It took no time at all to navigate through the morning traffic to get to court this morning. I was early. Waiting is always the most painful part of a stressful situation. I sat in the car and waited, to distracted to read. Friends texted and called, the thought that people cared made me cry, how silly is that?
Getting into the court building was like entering an airport, bag searches and metal detectors, queues. The man in front of me kept fishing things from his pockets, going through the metal detector, setting it off and then emptying more things from various pieces of attire. I wondered what he didn't understand about 'emptying pockets' in the first place. Eventually he was relieved of a small pen knife which he had to leave behind the security barrier. At least being a spectator had taken my mind off the proceedings. As I ascended the marble stairs I looked back to see Husband waiting in the queue for security.
We never intended to go to court. We had done all we could to avoid it in fact. We had been brought to court today by a judge who wouldn't sign our consent order.
In September we agreed terms, not equal, but almost. I wanted it over and wasn't prepared to spend more money and time quibbling through the courts. The solicitors drew up the agreement and sent it to the judge to approve. He sent it back saying it was not a fair split, no pension rights. Twice we returned it, assuring the judge it was what we wanted. During this time, months of it, my lease was getting close to the end of it's time. It became more urgent to get a settlement.
In the court room today the judge provided no preamble. As soon as we were seated he proclaimed that he was not going to pass the order. I put my head in my hands, Husband looked pale. The judge repeated this several times, both solicitors trying to say that we were all in agreement but no, he was not here' to rubber stamp' the order we had agreed on.
I was waiting for him to speak to me. He did not. All of a sudden I could hold back no more. Don't ask me what I said, I can't remember now, but it was heartfelt, said through tears and said with conviction. We had agreed, nothing would change my mind. Whatever I said, it convinced him. He signed it, we were free. Almost.
Fifteen minutes in court, seemed like a lifetime. As we left the room the whole thing seemed very surreal. I turned to husband and we hugged. We had both suffered the stress and tension. He turns 60 next year, his pensions will ensure he can have a reasonable lifestyle while his children grow up. It is important, to us both.
'I was going to text you this morning' He said in my ear 'Parsnip' I laughed, and cried together. It was a joke, from long ago, that's the trouble with knowing the same person for a long time. We have so much history.
'You ok?' I ask
'Need a drink' he says.
Our solicitors look on amused. You'd probably not have guessed, as an outsider, that we had just ended our marriage, the decree absolute only weeks away...