May 9, 2014

First Step: Done

I took the first step toward divorcing my husband today. I have blogged about this before, how I have been living separately from him since 2011, but we are not legally divorced. The conversation of divorce is not new, in fact, last summer, he asked me for a divorce, and I consented. However, he never filed the papers, and I never heard another word about it. I didn't follow up, to be honest. I was in the middle of job changes, and I had started at Regent -- my life was pretty hectic -- so I just put it off. Then earlier this year, in February actually, I decided to start the process. I did some research on how to divorce in AZ, and I filled out the papers. I prayed about filing them, and consistently, the Lord said to me to "wait." I kept the papers on my computer, but I never thought about them again until just recently.

I made up my mind to file the papers a couple weeks ago (in April). I was tentative about whether I had filled the documents out correctly, and I decided to go back through the entire process (reading and reviewing) to make sure they were correct. I ended up redoing the papers today because I had checked the wrong box regarding DJ (my son), and that added an addendum that I couldn't remove.

After I completed the new papers, I sent my husband an email to let him know my intentions. I know, email right? You hear these stories about people breaking up over text messages, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Well, I figured it was best, and besides it made it easy to include information. I haven't hear back from him yet, but I do expect a response. The big deal will be the fees associated with the decree. I now have the money to petition (which is more expensive that to file a response), but I don't think he has the money to do his part. What this means is that the entire process could take a bit longer if he doesn't pay his fee. If he pays it, then we can file a consent to divorce decree, which basically says we agree to divorce, and are in agreement on settlement. A Consent Decree takes about 60 days in AZ. The positive is that we don't have to go to court.

If he chooses not to pay the fee, then a Default Decree is entered and I have to go to court for that proceeding. The process for Default is somewhere around 90 days.

I am hoping that he will agree and pay the fee. He doesn't have to agree at all because AZ is a "no fault" state, which means that either one of us can petition regardless of whether the other person wants a divorce or not. Weird to think about it, but there you go.

I don't want to sound pleased at the ending of my marriage, but the truth is that we have lived separate lives for three years. He has moved on, and I am finally ready to move on. There is no point in holding on to a dead, lifeless marriage. It is best to bury it and get on with living. Well, at least that is my new attitude, anyway.

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