Archive for March, 2012

“Dependent child” and taxes

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

I just got my 2011 taxes done. Once I’ve sent in my payments, I will have paid thirty-two percent of my Adjusted Gross Income in state and federal taxes. That’s on top of the forty-three percent I paid last year in divorce-related expenses.

My husband wants any divorce settlement to award him the dependent-child benefit on his taxes. I’ve been taking this exemption since he locked us out of the house, because our child has been living with me. My husband says that “the only remedy” would be to award him the exemption for the upcoming years.

But he already makes more money than I do, receives loads of work benefits that I’ll never have, and pays only about fifteen percent of his income in taxes. How would it be “fair” to make the inequality even greater?

Unfortunately, the overriding ethic in family court seems to be “splitting things down the middle”, but in favor of the man. So my husband may actually receive this award.

Of course, that will only happen if my husband allows the divorce to be finalized. At the rate he’s going, the issue won’t be up for a decision until after our child turns eighteen. Which would be almost funny.

Getting older

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Sometimes aging seems like such a crock. My body betrays me, and in such embarassing and annoying ways. I don’t have anything “major” wrong with me. It’s more along the lines of being gassy at inappropriate times, such as the altar call at church. *blush*

But maybe, together with my Twelve-Step work for my codependence program, aging is helping me “unclench” a bit. I don’t have to be “perfect” anymore. I’ve been through enough that I’ve earned the right to screw up and “just deal”, rather than hyperventilating non-stop.

It helps to have kind friends and good advice. Thanks to these new assets, maybe my next few decades won’t be quite so fraught. That would be really nice.

“Exactly as it should be.”

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

“My life is exactly as it should be.” “My circumstances are exactly what they should be.” “I am exactly where I shouldbe in my life.”


These sorts of statements get my back up, but I think they’re meant to say something other than what they appear to. When people say things like the above to those of us who have had fairly miserable backgrounds, they don’t necessarily mean that everything is as we would like things to be. They mean instead that things could hardly have gone any other way.

Suppose somebody is in a high-rise, and, for no good reason, a bad guy pushes him off the deck. The man falls fifty stories, bounces a couple times on the pavement, and then is run over by a Mack truck. Did he deserve to have this happen? Did he want to have his body end up looking like hamburger? No. But, given the circumstances (the bad guy shoving him, falling that height, bouncing a couple times, and being squished by the truck), it is perfectly reasonable that his body has ended up looking like hamburger.

Given the actions and the circumstances which led up to the coroner’s van pulling up, it is to be expected that the dearly departed would be in this condition. It’s not that it’s “right”; it’s that no other outcome could reasonably have been expected.

It’s “exactly as it should be” in the sense that the immediate events could not have ended up any other way.

I think this is what people mean when they tell me that, (for example) as lousy as my current court case is, it is “exactly as it should be.” Given the man who is divorcing me, and given how profitably I made it for him to behave as badly as he has; given the “shark” of an attorney he’d hired, and given how “nice” and “patient” I’d been for way too long; there could have been no other outcome. It’s not that the way I’ve been treated is “right”; it’s that the circumstances — some of which I created — could not logically have been expected to lead anywhere else.

The terminology still rankles, but at least it sort of makes sense.

Hurting myself by “being nice”

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Part of the reason my divorce case has gone so long and been so painful is that, for way too many years, I’ve been “too” nice.

By “being patient” (with people who were knowingly doing wrong), “being understanding” (with people who were knowingly deceiving), “being supportive” (of those who were intentially harming my interests), “being cooperative” (with those who were openly manipulating the system), and just generally “being nice” (by being a doormat while waiting for people to “do the right thing”), I enabled bad behavior to succeed.

Why am I now surprised that bad behavior is so strongly in evidence? Why do I ask myself why it has continued for so very many years?

The abuse began and has continued because I made sure that it worked well — for those who were doing the abusing. Of course the abuse continued! Why wouldn’t it have, right?

Yes, it’s nice to be “nice”, but only when one is being “nice” in a global sense. When all one is doing is being a doormat for somebody who wants a “thing” on which to wipe his feet, one isn’t being “nice”; one is being a doormat. It’s not the same thing.

Does the truth never matter in divorce?

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Today was another “fun” session at court. Opposing counsel was allowed to lie and attack and insinuate, in the face of all the facts, and there was nothing I could do. The judge is again considering serious sanctions and penalties against me on the basis of innuendo and unsupported supposition, on the basis of undocumented “evidence” which won’t be ruled admissible (or otherwise) for months, if ever.

This is, I suppose, what I get for “being nice” all those years. If I’d been insistent on fighting back, on defending myself against false charges, and on pointing out actual infractions, maybe the judge would be willing to at least consider my side’s evidence and arguments.

I am so tired of this. People have been telling me for three years now that “it’ll get better” and “some day, this will all seem so silly”. How many more years will I have to wait?