Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's Over

It’s over. I am now divorced, and overall it went very well for me. That doesn’t mean it was easy, or that I’m not drained right now, but at least it’s over. As I sit here, I’m exhausted, physically and emotionally. Part of me thinks I should have fought more, the other part of me knows I just didn’t have the energy to do it.

What I need right now is to sit down here and allow myself to relax. I’m struggling not to be angry at little unimportant things that I gave up, and it’s hard. Even though I know I got what I wanted most.

I got joint custody.

In reality it doesn’t change much immediately, but it was important to me for a couple of reasons. The most important reason is just that I want to be more than a non-custodial parent. At the beginning of all this (and sometimes now) I felt like I was being robbed of what was most precious to me. Now I feel somewhat vindicated. After all the lies and false accusations leveled against me I feel like I can point to this and say “see – they wouldn’t have allowed this if what she said was true”. I’m glad I was so adamant about it throughout the whole process.

The parenting class turned out to be less of a problem than I anticipated. The judge clearly wished I had done it when I was supposed to, but was very kind about it all. I have to give credit where credit is due. My Ex’s (wow, it feels nice not to have to write STBX anymore) attorney actually jumped in and said that I had been living out of state and that it had made it difficult for me to take the class. That’s part of it, but the main reason was just money. The judge issued an order that I have to have it completed by early January. He didn’t have to give me that much time, but he did. I’ve already scheduled it and will have it done by the end of next week.

One of the things I felt wasn’t worth fighting over was that my ex and her attorney decided they wanted my wages garnished for child support. I felt that was unnecessary and just done to be humiliating to me. I’ve paid so much more than I ever needed to, and the only time I did not pay on time was just before I got my first paycheck for my new job when I literally ran out of money. When I got the check I not only paid what the current agreed-upon amount was, I voluntarily (and without being asked) upped the amount to what I anticipated the order would be under my new income. I didn’t have to do that. For me there really isn’t any difference since I was going to do the payments using direct deposit, it’s just humiliating.

The other thing I don’t understand is that the amount of my support payments went up. In Connecticut they do a calculation and assign a percentage of what is considered the correct amount of support to each parent. My income has gone down a little overall, and her income went up significantly, but somehow I ended up paying more. It’s not a lot, so I really shouldn’t worry about it, I just feel like something got put over on me.

I know the reason these things are getting to me – it was a very stressful and emotional event and my mind is still kind of reeling from all of it. Compared to what I won this stuff is insignificant, and I should shortly begin to relax about it all. I’ve decided that I won’t act on anything for several days to allow myself to get much more rational about it. On the way home I was getting very angry thinking about it. I wanted to call the Ex and tell her to look forward to a huge reduction in cooperation from me because of the whole garnishment issue. Stupid little revenge fantasies kept popping into my head unbidden – like telling off her attorney. Yeah, I’m sure that would teach him a valuable lesson.

It would be a big mistake to do any of this. Right now the Ex is being pretty cooperative with visitation and I don’t want to give her a reason to start being difficult again.

The wisest thing is for me to just give myself a few days for it all to sink in. I got what was most important to me, so I’m just going to try to concentrate on being happy with that.

Of course I posted this and then remembered something. I wanted to thank each and every one of you who commented or emailed me with words of support. I can't tell you how good it felt to get home here and read all of that. It meant a lot.