Divorce is often a vortex of insanity! You wouldn’t believe the stories. Lowering suitcases by bungee cord out of a 2nd floor window to the car below, bank statements re-created in Photoshop, spouse overheard discussing his deep spirituality with the object of his overt affair while his pregnant wife is at home, kids having to change clothes in the car so they would not take the clothes ”she” bought them to “his” house, mother handing off small child to the father in front of his apt only to discover he was homeless and sleeping with the child on a park bench (the judge didn’t see anything wrong with “sleeping outside,”) the Valentine’s day necklace is now “an investment in diamonds” not a gift, 911 calls and CPS reports. This is the tiniest and cleanest sliver of the endless anecdotes that define the chaos and underbelly of divorce. It is all that and more. The “you can’t make this stuff up” anecdotes.
It is crazy-making. And it is all-consuming. And if you don’t laugh, you cry, a lot. Divorce might be a source of entertainment on TV or in film, but when you are smack dab in the middle of it, it is anything but entertaining. The message here is simply this. You are not crazy and while it might feel as if no one in the world has faced what you are facing, that is not true. The isolation and the lingering social taboo is real. Close to 2 million people walk through the door each year and those are just the ones who make the move, not the many others contemplating it or are too afraid to take the step.
The problem is that the divorce professionals and the courts have heard it all, too. So when you walk in owning the extraordinary stories that make up your life, they rarely have the impact you hope and expect. The system is so desensitized to the horror of bad behavior that you are simply another case. And a case with this type of complexity means a more expensive and protracted case which is a great thing for them but the worst possible situation for you.
The most important thing to consider is what is the end game. Is it just getting out? Is it to get the court to see what you have put up with and punish your spouse? Is it to use the narrative to extract a financial or parenting penalty? For the professionals who have seen and heard it all, your situation is simply a case with a strategy. It can be frustrating when they do not share your outrage, but they spend every day on cases replete with bad behavior, and as trained legal professionals, their job is to focus on moving it through a legal process. That process is often at odds with solving a family and/or financial problem to anyone’s satisfaction. Spouses often have more power than they realize to manage the process and manage their professionals to an agreement. It starts with the right mindset that recognizes the deep imperfection of the system and the cost-benefit to getting out and moving forward. We always support spouses to be informed and empowered to participate in the process and do whatever is possible to bring the conflict to an end so that life can begin again.
Are you thinking about divorce? dtour.life can help you gain clarity as you start the process. With divorce education, financial and parenting tools, our platform helps you prepare for this journey. Easily build net worth statements, document living and child expenses, develop spending plans and settlement scenarios to help you move forward with both eyes open. You are not alone!
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