If you ever got blindsided by getting divorce papers, this may be something you can relate to. If you haven’t, here’s some insight into what it is like for those that do experience it.
What It’s like to get served with unexpected divorce papers.
It’s a typical work day in Redmond, WA, for you. But, this day you are feeling pretty good. You have a certain spring to your step. Last night, you finally sat down with Anne, your wife. You had a good conversation with her. It reinvigorated you. You guys agreed to find a babysitter tonight so you can actually have a dinner conversation with her and who knows what else might happen tonight. You are feeling good about taking on your day. You know today is going to be a great day. After waking up, you brush your teeth and then hop in the shower. It doesn’t take long for you to get your clothes on. Anne, your wife, tells you that she loves you and she will see you after you get off tonight. Anne reminds you to pick up your prescription from the pharmacy on your way home as she hands you your cup of coffee. You walk out the door with a smile on your way to work.
The commute to work is like any other day. You get into your car, start the ignition, and start driving. You can almost do this on autopilot. Brent told you to try the 520 this morning so you do. He said that you’d be able to shave 10 minutes off your commute to Seattle by not taking I-90. It turns out Brent was right.
After parking the car, Dan runs by and reminds you of the 10 AM meeting that you have with the whole team. This is the meeting you’ve been waiting for. You’ve spent the last six months preparing for this day. This is the day you present to the board. Making a note of that time, you reach your desk, sit down, and start responding to all of the emails you have waiting for you. Darlene comes by and tells you that the meeting has been pushed back to 4 PM. That’s good because you could use the extra time. You want a little more polishing on your briefing so you put on a great presentation. After all, the board will be there. This is your shot to make it big.
Lunch rolls around and you decide to get some fresh air. You head out to your car and run to the deli to get something to eat. Looking at your iPhone, it seems strange that Anne hasn’t texted you at all today. No I Love Yous. Nothing. You text your wife and ask her how her day is going. You get no response. She usually responds fairly quickly so that seems odd. After lunch you head back to the office. The big meeting is now 3 hours a way so your starting to feel some anxiety about it. This could make or break your career, and you don’t want to do a bad job. As you think about giving the presentation, your heart starts racing. At 3 PM, you finally get a text from your wife. Anne texts you that she just realized she left her purse at the Starbucks by your office and wanted to know if you could go grab it. It won’t take you more than 15 minutes, so you text back, “Of Course”. Once you get to Starbucks, a large bald headed man with a Mariner’s baseball hat approaches you and asks you if you are “Bob Jones”. Startled by the question, you answer yes. He then grabs a thick manilla envelope from his binder and throws it at you. The envelope falls to the floor while the large man walks away saying, “You’ve just been served. Have a nice day.”
Your first thought is, “What the hell is this all about?” So you grab the envelope and open it up. Inside the envelope are divorce papers. That’s right, Anne is divorcing you. You feel like you’ve just been slammed against the wall. Your heart starts pounding. Your instinct is to text Anne and ask her what is this all about? Surely this has to be a mistake. But, before you can even pick up the iPhone, your iPhone starts buzzing. It’s a text from Anne. It says, “I left some clothes for you at your office.” As you review the documents you notice one labeled, “King County Superior Court in and for the State of Washington, Ex Parte Restraining Order/Order to Show Cause”. That’s when it hits you. You can’t even go into your own home. As you read the documents you find that it does more than just restrain you from going into your home. You can’t even see your own kids. What’ about Kyle’s baseball game on Saturday? I can’t go to that either? That’s when you start to panic. “What am I going to do?”, you wonder. You don’t understand it completely but it seems like there is a court date coming up? You’re not sure.
Crap, looking at your watch you see it’s 3:55 PM. You’ve got your presentation in five minutes. You run back to the office. Once you reach the main conference room, you see a sign on the door that says it has been moved to the other side of the complex. That’s 10 minutes away. You start walking as fast at you can to the meeting. You’re in full panic mode but you keep telling yourself to focus on getting to the meeting, but it doesn’t work. Your mind will not stop racing. So many emotions are bubbling up. How could this happen? Why didn’t I know? Just this morning she told you that she loved you! Where did we go wrong? Once you get to meeting, it’s 4:15 PM. Everyone is wondering where you are. You look like a disaster and you know the meeting isn’t going to go well. Even as you walk into the meeting to give the presentation, you can’t stop thinking about anything but those divorce papers.
If you think this is going to happen to you or if that story sounds familiar….
You’re about to walk into a whole new world. If you’ve been served with divorce papers, don’t go it alone. Get legal help. Pick up the phone and call 206-633-2015 to schedule a consultation with a seasoned Seattle family law attorney. You need the assistance of someone that has been through this process to help you manage both the process itself and help you understand the emotions.