Part 16 – Against my better judgement

Part 16 – Against my better judgement

The deadline for the Ex to pay me out of our house was rapidly approaching all the while I’m trying to find out how to get the house up to scratch so we could get it on the market.

The Ex was not being very co-operative and was requesting an extension of time to buy me out of the house, siting that he had a job lined up to start at the end of January.  Against my better judgement not to grant this extension, I went along with my lawyers suggestion to give him a few more months.

The whole time, I had a niggling feeling in my gut that this was the wrong choice but tried to ignore it.  I’d learn years later not to ignore this gut feeling for more often than not, it’s spot on.

For a few weeks, things seemed to be going along smoothly.  The Ex returned from overseas, started his new job and was supposedly on track to get the loan re-approved.

Then suddenly without any discussion, I receive a letter from my lawyer stating that the Ex couldn’t get financing and therefore the house was to be sold as per the court order.  What the????

In that moment I felt like the ground had been ripped out from underneath me.  Despite my gut feeling, this still came as a shock to me.  I finally lost the plot.  All that calm and composed façade I’d been projecting to the outside world came crashing down. 

Dangerously close to tears the boys started asking me what was wrong.  Not wanting them to see me cry, I did the only thing I could do, I went for a shower, sat myself on the floor and cried my eyes out. 

I’ve always used the shower as my go to place for when I’m upset.  This is because I can wail like a banshee, cry my eyes out and then have the water wash away my tears before taking a deep breath as I step out and face the world again.  It also helps that there is a lock on the door so my kids can’t see me falling apart. 

After my shower meltdown, I did what I do best.  I picked myself up and started working out what I needed to do to get the house on the market.  Then I remembered that the house was in complete shambles and that I’d have to somehow find the money to finish the renos and get it up to a saleable condition before I could do anything. 

In the previous two years that the Ex had been in charge of finishing the renos, he’d supposedly spent $17,000 of our joint monies ‘finishing off’ things.  The only thing he’d really achieved was wasting our money making the house look worse than ever and burnt through all our money.

Not one to give up without a fight, I contacted the Real Estate Agent I’d been liaising with over the past few months and asked if he could recommend a builder and landscaper.  As luck would have it, he knew a local builder who worked together with his son who was a landscaper.  Not wasting anytime, I contacted this builder and within 2 weeks the house was on the market.  What my Ex had failed to achieve in two years and nearly $40,000 I’d achieved in 2 weeks and $24,000. 

Ten days later we got our first offer on the house.  But yep, you guessed, it couldn’t be that easy could it?

To find out more, tune in next time.

Thanks for reading.

Love and gratitude

Leisa

Part 15 – Doing the right thing was wrong

Part 15 – Doing the right thing was wrong

Still reeling from the fallout of the last few weeks, I got back on with life, trying to enjoy the last few weeks of my Uni holidays. 

Just before Uni was to return, I received a call from the University asking me if I’d like to do some casual work.  Having not received any child support for nearly two months, I jumped at the chance to get a little extra cash. 

Little did I know that little bit of extra cash was going to cost me a few thousand dollars in the months to come.

You see, what I didn’t realise (or even think of) at the time, was that by working a few weeks casually at the Uni, I triggered a section in our court order that would see me go from paying for 2 flights a year to 4 flights a year for the children to see their father.

Confused yet?  Yep, so was I.  As I was a fulltime student when we separated, I had it written into the court order that I only had to pay for 2 flights a year until I started work again.  Silly me thought this meant fulltime employment once I finished Uni and it didn’t occur to me to even check it.  But my Ex certainly did.  I don’t even know how he found out I was working but next thing I know I received a letter from his lawyer stating I was to now pay for an extra 2 flights a year.

Lesson number one, always read the fine print!  The worst part was, I only worked for 3 weeks and then went back to be a fulltime student (for the next 15 months) but unfortunately this didn’t matter, I was still on the hook for these extra flights regardless.

To make matters worse, the Ex had put in for a non-agency payment to Child Support for the last payment he made to me in December (under private agreement) after he was made redundant and suddenly I had to find the money to pay him back. 

At this stage, I didn’t even know what a non-agency payment was, let alone why I had to pay him money when I had the kids fulltime and he was enjoying an overseas holiday.  But anyone who’s had the pleasure of dealing with the child support system knows it’s not always about what’s right or fair.

This was just the first of many new things I would eventually learn about the child support system and compared to what was around the corner, a non-agency payment was going to start looking like a good thing.

Tune in next time to find out what happened next.

Thanks for reading.

Love and Gratitude

Leisa

Part 14 – The pain of lies and deceit

Part 14 – The pain of lies and deceit

In almost every divorce or separation, at some stage, there is bound to be a discovery of lies, deceit or betrayal.  In my case, it was all of the above.  This was definitely one trifecta that wasn’t paying for the better.

In my last post, I was a little excited that we’d finally had our court orders signed off and I was eagerly awaiting the cash settlement I was to receive from our property settlement.  I’d already started looking for a new house to buy to give the children and I some much needed stability and permanency.  Life was finally looking up.

That was until the Ex decided to do a very dumb thing.  You see, just as our final orders were being sealed my Ex was being made redundant, throwing a huge spanner in the works.  He’d already been granted pre-approval to buy me out of our house, so this shouldn’t have been an issue.  That is until he decided to send the loans manager an email notifying them he’d be on ‘extended leave overseas’ and to send all future correspondence to his personal email.

That would have been fine, had he not sent it from his work email address, you know the one he’s no longer going to have after that day.  Well, the loans manager did what any normal person does and hit reply, sent a response and was greeted with an out of office notification stating the Ex no longer worked for the company.  Yep, you guessed it, bye bye loan.

Of course, this was the loans manager’s fault.  I remember the Ex ringing me to go on a rant about how the F*ing idiot at the bank stuffed everything up.  Going on about how they should have responded his personal email.  Failing to see where he’d gone wrong and that it’s human nature for people to hit reply, not the new address in the email.  Pointing out that he should have sent the email from his personal email only inflamed him even more. 

Needless to say, I was rapidly seeing my soon to be new found financial freedom vanishing before my eyes.  But don’t worry, it didn’t stop the Ex from enjoying a 3-month European holiday, after all, now that he’d been made redundant, he no longer had to pay any child support. 

As the deadline for him to buy me out under loomed, I began to panic because the next step was to sell the house and unfortunately it was in the middle of renovations and in complete disrepair.  Adding to the mix was that I now lived in Townsville, our former home was in Brisbane and the Ex was gallivanting around Europe.  A quick, easy solution was not about to materialise before my eyes, that’s for sure.

Little did I know that the next move I made was going to cost me dearly.

Stay tuned to the next blog to find out what happened next.

Thanks for reading.

Love and gratitude

Leisa

Part 13 – Relief can be fleeting

Part 13 – Relief can be fleeting

The next few weeks went by in a blur as I sat final exams and negotiated the final Court Orders.  By this stage, I was chronically fatigued.  The mental and emotional trauma of the past 17 months had finally caught up with me and my body was giving up.

Everyday I had to psyche myself up just to get out of bed, get the kids ready and off to daycare so that I could come home and study for exams.  I was so tired by this stage, I was taking Redbull and Mother Energy drinks just to stay awake long enough to study a few hours before falling back into bed, unable to continue on. 

Thankfully the children were off to the Ex’s for Christmas this year and I’d booked myself a holiday at Club Med in the Whitsundays.  For years I’d wanted to go to Club Med as the thought of an all-inclusive holiday sounded like just the thing I needed.  Had I known it was about 155 steps to my room from the restaurant every day I might have changed my mind. 

Upon arrival I had to walk down to reception and then back up to my room and by the time I got there I collapsed on the bed and didn’t leave again until the next day.

Determined to make the most of this holiday, I continued my pattern of forcing myself to get out of bed and go do some activities, even trying Flying Trapeze.  Thankfully they had safety harnesses, or it might have been a not so happy ending. 

You see at this time in my life, I hadn’t learned how to just relax and not feel guilty that I wasn’t continually doing something.  For some reason, I thought that was for lazy people.  My body was totally hating my brain by this stage for all it wanted and needed was rest.  But push on I did, finishing my holiday feeling even more fatigued than before. 

Later on I would learn from a Natropath that it was only my brain keeping my body upright for my body had given up months before and he was perplexed that I’d not been hospitalised for exhaustion.  I guess it just goes to show just how powerful our mind and will power can be.

Despite the obvious fatigue, I still downtime from the kids and was looking forward to seeing them again.

No sooner had they come back from holidays did the dramas start, yet again.

You see, I’d been on a bit of a high during my break knowing that the Court Orders had been signed off and I was to receive my share of the property settlement in just a few short weeks.  That was until the Ex did a truly stupid thing that would derail the whole process and waste yet another year of my life, not to mention tens of thousands of dollars.

But that’s a story for another week.

Thanks for reading

Love and Gratitude

Leisa

Part 12 – Look Nanna, there’s a plane

Part 12 – Look Nanna, there’s a plane

During Jacobie’s recovery from his operation, he spent a week at Nanna’s house as I had Uni commitments and my other son to look after.

Jacobie loved it, unlimited ice-cream and jelly accompanied by lots of love and attention, not to mention TV.

A few days in, I received a call from my Mum asking me if I knew about the Ex’s new girlfriend.  This was completely new information to me, and I asked Mum why she thought the Ex had a new girlfriend. 

She proceeded to tell me that whilst watching TV that morning, Jacobie saw a plane on the TV and said “Look Nanna, there’s a plane, I go see my Daddy on the plane”.  My Mum thinking this was quite innocent played along and said “Is that right?” The next words out of Jacobie’s mouth certainly shocked my Mum that’s for sure.

Jacobie went on to say “Yes, Nanna, and last time we went to the beach.  There was me and Wyatt, Daddy and Brenda*”.  At the mention of a woman’s name Mum’s ears pricked up.  “Yes Nanna, and there were three beds, one for me, one for Wyatt and one for Daddy and Brenda*”.

You guessed it, I had absolutely no idea that there was a new woman on the scene, nor that she’d been introduced to the boys or gone on holidays with them.  To say I was shocked and pissed off would be an understatement.  Earlier in our breakup, I’d had the conversation with the Ex about talking to each other when and if a new partner was to be introduced to the kids.  This was we could be on the same page when it came to answering questions about new people coming into their lives.  It’s also what I call common courtesy.

When I asked the Ex about it, I was met with a barrage of abuse, telling me I had no need to know about his new partner or anything that goes on in his life.  Needless to say I disagreed but truth be told, our morals and values and what we saw as important always had differed, I just chose to ignore this during my marriage.

Realising I would never win an argument with him, I chose to end the conversation.  After all, there was nothing I could do about it now.  It would later come out that he’d been dating Brenda the whole time we’d been doing our Court Order negotiations, this unfortunately would have been handy to know for it was about to cause a whole lot of drama in the year to come.

But that’s a story for another week.

Thanks for reading

Love and Gratitude

Leisa

*Name has been changed to protect their identity

Part 11 – Operation stalling

Part 11 – Operation stalling

For the next few months, there was a reasonable amount of peace in our life.  Negotiations for the final court orders were ongoing, but at least the kids and I were able to settle into somewhat of a routine.

That was, until I found out my youngest had to have an operation to have his tonsils and adenoids removed and grommets put in his ears.  A relatively straight forward procedure, (you’d think) and one that was desperately needed.  For the past 18 months I couldn’t remember a time when Jacobie was either sick with an ear/throat infection or on anti-biotics.  The poor kids was miserable a lot of the time and many nights crying out for me to comfort him.

So after consulting an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, the operation date was booked.  That was when the dramas started up again.  Suddenly, after taking no interest in Jacobie’s medical issues or assisting to pay for any of the specialist visits, the Ex decided he was not going to sign the consent form for the operation to proceed.  When I asked why, his response was that he’d done the research and it’s too dangerous for our son to have anaesthetic at his age.  I would later come to realise that my Ex was a ‘Dr Google & Web MD’ expert. 

Having fulltime care of the kids I thought I could just by-pass his authority but what I found out was that despite having the kids 335 days of the year, we had ‘equal parental responsibility’.  Yeah right, I’d yet to see any responsibility from the Ex when it came to raising the kids. 

After weeks of trying to negotiate, I found myself bursting into tears at the Doctor’s office from sheer frustration and exhaustion.  With only 3 weeks to go I was at my wit’s end.  My GP was great, even offering to write a letter to the Registrar of the Court to have them order the operation to go ahead. 

Thankfully, eventually the Ex agreed to the operation, suddenly insisting on flying over from Perth to be here for the operation.  So after months of refusing approval, the Ex shows up and tried to take over, insisting he should be the one to go into the theatre room with him and stay overnight in the hospital.  In years to come, this would become a pattern when he swoops in last minute for the glory but none of the hard yards.

The operation went ahead smoothly with Jacobie celebrating his 3rd birthday in hospital, definitely not one to forget. 

When I asked the Ex for his half of the out of pocket costs, I got greeted with “I can’t afford it”.  Up until this point, he’d not contributed to any of the out of pocket medical costs for the specialist so it was not overly surprising.  What did make my blood boil though was the fact that he took our older son out shopping and came back with about $300 worth of clothes and toys for the kids but couldn’t give me $400 for his share of the operation.  Yep, you guessed it, this would become a repeating pattern whenever I asked for money for necessities.

Anyway, we managed to survive three days in each other’s company and things settled down again.  Well at least I thought they had.

Thanks for reading, I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog, until next time.

Love and gratitude

Leisa