Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mission Accomplished

I spent most of the night gathering my documents and filling in the necessary forms. My dad takes my son on Tuesdays so he went over all the documents with me to make sure I did not miss anything.

I barely slept. I kept thinking of new things I needed to include. I also had a presentation with my son at his school early the next morning. I knew I would have to drop my daughter off at early care, get to my son's school, try to help make his presentation fun, and then finish what I needed to do for court by 11am.

The presentation at my son's school went well and I tried to stay calm as I prepared all the documents at my office and made all the necessary copies. At the last minute, I found a notary who was happy to help me (I was literally walking out the door, late.)

I went down to the courthouse and the time I was supposed to be there and was told that they didn't have time to help me because they were going to close for lunch in 20 minutes. She told me to come back in about an hour. I decided to try to eat something, but I could not.

I went back and stood in line. I was the first one so I was able to see the clerk first. I thought I had all my documentation ready but he seemed perplexed by something. It seems that he thought my expenses were inconsistent with my actual income and that raised a red flag for fraud.

At that point, I lost it. I could not hold the tears back. He asked me if I had documentation of my mortgage, and I did not think I did. I was just about to give up when I remembered that I had pulled a copy of my credit report that morning to show the damage that has been done to my credit history.

While he was away to verify everything, I completely lost it and started bawling right there in the courthouse lobby. It was one of the most humiliating moments of my life.

The clerk was able to use my information and grant me the waiver. He obviously felt bad and gave me some tissues and tried to make me laugh.

I went into the next line to wait. That was somewhat less humiliating, although I was still in the same lobby with all the same people who had just witnessed me sobbing.

The clerk had me help him paper-punch all the documents, told me I was done and wished me good luck.

I think I did everything correctly. It will be interesting what the response from my husband and his attorney will be. Neither know I filed yet. I suppose they think they will have an automatic win tomorrow as planned.

Instead, they will get copies of my response.

This was a humbling day but it did give me strength to know that I can do this. I can fight back even if my husband and his family try to cripple me financially. These are my children. It is my duty and my right to protect them as their mother. It takes some research and perseverence to represent yourself, but I do believe that the truth always wins.

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