On July 4th 1997, I married someone. On July 4th 1999, I did it again. I even took her last name by hyphenating. And, yet, so many times during that marriage I thought about the irony of the fact I got married on Independence Day.
After tens of thousands of dollars spent in legal fees over ten long months and nine hours in mediation, we finally have an agreement to settle the divorce. There’s still a lot of paperwork to do to transfer assets and such, not to mention the fact I will have to wait a few weeks before the final paperwork is signed off by the judge, but at least I now know the starting point for my life going forward.
While there are elements of the settlement I’m not entirely happy with, I got the main thing I wanted: a spousal support amount and length of time I can live with. Had to give up quite a bit to get that, but as a friend who went through a similar divorce told me:
- You can always make more money
- You can replace stuff
- It eventually ends
I also get to leave something very important behind: her last name. When leaving Washington State back in May, I quite literally sent her last name back to her in the form of a cloth luggage embroidered with that last name that happened to be on one of the suitcases I had. I also dropped it in the mail from a very significant location: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Why is that location significant? It’s where we had our second, more public wedding that everyone was invited to. The first wedding, which we kept hidden from her family and the kids, was in Las Vegas.
Even having lived in Spokane for a few years, I never actually went into Coeur d’Alene before my cross-country move in May. I made a point to stop and visit, making some new memories along the way. Memories that, quite frankly, I never made with my ex in 25 years of marriage.