Doing Divorce My Own Way
It’s been awhile since I’ve written about my divorce. There are 2 reasons:
1. I haven’t been in as much pain around it. I celebrate this but I also kind of miss the stimulus to write!
2. My ex and I have had a couple of small disagreements. I am still committed to friendship and a loving approach to him, to me, and to us. That means not airing my frustrations in such a public way.
There are no frustrations today and it’s time to share an update.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about getting my name off the mortgage. That was a huge relief and an important step in our divorce journey. We decided that we wanted to split all of our assets before filing. He got the house, I got my equity. We divided our retirement funds. We split the furniture. We kept our cars. All things considered, we did an amazing job at this. My biggest heartache is that in keeping the house, he gets all the custom cabinets my dad built.
Anyway, now that all of our assets are divided, we can proceed with filing a Marital Dissolution Agreement (MDA). We don’t want to engage attorneys. We don’t want to fight. We don’t want to spend a ton of money.
I did all the paperwork for my previous divorce with no attorney. We want to try that again. Back then I went to Office Depot and bought a template. (It turned out to be all wrong, but thank God for a kind lady at the courthouse. She took pity on me and gave me a copy of someone else’s divorce papers. She blacked out all the names and told me to to just type it up exactly, put in the correct names, and come back. A real angel!)
This time we have access to templates because we have an attorney in the family. So we got a template and we both worked it over several times. I think we’ve been at it since about March. We now have our final draft. It’s time to file a formal complaint with the courthouse. This task belongs to me. This is where I start to feel a bit emotional.
See, when my ex did his final draft of the MDA, he listed me as the plaintiff and himself as the defendant. It’s all just words, but somehow it feels icky that my name is the one officially filing for the divorce. I am the one taking action. I am the quitter. I am the complainer.
I’ve been practicing “flipping the message” a lot lately. I don’t want to identify with the negative energy of “quitter” or “complainer.” So, here’s my flip. I am decisive. I am brave. I am a leader. I am confident.
It’s amazing how much better I feel just in typing that out. Same situation. Same dynamics. Much better experience.
So tomorrow I will show up as decisive, brave and confident. I will go to the courthouse to start the process. If all goes according to plan, we will be done by October. No attorney required. Doing divorce my way.