Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How to Stop Time (or at least try to) - By Cara Potapshyn Meyers

We are all well aware that we really can’t stop time. Especially when you forget to turn your clocks ahead, like I did this past weekend. And walked around all day Sunday, slightly off schedule! Good thing it was a Sunday! But, in general, time marches on. Or does it really?

I had a meeting planned with my husband, our lawyers and me for this Friday. An overwhelming amount of issues were going to be discussed. Everything from who gets which furniture all the way to a shared parenting schedule for my son. I was completely overwhelmed. And to add salt to an already open wound, I consulted my divorce books (yes, I have a variety of them too), to give me a heads up as to what to expect from this meeting. I had already sat down with a friend earlier in the week who had been through a meeting of this type. Although the mystery behind this meeting (technically called a “4-Way”) was revealed. I learned a lot of things that began to bother me. A lot. So I decided to do an internet search. I learned even more. The most annoying of which is that although my husband has to pay child support and alimony (now termed, “maintenance”), he gets to deduct both from his taxes at the end of the year while I would have to PAY taxes on this income! I now started to become enraged. Not only don’t I know WHY I am getting divorced; Not only won’t my husband even TRY to reconcile our marriage on our child’s behalf; But now I find out that I have to PAY to receive money from him!! No, thank you very much!! I don’t need his money THAT badly! Then came the straw that broke the camel’s back.

My husband was away on a business trip all last week. He came back Friday night. I saw behavior in my son that I have seen many times before when his father returns from a trip: Unbridled joy and elation. My son became giddy with happiness that his family was all together, including his dogs! He squealed with delight! He hugged his father, me, even the dogs! He chattered away in happy conversation, nonstop. Then it hit me, and I started to cry. This would be the last time that my son would experience the happiness of having his family together all under the same roof like this. I stifled my tears the rest of that evening, but sobbed the entire next day, when I was alone. I teared up when I spent Sunday with my son. I sobbed all through my session with my therapist Monday morning. I kept crying, “Why?? Why is this man doing this to his son?? Why is he doing this to me?? My son will never experience the elation he felt Friday night ever again!!” My therapist said, “I think you need to tell your lawyer this. I don’t think you are ready for this 4-Way meeting.” I told my therapist I would consider calling my lawyer.

All day Monday, crying off and on, I just kept replaying how happy my son was Friday night. And I made a decision. Both my son AND I need a reason why our lives are going to be destroyed by this man. We BOTH need an answer. So I decided to “postpone” (cancel) our 4-Way meeting. 

Since I made this decision in the evening, I sent an e-mail to my attorney Monday night. I had to pay a Shiva call (a visit to the family who had a loved one recently die in the Jewish faith), on Tuesday morning. I didn’t even have time to buy some baked goods for the family. I brought tissues instead. It was only the woman who’s father died who was home. She lost her mother only two months prior. She asked me to please distract her with conversation. She didn’t know about my divorce, so I told her. We both ended up using those tissues. I left when her youngest daughter would be coming home from preschool, because I knew her daughter would then be her distraction. But we bonded. We both now had two deceased parents. And I was able to comfort her knowing exactly how she felt. And she appreciated speaking with someone who not only lost both of her parents, but who was going through now an additional trauma. She said to me, “When you think that life can’t get any worse, it really can.” I nodded as she scooped her daughter up and hugged her close.

I spoke to my attorney as I walked home from paying my Shiva call. I began to cry even relating the story of my son to her. Attorneys can be stoic, but she is a Mom with a daughter who is my son’s age, so she instead consoled me and said she would take care of the wording when she let my husband’s attorney know that the meeting would be canceled. I thanked her profusely.

So for now, the clock has stopped with my divorce. I am not continuing to pursue it until I get a decent reason why my son will have to be traumatized and suffer. I’ve suffered enough. There is no reason he should have to suffer needlessly too.

Addendum:  In my blog from last week, I failed to provide contact information for the Motherhood Later Meet-Up speaker, Lisa Levine-Bernstein, MSN, RN, FNP. Lisa’s contact information is e-mail: or by phone at (516) 423 - 9918.

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Blogger Unknown said...

I don't understand how child support is deductible to the payer. I have been paying child support for four years and never claimed a deduction for it. Can you please let me know how this can be? Thank you very much.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Cara Meyers said...

Since I am not a tax or financial adviser, I would direct you to someone who is. The divorce laws have changed drastically this year, so this may be one of the changes. I just kept researching and coming up with the same information on the internet. Also, divorce laws vary greatly from state to state. To be on the safe side, check with someone with specific knowledge regarding child support payments and the laws as they apply to your state.

5:37 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I had canceled my four way many times before sitting down to it. It's not easy, I know that but if you want to talk again I am around to help you and give you whatever advice I can. If you would like to look at a copy of my stipulation of settlement agreement that is fine as well just let me know. Thinking about you and I am around if you want to talk.

4:49 AM  

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