Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | March 1, 2010

The Plan is Coming Together

I’ve mentioned in previous entries how inertia has held me in a marriage that has been obviously killing me, and how I’ve ever so slowly started shifting my momentum to instead help take me out of the marriage.

In two separate conversations last week, the question was posed to me: why wait to start filing the paperwork?

The main answer is: because we are still negotiating our divorce.

While there are logistical issues — at least one of us needs a more stable source of income in order to be able to move out (and, well, both of us will need that before too long) — there’s also been this delicate dance between Penny and me. I want the divorce to proceed as smoothly and conflict-free as possible without stalling the process altogether.

My goal, as stated in an earlier post, was to have a blueprint in place for our divorce no later than the end of March — to have our separation at least mutually “recognized” by then — and to be well and truly living in separate households no later than the end of June (although sooner, in both cases, is better). I committed to these deadlines (and others, which have already been completed) in that earlier post, and have kept my eyes on the prize.

Earlier today (Sunday, that is), Penny and I had a long talk about key details — what happens if we don’t declare bankruptcy (because then there are real concerns about how we divide our credit options), the ways a fifty-fifty split of custody of the kids is going to look, and that sort of thing. To my relief, we remain on the same page. While we didn’t necessarily set up very specific answers, we are further committed to making the details conform to the general principles we had previously agreed to.

I haven’t been good about responding to comments on this blog, but all of your suggestions and observations have made an impact on my thinking. It has been noted with regard to custody questions, for example, that we may need to be flexible and try different arrangements as we feel our way through the process. Penny and I discussed that. We are likely to begin with the “Monday-Tuesday with me / Wednesday-Thursday with her / alternate weekends” arrangement, although we realize that may end up needing to be changed.

We both also recognize that open communication is a must in order to make this work best for the kids. (I’m learning from my fellow bloggers who are making it work, as well as from those who are having issues communicating with their “evil Exes.”)

What was most reassuring is that we are both on the same page about moving forward. There are no illusions that we are going to stay with the status quo. And while I haven’t announced to Penny my commitment to be in separate living quarters within the next few months, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for concern there, either.

I realize that the fact we agree now doesn’t necessarily guarantee a smooth divorce once the paperwork gets filed… but, it’s still a necessary step, and it seems to be working out. So, I’m going to call the “blueprint” done. Now, we enter the implementation phase.

We have questions regarding how our financial straits affect our impending divorce. I’ve already put a call in to a lawyer who handles bankruptcies and family law. If she doesn’t call back by the end of the day on Monday, I’ll start making some more phone calls on Tuesday. Time to get these wheels in motion.

To my kind readers: thank you all for your support, your suggestions, and even your occasional “wake up” calls. They all help.


This past weekend also saw me wrestling with some demons that escaped the dungeons of my mind while writing my post about the “Southern Gentleman.” The few comments I received on that post so far have been right on the money. More on that soon.


On last note before I call it a day: I’ll be setting up my new, super secret blog project this week. If you expressed an interest in helping me but haven’t received a password and web address by Friday, please feel free to ping me again. As I mentioned earlier, I do have that pesky “looking for a job” thing going on, not to mention what work I do have, kids, etc.



  1. Everything will come together. Give it time. I have faith in you and your ability to problem solve. And when you need an ear…

    Thinking of you!

  2. You’re at least not sharing a bed, right? When my friend wanted a divorce, she and her husband “talked” about it for a couple months, but nothing ever seemed to happen. She finally figured it out: they couldn’t wrap their heads around the reality until they made some symbolic move. Her now-ex moved into the guest room while they continued negotiation. Then, as if by magic (it took a week or so), things started to really feel real. They started making headway and psychologically processing the separation.

    Good luck in any case!

  3. I didn’t have that open communication during my divorce. You are fortunate to have this with Penny. Look forward to reading your super secret effort. -Pippi

  4. You’re moving forward and the steps you have made are so progressive and defined, which is good since you have a lot to take into account, with the business and all. Wishy-washy is the worst case, in my opinion, so I’m glad you are being open with it all. look forward to the super secret blog project too 🙂

  5. What secret? I want in on it!

  6. I think it’s awesome that you’re delaying the Official Paperwork until you have an Official Plan. It’s so much better than paying strangers to negotiate the future of your family.

  7. Sounds like you are building a good foundation for your separation and divorce. One thought on custody. It is good to have set days, however stay flexible and listen to the children’s desires. There may be weeks where they prefer to be with Mom more than Dad and vise-versa. Know that it is not personal and listen to their needs and try to honor them as much as you can.

  8. money. ugh. i always swore to myself that i wouldn’t be that kind of person, the one who got trapped by finances. i have quickly realized that it’s not that simple. i’m in largely the same boat as you: i’m not able to move forward with my life because i can’t afford to live alone. the end of these days is on the horizon (i hope, anyway), but it’s excruciating to have to make decisions not based on what you want, but what’s within your reach.

    on the more practical side, you may also wish to consider a lawyer with some tax/estate planning experience as well as bankruptcy. (thus speaks the third-year law student, focusing on tax and estate planning.) that person can help you set things up for you and your kids in the most advantageous way possible.

    sounds like you’ve got a plan forward, though, and that puts you 10 steps ahead of the game. hopefully there’ll be some good answers soon…

  9. Excuse me while I roll on the floor with laughter at the idea that sharing a bed (or not) would make any difference ….
    I know some folks are coming late to this party, but that just made me laugh out loud.

  10. I haven’t gotten the address or password yet. Did I fall off the list?

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