I’m forcing myself to read lighter books to get over post-divorce-traumatic stress, and I came upon Angels, by Miriam Keyes. It’s a lighthearted tale of a 30-something female who’s husband misspeaks one morning and reveals a mistress.
The lightheartedness comes from their young age, inability to address the issue, and her immediate flight to her family, who absorb her back in their home as an overgrown sulking teenager. After a few days mulling at home, the main character, Maggie, decides to flea her dilemma by flying to L.A. to live temporarily with an old friend. There she has brief phone contact with her husband, and they talk about “finding a lawyer” when she returns to their real world back East.
Probably not the best book to read as I’m trying to decompress after a long, tough divorce process, but I had to scream at Maggie when she uttered those words.
“No Maggie, don’t go see a lawyer! Why do you and people think of divorce as a process that must start with a lawyer, when that’s the one person you should only see at the end?” I yelled, “Maggie, go see a counselor, your friend who listens well, the school custodian, the woman at Quick Check, maybe even your mother! Just whatever you do, DON’T GO SEE A LAWYER.”
I continued out loud, “Maggie, you must work through your feelings, and make sure there is no other way out after discussing the situation with your husband. Then, when things are calm, have a clear discussion on stuff and kids and money.” After all that happens, and maybe 6 months pass, then go see the lawyer. S/he are only there to draft unmarried words to make your finances and future fairly fair and fairly smooth. In the initial midst of break up you may not know exactly what you want or think is fair when drafting an agreement.
You must wait until the dust has settled – unless of course he’s a disreputable sort, who might quickly take advantage of your spinning head to his financial/material/paternal advantage. In that case, see a lawyer BEFORE you even mention the “D” word. But know what you want before you do, best you can.
Aghh, but she didn’t listen, and I read on.
Have a good one,