I’m starting to learn how the legal system works
The following two excerpts are from the journal I was keeping during this legal battle.
When we realized that the filings and the back and forth of legaleze letters between lawyers wasn’t going to work, our next step was to schedule a mediation.
The legal definition of Mediation goes like this:
Mediation, as used in law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), a way of resolving disputes between two or more parties with concrete effects. Typically, a third party, the mediator, assists the parties to negotiate a settlement.
And so we scheduled our mediation for August 2014. Below is the entry I wrote after the mediation had ended:
This legal stuff is starting to take its toll on my emotional energy. The mediation didn’t work. After 3 hours of this back and forth, we came to believe that our ‘neutral laywer’ was no longer being neutral and she was not able to help us sort through this mess.
So we got up and left. (It was all very dramatic, like something you see in a TV show. No, we do not want to stay for lunch and work this out for another 3 more hours – we’re leaving, thank you.)
I felt like I was on trial. It became very clear to me that my emotional pleas weren’t going to work. We need to stick to the legal documents and how I have the law on my side.
It was so frustrating because this emotional stuff is so much a part of this case. His bi-polar world has convinced himself that his manic and crazy beliefs give him the right to do what he wants, no matter who he hurts.
This is all about one line in my divorce agreement and he’s turned this into a war. And now that mediation didn’t work, its time for a judge to decide.
All this time, all this money over his inflated ego. And my desire to take him down.
I want this to stop. The disrespect, the fear of what’s going on in his house when my son Jake is there, all the stupid BS.
I’m no longer afraid. No matter the outcome, I’ll have shown him that he can’t push me around.
Let the depositions begin
Once we realized that we were headed to court, the next step would be to bring in a court reporter and do formal depositions. The best lawyer ever told me that since my ex lied so much in mediation (to which we had no recourse), that we would be able to better document his lies in the depo.
We had the first round of depositions in Dec 2014. After it was over – this was the first thing that crossed my mind.
I actually said these words out loud to the best lawyer ever and I’m pretty sure he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about.
So we schedule the ex to come into the best lawyer ever’s office – the ex, his latest wife, his lawyer and a court reporter. We all sat down in the large conference room and the questions began.
I was told I wouldn’t be able to talk, just listen and take notes. I was handed a legal pad and a pen – I took 4 pages of notes that day.
First the questions were asked of his latest wife. She looked frightened as if she knew the consequences if she said the wrong thing. A couple of times, she looked at her husband/the ex before she answered, as if to ask his permission.
I actually felt a little sorry for her at that moment – I know what’s it like living in a house with that man when he’s angry. She played her part and she went to work.
Then came the time for the ex to answer questions. He sat there on his throne of lies like he was still in charge of me and this situation. Like he’s just so perfect and judgmental of anyone who isn’t as perfect as him. Letting us know that it’s a sin to lie.
And yet at the depo that day, he lied, lied, lied. He lied so much that you could hear the words out his mouth show you how his messed up mind had convinced himself that he was right.
It was disturbing to see those same characteristics that sent me to the best lawyer ever to file for divorce from that man. Watching him unravel with his bi-polar obsession of repeating the same line over and over again when he was asked a question he didn’t want to respond to.
He tried intimidating the best lawyer ever and when that didn’t work, he raised his voice to the point of almost yelling.
I sat there and watched the whole thing play out in front of me. And all I could think to myself was this, “hey jackass – your crazy is showing, you might want to tuck that back in.”
After all these months, it had been hard to hear Jake tell me these stories about the ex but to hear them in person. To hear that crazy talk out of his mouth in person was just beyond disturbing.
When the depo had ended, I had a recap meeting with the best lawyer ever. He felt it went incredibly well as he found a couple of places where the ex and his latest wife contradicted each other. Proof that someone was lying, most likely the ex.
It was still hard to believe that we were heading to court over one line in a divorce agreement. And I would continue to hold my own against him. I didn’t back down when he threatened to take me to court. I said alright, let’s go.
So the ex pushed forward with the court case, he called my bluff … and I didn’t flinch.