Sheila's Story - Post Divorce

Sheila Post Divorce Story

My divorce happened when I was nearing my fifties.

The kids were grown up and away from home and life was changing for me with the ‘empty nest’ situation. Then my businessman husband, who had always insisted I stay home and be a full time wife and mother, decided he wanted a divorce.

The saying goes that wives are always the last ones to know – and it’s correct because I didn’t see it coming. Looking back much later, I suppose I did notice little tell tale and warning signs. However, that was after I’d calmed down and accepted the divorce was inevitable. My family told me to see Divorce Attorneys but I think I was taking an emotional beating at the time. I felt that nobody could help me, so I ignored the advice – and paid for it dearly I later realised.

My husband had always been the man of the family and he’d taken care of all the business and made all the important decisions since the day we got married. I had been the meek and obedient ‘Stepford Wife’; always caring for the home and the children. I’d been the soccer and tennis Mom; the cook; the nurse; the homemaker; and the hostess who entertained my husband’s business people, and always remained in a supportive role.

In other words, I’d been the old fashioned wife who looked after everyone but myself and hadn’t a clue how to take care of my life on my own. It was the end of my world as I knew it; and it seemed my life support was being terminated.

There I was, nearly fifty and about to be cut loose and cast off from my moorings like a ship drifting out to sea. I couldn’t come to terms with that and I gave up on myself. I was depressed and felt inadequate. My emotions were out of control and I felt helpless. So I didn’t try to help myself; I just made an effort to hold it all together until the divorce was over. Again my friends tried to get me to go to Divorce Attorneys so I didn’t sign away any of my rights, but I ignored them because I didn’t care anymore.

My husband was determined to ‘cast me off’ and offered me a reasonable monthly amount of Spousal Maintenance. I was in such a state of shock that I signed all the papers and agreed to things that I didn’t fully understand and the divorce went through. Give him his due, my husband then proceeded to pay that maintenance with his usual precise regularity. While I tried to pick up the pieces and salvage what was left of me.

Eventually, though it took me a very long time, I made a new life for myself. I found hobbies and joined Woman’s Clubs and, of course, my adult children visited on occasions. More than ten years went by in this way and slowly I found peace and discovered who I really am and what I wanted for myself.

Then I was confronted with another shock. My Ex had moved across the world to another country and had decided to stop the spousal maintenance payments. He had the notion that he could offer me a lump sum of money if I would sign away my rights to the Maintenance payments. Trouble is, the lump sum sounded big, but when I worked it out, it really wasn’t a realistic figure.

This triggered emotions that I had buried a long time ago. Confused and miserable about being ‘shut out’ again, I swallowed all my pride and finally decided to seek legal advice. A friend of mine encouraged me to see Martin Vermaak Attorneys. They are Specialist Divorce and Family Law Attorneys who handled post divorce matters for him in a very successful way. I made the appointment and was surprised to find them charming, helpful, resourceful and certainly not judgemental. Now I don’t know what stopped me from seeing Divorce Attorneys all those years ago prior to my divorce.

Martin Vermaak Attorneys understood my situation. They suggested different ways of dealing with my Ex’s offer and even talked me through all the details and implications of each of the options. Further, they advised me of the better choice but it was my decision to make. I don’t think I’ve ever felt quite so informed and yet so much in control of my life before. I took their advice and they contacted my Ex on my behalf.

My Ex was shocked that instead of agreeing to his proposal, I’d instructed Attorneys. However, he still thought he could push them around and get his own way. Then he realised that they were Specialist Divorce Attorneys who were used to dealing with people who thought like him. They didn’t tolerate his high handed manner or threatening ways. Correspondence was exchanged between my Divorce Attorneys and my Ex at the other side of the world and eventually my Ex must have realised that he was well out of his depth.

The result of these negotiations is payment of a huge settlement in a lump sum which will mean that I can invest some of it and still lead my normal life without having financial worries. My real regret is that I didn’t seek the advice of Specialist Divorce and Family Law Attorneys sooner. My Attorneys are still in contact with my Ex and are determined to make me even more financially stable!