I served Jeff with divorce papers on Thursday. We're both proceeding pro se (without lawyers), so we're relying a lot on the kind and knowledgeable people who staff the Family Justice Center in Minneapolis. I got the new round of paperwork (another seventy-five pages, bringing the total number I've filled out to around one-twenty) and filled it out that night. So the Marital Termination Agreement (that we will both sign, since Jeff is not contesting anything) and the Judgment and Decree (an identical packet that the judge will sign, indicating s/he agrees with our agreement and formally dissolving our marriage) are finished and awaiting our appointment on the 24th at the FJC to make sure everything is filled out properly and ready to file. Then we each have a mandatory parenting class to help us navigate co-parenting post-divorce, and Allie has a mandatory class to help her learn coping skills and give her a chance to talk with other kids her age about how she is feeling and what she is experiencing. She is also still seeing her psychologist, which is a huge priority to me.
But although this might seem like a lot to someone who hasn't gone through the paperwork and learned the process, it really seems inadequate to me. I would estimate that between filling out all the paperwork and my two previous appointments at the FJC, I have spent less than 12 hours on the divorce. When all is said and done, including the parenting class and the hearing (required because we have children together), the total time spent for me might come to 18 hours. It really seems like it should be a lot more work to end a marriage of nine and a half years. It's saddening that it is so easy.