Today was the day. The four of us went to court in response to my lawyer's motion. STBX has not been keeping his end of verbal agreements made between us and his lawyer has delayed the entire divorce and blown off my lawyer on multiple occasions.
The two attorneys first went to meet with the judge. Judge was not happy. He agreed to stbx's side paying some of my legal bills relating to extra work my attorney had to do when his didn't show up for a meeting, missed conferences, didn't reply to emails and phone messages, etc. His attorney accepted blame for dropping the ball and said he'd waive some of stbx's fees. The sick thing is that I've been reminding stbx here and there to check in with his lawyer, to see where things are. As a past enabler, I realize this too is enabling, however I felt it was needed to minimize costs and time and would be beneficial to me. Whatever, stbx never checked in with his attorney. If he doesn't think about the divorce, it's as if the divorce isn't happening! He's emotionally 4 years old.
4.5 hours later, we've hashed out two major issues. I got everything I asked for, stbx got squat. He feels he's being treated unfairly by me and the court. I just want to repeat this mantra to him: divorce is not about fairness, it's about the law. He wouldn't get it so I don't bother.
I had to snicker a bunch of times because stbx was getting very indignant and was not working with a spirit of cooperation. He flatly said NO in a few instances to suggestions his own lawyer brought up. I was so glad that both lawyers were able to see how difficult he is. Several times his attorney and he stepped outside, presumable so stbx could cool down and come to grips with reality.
When asked questions, stbx often had vague replies - maybe by Tuesday I can get that done. I think it's about $5K. We were having none of that. It was so difficult for both attorneys to pin him down. That I had to pay thousands of dollars today to get stbx to agree to things he had been promising for years is obscene.
His lawyer was getting irritated by the level of detail my attorney requested from their side, pertaining to dates that tasks would be accomplished so we can get the house on the market by Jan 2. She kept saying it was all necessary, because see, your client has not done x, y and z since we first discussed these issues back in July. When we asked when stbx could get the painters out to finish the painting that stbx has been leisurely working on since the spring, he said he didn't have their number. He would call them later. My lawyer pulled out her phone and asked for the name of the business. He gave an incorrect name, but she was able to find it via google, dialed the number, and handed him the phone. At $350 an hour, she was able to do what I couldn't do for 4 years. The threat of contemt of court is the only thing propelling him to be responsible. Ugh.
This is just the first of many court visits, I fear. We didn't talk about equitable distribution, although his attorney kept bringing it up. Mine kept squashing that down, saying we'd enter a motion to discuss that issue at a later date and lets just work on the issues pertaining to the day's motion. His attorney just wants to be done, he made many references to receiving his own fees from stbx. He even threatened my lawyer when she wouldn't back down by saying he could just fire stbx and good luck getting this divorce through! (Don't why he used the term "fire". Do attorney's fire clients?) My lawyer is wondering why he's still practicing law.
Afterwards, I went to run errands which are on my Legal To Do list. Then I did a little xmas shopping, then grocery shopping. Half way through find football jerseys, I almost fell to the ground. Adreneline finally dissipated and exhaustion took it's place. I dragged myself around another hour then went home. I'm trying to be cautiously optimistic about the future of these divorce proceedings. They're hell. Divorcing a passive aggressive person is HELL!! Thanks for letting me put this all out there!