Life After Divorce

{November 28, 2009}   Changing Your Life in 61 Easy Days!

I know… I know…

It’s been a while since I have posted anything.  No, I didn’t go back.  No, I didn’t abandon the blog and spiral down into the abyss of depression eating ice cream for days.  I gave up ice cream this summer.  And the depression, well, that was no worse than usual.

What I HAVE been doing is getting an uncontested divorce!!!  If you live in Texas, have no children, and want to get out of your sham of a marriage relatively painlessly… let me tell you how!

I was really dreading the actual divorce part, but only because I knew that I really couldn’t afford a lawyer.  But, I remembered that I have like 500 friends in the District Clerk’s Office, where I used to work, who could probably give me some advice.  I called my dear friend Joella and asked her what I needed to do.  She says, “Oh honey… that’s easy!”  And she walked me through the steps.

**Please note that, although I can argue like one, I am not, in fact, a Lawyer, and therefore can provide zero legal advice.  This is merely what I personally went through**

Step 1:  Visit and choose the divorce paperwork that best meets your situation – No Cost!

Step 2:  Complete the Petition for Divorce paperwork, make two copies, and take it to the District Clerk’s office (Family law) to file the papers.  Make sure they stamp all three copies. ($220 for my particular county)

Step 3:  Serve your louse… I mean “spouse” with the papers, either personally or hire a process-server.  I chose to serve mine personally, to cut down on the cost.  The spouse needs to sign either the Waiver or Citation, or the Answer papers.  By signing the Waiver, with a notary, they agree that they do not need to be served, informed, or present for anything further in the case, and allows the judge to make decisions on his behalf.  (This was the option I chose).

Step 4: Return the Waiver of Citation or Answer (where they want to be there for the court proceedings) to the Clerk.

Step 5:  Impatiently wait for 61 days after the original filing date.  And I do mean impatiently.  Also, make sure you worry over totally unnecessary things… allow him to harass you stupidly, and border on threatening.

Oh… wait… you can probably skip most of Step 5.  I wish I would have.  The only thing you really have to do is wait the 61 days.  During this time, complete the “Final Decree of Divorce” paperwork from the above-mentioned website.  If you plan to represent yourself, as I did, make sure you get the Volunteer Lawyers Association to review the case for you before you show up to get on the uncontested docket.  I missed that step, and it add a little extra stress to my divorce court day to run down there and get them to approve it before I could go to the judge.

Step 6:  Show up (early) to your assigned court and sign up on the uncontested docket.  There is a paper to fill out, and then take the form immediately to the Clerk.  She may have other things for you to fill out, so allow extra time.  It is also wise to call the court a day or two before you want to go so that you don’t show up on a day where they do not hear uncontested cases.  I almost got burned on that!  Glad I thought ahead to call!!!

The divorce proceeding itself took less than 5 minutes.  The judge called me up, and I literally had to read testimonial from a form they had in the courtroom stating who I was, who I was married to, and stating that I request a divorce, no chance of reconciliation, blah blah blah.  That was it.  The judge granted my divorce, signed my papers, and sent me on my merry way.  I was out the door by 9:15 am.

As I exited the building, I had to pause as I swore I heard “Free Bird” playing softly on the wind behind me.  It was a liberating and overwhelming freedom.  I do not hate my ex-husband.  I don’t feel sorry for him, and don’t really love him anymore either.  He was an important part of my maturation process – good, bad, and ugly – and I wouldn’t be the same person today without those experiences.  Not to say that I wouldn’t be a happy person, but it would have been different.  I wish him the best… but it is time for me to move on.

I will eventually segue this part of the blog, with many more amusing/humiliating stories into a book… but not this day.

Moving forward, I will be transitioning into a “Life after Divorce” section where I can recount my struggles as a newly single lady.  Lord help me!!

Thank you for helping me through this transition.  As I sit now, I have been divorced for 9 days and it has already been a million times better than I could have imagined.  For those out there thinking about divorce, let me give you this piece of advice…  As soon as you KNOW that it is really over… file.  I mean you REALLY know that you don’t want to go back and never want to be married to that person again.  It is the scariest feeling in the world, being in Limbo.  It sucks, and trust me when I tell you to rip off the band-aid as quick as you can.  You will be so much happier later.


**Funny quirk about the Texas legal system – You MUST wait 30 days after your divorce is final to marry someone new…… UNLESS that person is the person you just divorced.  There is NO waiting period to remarry the person you just divorced.  Doesn’t this seems a little backwards???  Just my opinion…


et cetera