There are so many reasons why you might find yourself back in the courtroom post divorce, and none of them are good. I am by no means advocating taking your ex back to court, but sometimes you don’t have a choice and it is the only way to get them to sit up and listen to you. When you have tried every single avenue at your disposal and the contempt charges are piling up, seek an attorney and get some advice to see if going back to court is the best option for you, and if not, what other avenues are available.
This is my case. When my husband and I got divorced there were threats being thrown around on both sides. Neither of us had any intention of following through on any of them, and neither of us did follow through on them, but they set the tone for the state of our post divorce.
We had never gone to the court house. We were that couple that reached settlement at the very last second before a trial was about to begin. Mediation did not work for us. The only thing we agreed on in mediation was that we did not agree. He refused to compromise and I refused to live my post divorce life the way he felt I should. Our mediator told me to walk out because he said he had never dealt with such a difficult person.
In the end, I compromised on things my attorney told me I would never win, much to the detriment of my sanity and my children. I should have fought harder. Perhaps if I had, we would not have ended up in a two year battle both in and out of court over contempt the following year. Contempt that he harbored for me for leaving him and contempt that he had towards the kids for me leaving him.
Although we sat across the table from each other several times in the court room, most of our negotiating took place in the offices of our attorneys and during mediation. But, it was still a battle to reach an agreement. I wanted the children to not have overnight visits during the week due to school issues and he didn’t want to not have it. In the end, we reached a compromise over coffee at Whole Foods.
But, there was still the issue of child support to work out, and he refused to negotiate with me on it. You see, he pays more for his first set of children, and my children were not even getting the minimum amount by law. I couldn’t see why he felt like his other children were worth more than our children.
We had a trial. And, the truth is, we had never gotten along better than during that trial. In fact, his detriment was bringing the wife and allowing her to sit at the table with him. Between her constant computer use and the audible sighs and groans and faces she was making, you could tell the judge was getting irritated. Both he and I remained calm, while she was flying off the broom handle.
When the judge ordered he pay support over the minimum amount, she almost cheered. It made me wonder if she purposely was trying to mess this up for him. She certainly didn’t help him. She made snide remarks to me and my attorney throughout and gave nasty looks. She even physically put her hands on me in a jealous rage when I leaned down to speak to my ex at one point about our son. That was the ugliest part of court. The wife.
Going to court is never a fun process, but the truth is, by standing up to my ex for the first time and letting him know that I was going to fight for what I believed in, I think he looked at me in a different way. He saw ME for the first time. Not the girl that he married, who allowed him to run our lives, but the ME that I am. He saw a strong woman and I believe that was the first time he has ever truly felt respect for me.
Do we have a perfect post divorce relationship? Not even close. We can communicate and sometimes, we even do communicate. But, more importantly I stayed true to the ME that I am since finding my empowerment, and even if I had lost, at least I still would have had ME.