Here is the excerpts of an email a client sent me after her experiences trying to get a parenting plan entered at the courthouse.
"I tried to find out how to enter/file/submit the signed Parenting Plan, but it's been confusing.
First I called the main courthouse phone number, and they said just bring it on down to the Clerk's Office. So I went downtown to the Clerk's Office, and they said that they couldn't take it, but that I should ask someone in Ex Parte, or ask the Judge, who has been changed to Mary Yu. At that time Ex Parte was closed for the lunch hour, so I left. (You suggested Ex Parte in the first place).
So today I called the main courthouse phone number and from them got the phone number for Ex Parte. When I called Ex Parte, I got a whispering person who informed me that I had just called into a courtroom that was in session. So instead I called the Clerk's Office back, who gave me Mary Yu's bailiff's phone number. The "bailiff" told me he couldn't help me, but to call Family Law Facilitators and make an appointment to "have my questions about procedure" answered.
That's enough for me ... I'm done. What's going on? Sounds like it would be easier to just file everything together at the end. What is the advantage to filing the Parenting Plan (and Separation Contract) before the rest of the papers are done?
Also, after my husband and I signed the Separation Contract in December, I gave him the original and he gave it to his lawyer (wrong case number and all), as per your advice. I asked him last week if his lawyer had filed it with the court, and he said yes. When I called the Clerk's Office today, they said it wasn't in the file, and that even though the case number was wrong, they would've checked the names on it anyway to get it to the right place, then charged $15 for having submitted it with the wrong case number.
Also, since there is no proof in the file that my husband ever went to the parenting seminar, it looks like that never got taken care of either, even though it is mandatory within the first 60 days after filing. I filed in mid-July, and attended the seminar in September.
So that's the status of the file down at the Clerk's Office."
I'd like to say this this is atypical but its not. Filing and working with the courts can be a bit confusing.
Something odd is happening. It's raining in Seattle. The type of rain that makes noises outside like someone is trying to get your attention. If rain were tears, it would be a blubbery cry-fest.
I'm sitting down to review a prenuptial agreement I didn't have time to read during the work week. One of the trickiest parts of reviewing a prenuptial agreement is the lack of certainty about its enforeability down the road. The honest truth is... some courts and mediators don't really care about prenuptial agreements, issuing awards that fly in the face of the terms of the prenup. I know I've certainly sat at the table enough times trying to find some way to worm my client out of the clauses he or she agreed to.
So what is a wealthier person to do when contemplating marriage in a community property state? Not get married, avoiding the claws of court? It's a bummer for the underearnings, or less wealthy spouse too. Here you are going into a marital partnership with someone who doesn't want you as an economic partner. That's a tough bit of reality to digest.
The courts are asked, down the road to enforce clauses that leave one person worse off that how they otherwise would have been treated without the document. We are all grownups able to make our own contracts, but what about when the contracts go back and the future result doesn't really seem that fair in retrospect. Should couples be forced to adhere to contracts that have a bad result down the road? We force people to accept their bad bets in all other areas of life. Why not marriage and divorce?
Lawlady, I was wondering.... if someone wanted to get a divorce, but the other party didn't, isn't there a form he/she can file, so he/she could get a divorce no matter what the other party wants? I was told there is. Please fill me in...thanx!
Concerned Child of that Couple
There isn't a short way to divorce in Washington, if one spouse disagrees. However, you will eventually get the divorce, it will just take some time.
The process goes like this: you file the petition with a summons directing the other side to respond. If the other spouse never responds to your intitial paperwork, you are eligible to default the person and end the action. If your spouse won't agree, but responds, then you must eventually go to a trial to end your divorce. There is even a "reconciliation" process that can be ordered by the court if one side re2uests it. It's rarely ever used. Eventually, most judges will grant a divorce if one side wants out. I've only heard of one case where a judge ordered the ocuple to stay married, when one side wanted the divorce. No matter what process you do to get divorced, you are still going to have to wait the minimum waiting-period of 90 days before you are eligible.
The dreaded blog-wall. I've hit the dreaded blog-wall. I feel I have nothing to say. I feel sitting here at the key board is a tremendous waste of time. But I committed to blogging. It's on my list.
So I hopped over to Curt Rosengren's site and took a career quiz. Yup, I'm pretty happy in my work. Could fine tune, but nothing catastrophic there.
Stopped by Keith Ferrazzi at Never Eat Alone. Yup, he's hitting the wall. His blog kinda reads like ththe popular kids writing about cool trips with friends.
I'm afraid where my next click will take me. My negative mood seems to be spreading. But even as I write this I have the AHA moment. Aha... even when we begin to live with much greater focus and attention and actually start setting and achieving January life goals, we're still going to the wall. To hit the wall is human. This human life experience is about meeting a challenge and then meeting another one. In case your're wondering what this is all about.. this life... one answer is growth. We're here to grow, then grow, then grow again. In love, in intelligence, in ways we don't even want to grow. We are plants. Plants who hit walls!
Are you aware that you can change your life and that you can have anything that you want? There are so many opportunities in our country (although we are headed in the direction of less civil liberties, in my opinion). Yet, so many people feel trapped. Our interior world traps us. We are constrained by hidden messages programmed into our mental VCR's. The oddity about these mental messages is that you can unearth two wheel barrows full of useless propaganda and junk mail, and you still find more in your mind. We could burn useless messages every day and still find more the next day.
I've been working on debriding my mind for 12 years now. Several times over the years I thought I surely must be complete. I knew the stories of my childhood, forgave the people with whom I was angry, and felt that I got to the center of my being. But I still find more. Daily.
We are complex, infinite beings with so many layers we make an onion seem simple.
Our journey and joy is recommencing the debridement daily. We junk out the old as a regular act of absolution. We cannot be a true and good consumer if we do not pay adequate attention to what needs to be let go of, released, reinvented, or reused. Most of our hyper-consumptive, emotionally-anxious or depressed social woes flow from a clogged release value. We take in, take in, take in, take in, take in, take in, take in, take in, take in, take in and TAKE IN. We don't adequately let go.
We don't like to poop, shit, fart, pee, starve, wait, want, need, go without, have not, use less, want less, accept less, live with less, have less, or been seen with less than. We've got a problem with burning, recycling, reusing, reinventing, restructuring, retooling, and all the words that suggest that we make due with what we've got, enjoying our limitations and structures.
We want to live as if there are no constraints. But.... constraints are fabulous. They give us our sense of groundedness and safety. Once you know your limits, you are free to know all that you do have. Until you reach that limiting edge, you don't really know where you are or where you belong. It can feel overwhelming and daunting.
Once you've felt the edges to your personal pot, you can begin to grow and explore into your full plant glory. "Oh, I've got a big pot. I'm an outdoor, northwest, wilderness plant. I'm not some sunny-weather beach palm." What a blessing to know that.
I'm aware that last analogy was a bit strained. Thank you for your patience.
Many people resist knowing their limits, afraid that they may be resentful if they are given limits. I think this has something to do with our cultures refusal to want to grow out of the teen years. We want to stay in limitless potentiality. But we can't exist in a teen-age state forever. At some point, we need to find the truth that we are NOT unbounded entities. We do have a natural place in the order of things. Where is your natural spot?
Sort of at the knee caps of God? A tree in the garden of life? For me... well, I think I'm parked just at the entrance of some super highway to heaven. Kind of close to a real fast rush of traffic, but rather sedentary. That's what I know for the moment.
From this parked car state of the Universe, what is wonderful is that I can see the total view of the limitless potential. It's in knowing our special place in the universe that we can begin to sense the limitlessness of this entire scene we call life. Some might say, it's in knowing ourselves that we know God.
Blessings for 2006.
Happy New Year Everyone.
I have been ready for this year since November. 2005 was rough. It's the first year that I finished my business plan by December 15th. I guess when you have a really tough year, you are more motivated to move on.
In fact, I'm sure that principle plays out more often and in more ways that we typically suspect. I've noticed that this motivation to move on can be extremely high in people who come from damaged or abused backgrounds-- the types of people who go to group therapy and take self-help workshops. I've noticed that these unhappy adults sign up for events, courses or counseling sessions to help unlock their pain and if they stick with the program long enough, they seem to get a taste for personal development that doesn't stop. They move from sadness, depression, anxiety, up to boredom, frustration, irritability, on to excellence, wisdom, and calm.
Some of the least self-reflective people I know were dealt a very nice hand of cards by life. They've then taken that hand and pretty much stayed at the same level emotionally and psychologically. It's interesting seeing these people encounter a life challenge. Often times they lack basic survival skills to face trials and tough times. If they do have a skeleton in the closet, they are most likely the ones to avoid and deny their pain.
Sometimes I feel sorry for these people who have been given a very soft and gentile hand of cards. They can be the ones who fail to reach into life, or look below the surface to the deeper rivers and eddies that shape the landscape of our lives.
If I could offer you a new year's gift it would be the gift of self reflection or adventurous curiosity about who you are as a person, and what your role is on planet earth. Are you ready to die tomorrow, and if you did die tomorrow, do you understand the reason for your journey? Are you living your full potential, and if not, are you willing to make the changes this year to make sure you are?
Best wishes on a bright and successful light-filled 2006. My astrological friends tell me 2006 should be easier than 2005. I wish you a safe and pleasant journey.