3rd October 2017
James and I had a proper conversation yesterday about Lottie and Dylan. He dropped them off after taking them to see his parents for Sunday lunch and stayed for a cup of tea. It almost felt natural for the first time in a long time. We talked about Lottie’s phonics workshop and the challenges for her this year at school, and about Dylan’s latest exploits with his dinosaurs.
Money wasn’t mentioned and I don’t know if his solicitor has suggested the roundtable to him yet, but we talked about formalising when he sees the children. It’s all been rather ad hoc over the summer which I feel is distressing them a little. They are going to visit him every other weekend from Saturday mid-morning until Sunday afternoon. I explained that I really wanted them home for tea so I could get them settled early to be ready for school on a Monday.
It feels like an anticlimax now that we’ve had this conversation. I was dreading talking about it: I don’t know what I was expecting, but now we’ve spoken, I’m surprisingly alright with this arrangement. I suppose that I knew that this was the sensible option, but I was really worried about the idea of having to talk to James in the lead-up to it. I’m grateful that Marilyn took the time to explain the benefits of talking about it and it gave me reassurance but I was fearful that he may demand a whole lot more time with the children. Dylan is so young, I’m so grateful that this situation we’ve found ourselves in is reasonable.
He didn’t mention his girlfriend. If he is going to be seeing the children on his own I feel it’s important for them to have time with just their Dad, but I know if he stays with the girlfriend in the long-term we’ll have to talk about this in the future.
Now there are just the finances to sort out.
26th September 2017
James’s solicitor has sent through his settlement proposal. As suspected, James clearly doesn’t want to retain an interest in our house and the proposal was that it should be sold. We have a solution to that thanks to mum and dad. But, maintenance is still an issue and to my mind, James’s anticipated monthly spend is excessive. I’m frustrated as I feel that we put forward a considered proposal that has the children’s best interests at its heart and I can’t understand why James doesn’t see this.
Rather than go backwards and forwards on this, Marilyn has suggested that we should hold a “financial roundtable”. This is where both parties meet face-to-face with their solicitors to discuss and try to agree on a settlement that works for both parties. I think that this is the right thing to do. It’s important that James hears why I believe this to be fair and I feel that I should do him the courtesy of hearing his point of view too.
23rd September 2017
I’m writing this through tears tonight, tears of gratitude. Mum and Dad have offered to help financially. They say they’d rather help me now when I need help rather than leave money to me as inheritance. Where the children and I we were going to live was a huge worry for me – I want to stay in the house but I can’t without James leaving in some money and being tied into the mortgage. I know James wanted his share out of the property, and he wants to buy somewhere himself, and I think this is why the financial side has been so difficult.
Now I have more options. I’m going to make another appointment with the mortgage broker and Mum and Dad are going to come with me. If Mum and Dad can be guarantors for the mortgage I’m hoping to get James released from it. This will mean he can get a mortgage himself on a property to buy and I think that will make a big difference to him. Mum and Dad are also going to lend me some money to be able to make James an offer to buy out his share. I’m so relieved to have these options; if it all works out I will have the security of my home for me and the children, and James will have some money to buy somewhere for himself and for the children to stay when they’re with him.
20th September 2017
Week 3 of school – where has that time gone? This realisation has spurred me on once again. Marilyn’s been very patient with me but James and I need to make some decision about money and the children. The summer has given me time to think (and heal) and it now feels like the practicalities have stalled. Though, thankfully not the legal activity.
Marilyn has prepared a financial proposal which sets out how we think the finances should be handled, including how much I will receive in maintenance. I think that the proposition is quite fair and it’s with his solicitor now. We’re expecting his proposal any day now.
I’m pleased that we appear to be progressing fairly peacefully, despite some obvious differences of opinion. I was quite shocked to overhear a statement recently about someone else, which went along the lines of “take him for all he’s got”. I understand that this is hurt and the anger talking, and I don’t know the circumstances of this person, but I am relieved that my situation is not like that. James has really hurt me but that sort of approach causes too much conflict in my mind, which will ultimately impact the children.
11th September 2017
So today was interesting. A Mum stopped me at the school gates and asked if she could have a coffee with me. Apparently, she’s been reading my blog. I can’t believe it!
At first I was totally shocked and confused about why she wanted to talk to me. I have always assumed that this blog is something I write to an anonymous audience, but it turns out I am completely wrong. Actually, it was a real pleasure to meet someone who’s following my story. We’re going to meet to talk further – I have a feeling that she’s in a similar position. It’s a lonely journey separating and divorcing from your partner and this could be an opportunity to ease that feeling a little.