I’ve procrastinated calling a lawyer about a divorce. No good reason other than fear. Not fear of him. I’m afraid of losing everything I have. I’m afraid of getting a judge who decides I don’t deserve enough support to help me survive. I’m not looking to take him to the cleaners. I just want to know I’ll be okay financially. I tend to be a “saver” as opposed to a “spender”, so I won’t need much once the house is sold. I’m afraid of getting a lawyer who doesn’t understand the rights of military spouses, though that part can be learned quickly.
I’m a planner. I plan everything. I need to know that all my bases are covered. When I planned outings for the kids, I made sure I had everything I could think of covered: extra clothes in case of accidents, case of water and snacks in case of bad traffic, entire bottles of medications “just in case”, etc.
I’m afraid of the unknown
But I took a chance. I called the law firm we used for a financial matter, but due to conflict of interest they couldn’t help. They referred me to another lawyer. A man. Long story, but trusting men is an issue of mine. I called anyhow. His receptionist was very nice. She took my name, phone number and what I wanted to talk about, so he could call be back when he returned to the office.
When he called he seemed very affable Unfortunately, by the end of the conversation, he had me feeling like I was in the wrong. Part of this may have been my fault, because I can’t think on my feet. I would’ve made a terrible lawyer. Sometimes he would ask a question that I needed time to think about, but he needed an answer right then. The kicker is when he argued about how much my husband makes per year, told me DH makes 30k than I said (5 years of tax filings were in front of me), then he undercut the alimony calculator by 10%. I checked his figures after the conversation was over.
I’m not stupid. I hate being treated like I am. It was obvious this man had some type of issue against women wanting a divorce. I told him that if I chose him, I’d get back to him and hung up. I decided that I needed a female. I live in a small town. Finding a female lawyer was an issue, so I put it off hoping things here might improve. Yes, that is called “denial”. I have been in denial for the past year.
The turning point was last night. We were running late, so we had to eat out which is always a pain for my daughter and me. Because of my beliefs, I do not eat pork or shellfish. Having it at the same table isn’t allowed. Half of my kids also follow this. The rest don’t. However, they respect my wishes and will not order it if I’m at the table. Except one, but she is a whole ‘nother story.
Last night DH, who has always followed the same rule, ordered not one but two pork sandwiches. Everyone stared at him including me. His look clearly said, “What are you going to do about it?” This was a deliberate slap in the face. Later, the kids would express how horrified they were. Every child with us follow kosher laws. His food could not be near any others. It couldn’t even be at the same table. We changed our order from “eat-in” to “to-go” and made sure his was in a separate bag.
I can’t express how much this bothered all of us. To others it may not seem like a big deal. To us it was huge. I couldn’t stop thinking about it for the rest of the night. It was obvious I needed to get out of the “denial” phase of thinking he would improve. No one wants to throw 30+ years of marriage out the window, but denial will only take you so far.
I rarely go to the town north of me, because it’s a 30 minute drive, but I had to go up that way several months ago. I noticed a building under construction kind of in the middle of nowhere, but on the busy road I was on. It’s rare to see a new business being built from scratch, and the building looked like a house, so we ignored it. The other day I drove past it again and discovered it’s a new law firm that is run by a woman.
Checking their webpage showed three women lawyers. I felt like this inside:
I don’t know that I will be able to call today, but I’m going to try. DH will be home for the next three days, so getting a call back during that time would be awkward. I may wait until Tuesday since I know he will be at work the rest of the week. It’s time to conquer the fear.