The day had come that I had been dreading. Meeting with HJ’s dad at the lawyer’s office. This would put us face to face for the first time since I was about 10 weeks pregnant. All these thoughts were running through my head of what I should say, how I should act and how to stay strong. And of course, how to look damn good (what? Don’t judge me). I wanted to be portrayed as a strong, confident single mom who was going to kick his ass in court.
I met with the lawyer before hand to make sure we were on the same page. We had drawn up an order that indicated back owed support, medical support, child support and custody. The lawyer told me that if Nate realized how bad I wanted full custody he could fight me on it despite not wanting anything to do with HJ, just go get me to lower the amount. And let me know that a judge would more than likely not grant someone full custody if both parties ask to be involved. I let him know I understood. I had decided I would be as sweet as could be until I got what I wanted.
Then Nate walked in. Tears sprung to my eyes, but I held them back. He looked at me. He appeared nervous too. He also had clearly put on a few pounds (which delighted me) and was dressed like a scrub (having come from working on a construction site…he owns a business).
The lawyer asked if he had already looked over the order. Nate said yes. The lawyer quickly read through it again, asked if there were any questions and then said “Alright lets sign this.”
Nate grabbed for a pen. Holy crap, was it really going to be this easy? I held my breath. Then he looked at me. “I can’t afford this.” “Well, what do you want me to do? “ “Can we talk about this?” He asked.
The lawyer said he would give us a few minutes and walked out. We sat there in silence. I kept repeating to myself to stay calm, to not cry and to be as nice as I could. He finally spoke. “I need to take this home to look over it some more.”
This worried me. I just wanted the custody part signed. But I also knew he hadn’t told anyone about HJ, so I knew he wouldn’t discuss it with anyone and figure out what it was I was actually after…full custody.
We told the lawyer what was going on and Nate left. Didn’t seem that awful, I guess. He walked out and the lawyer said “God he is a punk.”
I laughed. I really wasn’t sure what I had seen in him. He looked awful.
I then asked the lawyer if it would be possible to get him to sign the custody portion first, since that seemed to be the one part we agreed on. That way I would feel more confident in asking for the money I deserved, knowing I already had the most important part signed off on. The lawyer said we could do that and I called Nate to let him know the new plan. We scheduled a meeting the following week to sign the custody agreement.
The next week, we both showed up at the same time and sat in the waiting room together while the lawyer gathered everything. “So, you are ok with signing away full custody?” I asked.
“Gladly.” He said.
He then mentioned that his girlfriend had the baby the day before. His daughter was two days old and he was signing away custody on his son. His girlfriend and daughter were still in the hospital and he was with me at the lawyer’s.
The lawyer pulled us into a conference room and went over the paperwork. He said that we would still have to work out payment amounts, and this just covered custody. It stated Nate had no visitation rights, and I was to be granted sole custody of HJ. Nate didn’t hesitate. He signed on the line. It was notarized, copies were made and it was done. Just like that. He didn’t think twice about giving up his son. I was extremely happy, that is what I wanted after all. But extremely heartbroken. He gave up his son. He didn’t even care at all. He never asked me how he was, what he looked like or anything. He didn’t care that HJ has his eyes or his scowl when concentrating. He just wanted to get rid of him.