Josh was settled back at school and Ashley was already caught up in her new routine as a high school sophomore.
Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer was right around the corner.
As I was rushing out the door with Ashley one evening about a week before the holiday, Dick casually announced to me that he was going out to the west coast the following week on “business.” If his friend was going to be in town, he would stay at his house for the extended holiday.
He sure had a knack for timing…telling me this as I rapidly passed him by.
I asked him when he would know how long he would be gone. As usual, he refused to give me a direct answer.
This whole situation made me very nervous. I knew he was up to something. I wasn’t comfortable with his travel arrangements and secrecy surrounding his plans. Even two days before his trip, he still wouldn’t tell me when he was coming home.
Around that time, I placed several calls to my attorney expressing my concern over the situation as well as the lack of funds Dick was planning on leaving me with while he was gone.
With no access to the money market account and having been taken off of the credit card, I had to rely on the money in the checkbook. There simply wasn’t enough in there to hold Ashley and me over until he returned from his trip. (Mind you, there were no wild and crazy excursions planned for us girls…our anticipated exciting getaways included trips to the grocery store and WalMart for the basic necessities of life)
My attorney notified me that we had a court date about a week after Dick was expected to return. I told him that was way too late. We needed to see the judge before Dick left. (Look at me starting to call the shots here!!!) Fortunately, my lawyer was able to get us in as an emergency.
We were back in court the day before Dick left for his trip. After I entered the building, made my way through security and found the courtroom, I was amazed at how familiar this place and all the personnel, attorneys and other clients were becoming to me.
What shocked me most was how much my perception of the whole experience changed in such a short period of time. It wasn’t that long ago that I trembled at the thought of being a part of this process. Now this was just a normal part of my new reality. I guess you really do get used to anything and everything over time. Go figure!
Because we were put on the schedule at the last minute, my regular judge wasn’t available and we were seeing a new judge in a different courtroom.
My lawyer told me that he didn’t know how things would turn out since this wasn’t our judge and this one might not consider my situation to be an emergency.
Dick wasn’t there. His attorney wasn’t present either and sent a young, female associate in his place.
As I sat waiting for my name to be called, I listened to the others ahead of me state their issues. Based on what I heard, I decided I liked this judge. (Don’t ask when I became such a legal expert)
When our case was called, the three of us approached the bench. My lawyer shared some background information with the court and asked for temporary funds for me. Dick’s attorney said that the money situation was like this for several years. Her client paid all the household expenses. It worked out well and there was no need to change anything.
The judge asked me how much spending money Dick gives me per week. I answered him. He asked how much money was in the checkbook. I told him the amount. He then asked how long that money was supposed to last. I told him it needs to hold me over for the next 10 days.
At that point he turned to Dick’s attorney and said, “She can’t live on that amount of money. Tell your client that he has to give her this amount in cash today.” He then turned to my attorney and asked if we had another court date set up for temporary financial support. My attorney told him we did and they verified the date. We thanked the judge and left the courtroom.
For the first time in a long time my spirits were lifted and I felt good.