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I got served with divorce papers and custody dispute papers today.
Happily married people should stop reading now. I’m upset and I’m gonna rant.
Sunday morning I was having my one lazy day a week, and the doorbell rang. Repeatedly. With simultaneous aggressive pounding on the door. I had started downstairs, in my pajamas, thinking it was the little girl next door, but I stopped. The ringing and the pounding went on for a long while, then the phone ringing was added in, along with a man yelling my name. I looked out the window and finally the man moved down the driveway, wrote down my license plate number, and roared away on a motorcycle. He had scared the crap out of me and my 13 year old child. Kid #2 slept through the whole nightmare.
Turns out he was a process server and he returned today.
Voldemort signed the papers on May 10th and I just got served today. The first court date is August 20 for a mandatory child custody evaluation. Seriously? This father hasn’t seen his kids since March 30, 2012 but he wants joint custody? He’s never, not once, called me to arrange visitation. He’s skipped child support, without a word of warning, and I’ve got to hop to it for a child custody meeting in two weeks?
Apparently, he’s decided to go with the nuclear option. After more than 23 years of marriage, he checked the “no spousal support” box on the form. Really? I stayed home with three kids for 20 years, by mutual decision, but now I’m expected to make “10 job contacts a week” every week (and report them to the court and his lawyer) until I find full-time employment. ‘Cuz full-time jobs for stay-at-home, 51-year-old moms are just laying around waiting to be picked up. And, yeah, those employers are so very understanding about psychiatrist appointments, neurologist appointments, physical therapy appointments, MRI appointments…and that’s just kid #2’s various issues. How about transportation to her college classes, because she doesn’t know how to drive yet, and — of course — is on anti-psychotic medication. Can she drive while medicated like that? Guess I’d better find out. Oh, and teach her to drive, buy her a car, and pay for her car insurance while I’m at it. How about kid #3’s homeschooling? Are we just dumping her in public school to sink or swim while I work (God willing) some crappy minimum wage job so he doesn’t have to be inconvenienced?
My mind is boggled.
I have an appointment with a divorce lawyer Monday afternoon, and I’m going to tell her to pull out all the stops. These papers are insulting to me and the kids. There is a complete lack of respect for the years of unpaid domestic work I performed, not to mention the fact that I’m the parent who stuck around while their dad had his “mid-life crisis.” And the kids want nothing to do with him. He hasn’t talked to or seen them in 16 months. Hasn’t even tried. I’ve actually encouraged them to email him and not unfriend him on Facebook, while he’s done…whatever it is he’s been doing all this time.
Apparently, we’re not having a good divorce. It looks like we’re throwing a war.