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I met my lawyer yesterday.
A lovely woman. Made me think, why couldn't I have married a lawyer, instead of a waitress? What was I thinking? Of course, the smartass answer comes shooting right back at me: because when you divorced her she'd beat the shit out of you in court!
Anyway, we spoke at length about my situation (over an hour), and she cleared up some things for me. Primarily, and this is the most disturbing part, she made it seem as though I'm doing it all wrong. I'm falling behind, letting Cindy get away with too many things, endangering my daughter's wellbeing, and risking losing it all. Scare tactics. Obviously, she wants to sell me her services. What better way to have me sign up than to make me believe I'm sinking in an ever deepening pit.
But it's not that simple. If I had the kind of money she's asking for just sitting around, I'd hand it over to her and proceed with the court filing. I don't have it though. And I can't get my hands on it that easily. I would need to have it financed.
Before I do anything else however, it's important that I clear my head and try to view things objectively. Priorities need to be established and the possible consequences to any actions I take need to be carefully analyzed.
For instance, the moment I take any legal action against my wife, we will become enemies. We're not exactly buddies right now mind you, but we're behaving in a civilized manner for the sake of Christina. As soon as I try to gain full custody and lock her out of my house she will turn into a vicious tigress. I'm not supposing this, I know it. I've been with this woman for a long time and I'm well aware of how she reacts to things. She does not fight fire with water and she never backs away from a fight. No matter how beat she is. Her defensive mechanism is to close her eyes and scratch away at anything in her path. This would not be a good thing.
Another matter to consider is whether I stand to gain more from trying to continue to work things out amicably or not. What's that old saying? You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
I want my house. I bought it myself, I've done all the work on it, and I've paid for it. She's done nothing for it. Legally she's entitled to half its equity, I understand that. But I want to keep it.
I want my daughter. I have no intention of keeping her away from her mother, that would never occur to me. But I would like to be the one to make the ultimate decisions regarding her future.
I don't want to pay alimony. Some people may think she's entitled to it, particularly a court of law, but I don't think she deserves a penny. I'd rather not go into the exact reasons why I believe she doesn't deserve it, but I think I can make a pretty good case if I need to. Not only that, I can't afford it. Not if I want to keep a roof over my head.
So I'm weighing the issues. Trying to come up with some kind of clear plan in my head so I can take the next logical step. I'll admit I'm nervous, and a little scared. Kind of how you feel before going into a scrap, even though you're confident you can beat the other guy. There's always a chance you might lose. I'm in the unenviable position of not wanting to lose a thing.