Hello! I haven't been here in a really long time. I was searching the internet for helpful divorce info and found other sites that were lame, poorly written, or just questions with no answers...and thought hey, DB is way better than this! So I came back. Here is what's new (finally something is new).

Tomorrow morning is our first meeting with a financial mediator. I have collected every scrap of financial info possible into a binder, scoured it thoroughly so I know EXACTLY what I spend and why, uploaded my and H's draft spending plans into the family law software, and so we'll sit down and start looking together at what we have and how we'll divide it.

I'm prepared for it to be uncomfortable, or maybe it won't, but I really want to just get this thing done and move on. Whatever I have to live on, I just want to know what it is and then go live on it. I even shopped a little for houses over the weekend so I know what I can do if I can't afford to stay in my house. I have a lot of choices and that makes me feel confident for my future.

The big question for me is on child support. I ran numbers in two websites and got two different results with about $500/mo difference between them. I know what H thinks it should be, and that's the higher of the two numbers.

I finally did the math and found that if child support is about equal to our mortgage, and for 3 years he's been paying the mortgage in lieu of it, and half-owning the house...then he's been shorting me half the mortgage for three years.

If my numbers are right, then correcting them will fix my going-in-the-red problem so I'll stop burning through my savings.

These details have been occupying part of my headspace for a few weeks now, and I'm anxious to get around a table and start ironing out some agreement.

My goal is to negotiate the financial part with the financial advisor, then take it to our lawyers for the rest of the agreement. He hasn't asked for any child custody, we haven't got any property to speak of other than the house, so support and dividing the financial assets is really all we have to argue about. I really hope our meeting goes well and makes some progress.

H has been pretty good. He's been the one providing a car to S17 and soon to S15; if it were up to me they'd be sharing my minivan with me. He stays at the house when I work out of town, and in April I asked him to start staying one Saturday a month so I could have some respite I could plan on; that's been great. I was such a ball of stress that I was not being a really great mom.

Since my last post, my mom's been diagnosed with end-stage dementia, spent several weeks in the hospital and rehab needing around the clock care from my dad or me or my siblings, and finally moved to a memory-care unit which took a lot of burden off family. I try to go visit my dad and her as much as I can. He pretty much spends all his time with her except to sleep and a few hours a day when he pays an aide to sit with her. She's physically healthy at least, and her care unit is great. It's always interesting visiting there.

My kids are doing pretty well. S17 signed himself up for the SAT and took himself and a friend on a college visit last weekend, so I'm encouraged and proud of him for taking initiative. He's taking early dismissal and working a lot at his new job...Domino's. I buy pizza at least once a week now. S15 is off to a fair start for the school year, and he's back to picking sores all over his hands and arms, but he's very happy when he's online, and he's spent a few visits with a girl he met online. H and I have both met her and I met her mom and dad when I dropped him off at her house. She's only 45 minutes away. I know what he'll be doing when he gets his license...

I'm working a second little job to help make ends meet, walking dogs.

In all, things are good. I could complain about a few things H has said or done, but don't feel like it. I'm sure he could complain about me too. We don't have to like each other.

So now I'm going to go read up on all the things I've been missing around here. I hope if you're reading this, that you are doing well too.

Adinva 51, S20, S18
M24 total
6/15/11-12/1/12 From IDLY to H moving out
9/15/15-3/7/17 From negotiating SA to final D at age 50
5/8/17-now: New relationship with an old friend
Happiness is a warm puppy.