Way back in August when I was served with the Petition For Dissolution (aka divorce papers), there was a court date set for mid-September. Once I hired an attorney, she did her legal magic and got the date continued until late October. And so we began the pattern of having looming court dates that needed to be continued because “both parties want to settle this matter without going to court, Your Honor.”
It should be simple enough, but it actually takes a series of at least four phone calls which cost me in the neighborhood of $200. Voldemort pays his attorney’s office as well, so figure just agreeing to and arranging a continuance costs about $400 total. Generally, my attorney’s paralegal calls his attorney’s paralegal (call #1). His paralegal takes a message because she has to discuss it with Mr. Men’s Rights Attorney. His paralegal calls mine back and agrees (call #2). My paralegal calls the judge’s clerk, explains what’s going on and is given a new court date about six weeks in the future (call #3). My paralegal now calls his paralegal and communicates the new date (call #4). God help us if anyone’s away from their desk because there’s another phone call or two to get to the same place — court date continued.
Some of this may be done via email, but who cares? They bill the same for email as phone calls.
The last court date was in mid-January. We’d had the settlement meeting and everyone agreed to another continuance. When my paralegal called the judge’s clerk, she explained we were moving forward on the settlement and the clerk set the continued date for April 30 to give us time to get the settlement agreement done.
I duly noted the date in my planner.
Monday morning I flipped the planner page to this week, and realized that (OMG, crap) April 30 is Wednesday. No one’s said anything to me about going to court. I emailed the paralegal and asked, “Are we going to court on Wednesday?”
To which she responded that she called opposing counsel last week and hasn’t heard back from him yet.
I don’t know quite what that means for the court appearance, but at this late date I’m pretty sure that somebody’s lawyer is going to have to show up and report to the judge. I vote for Mr. Men’s Rights Attorney so Voldemort pays the bill.
But I’m betting it’ll be my attorney instead. Let’s face it, yeah, she wants billable hours, but Mr. Men’s Rights is a flake.
Of course, it could be that all four of us are going to traipse to the courthouse on Wednesday for an appearance in front of the judge. Who knows? What time? What should I wear? How long does it take? Is this a bad sign? I have no idea.
It’s like purgatory, except really, really expensive. So, Neiman-Marcus purgatory.