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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

Past, Meet Present

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Well, that was weird.

The letter was on the top of the stack in the mailbox. It was a thick envelope, formal looking. Through the window, I read my old name. My old married name. And under it, the name of my ex-husband. Both printed above my current address where I live with new name and my now husband.

Past, meet present.

My stomach dropped as I hurried into the house. I have been conditioned that any serious-looking mail with my ex-husband’s name on it is a sign of impending peril. Usually to my wallet.

I sat down on the living room floor and hurriedly opened the envelope while my pup tried to get my attention and my husband kissed the top of my head.

I had to read the cover letter a few times to understand what it was about.

Basically, there is a chance that I may receive some money from a lawsuit against my former mortgage holder because of how they dealt with foreclosures. I ended up with a foreclosure in my name because of the following:

  1. My ex embezzled marital funds for years, leaving me in the negative.
  2. He abandoned me and I was unable to pay for the house on my salary (especially with the parting gift of debt).
  3. He refused (through the lawyers; I never spoke with him again) to sell the house.
  4. In court, he stated he wanted the house. The judge agreed.
  5. He refused to refinance the mortgage in his name only (as ordered by the courts).
  6. He didn’t pay the mortgage.

Cue foreclosure.

I read the document over and over again, looking for a way that sending in a request for my portion of the funds could backfire. I couldn’t find one.

Technically, both holders of the former mortgage were supposed to sign, except in the case of death.

He might be dead for all I know. Or in prison. Or France. Or living in the next neighborhood over.

I put a note by his name – “Divorced due to abandonment in 2010. I have no knowledge about his current status.” I held back from adding, “And please don’t let me know if you find him.”

I may get nothing. I may have to split the check with my ex husband. Or, I may get back just a little bit of what was stolen from me.

Not bad for a trip to the mailbox.

But weird.

Goodbye past. I’m sticking with the present.

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