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heartlikealion

Navigating work/personal life boundaries

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10 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

And so many places are desperate for teachers.  OK public schools issued over 3000 emergency certificates this year.  

None of ds’ teachers showed up on the license database. Our school district is one of the poorest and offering the most pay but no one wants to work here. I heard subbing wasn’t a great experience. I’d try that before jumping into more. 

I didn’t score well on the ACT so in addition to the praxis I’d need to take another test. I’ve really looked into this before and it just wasn’t a strong enough calling. The people from Teach for America never extend their contracts here. They do their two years and get out. Two went to my church. 

Edited by heartlikealion

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16 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

None of ds’ teachers showed up on the license database. Our school district is one of the poorest and offering the most pay but no one wants to work here. I heard subbing wasn’t a great experience. I’d try that before jumping into more. 

I didn’t score well on the ACT so in addition to the praxis I’d need to take another test. I’ve really looked into this before and it just wasn’t a strong enough calling. The people from Teach for America never extend their contracts here. They do their two years and get out. Two went to my church. 

 

Teach from America candidates generally became teachers so they could go back to their hometowns and teach.  Do not take that as a sign that it's awful.  Instead think about the benefits- teachers generally make great benefits, retirement, they get many of the same days off the kids get, there's always other women to make supportive friends with, most of which are parents and can get you connections around the area re the best day cares (assuming the school doesn't have discounted or free before & after school programs).  Additionally they generally pay for you to get a graduate degree with a guaranteed raise, and with 15 years of experience and a graduate degree you could work in administration or even at a community college.

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For the divorce consult- be it Shark or someone else, I agree with PP who say you basically just want a statement of why you are considering divorce. Then I would make the rest of the time spent almost completely on your questions. Do you think I am eligible for alimony or spousal maintenance? He makes X, what would that ballpark amount be? How would custody work? If you expect that he will pay child support, what would that be? Here is our debt load. Do you think that it is reasonable for him to be assigned more than 50% of the debt as he has made XYZ financial decisions and has put his school on the credit card? What about the cars? I am driving a car in his name, and am concerned he will report it stolen, what can we do about that? Will I be able to move for a job if needed? Is there a typical geographic limit? Is there anyway to put in constraints about who he is allowed to leave the kids with? How long does this take? What if he contests it? Can he be asked to contribute towards the kids' college? What about covering them on his insurance through college? Can he be required to keep them on his health insurance ? Can he be required to carry life insurance with the kids as beneficiaries? Can I record our phone calls (if you anticipate him being abusive on the phone) without telling him?  etc. etc. 

 I wouldn't waste time on your reasons beyond something like, "I am thinking of filing for divorce, but I have a lot of questions as I'm an unemployed SAHM, and he has some control issues, I'd like to see what I'm realistically looking at here....."  until they ask for more clarification or specific points. And they will ask questions to get a gauge on things like if you can look for more than a 50/50 split on assets, or using maybe an infidelity accusation, or the psychological abuse. I think it is good you line all of it out for yourself, but as it's a consult I would keep it as much as possible about just asking questions. This is going to be your only chance really. I mean, you can ask more, but figure that for every email you send with quetions you are getting charged a minimum of a .25 hour- it might come from your flat fee, or from your retainer, but either way you're paying for it.

My attorney friends call Family Law "Jerry Springer Law" because of all the drama. You will get more from your $300 consult if you use it to only ask questions, and save the reasoning for a therapist or here or your friends. But you will get a lot from what and how your questions are answered, both for your consideration of the process, as well as your consideration for the actual attorney. 

And before I forget- I can't remember if the attorney you are calling and getting the answering machine is the $300 or someone else? But I would have a flag for an attorney during normal business hours not having a receptionist fielding most calls, whether they're in court of not, I wouldn't expect a decent firm/attorney to not have at least a receptionist or answering service. 

One last thing. If you do move out, I would advise trying to get a camera system for your new place. Be it something even just as minor as a Ring if you are in an apartment, or an Arlo set if you are in something else. I would try and set aside for that if you can. It will help if you anticipate him being difficult and verbally abusive- it will cut down the he said/she said, or heaven forbid, actually physically abusive. It will all be there. On a cloud. Proof. 

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5 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

For the divorce consult- be it Shark or someone else, I agree with PP who say you basically just want a statement of why you are considering divorce. Then I would make the rest of the time spent almost completely on your questions. Do you think I am eligible for alimony or spousal maintenance? He makes X, what would that ballpark amount be? How would custody work? If you expect that he will pay child support, what would that be? Here is our debt load. Do you think that it is reasonable for him to be assigned more than 50% of the debt as he has made XYZ financial decisions and has put his school on the credit card? What about the cars? I am driving a car in his name, and am concerned he will report it stolen, what can we do about that? Will I be able to move for a job if needed? Is there a typical geographic limit? Is there anyway to put in constraints about who he is allowed to leave the kids with? How long does this take? What if he contests it? Can he be asked to contribute towards the kids' college? What about covering them on his insurance through college? Can he be required to keep them on his health insurance ? Can he be required to carry life insurance with the kids as beneficiaries? Can I record our phone calls (if you anticipate him being abusive on the phone) without telling him?  etc. etc. 

 I wouldn't waste time on your reasons beyond something like, "I am thinking of filing for divorce, but I have a lot of questions as I'm an unemployed SAHM, and he has some control issues, I'd like to see what I'm realistically looking at here....."  until they ask for more clarification or specific points. And they will ask questions to get a gauge on things like if you can look for more than a 50/50 split on assets, or using maybe an infidelity accusation, or the psychological abuse. I think it is good you line all of it out for yourself, but as it's a consult I would keep it as much as possible about just asking questions. This is going to be your only chance really. I mean, you can ask more, but figure that for every email you send with quetions you are getting charged a minimum of a .25 hour- it might come from your flat fee, or from your retainer, but either way you're paying for it.

My attorney friends call Family Law "Jerry Springer Law" because of all the drama. You will get more from your $300 consult if you use it to only ask questions, and save the reasoning for a therapist or here or your friends. But you will get a lot from what and how your questions are answered, both for your consideration of the process, as well as your consideration for the actual attorney. 

And before I forget- I can't remember if the attorney you are calling and getting the answering machine is the $300 or someone else? But I would have a flag for an attorney during normal business hours not having a receptionist fielding most calls, whether they're in court of not, I wouldn't expect a decent firm/attorney to not have at least a receptionist or answering service. 

One last thing. If you do move out, I would advise trying to get a camera system for your new place. Be it something even just as minor as a Ring if you are in an apartment, or an Arlo set if you are in something else. I would try and set aside for that if you can. It will help if you anticipate him being difficult and verbally abusive- it will cut down the he said/she said, or heaven forbid, actually physically abusive. It will all be there. On a cloud. Proof. 

Heart, this is a great post full of great questions to ask the attorney.  

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46 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

None of ds’ teachers showed up on the license database. Our school district is one of the poorest and offering the most pay but no one wants to work here. I heard subbing wasn’t a great experience. I’d try that before jumping into more. 

I didn’t score well on the ACT so in addition to the praxis I’d need to take another test. I’ve really looked into this before and it just wasn’t a strong enough calling. The people from Teach for America never extend their contracts here. They do their two years and get out. Two went to my church. 

Will your dd go to school next year?

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Adding questions for you, and maybe for attorney. You don't to tell us, it's none of our business, but you might add to your list. You are in campus housing right? Is that reduced rent, or does he get a stipend? I would mention the housing situation. They'll see it on the questionnaire anyway, but might as well ask during the consult. 

They're likely to give you a very thick packet/questionnaire to list every thing under the sun- it's basically an audit of all your finances, and your life so if you run the credit report(s) now, go ahead and print them because you'll need the info for these questionnaires. If you can't answer them or don't have access, tell them "I don't have access" to this. Don't try to sneak some way through into his private accounts. That is frowned upon by judges. Especially once you've filed. Maybe mention during the consult that you have reason to believe there may be accounts you don't know about and that you haven't seen a paystub. Mention the wonky thing about the bank and the pay dates. Maybe make a list of all the things you DON'T know/have access to. So you have a list of things you know and have confirmed, and things you don't know and cannot confirm financially speaking. 

Group your printed out questions ahead of time so things naturally flow, as it may bring more to mind at the meeting. 

1) Custody 

2) Support- maintenance and child

3) Finances - assets and debts

4) Future- geographic limitations,  splitting college costs, child support increases (are they reviewed every X number of years)/salary reviews, overnight "guests" 

5) Misc. 

The questionnaire is going to address the issues of drugs, alcohol, abuse, etc. anyway. So I would leave the bulk of the detail providing for that. Believe me. If the attorney things they can get a jump through any of that, they most likely will pursue it. 

Google "Divorce Questionnaire" and you will get a plethora of samples. I think that is where you will best be served to lay out your "case" and all of your examples. This would be better than the consult, unless they ask. But an hour is going to fly by, so I'd be more worried about getting in as many questions as possible. Once you fill out the questionnaire after you decide who you will go with, then they will use that as a starting point and will get more info from you after that. 

Here are the top two random samples that Google found me, to give you an idea of what all you are going to be asked to disclose on the questionnaire. Google was not friendly when I added Mississippi, so I think both of these are TX. But, I doubt they will vary much in your state, This is just to give you a general picture of what they are going to ask you, and likewise if he lawyers up, what he's going to be answering as well. 

https://www.cokerlegal.com/documents/divorce_questionnaire.pdf

http://www.deerparkdivorcelawyers.com/documents/questionnaire-divorce.pdf

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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My friend that recently went through a divorce in this state answered some of that. I would maybe be asking if it varies from judge to judge, though. For example I was already told he’d owe me alimony, they split the debt, etc. She left a controlling guy but couldn’t divorce him til after she had her baby because she was pregnant. MS does not allow divorce during pregnancy. And there’s no legal separation in our state. 

I know now it’s possible to split checks but my gut is saying he doesn’t do that. To do what with it? Hide charges? Have cash? He’s always running around with the debit card. 

He occasionally gets a paper check like for travel reimbursement or bonus or maybe the night teaching. He said he’s currently lost one and it’s in the house. I’m going to tell him to ask for them to reissue it. When he does I used to take to the bank til I discovered the app with the option for mobile deposits. 

I’m waiting for an attorney assigned by the DV coalition. The voicemail box is shared with her secretary. Sometimes I get the recording and sometimes the secretary. I didn’t call today. I have never spoken to the attorney. 

As for therapy, I had another thread on that and was suggested to go to a psychologist. I don’t know if I’d go back to the one doing my ADHD testing or someone else. I am not sure how that works. I guess I could ask to continue seeing him? Or maybe you can request a psychologist via telecommunication? 

Yes, I’m contemplating having dd enroll in K in the fall. 

I could maybe just focus on me and jobs til then. It just depends on the house climate. 

Yes, my thinking was I could stay if he worked on himself but if he’s a narcissist that video said he’s not gonna change, most likely. Because he doesn’t even think there’s a problem. 

Yes true Teach for America isn’t the best example but there’s a lot of dissatisfaction. A woman moved here with her family, frowned upon using private school and was a huge public school supporter. She taught here and I saw her like 6 months ago. She was teaching in another school district and commutes. She used to reach in my school district. She was not gung ho about using the local public schools anymore. She pulled her kids and they ho to her new school district. Funny how much her opinion changed once living here. 

I don’t want to teach here. 

 

 

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I would still ask the attorney your entire list of questions, even if you've asked your friend. Assumptions will screw you when it comes to divorce, so don't make your assumptions off of someone else's experience, be in IRL there, or here, or anywhere else, would be my two cents. Verify everything you can for yourself. It cannot hurt. 

If you are calling a free/reduced fee attorney, then the expectations may be different on availability, I would imagine. I wasn't sure if this was the Shark or not. On the other hand, I would expect a lot from a $300 an hour attorney in MS including having a live person to speak to as far as messages, fwiw. $300 an hour isn't really a cut rate lawyer, even in a metropolitan area so set your expectations accordingly. 

I don't know if this is good advice or not......just something to think about. But you can use his income to qualify for credit or a loan basis for yourself. Since you have a reasonable expectation of access to that money. You could check and see at a local credit union about a personal loan. For you. For an attorney. The interest rate is going to be lower than a credit card. (Although people have put lawyers on those too I'm sure at some point). And once you get a bead on a job and know you can make the payment.....well just another option. 

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4 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

 

I know now it’s possible to split checks but my gut is saying he doesn’t do that. To do what with it? Hide charges? Have cash? He’s always running around with the debit card. 

 

 

 

The purpose would be to attempt to hide assets from you and the courts. If he stashes money in an account you don’t have ownership of it makes it harder to find the money and to claim a portion of it in a divorce proceeding. Additionally, he can use a different account to support a lifestyle that he doesn’t want you to know about - everything from a mistress to drug/alcohol use. I’m not saying he is doing any of this, but it is the type of thing possible with a separate account. That’s why you need a pay stub. I would think a judge would compel him to produce one, but I’m not familiar with filing & divorce settlement requirements.

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1 minute ago, TechWife said:

The purpose would be to attempt to hide assets from you and the courts. If he stashes money in an account you don’t have ownership of it makes it harder to find the money and to claim a portion of it in a divorce proceeding. Additionally, he can use a different account to support a lifestyle that he doesn’t want you to know about - everything from a mistress to drug/alcohol use. I’m not saying he is doing any of this, but it is the type of thing possible with a separate account. That’s why you need a pay stub. I would think a judge would compel him to produce one, but I’m not familiar with filing & divorce settlement requirements.

I had a boss who started having an affair with another married coworker. He was a co-owner of the company and started skimming off portions of his bonuses and paychecks to a separate account and then slowly would cash it out and he hid the cash in his attic and various places. The wife was clueless on the finances and had been financially irresponsible herself at one point, so he'd taken over everything. He then gave his sister the cash to buy a house, and then he filed for divorce from his wife. He "rented" the house from his sister to move into with his new lover. And it wasn't counted in the assets. When the divorce was finalized he had himself a brand new house. Voila. It was '"gifted" from his sister. The PI, who his wife's very wealthy family hired to investigate and document the affair, caught most of it but they didn't catch the house. Meanwhile we at the office knew the whole time because he bragged, but no one asked us. Anyway, that's an extreme case, but yes! That is how one hides money and assets. On a side note, this guy was excellent with money, highly motivated, and devious, which doesn't quite seem to sum up OP's dh. But it was pretty amazing in the worst way. Until seeing that whole thing unfold I honestly had no idea the level of deviousness people could go to on the money front. Or to get a divorce. Either one. 

And yes, he'll eventually have to cough up all the financials. It just may take a while. And skimming it obviously very possible because if any thought whatsoever is put into it, so the financials may show things, but not necessarily where they are going. "I needed cash to pay the baby sitter."  " I needed cash to buy coffee for the team at work" etc. etc. 

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Thank you, ladies. Lots of useful info in this thread. 

I was gone most of today. I met up with my aunt & uncle that are visiting from out of state. They both used to do taxes. Both were accountants. I only knew about one. One taught a financial class and said she cut up credit cards lol She told me about some group but said yeah, your Dh has to want to change. They paid for our lunch 🙂 

Tomorrow I’ll see what I can get done but I feel swamped. Dh says he’s using the computer again. I am going to do the Freedom program on my junky mac but the resumé has to be done on dh’s machine. 

When Dh drew up that old budget it had $300 in the groceries category. Not nearly enough. He says our current is $400 but I haven’t tracked it closely enough to see if we’re meeting that so I’ll do that this month. I’ll spend less next week since I stocked up on meats. Dh’s friend told him about the job I’m applying to... and today asked Dh to be his personal reference. I am not using the guy as one of mine but sometimes I do because we worked together at a local newspaper. 

 

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Do you have any support at your church? I haven't read your other thread you mentioned so apologies if it's a repetitive question. But it would be awesome if you had anyone, like an older woman to be a mentor at your church to lean on during this. Whether you are navigating divorce or trying to stick it out with an immature husband. 

Feeling swamped and overwhelmed is 100% normal I think with where you are at. Hugs. I really loved @fairfarmhand's post earlier. Be kind to yourself. You are trying to better a bad situation. You are being proactive. You aren't sitting and wallowing. That is good. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, but it's okay to pause and catch your balance and figure out what you want to do. I really do applaud you for that. 

Edited by Æthelthryth the Texan
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50 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I would still ask the attorney your entire list of questions, even if you've asked your friend. Assumptions will screw you when it comes to divorce, so don't make your assumptions off of someone else's experience, be in IRL there, or here, or anywhere else, would be my two cents. Verify everything you can for yourself. It cannot hurt. 

If you are calling a free/reduced fee attorney, then the expectations may be different on availability, I would imagine. I wasn't sure if this was the Shark or not. On the other hand, I would expect a lot from a $300 an hour attorney in MS including having a live person to speak to as far as messages, fwiw. $300 an hour isn't really a cut rate lawyer, even in a metropolitan area so set your expectations accordingly. 

I don't know if this is good advice or not......just something to think about. But you can use his income to qualify for credit or a loan basis for yourself. Since you have a reasonable expectation of access to that money. You could check and see at a local credit union about a personal loan. For you. For an attorney. The interest rate is going to be lower than a credit card. (Although people have put lawyers on those too I'm sure at some point). And once you get a bead on a job and know you can make the payment.....well just another option. 

 

FWIW my brother practices law as a solo practitioner in a big city and is “known” in his subpractice field — he doesn’t usually use a receptionist.  

Several of the lawyers I dealt with recently related to my son’s bio father’s death also didn’t have receptionists.  

I would expect $300 per hour for divorce to be high average nationwide, and presumably especially for Mississippi where presumably COL is relatively low.  But I am not having any red flag warning waving in my mind about no receptionist.

 I would be concerned about thinking that one is pleasantly chatting on phone or email and not realizing it is being charged at $30 for every 6 minutes. 

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I have thought about confiding in a religious sister I like. We’re working together to plan a meal for the ICE resource center. 

So just for some perspective, to those thinking I’m petty. I have less than $6 in our savings account right now and during the months of April & May over $1000 was moved from savings to checking. That’s not including the shift of money to cover whatever we owed after filing taxes. Ds’ folder keeps getting smaller and smaller. It has less than $2 in it. I have no idea if/when Dh will replenish it. 

Tonight Dh sat with me and told me about this day and how he called up his friend and they went out to eat but apparently the friend footed the meal bill and then they went to a fast food place for milkshakes and Dh paid for the shakes. 

Edited by heartlikealion
I need to proofread
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2 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

FWIW my brother practices law as a solo practitioner in a big city and is “known” in his subpractice field — he doesn’t usually use a receptionist.  

Several of the lawyers I dealt with recently related to my son’s bio father’s death also didn’t have receptionists.  

I would expect $300 per hour for divorce to be high average nationwide, and presumably especially for Mississippi where presumably COL is relatively low.  But I am not having any red flag warning waving in my mind about no receptionist.

 I would be concerned about thinking that one is pleasantly chatting on phone or email and not realizing it is being charged at $30 for every 6 minutes. 

I'm not sure on the rates, as I do live close to one of the biggest cities in the US. But for my attorneys' fees across a range of specialities we have looked anywhere from $200 to $350+ an hour, depending on the situation. My divorce attorney took a hefty retainer and then refunded what they didn't use. Our attorneys usually operate in a firm or partnership though which is different than an independent, so I acknowledge ignorance on that area in that maybe my expectations on the answering service are too high....... We are close enough to Houston that the fees are still high, even though our county isn't the same county Houston is in. 

Once she sets in the retainer, or fee, I'd assume everything is being charged. They will send a monthly invoice. Or they should. And any practice i've ever worked with is going to notate every phone call and email and bill it by the quarter or half hour. They round up. Again, rurally, it may be a totally different ballgame, but I'd ask how they bill. 

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48 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Dh’s friend told him about the job I’m applying to... and today asked Dh to be his personal reference. I am not using the guy as one of mine but sometimes I do because we worked together at a local newspaper. 

 

 

I’m Confused.

You learned of the job because of the friend?

Or you and the friend are competing for the same position?

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2 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

 

I’m Confused.

You learned of the job because of the friend?

Or you and the friend are competing for the same position?

All of the above. 

The guy told Dh about the job posting. Dh told me. I felt bad to be competing. I won’t list him as a reference. Then today he asked Dh to be a personal reference. I was like did you tell him I’m applying? Did you agree? Dh just agreed and I think the guy doesn’t know I’m applying. He and I are just acquaintances but he and Dh are buddies that go out for movies and meals. 

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8 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

I have thought about confiding in a religious sister I like. We’re working together to plan a meal for the ICE resource center. 

So just for some perspective, to those thinking I’m petty. I have less than $6 in our savings account right now and during the months of April & May over $1000 was moved from savings to checking. That’s not including the shift of money to cover whatever we owed after filing taxes. Ds’ folder keeps getting smaller and smaller. It has less than $2 in it. I have no idea if/when Dh will replenish it. 

Tonight Dh sat with me and told me about this day and how he called up his friend and they went out to eat but apparently the friend footed the meal bill and then they went to a fast food place for milkshakes and Dh paid for the shakes. 

 

It's not a bad idea. She might be a listening ear.

It's good to have listening ears here, but it's good to have people IRL too.

Plus - idk - you never know what programs she might know about, or jobs she might hear about, or...

Couldn't hurt to sound her out. You'll know very quickly if she will be any use to you!

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3 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

All of the above. 

The guy told Dh about the job posting. Dh told me. I felt bad to be competing. I won’t list him as a reference. Then today he asked Dh to be a personal reference. I was like did you tell him I’m applying? Did you agree? Dh just agreed and I think the guy doesn’t know I’m applying. He and I are just acquaintances but he and Dh are buddies that go out for movies and meals. 

 

Do NOT feel bad!

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To clarify from your comment @Pen, she isn't going to be charged anything until she has signed a contract with an attorney. They might charge for a consult, but that's then it until she signs a contract. They'll get the money up front of anything they do typically in a divorce proceeding. And then if you run out in the midst of it, then they ask for more before they lift a finger. Typically speaking. 

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2 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Do NOT feel bad!

Echoing this!!!!! (not enough exclamation points!(  Do NOT feel bad! Compete! Don't fall into that trap that you feel guilty for competing with a guy. Or a friend. Or both. You need a job. Whether you get a divorce or not. 

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How are benefits for teachers in MS?  Teaching could be a great fit but I wouldn't assume it's necessarily the best benefits and pay you could earn, as I know that MS is ranked 50th for average teacher pay.  

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9 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

I'm not sure on the rates, as I do live close to one of the biggest cities in the US. But for my attorneys' fees across a range of specialities we have looked anywhere from $200 to $350+ an hour, depending on the situation. My divorce attorney took a hefty retainer and then refunded what they didn't use. Our attorneys usually operate in a firm or partnership though which is different than an independent, so I acknowledge ignorance on that area in that maybe my expectations on the answering service are too high....... We are close enough to Houston that the fees are still high, even though our county isn't the same county Houston is in. 

Once she sets in the retainer, or fee, I'd assume everything is being charged. They will send a monthly invoice. Or they should. And any practice i've ever worked with is going to notate every phone call and email and bill it by the quarter or half hour. They round up. Again, rurally, it may be a totally different ballgame, but I'd ask how they bill. 

 

Definitely when working with a lawyer you’re paying ask how they bill.  

IME it’s often 1/10 th hour (neatest 6 minutes increments) — some courts also expect it to be in 1/10th hour increments...

Even when working with a free lawyer be aware of the person’s time and try to be clear and well organized so as to make maximum use of the time you get.  free legal may sometimes be with someone retired who has plenty of time, but often it’s volunteer work that comes out of someone ‘s work for pay time, family time, free time etc. 

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15 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

I don’t know if the shark has a receptionist. We only spoke via email. I was talking about the attorney I was assigned. 

 

The first pro bono attorney my brother was assigned was absolutely amazing with a lot of experience.  The attorney who took over after a year and a half (the ex is an idiot who dragged it all out needlessly) was also very good and competent and was a few years out of law school.  I just want to reassure you that there are some very talented lawyers who choose to practice law in the public interest- just because you are getting a free lawyer doesn't mean the lawyer will not get a good result.   If you feel like you aren't getting good representation or advice, speak up or even reach out to the agency that assigns the cases.  

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4 hours ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

Once she sets in the retainer, or fee, I'd assume everything is being charged. They will send a monthly invoice. Or they should. And any practice i've ever worked with is going to notate every phone call and email and bill it by the quarter or half hour. They round up. Again, rurally, it may be a totally different ballgame, but I'd ask how they bill. 

 

Here, they are usually billing by the 1/10th of an hour/six minutes.  My husband and I have only retained employment attorneys (in 2018, my husband was illegally fired for using FMLA and consulted with several attorneys.  We eventually reached a settlement with the employer) but as I understand it, that's the norm around here.  I guess it would depend on how sophisticated their billing system is.  

Some lawyers will work out an arrangement where you do most of the paperwork, they review it and have their paralegal clean it up and then they represent you in court.  This contains the costs considerably. 

Edited by LucyStoner
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42 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

How are benefits for teachers in MS?  Teaching could be a great fit but I wouldn't assume it's necessarily the best benefits and pay you could earn, as I know that MS is ranked 50th for average teacher pay.  

I don’t know them all but pay is low. 

http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.ms.gov

we already have BCBS of MS state employee plan. I’ve been on other BCBS of MS plans. It all sucks lol 

ETA: I guess it’s not as bad as I thought 

https://www.mdek12.org/sites/default/files/documents/salary_schedule_2019-2020.pdf

Edited by heartlikealion

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54 minutes ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

To clarify from your comment @Pen, she isn't going to be charged anything until she has signed a contract with an attorney. They might charge for a consult, but that's then it until she signs a contract. They'll get the money up front of anything they do typically in a divorce proceeding. And then if you run out in the midst of it, then they ask for more before they lift a finger. Typically speaking. 

 

As far as I can tell, the retainer is larger if they expect to go to trial.  An additional retainer is often required before trial (thinking to the family law quotes in 2014 for my exSIL and 2017 for my brother).  My brother's exhusband paid a $5000 retainer and then another $25K over the next 20 months to a lawyer at a small practice who dropped him 4-5 months before trial because he couldn't pay them more.  My brother's lawyers won every single motion and the outcome of the trial was exactly what anyone besides the ex knew it would be back in August 2017 when my brother filed.   


 

Edited by LucyStoner

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9 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

I don’t know them all but pay is low. 

http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.ms.gov

we already have BCBS of MS state employee plan. I’ve been on other BCBS of MS plans. It all sucks lol 

ETA: I guess it’s not as bad as I thought 

https://www.mdek12.org/sites/default/files/documents/salary_schedule_2019-2020.pdf

 What is the certification level from qualification A to AAAA in second link?  Is A a Bachelors or is that AA?  I assume AAAA is a doctorate?  

 

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8 minutes ago, LucyStoner said:

 What is the certification level from qualification A to AAAA in second link?  Is A a Bachelors or is that AA?  I assume AAAA is a doctorate?  

I am not sure but I thought you needed a bachelor’s as a minimum. 

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I found this:

There are four class levels of Mississippi educator licenses. Class A is the bachelor's level license. Class AA is the master's level certification, and Class AAA is the specialist degree level. Finally, those with a doctoral degree may earn a Class AAAA license.

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Just now, maize said:

I found this:

There are four class levels of Mississippi educator licenses. Class A is the bachelor's level license. Class AA is the master's level certification, and Class AAA is the specialist degree level. Finally, those with a doctoral degree may earn a Class AAAA license.

I just found it, too lol 

https://www.teachercertificationdegrees.com/certification/mississippi/

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2 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I have thought about confiding in a religious sister I like. We’re working together to plan a meal for the ICE resource center. 

So just for some perspective, to those thinking I’m petty. I have less than $6 in our savings account right now and during the months of April & May over $1000 was moved from savings to checking. That’s not including the shift of money to cover whatever we owed after filing taxes. Ds’ folder keeps getting smaller and smaller. It has less than $2 in it. I have no idea if/when Dh will replenish it. 

Tonight Dh sat with me and told me about this day and how he called up his friend and they went out to eat but apparently the friend footed the meal bill and then they went to a fast food place for milkshakes and Dh paid for the shakes. 

No one here thinks you're petty.

2 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

All of the above. 

The guy told Dh about the job posting. Dh told me. I felt bad to be competing. I won’t list him as a reference. Then today he asked Dh to be a personal reference. I was like did you tell him I’m applying? Did you agree? Dh just agreed and I think the guy doesn’t know I’m applying. He and I are just acquaintances but he and Dh are buddies that go out for movies and meals. 

so, your dh KNOWS you're applying for this job, and he is going to be a reference for his "buddy"....   awkward...  does he realize he may well be undermining his wife's application because he's supporting his buddy to potential employers?

go for the jugular...….take no prisoners, and go for it.   as they say - success is the best revenge.

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5 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

No one here thinks you're petty.

so, your dh KNOWS you're applying for this job, and he is going to be a reference for his "buddy"....   awkward...  does he realize he may well be undermining his wife's application because he's supporting his buddy to potential employers?

go for the jugular...….take no prisoners, and go for it.   as they say - success is the best revenge.

One or two posts used the word petty but I think one was deleted. 

Essentially me micromanaging the spending. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t be caring about all his lunches out, etc. But it’s really frustrating when he says don’t spend too much on groceries so last night I was selective in my purchases, actually swapped one item out for a cheaper option, then hear he paid for 3 milkshakes. Apparently his friend ordered 2 for himself lol. 

Yes, I felt the same way about the job. I suspect no one will actually call him, though. 

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6 hours ago, gardenmom5 said:

No one here thinks you're petty.

so, your dh KNOWS you're applying for this job, and he is going to be a reference for his "buddy"....   awkward...  does he realize he may well be undermining his wife's application because he's supporting his buddy to potential employers?

go for the jugular...….take no prisoners, and go for it.   as they say - success is the best revenge.

I used the word petty.  I meant it in the phrase “petty cash.”  I 100% was not referring to you as being petty!!   No way!!  Don’t take that in.

The phrase petty cash simply means little bits of money.  I was saying not to lead with the lawyer on the “petty cash” breakdowns.  Keep the records, yes, but don’t talk about each little purchase ($17 at X restaurant), until they need it.  We’ve covered that a few times in this thread since I first wrote that and I know you’re not going to do that with the lawyer.  

But please do not take it into yourself that anyone thinks you are being petty!  That’s not the case.  It was a mixup of using the term about small amounts of money—not about you.

———

I also deleted the post where I talked about petty cash because I was afraid it wasn’t coming across right. I deleted it about 45 seconds after I posted it, but this thread is hot and in that time you managed to read it and someone else managed to quote part of it!  Yikes! 

Edited by Garga
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I thought about some of his Gaming PCs he’s bought over the years. At least two. Those aren’t in Amazon history. I think he got from Tiger Direct. Not sure I can access that. 

He has suggested 0% interest financing on a new computer.. admittedly his isn’t at its best right now, but still plugging along. That was a firm “no” from me. He didn’t bring it up recently. At the end of the day though it’s about his ability to game. I asked why he closed my windows. The resume, the job site. He said it affected his game. Game takes a ton of memory. You see where his priorities are. 

For years I asked to save up for a Mac. He scoffed every time. “You don’t need one, you can do graphic design on a PC.” I’d say, “I know, but it’s expected in the graphic design world and none of my job experience is on a Mac and I bombed that one interview for a couple reasons... partly because I was using a Mac.” Years ago I interviewed for a graphic design position through the college. They were using a newer version of photoshop and I had never dealt with “smart objects.” I also had to work on a laptop (hate that) and with a wonky hyper sensitive mouse. I think it’s called a smart mouse. Anyhow, I was unable to complete the project. To save face I went home and completed it with a trial of CC. I said I didn’t expect them to consider me but I wanted to finish it. The guy that would have been my boss apparently worked at the same big (for this area) newspaper many years ago. My old publisher aka his old publisher told him he’d be a fool to not hire me. It was all for the best as we had just one car and they expected me to work on another campus. The guy that grilled me the hardest in the interview (there were a panel of people) is now the school president and I teach Sunday school with his mom lol This area is so intertwined. 

Long story short, (yeah right) Dh later gave me a hand me down Mac laptop from his coworker. It doesn’t do anything, but open internet pages and play my region 2 dvds. I can’t download the latest chrome. It’s not compatible. Apple store said it was worth $0 trade in credit lol 

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I just want to say it is ok to not want to be a teacher.  You don’t want to and that is fine. May I suggest you take time to really look to see what is hiring in your area and go from there.  It has been while since your graphic design classes and you need training so use this time as a fresh start in this area.  What do you want to do that you could survive on?  Are there any displaced homemaker classes near you? These are for changes in life(divorce,death,etc)  and usually have to be over thirty for the discount.  Maybe take a few free classes online to see what really gets you going.  You just might find a new path you never realized you would enjoy.

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Do you have a public library or anything else you can think of that could give you access to the needed software and computers?  [Examples in our area: The biggest library in the 2nd biggest city in our state has a dedicated computer lab with graphic design programs available.  And I don’t know how good it is, but it also gives access to some online software education.  (It had a woman’s name iirc like Lynda or Janis or something)   The local rural high school has a CAD computer (had a super art teacher so has more than might be typical for a rural school). The elementary school has some newer Macs. ]

I wonder if since you don’t have a local women’s shelter you could call some farther away and maybe get ideas for how to plan movement into and training for jobs you’d like, and perhaps (though non local might make it harder) how you might access things like reliable transportation and computer.  All of this, phones too for many, are afaik quite typical types of problems when there’s a financially controlling husband.

I wonder if there might be anything you could volunteer for that would give you access to computers and programs.  Or maybe something like Starbucks where it might give a perk on online education benefits (I’d heard Starbucks employees have education online via U of Arizona as a perk—I don’t know if  Starbucks exists in your area or if any other job would have similar). and enough money to buy a good new Mac and be able to afford reliable transportation.  

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8 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I don’t know them all but pay is low. 

http://knowyourbenefits.dfa.ms.gov

we already have BCBS of MS state employee plan. I’ve been on other BCBS of MS plans. It all sucks lol 

ETA: I guess it’s not as bad as I thought 

https://www.mdek12.org/sites/default/files/documents/salary_schedule_2019-2020.pdf

Keep in mind that with summers off that's a lot of childcare you wouldn't have to pay for. Plus similar hours to your kids at school, etc. I know here a lot of teachers take the kids to the school with them if hey need to be there early, etc, so the childcare thing is HUGE. 

Not your ideal job, sure. But maybe a way to support yourself and your kids and go to school at nights/over the summer to get something better, you know? With the least amount of childcare cost. 

Maybe not now, but next year when DD could go to school? Maybe even take out some student loans to cover additional education, plus usually teachers get a break on paying those back. And the benefits are nothing to sneeze at - remember non government benefits can cost 1K a month for even decent medical coverage. 

I say this as someone who has BTDT and thought "I don't want to be a teacher" and did something else when I got divorced. Was I happier in the job I took? Probably, maybe. I loved being a vet tech. But - it was SO hard logistically, and I could have learned to love teaching I think, at least short term. You like caring for people, and would enjoy that aspect. And then could look into other things. If you like graphic design maybe even get a certificate in that and eventually teach that at a higschool or something, you know? Or get into the administration side and do graphic design there. 

Or even better, freelance as a graphic design person on your own, nights and weekends that the kids are with DH, and make some extra cash on top of the teacher salary, and eventually maybe have that be the full time job. 

But yeah, i totally should have gone into teaching. But I followed my "passion". I could have fed my passion other ways, and been there more for my kid. I regret that hugely, really my only divorce regret. He really needed me during that first year or so, and after the first 6 months I had to put him in aftercare and it was hard on him. Had I gone into teaching I could have been home with him, or had him hang out in my classroom while I graded papers, and better, I could have been on campus all day and him knowing that might have made him feel more secure. 

My sister is in administration and a single mother and her kids have a lot of anxiety, and knowing mom was on campus was a huge help. Now they are at different schools (originally they were at a preschool run out of the high school she was at, now in elementary school while she is still at the high school), but she moved them to the one just across the parking lot from her school, so again, they know she is right there and it REALLY has helped. They know if there was an emergency she could take a golf cart or walk to go get them. Last year they were at their zoned elementary and father away, this year they are there across the parking lot and it really has helped their anxiety. 

Her only regret, and it really isn't one, but logistically it is an issue -  she went into administration rather than stay teaching. More money, and she is amazing at what she does and helps a ton of high school kids, and she's one of the youngest principals in the area's history, but....it means no more afternoons off, no summers off. She still can work short days over the summer - work at the office until about 3pm and come home and work at home after they go to bed, but it's hard. My mom has filled in a LOT. Had she still just been teaching she could be there for them more, and again, as they have anxiety from the divorce that would probably have been better for the short term. But...she might not have been able to keep her house, so maybe not. 

Anyway, long story short, there is a REASON so many women with young kids are teachers. Not because it is their lifelong calling, but because it practically lets them be there for their kids. Short term, that trade off is often worth it. And again, because of your skills organizing events, and your caregiving skills, and your observations nd knowledge of learning issues, medical stuff, etc you'd be really good at it I think. And for your kids going into a new situation/divorce having you with them afternoons/weekends/summers could make all the difference with the transition. 

Once you are through the hardest part, you WILl have time to pursue other things, I promise. Those hours when the kids are at your ex's are hard to fill and school/projects/freelance work/volunteering can help. Same with when they are in bed and there is no adult there to talk to - learning something new helps. I got my degree at night online after divorcing. Kept me sane. And you will qualify for a ton of student assistance - oh and if enrolled in a college program may have access to things like free /low cost mental health counseling on campus, and similar programs for the kids. 

I think the biggest thing to ask the lawyer about is moving. What situations can or can't you move to an area with more employment opportunity and better schools for the kids? Especially if you emphasize the better schools aspect you maybe able to get court permission - failing schools plus no job opportunities plus access to DD's medical experts, etc may get you that permission. And you need it. 

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Things exist at libraries but I can’t get to them because I have to set up a sitter or Ds needs me etc. There was a free CAD workshop. There were 2 photoshop workshops but I missed them all. One was at dh’s library. The others were at a library system out of the county. My county doesn’t offer those. 

Trust me, I’ve thought about what it would mean to have a school job. I’ve interviewed 3 times at schools! Once as an assistant teacher, once as an ESL tutor, and once as a development director at a Catholic school. It’s not lost on me it’d be great to have after school care free or discounted, be near the kids, etc. 

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9 hours ago, LucyStoner said:

Some lawyers will work out an arrangement where you do most of the paperwork, they review it and have their paralegal clean it up and then they represent you in court.  This contains the costs considerably. 

 

This has been my exact experience in estate/elder care legal needs. Legwork in my part saved me tons of money. 

I imagine the glorious vacation I could have taken, had someone been paying me a solid rate for each 6 minutes!

heart I am agreeing that you (and anyone else who needs legal consult) will do best by maximizing your time with the lawyer. 

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How are your interview skills? That might be a good YouTube thing as well to work on as well as the resume. Unless you are constantly interviewing a lot, it's easy to get rusty. My dh actually encourages his employees to go interview somewhere every so often. It's good on both ends, as they keep up the practice, they can see what's out there, and it makes them stronger interviewers themselves when hiring. 

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20 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Things exist at libraries but I can’t get to them because I have to set up a sitter or Ds needs me etc. There was a free CAD workshop. There were 2 photoshop workshops but I missed them all. One was at dh’s library. The others were at a library system out of the county. My county doesn’t offer those. 

Trust me, I’ve thought about what it would mean to have a school job. I’ve interviewed 3 times at schools! Once as an assistant teacher, once as an ESL tutor, and once as a development director at a Catholic school. It’s not lost on me it’d be great to have after school care free or discounted, be near the kids, etc. 

More importantly, if it was a teaching job you might not need after school care at all. 

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Does your college campus have a career counseling department? Can you use their services as a spouse of an employee?

Is the college that you graduated from within a reasonable driving distance, where you could make an appointment there for career counseling?

The public library that I worked for had a career counseling center that was free for patrons to use. They gave advice, practiced mock interviews, helped with resumes, did career aptitude testing, and so on. The same kind of things one would find in a college career center, but it was at the public library. You might do some online research to see if there is a public library career center within a few hours of driving distance from you.

Career training is something you could also ask about at the shelter that you have contact with. They will be used to directing people to that kind of help and might have ideas that wouldn't occur to you.

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Just now, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

How are your interview skills? That might be a good YouTube thing as well to work on as well as the resume. Unless you are constantly interviewing a lot, it's easy to get rusty. My dh actually encourages his employees to go interview somewhere every so often. It's good on both ends, as they keep up the practice, they can see what's out there, and it makes them stronger interviewers themselves when hiring. 

I think they wanted me for the assistant position. She caught me in the parking lot asking me to email references. But the pay was peanuts! And we had one car and I had to be there so early it would have been hard to get dd to any daycare. 

The ESL job — I’m now friends with someone else that interviewed there. We agreed it was unclear what they wanted. And very disorganized. I had to bug them a couple times (waited, followed up, waited) til they mailed me a rejection letter. 

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I’m sure there’s room for improvement but I think what people want as far as with experience was more so the issue than my interviews. For example, the ESL job. I had no brick & mortar experience. I suspect they wanted that. 

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3 minutes ago, Storygirl said:

Does your college campus have a career counseling department? Can you use their services as a spouse of an employee?

Is the college that you graduated from within a reasonable driving distance, where you could make an appointment there for career counseling?

The public library that I worked for had a career counseling center that was free for patrons to use. They gave advice, practiced mock interviews, helped with resumes, did career aptitude testing, and so on. The same kind of things one would find in a college career center, but it was at the public library. You might do some online research to see if there is a public library career center within a few hours of driving distance from you.

Career training is something you could also ask about at the shelter that you have contact with. They will be used to directing people to that kind of help and might have ideas that wouldn't occur to you.

Well there is a center that I think may do that on campus for *students*. But I don’t really want to get involved. Small town. I already got input on my resume from my BIL. 

I know these things take time. And it’s a numbers game. 

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Do you know about CreativeLive? It has online “classes” that are available for a limited window of time for free.  I can now access them from my smartphone—I think the app was free.  Every day there are a group of free classes.  

https://www.creativelive.com/

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Pen said:

Do you know about CreativeLive? It has online “classes” that are available for a limited window of time for free.  I can now access them from my smartphone—I think the app was free.  Every day there are a group of free classes.  

https://www.creativelive.com/

Cool. But maybe it’s just a free trial or certain classes? 

my intent is to maximize my lawyer time but I can’t even get them on the phone 

31336C6C-4670-4C20-BE95-61520CB7C2D3.jpeg

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