– A journey of Letting Go
I do, I did, I’m done-Unknown
Damn, I really did it and there’s no going back now. That was my thought as I stared at my petition for dissolution. It was definitely a game time. Eight years of paralegal work was about to pay off. I drafted and filed all the paperwork myself. I even planned to represent myself to save money.
The plan was to get the divorce done as quickly as possible. I figured the faster it was done the faster we could both move on with our lives. So, to make sure that there were no delays, I sent the divorce petition via certified mail and I paid the sheriff to serve him. I didn’t want any mistakes. From my time working in family law, I knew firsthand the hardest part was making sure service was perfect. The funny thing is, that with all that effort, he ended up getting himself served.
The day I filed the divorce was the day after I filed for the protection order. That weekend, Mr. Ex showed up at the place I was staying and demanded the kids. I had a relative inform him that I had a protective order in place and he needed to show up at our pending court hearing to establish visitation. Well, he must have thought the fat meat wasn’t greasy because he called the police on me! The police came and politely served him with the protection order and the divorce petition. Mission accomplished.
Our first court date I was a nervous wreck. Although I knew what to expect from my work experience, I was super nervous being on the other side of the bench. I wasn’t sure if my paralegal family law experience was going to hurt or help me. On top of that, I was scared to see Mr. Ex in court because at that point I did not know what to expect. It had been a month since the protection order was put in place so I had not heard from or seen him.
I showed up to court and waited for my case to be called. The judge took the bench and no sign of Mr. Ex. A young lady sat at the other table. The judge explained that Mr. Ex hired an attorney the day before. The attorney was not available so he sent his paralegal to stand in his place and request a continuance. I thought okay, paralegal against paralegal I can deal with this. The pressure lifted a little. I requested that the protective order stays in place until the next court hearing and the judge granted it. At the end of the hearing the judge advised that although I was an experienced litigation paralegal, she strongly advised that I hire an attorney.
“Freaking great!”, I thought. I had no choice but to follow the judge’s advice because there was no way I could contend with an attorney. The problem was that I had to let my business go due to the divorce and my living situation. It made it very hard to care for my children and start life again while running a starter business. I did what any good mother would do and put my dream on pulse. I took the first available quick hire job which was a part-time job making minimum wage. How the hell was I going to pay for an attorney? The pressure slowly began to build again. So much for my quick fast divorce…