Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | November 29, 2010

Exposure

You know, there’s more to my life than just this whole divorce thing. And the losing-the-house-to-foreclosure thing. And the work-work-work-work thing. I know I’ve commented here on previous occasions about music, fiction, and my gallows humor. And while I don’t talk much about my children here, I must have hinted at the fact that I spend a lot of time with them.

I can’t help but feel that my blog has become a bit of a one note wonder lately. Then again, when you’re in the middle of a colonoscopy, sometimes the only answer to, “So, what’s happening with you?” is, “They’ve rammed a camera up my butt and didn’t even buy me dinner, first.”

And that is the part of the divorce/mediation process we’re in right now. There are all these forms to fill out for the mediator having to do with assets and liabilities. Of course that’s all information that needs to be not only disclosed, but discussed and dissected so that we can arrive at a reasonable distribution of the household’s financial pie. And I have no problems sharing the details. Penny and I talk about them all the time.

But as I’ve mentioned before, our financial troubles a year ago have led to the situation where the bank has decided to foreclose on the family house. Yet the bank has frequently over the past twelve months asked us to submit this verification of income and that verification of assets and those verification of liabilities, and when they finally received what they asked for (ostensibly to help us come to a new, better arrangement with the bank), all that resulted was an acceleration to the next step of foreclosure.

The mediator sent us “progress notes” on what he and Penny and I had discussed at our first meeting, and included homework items that had not been mentioned at the time we were all together. One such assignment was a collection of our financial records (which takes time to prepare, by the way. even if you’re already in the habit of doing it for the bank), specifically calling out my most recent pay stub.

Wait a minute… what about Penny’s most recent pay stub? Why, oh why aren’t you asking for Penny’s most recent pay stub, Mr. Mediator, but you specifically mention mine?

I’m sure it was an honest slip. The mediator must see dozens of cases like ours except where the wife doesn’t bring home any money. The fact that Penny has taken over the daily operation of our family business since I took my lucrative, temporary gig must have slipped his mind. Or maybe he thought when he was asking for the business’s P&L, that would serve as the indication of Penny’s earnings.

But whatever was meant, it had the same effect as it would if a TSA agent pulled me out of the line of passengers while snapping on a latex glove. I feel like I’m being singled out. This is where any dignity goes right out the window and the groping begins.

It’s bad enough coming to terms emotionally and mentally with the fact that your marriage is a sham. The grieving process with the loss of a marriage is real. But the notion of having a third-party involved in determining how our kids will be raised and how our finances are to be conducted… it feels invasive. It bothers the hell out of me.

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Responses

  1. I have nothing useful to offer here, unfortunately. My divorce is actually still in process, thanks to my ex’s lack of desire to keep moving things forward. Not that he doesn’t want a divorce – he does – he just doesn’t care at this point if it happens next week or in two years. It’s been an incredibly frustrating process for me, because at this point, it’s really just a matter of getting paperwork signed. Everything’s been divided and agreed upon….the fact that things are stalled at this point is incredibly frustrating to me.

    In any case…enough about me. I just wanted to say that I can relate to where you are. The whole divorce process can be such a difficult thing sometimes. I feel for you, friend.

  2. Make that mediator work for his money! (Except you probably pay him by the hour…) You should NOT swallow that thought about your paycheck vs. Penny’s paycheck. You need to bring your issues to the table otherwise you will regret it later. It’s his job to mediate…let him do it.

  3. So you know; your blog isn’t a one hit wonder. Someone like me reads it with each new post (and is still reading former posts).

    It’s been helpful to know that there’s another male out there without the ‘scorch and burn’ proclivity toward women and who show that they too are going through the most difficult time of their life. And it’s miserable.

    If only to see that there’s someone out there struggling as hard as I am, there’s hope for me – I continue to read.

    So, keep writing. No matter the issue. Keep writing.

  4. I’m sure it feels like a slap in the face, another layer to the divorce process, with the mediator and giving up some sense of control, in a way, but “allowing” them to take over. I don’t blame you for seeing it that way either (if you do) but know that it will at least move things forward and likely with many less flags than if you did it on your own, struggling to get P to get on the same page as you and not try to pull a fast one. Hang in there!!

  5. I was in fear that was where ours would go to. I could have let it go there. I really could have but I just couldn’t have ours laid out on the table like that. It is scary how they can do that and make it look like it was nothing. Waste and paper and move on. It sucks. Hang in there friend.

  6. Oh wow, yep, you’re getting reamed right now.

    It sucks but everything you do now will make the following few years so much better. Thinking of you and sending you all the strength I can. It will get easier at some point… but unfortunately the effects of a divorce ripple on after. (4 years post for me.)

  7. yikes. all i can say is, hang in there and look out for #1. this too shall pass, as my dad keeps telling me.

  8. Welcome to gender-based double standards!

    I’ve run into this a lot as well, and I’m not in the middle of a divorce. I find it happens a lot with my credit and with real estate issues. But like you, I’m puzzled as to why Penny isn’t getting equal treatment. You might ask your legal professional as well as this “mediator” who seems to be on your mortgage bank’s payroll and compare the answers.

    Holidays are a rough time to have to deal with a lot of things. They affect me, so I know a little about what I now suggest. Make sure you are getting as much rest as possible, and watch for binge eating or other consumption. Be as aware as possible as to what you are feeling and why, especially if the change is abrupt. There is a reason why it is happening, and if you can identify the cause, you are in position to do something about it. Monitor your stress levels. They can creep up on you without you noticing sometimes.

    And keep writing. It’s the only way most of us can keep tabs on you. We can’t help you if we don’t know what’s going on. Two weeks is a bit long, frankly, especially under the current circumstances. I know time is going to be short, but a short statement is really all you will need to present most days. We can deal with it!

  9. Vile Love It has hit the nail on the head. I know that you’d like this to be over but don’t rush through the mediation to get there or to save on mediator’s fees. The mediator may be working for both of you but my perspective on mediators has always been that their job is to get you guys to reach an agreement. It isn’t to make sure that the agreement is in your best interests (or Penny’s). And if you don’t object the mediator will think he’s doing his job as you wanted. As awkward as it might feel, if there’s anything that doesn’t seem right to you, you need to raise it as an issue, raise it early on and keep raising it, if it doesn’t get resolved.

    Is this mediation binding? If you get part way through it and really feel that what is being worked out is not equitable, can you walk away and hire an attorney?

    You and Penny are building your future co-parenting relationship. That will get off to a much better start if you BOTH feel your financial settlement and parenting agreement is equitable.

    And yeah … all that paperwork is a real pain.

    Thinking of you,

  10. I understand. It sucks involving outsiders in things that feel so private. That’s the problem with custody cases and divorce. No one looks good under a microscope. And I felt more like the ant under the magnifying glass.

    Thinking of you!

  11. Hi INRIS… Your comapison with the white glove made me chuckle – although, I know, this is an all too serious situation and feeling. I thought, I’d be in the same boat you are by now… but, sometimes life does an about face. Sometimes not… and you are wise to move forward – even if it’s not easy. I’m sure your sharing the whole process here is not only therapeutic to you – but most helpful to others going through their own seperations/divorces… and even to those who are not, like me. Thanks.

    Your first sentence summed it up well for me;
    “there’s more to my life than…..” (insert BS here).

  12. Just something you might want to check into – if your bank is telling you to do things to refinance and then keeps working on the foreclosure – keep records and talk to an atty (if your state allows you to record phone calls do so) – you may be able to sue the bank for stringing you along – I’ve read of cases like that where the bank would tell the owner to not make the payments their going to refinance and then bam next thing you know they filed for foreclosure – check into it.


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