?
The basic rundown of what happened Tuesday was: his request for continuance was denied. We settled all disputes on income, child support, and healthcare. He may save $100/month for the next three months, but it appears he paid three times as much for hiring an attorney in the first place. Our next step is to prepare the modification effective August 1st, because that’s likely when DD2’s childcare costs will drop dramatically, although he may be forgetting it won’t completely disappear, because she will have costs similar to DD1.
So the part of me that hasn’t grown up just yet, and can’t help but be a big gleeful by the circumstances—apparently, he retained the attorney last week Wednesday. Who took his sweet time notifying my attorney that my ex was represented and he needed a continuance. Normally, attorneys will agree to continuances, because everyone is busy, but hey, he didn’t tell her until Friday evening. In the mean time, I got a phone call from the CS people, saying that at my ex’s attorney’s request they wanted to continue the Tuesday hearing. Of course in a panic, I wrote to my attorney. So she was notified that there was another attorney involved because of my email—not because of any communication from him. (Irritating my attorney was probably not best). Secondly, on Monday, my attorney told me to call back the CS people to verify exactly what they wanted, and when they said they wanted to delay the hearing, I told them honestly and truthfully that I had known about this for a month and a half, had scheduled time off work to attend, and as far as I knew my attorney had advised me to attend. Later that afternoon, we learned CS denied the continuance, however my ex was going to appear by phone, and me and my attorney were expected to go in person.
Tuesday morning, after I dropped of the girls and headed to the hearing, I lost it a bit (PTSD sucks!! I was crying and weepy—suddenly afraid he would change his mind and show up in person instead of by phone), but pulled myself together after a heart-to-heart with one of my best girlfriends ever. (She said: so he wants to pay less? What’s wrong with him? What a baby, he can’t figure out that supporting the kids is best for them? Just imagine him dressed up in a big ole diaper!!! Which made me laugh).
Once at the building, I overhear my attorney talking to my ex’s attorney—only it’s not my ex’s attorney. It’s an associate that my ex’s attorney transferred the file to…the night before. She had never met my ex before. And I could hear her asking questions, i.e. why are we here when we have to come back in three months? Why such late notice? To which my attorney was responding, I know, it makes no sense, it’s probably a control/anger issue. They’ve been fighting about private school, and then bam, he hits her with a modification, even though we have to come back in three months.
Then, my attorney has to hang up, because my ex has arrived to the office, and the associate attorney has to introduce herself to him for the first time, explain the issues, and she is certain his retained attorney didn’t tell him the file was transferred. (that’s the part where I giggled with wrathful glee.)
In the end, he had more income than previously calculated. There were changes in childcare/healthcare that are normal and to be expected. And it was done. We walked out and yet I still felt icky. That somehow he “got one” on us, by making us go through all this, all this expense, for what is just a simple numbers game.
And then my attorney told me, “You need to consider this a win.” Maybe she sensed my inner turmoil? She said, “I’ve been doing this for 20 years, and it’s my job to shepherd people through this process, so they can move on and have a better life..
Do you know why this is a win? Because your kids are happy. You have A. You have moved on. Unfortunately for him, he is stuck he is miserable. And that’s why he loses, and you win.”
She’s right. I have to remember that I win, not because I’m at war with my ex. I win, because my life is so much better now.
p.s. DD1 is getting an award at her school today, and I get to go to her assembly. Also, DD2 performs at her preschool tomorrow. So life is pretty good. *swoon*