My second attorney hit the ground running and immediately set up a trial date. Finally, there was a light at the end of this long, dark, deep and ominous tunnel.
This mess of a marriage and divorce was nearing the finish line!
G minus 5 months and counting!!!
Prior to our scheduled court date, we had to give our depositions. Before the set-date was established, Dick was also subpoenaed to produce financial records from all the banks that he either held an account in his name solely or jointly with another party. In his case, the other party was his mother. Being that I no longer had any funds in my name, I wasn’t required to produce the above-mentioned documents.
For those of you that don’t know, a deposition is a session where each divorcing party is asked a series of questions by the opposing attorney. It gives the other parties’ legal counsel the opportunity to gather information for the divorce proceedings.
Queries include requests for particulars such as name, address and work information. Then the questioning becomes more juicy and focuses on events that are pertinent to the divorce case. Areas such as finances and relationships with other people are fair game.
Prior to answering any questions, the respondent will be placed under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth — you get the rest!
A court reporter is in attendance to document all the information that is presented. Following the proceeding, a legal transcript is written up that contains all of the answers given to the questions asked during the session.
When all the aforementioned financial documents were secured, our respective attorneys scheduled a meeting at Dick’s lawyer’s office for a rousing session of She Said…He Said. (My unofficial name for the event.)
Prior to the date of our depositions, I had the opportunity to go over all of the bank statements that Dick was required to produce. There were definitely a few deposits that raised some Red Flags. I brought these to my lawyer’s attention. He assured me that they would be addressed and the monies would have to be accounted for.
Finally, our deposition day arrived.
To be totally honest, depositions are a nerve-wrecking experience.
There is so much on the line. The particulars of the divorce settlement will be riding on the information provided. Any screw ups can be costly in more ways than one.
Like there wasn’t enough pressure before this…
I gave my deposition first.
Actually, the questions I was asked weren’t too difficult to answer. I had to share information about my education and work history. Since I wasn’t involved in a romantic relationship and I didn’t have any money — what I could be grilled on was limited.
Simply put — my life was boring and mundane.
Early in our marriage, Dick and I both agreed that when we would have kids I would put my career on hold and become a stay-at-home mom.
So, in a nutshell, for the past 20+ years, I wasn’t earning a salary. This became a major bone of contention for Dick when he made the decision to divorce me. Because I wasn’t gainfully employed and I didn’t have a source of income, Dick would have to provide for me financially for an undetermined amount of time.
Let me tell you, that didn’t make him a happy camper
BC, (before children) I worked as an exercise physiologist in a hospital-based cardiac rehab program. After earning my Master of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation, I found employment quickly. Not to brag, I knew my stuff and I was very good at what I did.
Fast forward three decades — my skills and my knowledge about cardiovascular pharmacology, treatments and modalities were rather rusty.
Let’s put it this way: If I just had a heart attack or underwent bypass surgery, I wouldn’t want me taking care of myself!
During the “Inquisition,” Dick’s attorney kept hammering me about getting a job as soon as possible. At one point, he cockily told me in no uncertain terms that Dick expected me to find a job within 90 days in cardiac rehabilitation.
That was it for me. I heard enough.
I responded back that if Dick wanted me to go back to working in cardiac rehab, he would have to pay my tuition to get my PhD in the field. I briefly paused to see what effect my statement would create. Not getting any response, I continued on that changes in medicines, procedures and rehab protocols have left my skills obsolete.
On top of that, there was a recession going on. Jobs, in general, were hard to come by — which was common knowledge to everyone present. Being out of the workforce for several decades left me unmarketable and unable to compete against those who were current in the field and who unfortunately were unemployed for whatever reason.
It was becoming clearer and clearer to me that I was going to be pretty much screwed when I would regain my single status.
Then I really got pissed.
Who was Dick to think that he could decide what I would be doing with the rest of my life? His rights to advise me on what to do, how to live or what type of work I should pursue were quickly being relinquished.
And how dare his attorney to present these expectations to me. He knew quite well that for the length of time that Dick and I were married, he would have to provide for me financially.
Then things got even more interesting.
I told Dick’s counsel that I was training to become a certified laughter yoga leader.
He looked at me like I should have been committed. I’m sure he was thinking, What the heck is laughter yoga???
Looking totally amused, he interrogated me about what went into becoming a laughter yoga specialist.
When I responded that up to that point, I attended a few weekend-long training sessions, he clearly snickered.
To which I replied, “It’s laughter — not brain surgery. But if this isn’t to you or your client’s liking, we could talk about the expense of obtaining a doctorate degree. Then there’s the amount of time it will take for me to complete the process. Or I can try to recreate myself and establish myself as an expert in this new and interesting field.”
Dick’s attorney had clearly queried me enough. My deposition was over.
It was time to put Dick into the hot seat.