As those of you who follow me on Twitter already know in part, I went to court with my ex-husband yesterday and lost. What this means is that I have to put my house on the market, pack up my family and find a new place to live. Our divorce settlement called for me to pay him his half of the equity ($25,000, which I do not happen to have on hand) in our house and remove him from the mortgage. I have been unable to do so (there is no equity and while he is a signer on the mortgage deed as part owner of the house, he is not on the note and therefore owes the bank nothing), so he has insisted I put the house up for sale.
Since there is really no equity, it will be a short sale meaning that he gets no money from the sale. Since he is not on the note it doesn’t affect his credit either way. The reason his attorney gave is that it is affecting his ability to buy a home of his own. He is unemployed and has been for two years. During our marriage he was unemployed twice for 6 months each time. He is training to get a part-time job as a pharmacy tech, and lives with his mom. He has neither the ability nor the intention of ever buying a house of his own. He lived with his mom before we got married (he was 35) and will stay there because it’s free. We bought a house because I insisted, found a house, did all the work to get the financing, and just told him when and where to show up to sign the papers. He won’t do it on his own. That is something I know, but knowing and being able to prove it in court are two different things. So the court agreed with him, and I have to sell the house. It’s ridiculous. My older daughter, H., is devastated. My younger one is concerned about moving because she’s three and doesn’t really understand what it means. My son, who lives mostly with his dad so he can attend school in that town, was already angry at his dad for reasons of his own and this isn’t helping.
That however, is the end of my petty rant. My house is 80 years old. It is a nightmare of a “handyman’s special,” and getting rid of it in and of itself is probably a blessing. If it weren’t for the fact that I hate moving, that I like my yard and that the kids absolutely don’t want to be uprooted, I’d thank my ex for forcing me to move on.
Since I was either prepping for court or in court all day yesterday, I did not post or do any writing. Today I spent the day with my husband (he had the day off) and my daughters. Now I’m ready to get back to work. My new schedule will need to include packing and cleaning to get the property ready for sale, but I do not want to let my writing and blogging take a back burner either.
One thing I want to do, and now have even more incentive to do, is clean out my house and throw away as much as possible. The less I keep, the less I have to move.
So bear with me if my posts are slightly more sporadic than I had planned, although I will try to keep them up to date now that court is done and the decision is made. I’m not sure how soon we will be moving. My ex’s attorney’s plan was to have the house sold in the next 60 days by lowering the price until someone made an offer, but the judge didn’t approve that yesterday since it wouldn’t give me much time to get the house on the market, find a buyer, and find a new place to live. Whether he will approve it at a later date I don’t know. I will say if you ever have to go through this, make sure you can afford a lawyer. I can’t, but we make too much for me to qualify for any free legal aid. Going it on your own nearly guarantees that you’ll lose in my recent experience.
The writer in me has been considering the story possibilities surrounding this experience, both as fiction and as non-fiction/memoir-style writing, so I can’t call it a total loss.