Wednesday, December 10, 2008

From the Department of Desperate Strategies


So, I'm screwed. My wife's parents are paying for her lawyer and my parents are poor. I guess marrying up can blow back on you. My pay was attached in the preliminary court order to take 43% of my income out before I see it, and her lawyer got the court to order a parenting eval to decide custody that I can't afford but have to pay for anyway if I want fair treatment. Oh, and I have no money for a lawyer, and won't until I get some of my assets back, which won't happen unless I get a lawyer. What's a completely fucked dad to do?

And then, tonight it hit me. I'll throw the Hail Mary of all Hail Mary's and pay for an ad in Real Change. Some people think divorce lawyers are a bunch of shits. Maybe they are. I've seen recent evidence. But you never know unless you ask.

This is one of those ideas that might be completely insane, so, I'm putting it out there in a poll on my blog first. Should I pay to run this ad in Real Change? If you say no, you have to offer a better strategy, because right now, I don't have one. The poll is at the top right of the blog.

10 comments:

ciaoseattle said...

How about logging on to WSBA.org? The Washington State Bar Association's site provides a comprehensive directory of all practicing lawyers in the state. You can send your plea to divorce lawyers directly via e-mail. And a link to your blog. There's another *what's to lose* idea -- surely come decent soul would want to support the editor of real change!

Bill said...

the law is hard on all divorcing dads because some are deadbeats. have heard similar conundrums where the wife has assets but the court still dings the dad no matter what his assets. suggestion of bar is good idea,... short of that, you have many networks that may be a first choice prior to a real change ad, which may seem less than a good choice in the eyes of the court and may damage how you are viewed. yes, everything will become grist for what kind of parent you are.comes with being a parent, obviously, and I take care toremind you gently, NOTHING exceeds being a good parent,... just do whatever you choose to do with that in mind,...from a parent who spent 2 years separated and got it back together,....

Pastor Rick said...

You already know you gotta be careful about blog entries and print stuff.

My friend had been off the street for 3 years, dutifully paying his child support. SPD ran him for warrents and found out he had a "felony flight" for non-payment. Spent a weekend in jail here, flew back to the midwest for another 4-5 nights in the pokey, then the probation officer did a 6 month "evaluation" before letting him migrate back to Seattle. Without a merciful employer and living situation, he would have been right back in the middle of things. Ironically, during his disruption, he wasn't able to pay child support; thanks to knuckleheadedness, nobody was better off.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering how your children would feel if they should read this at some not-too-later point? In several years (or even now), they'd understand you were making comments about their mother. How would that help any situation?

Tim Harris said...

Assuming that in another three or so years, when they have rudimentary reading skills and the capacity to go on-line themselves, I haven't been financially broken and buried, one would hope this will be so far in the past as to be irrelevant. At the moment, however, the problem is quite pressing.

Stephanie said...

Tim -
A couple things: it's not just dad's who get reamed, it's moms who don't have money as well. Been there - not willing to go there again. Also, don't think that this stuff will EVER be far enough in the past to NOT MATTER. My kids are aged 25 - 20 and still bring up THE DIVORCE that happened when they were aged 7 - 3. They don't forget and everything we do is imprinted on their little brains, which grow into big brains with the vocabulary to articulate just what an ass you were for airing their mother's laundry in public...or whatever other atrocity they think you did. And, don't worry, she'll get the same treatment. Children don't discriminate. They normally think both their parents are fuck ups.

What actually matters to you? If you're fighting to SEE your kids, keep up the fight. If you're fighting over stuff and money, you know damn good and well it's not worth it. You have a network of friends that love you, shared housing is affordable on 40% of your income, and you can come to my house for dinner whenever you'd like!!

Anonymous said...

Tim...
Always ask, never give up hope. Your willingness to care about and do for others may come back when you least expect it in the least likely form. Remain open to 'big surprise'. I think its an important message to the kids to know you did all you could to love and care for them and for your insides as well. The values you are teaching them, as you live, from my perspective, will help them sort out the truth of the matter. At some point we gotta let go and trust 'something' that goes beyond appearances and fear. Dont stiffle your justifiable rage completely, just find the most civilized form to express it so you dont sabatoge your mission.

Peace, Celia CC

Anonymous said...

Think of your kids, first. They need to be provided for. It sounds like the anger that's built up between you and your wife is getting in the way of a reasonable settlement. You won't have the money to solve that with a lawyer -you need to take another way -moral high ground, mediation, not feeding into a bad situation and creating more anger. You need to stop feeding your anger and look into other ways to resolve this. You have a lot of contacts in the non-violent conflict resolution world -there are being who work on divorces from this perspective.

V Cubed said...

What great suggestions you get, Tim, you're wealthy in caring friends and readers! I know it doesn't pay the bills, but it's a gift you can't buy. No need to repeat the good advice, just one quick way to figure out if you really want to put out info on your kids' mom out here: Read it, several times, an hour, several hours, maybe the next day, after writing it - only read it with your great children's eyes and hearts. I haven't written in several years because of the kids and their privacy issues, among other personally embarrassing factors in self-revelation. I will be writing again, finally, since they're now grown and disability gave me what I never had before: time. Love your blog, signed up for the feed. I just recommend you do a writers' group or something to hash out the stuff between you and her. And, btw, I'm a survivor of almost being killed by my ex-husband. I couldn't accept child support without endangering us, so I ran, my kid grew up dirt poor. My PTSD is always a struggle, but getting better. You know. When someone does things to trigger vulnerability in you, remember this situation isn't the same as the one where you almost died before. You're older, wiser and more capable of taking care of yourself. It isn't killing you - it just feels like it's killing you. Separate the feelings from the circumstances - the fix you're in has a solution, if not the one you're wishing for. I interpreted for the Bar in SF, some very messy divorces. Good lawyers sometimes, and sliding scale, shop around. With or without PTSD, divorce is miserably stressful. Treat it like an illness you have to nurse yourself thru. You don't get mad at the flu - tho you might get mad at yourself for not doing more to prevent it - so don't get mad at the divorce you might well have wanted yourself. You're grown, I've read several of your postings. You can handle it like a father.

Tim Harris said...

Well, the poll was a virtual dead heat, at 18-17 in favor of running the ad. This being a less than decisive margin and other options being available, the idea has officially been abandoned. I appreciate the many wise words and reminders of friends and moral support. The glass is half-full, and life, while challenging, is good.