Posts Tagged ‘Full Course Divorce: A Playette’

FULL COURSE DIVORCE: Act Four: Scenes Two & Three

Sunday, January 24th, 2010
In these two scenes, Kate seems to be gaining back some of her confidence, so the pictures I chose are those of flowers or flowering trees, since flowers are a sign that winter has passed and spring has come.

Act Four

Scene Two

Six months later

Kate

(Talking to her sister from her apt. in N.Jersey outside  NY)

School is hard, but I love it. We visited a newspaper here and spoke to some of the editors. I had a chance to speak to the food editor, since that’s my focus. She actually shares a job with a male editor and they look at the restaurant and food scene from the male/female angle.

Pat

That’s great! And how is Bekka doing in her new school?

Kate

She’s made some new friends and she misses her old ones. So do I.

Pat

Yes, but you’ve got each other to lean on. That’s important.

Kate

Right! You know she’s a night owl and I’m a morning person. Getting her up in the morning is a major chore. Then at night she wants to talk and all I can do is mumble. But she’s a good kid and I am so happy she’s with me. When she visits Mitch, it always takes her a day or two to get back to herself. He’s dating someone now and the last time she was at his place, the woman slept over. Bekka said she knocked on their door to ask Mitch something and when she went in, his girlfriend was holding the blanket under her arms and was obviously naked underneath. She really got upset.

Pat

Bekka only goes there on week-ends once a month. Can’t he keep his pecker in his pocket on that one week-end? God! Men!

Kate

I know. I can’t even think about dating yet. But I did speak to my old boyfriend Harvey in Florida and he invited me for a visit. He’s been divorced 10 years.

Pat

If you want to go over a long week-end, I’ll watch Bekka.

Kate

Thanks. Let me think about it. Harvey was really sweet on the phone. He let me cry on his shoulder a little.

Pat

Good. Just don’t have a pity party if you go down there. Go to have a good time.

Kate

I know. I’ve spent the last six months feeling sorry for myself and that’s over. I’m ready to return to the land of the living.

Pat

Great! Oops, gotta go. I have a customer. Speak to you later. Love ya!

Kate

Love you, too. ‘Bye.

End of Scene Two



ACT FOUR

Scene Three

Middle of Courtroom Procedure

Bill

Your honor, six months ago my client was awarded child support and alimony as part of the divorce agreement. Included in that agreement was the ruling that Mr. Mitchell would also pay the premium on the one remaining insurance policy that the bank did not take as part of Mr. and Mitchell’s business. Mr. Mitchell negotiated with the bank to save this one policy to pay for his youngest daughter’s college education in the event he died before she completed her education. Now he refuses to pay that premium. My client, Mrs. Mitchell, would like to explain why.

Judge

Mrs. Mitchell, remember you are under oath.

Kate

Yes, your honor.

Soon after our divorce, my husband, that is, my ex-husband called to ask me if I would allow him to change the insurance policy from whole life to term, because the premiums on whole life were too high. I agreed so long as the conditions of the first policy were maintained. Then he called back a couple of days later to tell me he wanted to add $10,000 to the policy that would be designated to his new wife. He married right after our divorce was finalized.

I called my lawyer Bill and he advised me to tell Mitch that if he wanted to insure his new wife, he should take out a separate policy for her. I relayed that information to Mitch and he was so angry with my answer that he told me from now on I would have to pay the premium, if I wanted the policy to stay intact. I did so when the first bill came, but I am working only part-time and also in school, so I really don’t have the funds to continue to do this. When I called Bill about making payments for my divorce proceedings and told him what happened, he said he would set up a court date to bring this to you, since he is obliged to pay the premium.

Judge

Mr. Mitchell, the fact that you have a new wife is of no concern of this court. However, the fact that you have violated the agreement so soon after the divorce is of great concern to this court. Do you have anything to say before I make my ruling?

Mitch

Just that I am also strapped for money, what with the bankruptcy, a new wife, a new job. The premiums on two separate policies are too much for me.

Judge

Sorry. The ruling from your divorce still holds. You agreed to the stipulations of the divorce and whatever financial problems you may have because of your new situation are irrelevant. In fact, you could be fined for not paying the premium, but since you are going to have to pay for these court proceedings, I believe that will be fine enough.

You are hereby required to keep the agreement of the divorce for the new policy. I see here that the term policy payment is only $100 per quarter ,as opposed to $300 per quarter for the former whole life policy. Your wife is generous enough to accept the change in policy, so I do not think it is too much to ask that you pay this premium. In addition to the court fees, you are also required to send Mrs. Mitchell a check within ten days for the premium she already paid for you. Is that clear?

Mitch

Yes, your honor. (Looks down at the floor.)

Judge

Case dismissed.

Mitch leaves and Kate & Bill stay to talk over the hearing.

Bill

Congratulations, Kate. If for some reason the check Mitch is supposed to send you does not arrive within 10 days, please call my office.

Kate

Thanks so much, Bill. These last six months have been rough, especially with his remarriage before the ink on our divorce was dry. He wouldn’t even buy Bekka a new dress for the event. He said he could only buy her a blouse. I had to borrow a dressy skirt from a friend. And then he refused to pay this premium. I’m glad I called your office.

Bill

So am I. Don’t be afraid to be strong on matters that you know you are right.

Kate

My older sister has been divorced for a long time. She said she had to grow a full set of nails to get what she had earned in her marriage. Then she told me it was time for me to grow mine.

Bill

That’s an interesting metaphor for strength— a full set of nails. I’ll have to remember that! Take care, Kate.

Kate

I will, and thanks!   (Kate leaves with a small smile on her face.)

End of Scene Three


Full Course Divorce: Act Four: Scene One

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Act Four

Full Set of Nails

Scene One

This scene takes place in the courtroom. It’s the last of Kate’s “trial by fire” as she negotiates for what she can get to survive as a single mother. Her lawyer’s name is Bill.

Note: Since this is Kate’s “trial by fire” courtroom scene, I downloaded “fire pictures.”


Kate

Bill, I don’t think I can take any more of this bullshit. Mitch is lying right and left. He is accusing me of adultery, when both of us agreed to an open marriage concept, which obviously did not work.

Bill

Look, Kate, your husband went bankrupt and you have lost everything. Let me at least get you some decent alimony and child support for you and Bekka until you get on your feet.

Kate

OK. But my heart is pounding and my stomach is churning and my head feels like a bowling bowl with two holes leaking all my common sense.

Bill

I promise it will only be a few minutes longer.

(Addresses the Court)

Your honor, my client will be leaving the area to look for a job in New York. She has custody of their daughter and will need to reestablish herself financially, so we ask the court to be generous with child support and alimony.

Mitch

(blurting out of order)

But, your honor, she ‘s an adulteress!

Judge

(addressing Mitch’s lawyer)

Your client is out of order. (Pause) I don’t know if this allegation is true, Mr. Mitchell. But since you are here for a no-fault divorce, this issue is irrelevant, Besides, even adulteresses have to eat!

Bill

Thank you, your honor. We realize that Mr. Mitchell is bankrupt, but Mrs. Mitchell was his partner for 15 years in the business, so his loss is hers as well. She has been out of her field for almost two decades and will have to start all over again. She plans to return to college for a master’s degree in journalism.

Judge

That’s very admirable, but in Mr. Mitchell’s financial situation, which I reviewed last night, he cannot be expected to pay for his wife’s education. His alimony and child support reflect his current situation and will be re-evaluated in six months.

To Mitch: Mr. Mitchell, I have reviewed you current job income and household expenses, based on the financial statement your lawyer submitted. I believe you have an obligation to your family and award your wife $150 week alimony and $75 week child support for the next six months. Then it will be reviewed.

Mitch

But, your honor….(His lawyer indicates him to be quiet with a shake of his head.)

Judge

Your first payment of $225 is due in 10 days, then each week thereafter on the first Monday of each week. Is that clear?

Mitch

Yes, your honor.

Judge

All the other terms we discussed will be spelled out in my report, which your lawyers will receive in 10 days to two weeks. Case dismissed.

After the court hearing, Kate goes limp and puts her head between her hands, face down, so she does not have to look at Mitch. Her lawyer pats her on the back and whispers something to her. She nods and he leaves. Kate takes out her cell phone and calls her sister.

Kate

Pat, it’s over. I was awarded $225 a week for the next 6 months; then a review. But the house, the business, and the furniture are gone with the bankruptcy.

Pat

Oh, I’m sorry, sis. But now you are free to move back to New York and go to school.

Kate

I didn’t tell the court I had already been accepted to journalism school and had a full scholarship based on my income.

Pat

Now you’re getting smart. The less Mitch knows, the better, because he will only use it against you later.

Kate

I can’t believe how vindictive he was! I never thought he would be so mean in court.

Pat

Fear will do that.

Kate

Fear of what? That I was going to get a lot of alimony? Or ask for my shares in the corporation? Like I told him when he gave me a million shares at $1.00 each while the business was going under: “Mitch, a million times zero is still zero.”

Pat

You’ve got that right. Now, how ‘bout if I treat you and Bekka for dinner? Joe is on a business trip and won’t be back until tomorrow.

Kate

That sounds great! You know Bekka loves Chinese food, so how about if we go to that new restaurant in town?

Pat

Gotcha! I’ll met you there a little before six and I’ll make a reservation. It’s a new restaurant so it’s likely to be busy. Everybody in town is trying it.

Kate

OK. See you later. Thanx, sis.

End of Scene One

End of Scene One, Act Four