Yesterday I sent a rather large check off to my attorney with a signed retainer letter. It took me forty-eight hours to muster the will, but I followed my own advice and read the agreement from beginning to end. It's probably not a coincidence that, at this moment, I am in bed with an ice pack--not on my balls exactly, unless you'd like to get all metaphorical.
The amount of the retainer? Well let's say I could fly to Greece with a friend for 10 days. Take the daughters back to New York for a week of theatre. Buy groceries for my mom and me for six or seven months. Hell, if it were 1971, I could pay for a semester of college and go out for a beer every night (and that's private school tuition, folks.) And if it were 1971, maybe I would walk away the second that skinny long-haired boy in the flannel shirt begins to speak.
Why do I need an attorney now when everything was finally settled last spring? Because the unilateral lowering of my alimony without a court order has left me in a rather weird limbo. In this definitely-not-heaven-but-not quite-hell, I've found that I cannot re-fi my mortgage because the income shown on my bank statement does not match the old court order. I am deemed as having an "unreliable source of income." Underwriters do not like unreliable sources of income. I would imagine, that should I ever get into a tangle with the IRS, they might wave their red flags at this discrepancy as well.
I have been--without the assistance of legal counsel--urging, pleading, explaining why I need a new court order since mid-January. If you look at the timeline on my sidebar, you'll perhaps get a sense of how things can get drawn out. I can't dawdle if I want my lovely low interest rate.
And what exactly is the sticking point, you might ask. I am not objecting to the lowered alimony. Proof, perhaps, is the sticking point. I have asked for proof of the Someone's lowered income, which is his reason for lowering the alimony. Proof of what one makes for a living shouldn't be so very hard to come by unless you work for a drug cartel, or get paid in cash and never count it, or are perhaps bartering eggs and sides of beef for shoes and bolts of cloth, and then a cyclone comes and blows your carefully handwritten records away.
Could you, dear readers, if called upon show proof of your income?
And how are you feeling today? Like the ball? Or the buster?