Mixed Emotions About Settling Out of Court

Have you ever known a person who says one thing and does the opposite? Do you know a person who keeps changing their mind or is incredibly fickle? Try making an offer for settlement with this unknown entity!

I have been asked by my ex-spouse to create an out of court settlement. It isn’t a new request. Many promises have been made which never eventuate.

While an out of court settlement is possible, I have no idea what could happen and if anything will ever happen. I feel like I am living in a constant state of the unknown. I can’t predict or rely on their behaviour or words. So, when I was asked to put together some final parenting orders, I didn’t know what reaction may result from the proposed orders – negative or positive.

After consideration and appropriate consultations, the proposal was sent. I didn’t know how long to wait before pushing forward with the four-day court hearing preparation (the longer the hearing the more complex the case).

A part of me is happy to have some final orders put forward, and if accepted and lodged at court, I could stop living in a state of ‘wait-and-see’ or allowing the decision to be made by a third-party (the Judge). I should be grateful that what I think is fair and reasonable is a possibility. Yet, a part of me is disappointed not having the updated subpoenaed documents to review. Those subpoenaed documents, to me, would have confirmed whether the line of decision-making on behalf of our children was the right path or not.

‘Time will tell.’

Meanwhile, the waiting game is hard. I live in a state of eager anticipation and uncertainty. Final orders won’t make everything better; it won’t fix the ongoing issues. The one thing it does is bring structure to everyone’s lives until the next time that someone agitates in court.

I feels like I have been living in limbo for so many years, I don’t know what I am supposed to be feeling. The person I married doesn’t exist, I don’t know who they are or how they will react to any given situation. I don’t know what the future holds, what it will look like. I need to take the time to reassess my environment and readjust my feelings towards the impending changes.

If and when we settle by consent, I am acutely aware that it will be harder to get back into court and agitate for amendments to the Orders. While I understand that I should be excited about not having to spend multiples of tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees leading up to and including a hearing, I am frustrated and uncertain whether the proposed orders are the most accurate and appropriate for everyone involved.

As the Alcoholic Anonymous creed states, ‘one day at a time’… it is certainly the line I need to follow, for now.


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