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Hiring an experienced family law attorney was a necessary evil in my divorce and has been an important barrier in the process.  I don’t have to figure out what to do next because my lawyers tell me.  They handle the paperwork and deal with Mr. Men’s Rights Attorney, which is great since I like him even less than I like my attorneys.  Okay, I despise him, the smug, arrogant bully.

But I find myself dreading talking to my lawyers, especially the associate.  And I talk to her more often because her hourly rate is slightly lower.  I get the sense that I’m asking too much or expecting too much, or am just generally being unreasonable.  I dunno, I’ve never gotten divorced before so I have no idea what’s reasonable.

I don’t think it’s reasonable to state in the Marital Settlement Agreement that “Wife will be solely responsible for the real estate taxes on the jointly owned property until it is sold.”  No.  Wife will most emphatically not be solely responsible for the property taxes on our jointly owned home when she isn’t even living in the damned house.  How could my lawyers put that in the document?

I hate this.

And when I bring these things up, I get a tongue click and a martyred sigh followed by a patronizing answer.  The latest response for most of my questions and concerns is, “Don’t rock the boat.”

I’ll capsize the mothertrucking boat if necessary.  I need to understand what I’m agreeing to and how it affects me and my kids in both the short- and long-term.

Months ago, the associate told me that the judge could restore my former name in the final decree, but I could wait as long as I wanted to actually implement the restoration.  I’m torn about changing my name back while #3 is in high school.  I have lots of half-formed reasons, but it boils down to this:  Changing my name back feels like I’m getting kicked out of my family.

It’s not terribly rational.

Now the associate says that if the judge restores my former name, it’s done immediately upon filing.  (And it’s an excruciatingly detailed process requiring trips to the Social Security office, letters and visits to financial institutions, and a visit to purgatory…the DMV.  Ugh.)  But if I opt out of doing it as part of the divorce, I have to go to court at a future date and pay an additional $435.  And I’ll still have to run all over the county putting things back in my old name.  Just thinking about it exhausts me.

I had half-believed I’d be able to just go to a hyphenated version and live happily ever after.

It’s possible I’m making a mountain out of this molehill to avoid the property division bullsh**.  I know I’m stewing over the issues I’ve found in the MSA and will email the associate because I don’t like talking to her and feeling stupid every time I do.

How screwed up is it that I have to pay for every contact with someone I don’t like?  Seems like a BDSM relationship to me.

So hey, Happy Frickin’ Valentine’s Day.

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