As luck would have it, this writer is an expert on this subject based upon personal experience with not only one divorce under my belt, but several. (Four, if you have to know.) My middle name could be changed to “Divorce”. Mazy Divorce Keller.
Two bits of wisdom I have turned into a personal mantra,–divorce is ALWAYS hurtful, and it is ALWAYS expensive.
Most of my heartaches could have been avoided if i had taken a bit of time to self-reflect.
My reasons for marriage were as follows; the first time,–love at first site, immaturity and loneliness. The second marriage happened because of rebound from the first, and loneliness. My third marriage was because of loneliness, stupidity and then more stupidity. The fourth time I was hoping to find companionship and security because the first, second and third marriage/divorces had left me even lonelier and flat broke.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize the recurring mistakes listed above.
I should have asked myself before the ceremony. “Just exactly why am I marrying ‘this person’? Three out of four times I would have stopped the weddings in the nick of time, and run as fast as I could in any other direction! But, nooo, not me, I was determined to be married!
Then, one day I found myself humming that favorite song of mine, “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover”, by Paul Simon, 1975.
It was time for me to ‘slip out the back’…. With kids in tow.
With all my marriages I had good and bad times, with the good actually outweighing the bad. As the years went by though, I found myself ‘growing’ more than my second husband. I wanted to be active, he wanted to sit, and sit. He had a bad temper and as the first few years went by he seemed to turn his anger towards my two girls. A point in time came when I had to make the decision to end the marriage, out of fear for my kids physically, as well as emotionally. The marriage lasted 5 years. To this day, 35 years after that divorce, there are still carry-overs and insecurities for my girls from dealing with his anger.
Number three marriage/divorce was a crazy situation with a crazy person. The marriage lasted 18 months from start to finish and left me in deep debt, causing bankruptcy. That third marriage upsets my girls the most, even now, years later. They saw how it affected me financially. They also gave up things for a period of time until I could get back on my feet. They learned to rely on themselves, rather than depend on someone else which was again reinforced with marriage #4.
My fourth husband just didn’t think it was important to work. That marriage lasted 12 years with me working two jobs, trying to keep the utilities turned on, while he played solitaire on the computer or hung out with friends.
Now, last but not least, my first marriage was love at first site. We divorced after 5 years and two kids because of interference from family and friends. Not speaking for 23 years, we were able to find each other again and remarry, 9 years ago. This marriage has mixed the girls up a bit, suddenly having their ‘biological’ father in the picture changed the way they looked at their own lives and marriages. We found a good family counselor and with time we are now a pretty good family unit.
I have learned that financially divorce will take a toll on even the best prepared money stasher. You have to have an attorney and they can cost a bunch.
I recommend to anyone that it is best to pay a good lawyer a good fee for good advice. Don’t settle for a “low cost” attorney just to save money. To me, that’s like “budget scuba equipment”,– just not worth taking the chance. I chose a Christian lawyer and had great spiritual guidance each time. You might try shopping a bit. The first consult is usually free and gives you a chance to get a feel for the individual that is going to help you out of your personal hell.
N.B. If you hear your spouse humming my favorite song go ahead and get a lawyer, don’t wait. Tis best to be the “dumper”, not the “dumpee”.