The Beginning of the End
Today was the day when Mononoke wheeled out her eccentric lawyer, Mr Moonraker, into the mediation session. He’s a small man, like her, young and comes across as a sharp, but somewhat mousy — and very argumentative.
His approach today was the 101 of negotiation: Refute what had previously been agreed, create red herrings to negotiate about, threaten to walk out, and hope that would rattle me. A simple shake-down operation. He had no interest in finding solutions — but was going for a hard-nosed take-it-or-leave-it and if not, see-you-in-court approach.
I tried to reach out to Mononoke for a direct conversation during the mediation session, lawyers outside. I wanted to ask her if she really wanted a court process — with all the harm it will do to the kids. But Mr Moonraker would not leave. And nor would she step out of the mediation room for a conversation. She had abdicated her responsibility to him and he was set on a track that ultimately will do damage.
It’s a strange thing when someone like Mr Moonraker comes into a space of real pain and decides to play games with the lives of your children. There was no introspection, no inquiry; just a focus on trying to haggle for more for his client. I wonder how you explain that to yourself at the end of the day — or if the thought even crosses his mind.
After the session was concluded, I could see that Mononoke was emboldened. She smirked as she walked past me and my lawyer on the street. It was a strange feeling. Not from the smirk or her confidence. But that she seems to me now like a complete stranger. Someone I don’t know.
I instructed my lawyer, Maxima, to now file the court papers. My two boys (Ash in particular) are suffering from this drawn-out process. And there is a need for closure — quickly. So I’ll accept full responsibility for the ending of the marriage and ask for the matrimonial assets to be liquidated. Let’s see how slow or quick divorce in Malta can be.
I have asked myself, though, whether, despite Mr Moonraker, there is scope for an out-of-court settlement. But this is the fourth agreement that Mononoke throws under the bus. I just don’t believe anymore that she wants an end to this negotiation process and indeed, the marriage. It has also been over two years now since I moved out. And while I had hoped time would heal some of Mononoke’s wounds, they seem to have festered. So no. It is time to get help from a judge to finish this off.
Maxima has advised me that I will lose quite a bit and that it is unlikely that I will be able to have my boys with me for 50% of the time, as is now the case. Malta is traditional that way; the children must stay with the mother and in the “matrimonial home”. I don’t care about the material loss — I will build wealth up again for those two boys. But I will be heartbroken if I lose the right to have them with me like before.
Sigh. What a terrible position to be in.
But it is the beginning of the end in more ways than one.
“Prologue to a Divorce” is a real-time blog about the trials and tribulations of an effort to separate and divorce in harmony. I write to help myself and others who may be in a similar place. And Leon is my pen-name, of course.