Yes we both have lawyers but she suggested that we work up something "together" before we go through the lawyers. The theory was if we were in basic agreement then we could have our lawyers draw up the final papers and we avoid going to trial which may not be scheduled until next year. We would save time and money.
Sounded logical at the time, please don't beat me up too badly. I was done. I just want my half so I can start over - I don't want my life on hold for the rest of this year. Now I know where I stand and I have some thinking to do.
I am asked to sign away my parenting rights without a fight. But what fight? Who am I kidding: I am a man, I moved out, this is the South, mothers rule. A guy I know got a D here and he said he felt like a steer in a Chicago slaughterhouse when he got to court. He lost. No, she does not need to prove I am a felon or such - I must prove SHE is to win any concessions. Sad but true, even though my lawyer talks tough.
There is no mediation requirement here and it is seldom used. Lawyers are a powerful lobby here; more money to be had going to trials rather than mediation. And that is another reason you wait 18 months for a trial.
I am only emotional here. Believe me. No reaction to her: I did not even comment to her about her reply. Actually I am not angry - just sad and a bit frustrated. I just want to live again.