* Updated for accuracy.
Since I filed for divorce in September of 2017, there has been a series of negotiations between my estranged spouse and myself. We have divided debts and assets. We determined custody and visitation schedules. We argued about what would be acceptable financial support. We argued about him getting a real job. Finally the court set a hearing date for us to finalize our divorce.
After a meeting with my attorney a few days before the hearing, I felt confident that my children would be provided for and that I would be compensated for some of the financial burden that I had carried on my own for the last half of 2017. I thought he would finally have to do what was right. But I had been misinformed.
There would be no financial compensation for my expenses. There wouldn't even be any retroactive child support because a temporary support order was never filed. When I arrived at court that morning, my estranged spouse and his attorney decided to agree to our final proposal. Changes were made and typed up by the paralegal.
We went before the magistrate and the agreement was read on the record. We both stated that we had willingly come to the agreement and believed that there was no chance of reconciliation of our marriage. All that was required was our signatures on the documents so they could be filed with the court.
However, that did not happen. My attorney had agreed to allow my estranged spouse to take a copy of the agreements home to read before he signed the final copy. When I asked my attorney about the filing of the child support order, he told me that it wouldn't be filed until the agreements were signed.
I left court that day so disappointed in what had transpired. My estranged spouse was getting to walk away from ALL but 12% of the financial responsibility for the care of his children from May to December of 2017. And now there would be no child support for January and probably February as well. Because after court I learned that he could take up to 20 days to read the documents before he signed them. And the child support order would not even go into effect until the final divorce decree was signed by the judge. And that could be 2 weeks or more after the documents were filed. The couple that have been providing financial and emotional support to my estranged spouse were at the hearing. Upon seeing them there my attorney informed me that they were clients of his.
It has now been 8 days since we appeared in court and I am still waiting on the documents to be signed. I feel that my attorney failed me and when I confronted him about that he stated that he would be withdrawing as my counsel. Today I received notification from the court that if the documents are not filed within the 20 days then the motion for divorce will be dismissed without further notice.
I have dealt with a lot of emotions over the past week. I have screamed and yelled and cried a lot. I have tried to write this blog several times and just couldn't find the words to explain it clearly. I have felt the sting of betrayal all over again. I have felt hopeless and overwhelmed. But God has been so faithful to show me that he's got me and my kids right in the palm of His hands.
On my way to work at 4:30 this morning, I felt His presence and a peace came over me as He reminded me that He had provided so many blessings in the month of December and January. It may not be right that my estranged spouse gets to neglect his responsibility but you cannot legislate the human heart. Only Jesus can change that and cause someone to do what is right by his children. No court ruling can rebuild what has been broken. No judge can repair the trust in a family. No amount of money can make up for choosing someone else and their children over your own.
There are limits to what a broken legal system can fix. I have come to accept that. Life is not always fair but God is always in control. There is nothing that can stop His plan for my life. I have to be willing to trust Him to deal with the difficult people in my life. I can't expect a secular court system to deal with spiritual issues of the heart.
I will continue to fight for what is best for my kids by standing up for what is right and by kneeling down to give Him what I can't control.