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2goodannie posted 1/12/2014 10:21 AM

I have been sent the retainer letter and the martial history information, but haven't done anything with them. I am frozen. Once I do the retainer letter along with the $$, what happens? I am concerned because we are still living together and how will that work? I want the least disruptions for the kids, so do I wait a few more months? My WH knows that I am ready to pull the trigger and he would like to go through mediation, but after reading so many responses here, I feel that I can't trust him. I know that it is my best interest to get a lawyer, but I am worried that if I take the next step, my already shitty life is going to get even shittier!

WH: Loser 49
BS: Me 45
2 kids
Together 20 years
DDay: Oct. 2013
LTA: 4 years

devistatedmom posted 1/12/2014 12:36 PM

2goodannie, nothing will be worse than being in limbo-land. Will it all be roses if you D? No. Will you have some rough spots that feel worse than now? Probably...but there is a light at the end of the tunnel where everything will be done, and you can get on with things. Sitting in limbo isn't doing yourself or your kids any favours. If you want to D, go talk to a L, or pay the retainer if you have picked one, and get it going. If you want to try mediation you can, but you would still need the L to look it over, especially if you feel you can't trust him.

If you know you want to D, kick yourself in the butt and get going. I swear to you, limbo is the worst place. Even if your D is ugly, you know it will end sooner or later. Limbo never ends, until you say it does.


one2ndchance posted 1/12/2014 14:29 PM

Procedures may vary for state to state, but once you send the retainer, your lawyer will file your divorce petition with the court. That gives you a date for a hearing. He'll send you and your WH copies of the "Petition for Dissolution of Marriage," the "Notice of Hearing" along with the case assignment. Your WH will also get a "Summons"(telling him he's being sued for divorce). He will also get a shitload of forms to fill out regarding child custody, assets and debt, income and expenses and possible other forms relating to your particular situation. He should also receive a "Notice of Acknowledgement of Receipt" that he signs indicating that he received all the paperwork.

If your finances are simple and you both have agreed on most things, then it isn't as overwhelming as it first appears. You take it one form at a time. You start with filling out the easy stuff. Then you go back and try to fill in more detail. It will take time because you're going to have to look things up in your own personal history. They want to know things like how much your gas and electric bill is each month. These things seem trivial, but it's all part of the process.

Be your own advocate. Go online and read about things you don't understand. You're smarter and stronger than you realize. You can do this.

RavenWood posted 1/12/2014 21:43 PM

he would like to go through mediation, but after reading so many responses here, I feel that I can't trust him.

Look, every situation is unique and personal. My opinion is that unless the two of you are at complete disagreement, then it's in your best interest to agree on your settlement either on your own or through mediation. File for divorce as you've already planned. This just starts the process and puts you in the driver seat. To ease the tension tell your WS you filed to simply begin the process and wish to attempt to negotiate a settlement.

If you are able to, then discuss and negotiate the terms with your WS - children arrangements, financial arrangements, housing arrangements, etc. If you are on the same page, then have your lawyer document it as a settlement agreement and send it to him for review. Make sure to have your lawyer review everything you discuss and do NOT sign anything until you've had an opportunity to review it with your lawyer.

If you're unable to have that conversation on your own, but still think an agreement can be reached then schedule a mediation.

Others may disagree, but the goal here is not to win everything - reasonable compromise will be required. Make sure you know what is important to you and what you are willing to give up. If you're too stressed to know, I suggest talking it through with a counselor or friend.

And if you are both at complete disagreement, then prepare for a legal battle. But understand that it will be expensive and drawn out... Making the first two options seem more attractive.

Also, discuss with your lawyer any options of not serving your WS with papers. Depending on your state, you may be able to save some WS embarrassment and ultimately lesson the tension if you serve them to his lawyer instead.

Good luck and be strong. The light at the end moves a little bit closer.

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