Pippi knew her marriage wasn’t working and she also knew that if she were to leave, she’d have to be capable of supporting herself. As a stay-at-home-mother, she wasn’t able to leave right away. She needed a plan. When she told her ex she wasn’t going to manage his medical practice and finances any longer, he wasn’t happy but she was on her way. Here’s Pippi:
I stayed home with my second child for a year and a half. Then I started as a part-time administrative assistant and then went full-time. That job didn’t pay enough and I knew if I wanted to be able to leave my marriage, I would need to earn more money so I switched positions again and became an executive assistant. That gave me the income and the benefits.
Always in the back of my mind I was kind of planning how I would leave. I never thought I would actually leave but I was always a driven person.
When I did leave it was on my own. I left my marriage without anything. Much to my parents’ and friends’ dismay, there was no legal involvement. I was really thinking in the moment about the simplest way to get out of the marriage. It was so hard for me to tell him I was unhappy, it was easiest for me to just say, “I’m not going to seek alimony, I’m not going to seek child support. You draw up an agreement, I’ll sign it and that’ll be end of it.”
He wrote up an agreement which we both had notarized which basically outlined that I would not seek alimony from him. There’s no child support. We do have an agreement that the boys are with me every other night and every other weekend and he pays for the boys after school activities. Typically in terms of food and clothing, when they’re with me, I pay for them. He will pay for the boys’ college as he can. But there were so many things I didn’t really think about.
Looking back, if I had the strength or the courage to hire an attorney, and again, I didn’t have the money, I probably would have sought some type of legal counsel, even if it was just to guide me through what my rights were.
There are a few men bloggers that I follow and they’ve been left by their wives. Sometimes I feel bad, almost guilty about leaving my husband, when I read how unhappy they are, how devastated they are but a big realization for me is that this is my life and it’s the only life I have. I can’t live it for my ex-husband to be happy because I’m not happy. I’m not going to be happy on the outside and be miserable on the inside just so my ex-husband can be happy.
The Divorce Coach Says
Initially, it’s hard to comprehend how Pippi could walk away and not seek legal advice but I do understand why she did. She needed out, she’d been working on it for a long time, her mind was made up and she needed out now. If you know your ex is going to fight you, sometimes it’s just easier to just walk away. Hopefully, Pippi’s ex will do the right thing by the children.
Pippi impressed me with her determination – she knew what her goal was, knew what she needed to do to meet that goal and got on and did it. She may have had a hard time speaking up for herself but in the long run she was looking out for herself. I imagine there are any number of women who are in the same position as Pippi was but who don’t have the strength, the courage or the focus to find their way out.
If you’re reading this and are just thinking about divorce or are in the early stages of divorce, I encourage you to find out your legal rights. It doesn’t mean you have to push for everything – you can make a decision to settle for less but at least make it an informed decision. If you’re concerned about not having money to pay for an attorney, the first consultation I had, was free of charge. So it’s worth asking if a free consultation is available and then you can use that to talk about how attorney’s fees are covered.
To find an attorney, I would ask for recommendations from friends and other professionals with whom you work. Here are some tips on selecting an attorney.