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Friday, December 28, 2012

Moving Through Christmas -

The trial that was supposed to happen, never did. Apparently, the lawyers came up with a plan and whether I agreed to it or not, didn't really matter. It was a done deal. Brent came up with four thousand dollars and the remainder would arrive the following Monday. However, it finally arrived the following Friday (12/14/2012) at my attorney's office.

The secretary called and told me it just arrived, but she had to leave and would mail the checks and needed to know when I could make a payment. This is where the story gets interesting. Brent was ordered to pay my attorney $5k, which he did. The remainder of the balance I would be responsible for. Lacy, the secretary, told me it was a little over $3k. When I heard that amount, it was obvious that it upset me. Here it was Christmas, I have three children to buy for, and my parents have been picking up the bill when I couldn't afford it.

Over the weekend, I worked everything out to where I could get the check, put it in the bank, and pay my attorney off, and move on with my life. But, that's not how it went. On the 20th, I sent a message stating that I have not received the checks ... here's the following correspondence via email:

Him: Not until we can sit down and discuss my fee.

Me: I understand that you want and need to be paid. However, considering I never signed a contract - I don't know what you get paid. Also, keep in mind that I've only seen one statement and that was the one you put in front of me during trial. So, I would think its only fair that I receive one immediately so that I know what I owe.
I was hoping that after speaking with Lacy Friday, you were going to send me a copy. I never received that nor the check. Please keep in mind that as a single mother, I do not have that kind of money laying around. Therefore, I was waiting on the check so I could get it to the bank so it would clear before I met with you over the weekend.
Also, I personally never agreed to the latest order, if I remember correctly, it was you not wanting to get up that early. I would have never put that much trust into a crack head. I have three children who depend on me. I'm trying to get my life back in order and give back my parents the money that I borrowed when Brent didn't pay child support. They are on a fixed income and can't afford to keep dishing out. Besides that, Christmas being five days away. I was depending on that money to purchase their gifts. You saw my financial records - I have nothing. But, I made arrangements to pay you in full and call it a day. It saddens me to think you are going to dangle these checks now like carrots. I really thought we were better than that.
Please send me a detailed billing, then we can meet at my bank to deposit the checks since both signatures are required. I will authorize my bank to setup a bank draft to your account as soon as the checks are cleared. This meeting needs to be mutually agreed upon with no charges incurred. After this issue is settled, we can suspend any communication with the other party unless cleared by myself. After the New Year, we need to discuss your hourly and court appearance rates for future business.
Thank you for your support and guidance during such a trying time in my children and my life.
Him: You are misconstruing everything. I wanted to meet with you asap BECAUSE of Christmas and BECAUSE I am willing to accept substantially less the the total bill. But after your accusations, after I worked for you for months for nothing, I am nothing short of amazed by your tone. I have been trying to arrange a meeting since before my surgery on Dec 11.
Me: I'm not asking for a hand out, and never have. I have been straight forward with you from the get go and appreciate what you did. Just send me the statement and let's put it behind us. As far as the tone, I could say the same thing about you.
As you know I've only worked for this company since October. On several occasions I had to ask off for court appearances, as well as for sick children (who has been canceled from Brent's insurance). I come in at 6am and never really know what time I get off - balancing that with going to school full time and taking care of my children, my schedule is very tight. That's the best I can offer is meeting on the weekend. I can't afford to lose this job, and I can't afford any more debt.
Him: When can we meet this weekend?
Me: My bank closes at noon on Saturday's.
Him: Then we meet 10 am Sat or this evening?
Me: 10am at the bank? I still haven't received a statement?
Him: Please confirm when you would like to meet.
Me: I can't confirm. At this point, it will have to be after the new year. All 3 kids have been in and out of the hospital and now I have to figure out a way to make Christmas happen for them. That's my priority! Even if I met with you today, it would be pointless because the check, even though it's a cashier check, still takes at least one business day to clear.
Actually, I'm still confused on why we even have to meet. I was in your office on 12/4 collecting my files, why wasn't this discussed then?? I'm going to pay you, all I'm asking for is a detailed summary since I have NEVER seen one. I don't know what the big deal is. So, if you want to hold the checks until then - so be it. I can't deal with it now. There's too much going on!!! Its the same story with my personal belongings from Brent, the children being insured, and whatever else. The whole system is a joke!
Merry Christmas!
Him: You are making this far more difficult and dramatic than is necessary. The check is drawn on a local Credit union. We have verified the funds are there. They are open until 6. When can you meet me there?  Lacy will be emailing bill w/in the next half hour.
[In the meantime, the hospital calls me back to tell me Casie's culture grew something and came back positive for strep. All three children were running extremely high temperatures, and it was round two at the hospital with Marissa who then tested positive for RSV. I was terrified to say the least since the only thing I really knew about it was that my brother-in-law's grandson died from it. Not to mention, picking up presciptions was a blast since Brent canceled the children's insurance.]
Next email was the first statement I saw .... totaling in at $4,649.26. The first thing I saw after skimming over it was a Certified Mail Fee for $92.00. Really?!? My mind at this point was literally all over the place.
Me: Wow! That's cute! That's quite a jump from the $3k I was told last Friday!! Nice!
Him: Wow! Last Friday I had not added on fees incurred since the end of July and wasn't going to. That's why I wanted to sit down and talk. But you chose this route instead. It is just sad.
I wanted to work out something fair to both of us.
[I'm thinking 'if he wanted to do that, then why didn't he just do it instead of add more stress to an already stressful situation'.]
Do you want to meet at 5/3 tomorrow am? I need to know so I can fetch the check from office
[These messages came at different times, but I was at the children's hospital at the time and chose not to deal with it then.]
OK. It is 8:15 on Friday evening. I am about to go to bed. I have heard nothing from you about getting your money to you in time for Christmas. I will be turning phone off. However if you leave me a message, email, text or phone I will get in the am in time to pick up check and meet you at 5/3.
Me: Marissa just got out of Kosair w/ RSV, the other 2 have strep among other things. The hospital wants us to be at the pediatrician in the morning. Their Saturday hours are 9am-noon. I won't know until I talk to them in the morning.
That was it .... never heard back - today is the 28th, still no checks, no personal belongings, and the children still have no insurance.
My kiddos still aren't 100%, but they are on the road to recovery. They were really bummed about missing Christmas parties at school and poor Casie wasn't able to be in the program either. They don't seem to ask about their Dad or even talk about him much for that matter. His mom sent them a Christmas card and they talked to her for a bit. She asked them if she could speak to me and they handed me the phone. It's been a long time since that happened, but she was nice and I reiterated the fact that her and her Michigan family are more then welcome to keep in contact with my kids if they choose to.
Christmas was interesting to say the least - a chair crashed while someone was sitting in it, the front porch caught on fire, Santa came for a visit w/ a feminine voice, you never know who's walking through the door next, but all in all, it was good because it was spent with family and friends. And most importantly, my children were happy!
All I know is 2013 HAS to be my year ... (smile)
We will see what turns out, in the meantime, enjoy the good people in your life. God Bless and Much Love!

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