Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | October 25, 2010


What a mentally exhausting weekend.

Friday I spent very little time at work (the temp job that pays me very well… but only when I’m working) and, instead, spent some much-needed time taking care of personal business. The morning was a parent-teacher conference, lunch was a non-billable lunch with my work colleagues, and then the afternoon was all about meeting with a lawyer to talk over options regarding the house.

Friday night and Saturday night were, for me, mostly just mentally reviewing all those options. And then tonight (Sunday night) after dinner, while the kids played in the next room, we talked over those options. And more.

We now have a plan, of sorts. Everything is complicated by the fact that the bank is breathing down our necks to get some info to them pronto while I have some very large deliverables at work, and while I have some very large deliverables for a paying side project I’m working on, and while I have other time-sensitive errands to run (renewing my passport for an upcoming conference just across the border), etc., etc. But the essence is this:

We are going to continue to try for the short sale of the house as long as the bank will let us.

In the meantime, Penny will move out and we will financially separate and begin our new custody arrangement with the kids.

And while that’s happening, I will stay in the house and save up as much money as I can sock away so that, if the short sale doesn’t transpire and foreclosure is imminent, I have a decent shot at attempting to bring the account current and save the house from foreclosure. (Yes, we will sit with a lawyer to work up the appropriate documents that should this come to pass, she releases all claims to the house, and I agree to attempt assumption of the mortgage to get her name off of the note.)

At the same time, we’ll file the initial divorce papers and iron out the rest. We will work with a collaborative lawyer rather than doing everything D-I-Y. The D-I-Y route just won’t work so easily in our case as it has for another family we know.

As for the business we’ve been running all these years… I’m going to sell my half to Penny. Once the business pays off all debts in my name, I’ll release my claim on the business’s main assets. I have mixed feelings about this (as I do regarding all of this divorce crap), but to the extent that Penny can make a go of it, any financial security she gains is only going to benefit our children and, by extension, me (as her co-parent). Penny feels she is more likely to make a successful go of it if she is working for herself, and not necessarily for me. At least, so goes the theory.

In some ways, her taking the business is like me taking the house. We are both assuming a questionable proposition, but with potentially strong upsides in the long run. And we are both, I believe, bittersweet at the prospect of giving up our respective stakes in these enterprises. We’ll see.

We have also talked about the child care issues I brought up in my previous post. None of that has been resolved, but I tread carefully forward. Thank you all, dear readers, for your thoughts on the subject (both posted here on the blog and sent privately).

As I prepared to write this post, I looked back at a previous post (What’s Agreed So Far), and I marvel at how many things haven’t worked out quite the way I’d hoped or expected… and yet, how many things actually have (or are). And oh, how funny I was when I said that all this would be cleared up by March. Pardon me, younger self, as I laugh at our naiveté. Hahahahahahaha.

There’s so much more to talk about: why pursue the short sale, why hold onto the house if that doesn’t work, why I’m walking away from the business either way, my ever evolving employment situation. Oh, and the fact that I have tons of work that I should have been doing yesterday and today for my various employers, but instead I feel that finding traction on our divorce was probably more important.

And then there’s the fact that my Saturday consisted mostly of me playing with the middle child (5 years old) and watching after his younger brother (who was mostly napping) while the older brother and Penny were out doing other things. It was good bonding time. Much needed.

But for all the good that came from bonding with the younger kids and talking with Penny, I’m flat-out exhausted. So much thinking and planning and strategizing. So much talking with family members as well as negotiating with Penny. And why shouldn’t it be exhausting? These are quite possibly the most important negotiations of my life, so far.

I’m glad that we’ve arrived at a point where we can start moving forward, and without all the acrimony that other divorcing friends of ours are experiencing; that we’re finally finding some traction, but without too much undue friction.



  1. This whole divorce thing IS very exhausting. Make sure you do what you can to take care of yourself in this process too, okay?


  2. This is so good to hear. These aer some big steps forward you are taking and I’m glad you are both able to be amicable about it. mentally exhausting is hard but they were conversations that needed to be had.

  3. Traction is traction, right? It may not be exactly what you want, in some areas, but I think the steps you have made are huge – Penny moving out and selling the business, and deciding to go short sale, assuming the banks allow it. Huge moves, and I’m so glad to hear it!

  4. Traction is a good word. It’s impressive that you’re able to get any considering all the other stuff going on in your life. Good luck with it and I look forward to reading more updates.

  5. I worked for a chiropractor part time during my separation and pending divorce. She helped me to take care of myself physically and emotionally. I’m not sure I could have handled it without that. It is TRULY draining.

    Hang in there.

  6. Traction is good, regardless… at least you are getting things done. The more traction you make now, the sooner you can breathe again. 🙂

    Keep up the good work, soldier!

  7. baby steps. it’s all baby steps. i’ve had progress and setbacks through all of this, but it’s so nice to move forward. one foot in front of the other.

  8. Seems like things are picking up speed…even if you don’t see it. So glad to see some progress for you. Expect to be exhausted for quite some time. I still am. AS you may have heard…divorce is simply changing problems.

  9. Wow! After so long taking baby steps, this post reflects giant leaps forward. Well done, Rain.

  10. Hello,

    I’m a first time reader. Also a divorced single parent living in Washington.

    I wish my divorce managed to be so well thought out and implemented. Our house went into forclosure, my X went suicidal then downright crazy… merging to mean. He ended up at my house with a gun one night and is now finishing up the last five months of his 19 month prison sentance.

    I think the best thing in all of this is that it sounds like you’re both being reasonable and keeping the best interests of your kids in mind.

    Divorce is never “easy”, but there are certainly ways to avoid the crazy, rediculous ugliness that became my fiasco!

    I’ll be sure to add you to my favorites and come read more about you.
    Little Ol’ Me

  11. Everything you’re discussing – the business, the short-sale, custody – is all laden with emotion. No wonder it’s exhausting, more exhausting than your paid work. But having done all this, do you feel better? Feel like you’ve made some progress? Created some certainty?

    Good call on using the collaborative attorney. I think your situation is too complex to do without an attorney. I really like the idea of the collaborative process although I think it can be exhausting and draining. Don’t expect it to be less expensive either. A lady I interviewed for my blog shared her experience – she felt it really helped to build their co-parenting relationship:

  12. Well…this is so encouraging. I have nothing to add that hasn’t been said, except that I never expected you would have this sewed up by March…and I’m glad you see the humor in that.
    Laughter is the best medicine!

  13. Without reading any of the other comments prior to writing this, part of your exhaustion is knowing that your various employers expect delivery of your services and you are already behind schedule. It’s understandable that you need to take some time for your family and financial obligations, but it took time away from your professional obligations, time which now must be “repaid” from your time banked for personal obligation such as rest. It’s easy for one to say that it will all be worked out somehow, but you are the last line of support for your family and cannot dismiss this casually (I know you aren’t!).

    From your description, the house is going to become a problem requiring time, and the divorce is reaching a stage where time will be required, and your employers are not going to ease up on their demands, and … and… until you will want to scream. About all I can offer on how to handle this is to ensure that you get some time for yourself daily. Everything else will have to fit inside their allotted time slots as much as possible to allow for the unexpected time demand. Your self-discipline regarding time expenditure will be the key to your success in managing the juggling of flaming chainsaws you now have on your hands. Recognize when the pressure is building and vent it ASAP lest a missed toss wreck the entire process. It’s the only way through this.

    And don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help you. We are all here for you.

  14. It seems like things are just coming together. Continued good luck. And, when you get time, would love to read more on the other site.

  15. No wonder you are exhausted! But you are making so much headway. My divorce was collaborative and so much better – and much less expensive – than my friends. Hang in and hang on.

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