Being the “petitioner” in divorce proceedings means that all of the initial steps within the lengthy process are reliant upon your actions. David is the petitioner. Anyone who knows me well knows just how extremely frustrating this is for me as I do not ask for things to be done if I can simply complete the task myself. Unfortunately, as the “respondent,” I am at the whim of David. I recently sent a brief email, sans subject, to David inquiring about the status of the divorce paperwork stating how I didn’t wish to “drag” this out. Twenty-four hours later, I received a transient response that he had a day off of work coming up and would be making a visit to the Los Angeles county courthouse.
It’s an uncontested divorce, which should make the process easier one might think, however, nothing about a divorce is easy – I repeat – nothing about a divorce is easy. The following day, after receiving David’s email, I received yet another email. Attached to this correspondence was an image of a receipt of the court fees and the text contained David’s demands for half of the cost. He also pointed out how he could not “legally serve” me the papers. Someone over the age of eighteen would have to do so. I suggested my best girlfriend, Sandy, since she worked in downtown and David lives in downtown so it would be a quick and convenient exchange. I also informed him that I wouldn’t be able to transfer my half of the fees until next payday. Alas, the divorce papers are being held hostage until the petitioner receives my monies.
I recognize that control is the only thing that David has left so I did not respond. As much as I would like to expedite the process and simply sign the goddamn papers right now, I am complying with his need to maintain control of this shit-hole of a situation. If I were to counter his request, I am 95% certain that I would receive a response similar to, “I don’t trust you.” Ha! I laugh to myself because David never had any reason not to trust me but as I stated above, I will let him hang on to his last, putrid sliver of control because as soon as those papers are signed and filed by myself, the respondent, so will ensue the countdown – the six-month California state drudgery to a complete and legal divorce.
“…And I’ll find strength in pain / And I will change my ways / I’ll know my name as it’s called again…” “The Cave,” Mumford & Sons