I Fought The Divorce Machine And Won

Perhaps I am jumping the gun by speaking of my divorce process in retrospect, but here goes...

Once I was resolute in my decision to leave, I was stunned by the number of people who immediately advised me to get a lawyer. While their intentions were good, I don't necessarily think lawyers are the best solution to end a relationship peacefully.

I'll fully admit, I was skeptical of the "unconventional" process he wanted to undertake. I was nearly sucked into the Divorce Machine. We met with CPAs, CDFAs, realtors, etc. We are only filing now, after all matters have been agreed upon. Our assets are protected. Our living arrangements have been made. We are still communicating. Heck, we even had a couple of laughs while speaking with our mediator.

I feel secure today, knowing that my ducks are in a row. I can thank him for that.

Please check out this website. There are other options beside adversarial litigation:
http://www.collabdivorce.com/index.html
PeachesGalore PeachesGalore
46-50, F
6 Responses May 9, 2012

Our first meeting with the med. is this week. My work is to quiet the voices inside that are shouting "she's going to try to take everything that's left" - and try to be constructive instead.<br />
<br />
I do remind myself that one day, all this encumbrance will be lifted from me ... I just have to keep calm, centered, breatheeeeeee....

YES...stay focused on the end goal. It's incredibly, profoundly easy to get caught up in the details for us analyzers. In this case...fight it. You'll end up much happier with the outcome and with yourself.

A divorce does not have be the stereotypical nasty affair. Yet, it's important to be armed with knowledge and seeing a lawyer helps with that. Especially if your partner is not on the same page. <br />
The one thing about any divorce is, you never know how nasty the other person can get.<br />
You're both on the same page. Good luck ahead.

True...very true. I did have an initial consultation with a lawyer, who explained the process, listed out reasonable expectations, etc. and I did utilize that knowledge often...good point!

We went with a mediator. It was tough though since he changes his mind alot and can't make a decision. Has to calculate everything down to the last penny and since we were trading retirement for equity in the house there were a number of unknowns. It was hard, he took a long time. I think I ended up leaving quite a lot of money on the table. If I had had a lawyer I may have gotten a more equitable settlement, but it would have been at a very high price. I think the lawyers would have gotten all of the money that I left on the table and we would have hated each other, he wouldn't have been able to buy a house in the neighborhood and the kids would have ended up not as comfortable. So maybe I got screwed but I'd rather he have the money than the lawyers. The kids win in the long run. But I won't be able to retire until I'm 70, if ever.

It sounds like you were able to keep your priorities straight through the entire process - congratulations. Yes - I gave up retirement $$$ for the house as well. And in our case, his focus on details actually kept our settlement fairly equitable - by noting every last penny, he made it easier for us to agree upon a 50/50 split.

Off the subject, but...he started packing up his stuff last night. My stomach's in knots this morning from dealing with his passive-aggressive anger :-(

being able to read the history of your experience is sooo helpful :)

And next time (if you want there to be a next time): <br />
Cohabitation Agreement / Marriage Contract.

That's a big 10-4 :-)

That only works if both parties are willing to see the light and except that if one party really wants to leave there is nothing they can do to stop them. Some just want to fight and make the process as difficult as possible for the "leaver". I am happy you got out without spending a ton of cash on lawyers. I have been able to do the few things needed post divorce without a lawyer so far and hope to continue down that path in the future.

I fully acknowledge my path is unique - not everyone can take advantage of these alternate resources. I just wanted to make sure people were aware of them, as we had to do a lot of investigating to find them.
I would recommend, for people thinking about leaving, that they contemplate their spouse's reaction to divorce as part of their "exit strategy."

Good for you! <br />
I always advise getting legal advice about separation and divorce, but I would never advise making the process adversarial. <br />
Here in Ontario many lawyers are qualified in "Collaborative Family Law". I'm sure other jurisdictions have similar services.