Thursday, May 31, 2007

Step 1

This morning was my first court date with Todd on our divorce.

As some of you are familiar with my divorce and some are not, some background.

He moved out last August and we weren't planning on filing for divorce until I finished school so I could stay on his insurance. He changed his mind because he didn't want to pay the premium and, quite frankly, it makes his girlfriend uncomfortable. I can understand both of these reasons, particularly in the interest of maintaining a certain level of amiability.

I was, as some of you may recall, a bit miffed at the loss of my health insurance, but I am an understanding and forgiving gal so I'm quite over it.

We didn't ultimately file until early March and the courts are backed up.

Today's case was step 1. It was to settle custody and child support. Apparently, once all of that is taken care of, they'll set a hearing to take care of everything else. At that time, he'll be able to rest easy as he'll no longer be an adulterer ; )

The referee hearing went smoothly and even the magistrate (or whatever she was) gave us kudos for giving her the smoothest hearing in a long time. It would seem that the general agreeability between Todd and myself is truly rare.

Ultimately, child support was set at an amount greater than we had anticipated when trying to apply the formula ourselves, but less than what he's been paying me since he left. I think he was a bit disturbed and had hoped to pay far less than he had been paying me on his own. He struggles because he wants to be a good guy, but he also can't really afford it. I struggle because I empathize with his situation, but I also need the money.

The magistrate explained what we had to sign and get copies of and if we wanted to do it at that time, she would be able to file everything after her next hearing which was to begin 15 minutes from when ours ended.

Todd wanted to get it all done and he was in good spirits so I tried to comply and started helping him fill out the forms. But as I thought about timing, to finish signing everything and get back there and wait for another hearing to get over with (which may or may not go as smoothly as ours), seemed too long. I have a paper to finish for class tonight. (And, yes, I feel guilty for side-tracking to write this blog, though it only takes me a couple of minutes.)

He got upset and said something under his breath that sounded a lot like "Everything always has to be about school!" With that, he began walking ahead of me like an angry parent as I tried to keep up because I hate it when it's obvious to the outside world that friction exists.

I tried to talk to him about it as he walked ahead and explain that it's not a big deal, we can turn the paperwork in tomorrow. He basically repeated that back to me, adding, "I just want this to be over with."

Now I feel badly. I just want it to be over with, too. I'm sure his school remark had quite a bit to do with the knowledge that if I weren't in school full time and had a job, he wouldn't have to pay so much.

It's really a tough position to be in. We try very hard to get along and agree. I try especially hard to be sympathetic to his situation. Best laid plans.

It isn't always smooth sailing.

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