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Where Are You Going To Put Your Energy?

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Author: Melissa Harvey

When I first started going through the divorce process, I think that I probably wasted an extraordinary amount of time and energy stressing about those things that I could not control. Things like whether or not my ex would be made to pay adequate child support. We had originally agreed on a number, but unbeknownst to me, he had been hoarding cash, a fact that I didn't discover until later on.

He works for a corporation that bears his name. He is its sole employee, and it's a corporation that at that time, made an unusual amount of money for being a one man operation. I had previously done his books, I had worked for this company, and I knew that he made a lot more than he was admitting.

You all know that a corporation is its own separate entity, so he had the company paying him X amount per year (on paper), and he was the only one who had access to its bank accounts, books, etc. He controlled everything that that company did with its money. The court did not check as to just whether or not what he had on paper was in fact accurate, and if any checking was to be done, the court let me know that it was I who had to foot the bill to get it done.While we were in the court process, he had purchased a Porche 911 (that he hid from myself and our children for two years), and a Mercedes ML350 (he's since moved up to the G500).

That being said, I learned after a mere two times in court, that he actually could hide the details of his finances from a judge, I learned that no one would make him disclose those details unless I brought up the specifics, and that I had absolutely no control over what was going to happen in court with regard to how it would see his finances. I learned that he could submit his financial statements to the court the morning of our court date instead of submitting them within 30 days of his being served, and there would be no penalty for his doing so. I learned that although I played by the rules as relayed to me by the system, that same system taught him that he didn't have to abide by any rules but his own, and I learned that there would be no penalty to him for doing so.

Between paying a lawyer to twiddle her thumbs and make idiotic comments in the chair beside me and having enough nerve to charge me for her complete incompetence, and the court not recognizing that a man on his "salary" couldn't possibly afford the things that my ex now owned (which, besides the cars, included a million dollar penthouse), I decided that enough was enough.

I felt like a pawn. I felt as though I was on some kind of TV show, in which everyone knew the objective of this surreal game, but me. I felt as though the judge and the lawyers were actually actors, hired to play their roles to the extreme, and someone was eventually going to jump out of a closet somewhere and tell me that I'd been punked. No such luck. This was crazy, and this was real.

So I opted out. I decided that this was causing way too much stress in my life, and in the lives of my children, and I couldn't control it. If the money was that important to him, he could keep it. I had to spend that energy and that time on something that I could control. Few things are worse than finding yourself in a situation where someone else has a hand on your emotional compass, your mental well being, and your destiny...your financial destiny in particular.

If you're going to go through the process, realize this; you MUST behave as though no one has the best interests of yourself and your children in mind. You must realize that this process is going to dictate your every thought, your every move, your every mood, and ultimately, the very well-being of your children for as long as you let it, and you must decide for yourself...is it worth it?

Do you know what IS worth it? Working on getting your financial act together. Working on getting something for yourself that only you control is worth it. Here's the lesson that I learned; regardless of what we think is right, society teaches us that money (and having it) is important. I've learned that as a divorced woman it is especially important. I learned that I had to put all of my immediate energy into making my own money.

Do whatever it takes to have something of your own. Don't make the mistake that I made in thinking "He would never do that to his children." Granted, he might not. And if he doesn't...great. Even if he proves himself to be an honorable man, you still need to be self-reliant. I know that what I'm saying makes sense to you, or you wouldn't have made it to the bottom of this article. Believe me, no one else is going to do it for you. From the depths of my heart, I can't stress it enough.

Thanks for reading.

To Your Success!

Melissa Harvey.

Copyright 2006 Melissa Harvey All Rights Reserved

About the Author

Melissa Harvey is a divorced mother of two. She believes that "as divorced women, we must consider first and foremost, our own emotional, mental, and financial well-being. If we don't have those things, we don't have much." Start considering your own financial well-being at http://reallifeafterdivorce.blogspot.com. Email Melissa at lifeafterdivorce@mail.com.

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