Our “Civil Justice” System is a Mess, and My $300,000 Divorce is a Perfect Example
Our “civil justice” system is a mess, and my divorce is a perfect example.
As the “breadwinner,” my husband was not required to show his expenses, while, as the financial supplicant, I had to show everything. Thus I am not permitted to know exactly what my divorce cost. I don’t know what he paid his lawyers or the kids’ lawyers. Never mind that he financed his business was financed with my savings and good credit. Or that I owned half of it, since it was a family business.
He stopped working when I asked for a divorce. Working at our family-owned company. If it were a public company, he would have been fired. And probably sued by shareholders for putting an investment at risk.
Instead, he stayed home and tormented me full-time with complete impunity.
Meanwhile, my lawyer advised me to keep my expenses UP during this whole process, because supposedly whatever settlement we would reach would be a result of my expenses, not our family income from our family business — which my husband was busy destroying. So, knowing that things were perilous, I kept my expenses up per my lawyer. Meanwhile, my soon-to-be-ex-husband was busy spending on private investigators and plane trips and…God knows what else, because I don’t.
What a fiasco! Now I am bankrupt and my ex-husband is in prison. Not for anything he did to me (it’s legal to steal from your spouse), but for his post-divorce embezzlement schemes.
When our mediation process and then our collaboration process fell apart, my litigation attorney demanded that I agree to a) supply him with psychological evaluations because my husband was saying I was crazy and he was worried about taking me on as a client and b) pay him with money I had saved in a 401(k) before marriage.
So I raided my 401(k) to pay my lawyer. This should have been paid back by my husband. And, in fact, when I took him to court during the divorce (which is called “ad litem”) because he wasn’t paying the stipulated temporary child support and alimony payments, his lawyer used the Kathryn’s-expenses-are-scrutinized-whereas-husband’s-are-not scenario by questioning individual expenses of mine. With all the $450+ per hour attorneys present my husband’s lawyer subjected me to a barrage of questions in Court about an item in my bank statement, “Blue Line Spirts,” which was an expense of about seven dollars. I didn’t remember what Blue Line Spirts was. His lawyer was trying to imply that I had bought alcohol. This seven dollar charge would prove that I was an alcoholic.
It turns out that it was socks I had bought for my son for his hockey practice at the Darien Ice Rink’s sports shop, Blue Line Sports.
The judge got so disgusted with my husband and my husband’s sophistic lawyer that he ordered the lawyer to reimburse me a representative portion of the fines and penalties from my 401(k) withdrawal. My lawyer and I had expected to cover this during the actual divorce, but the judge was so disgusted that he went off the schedule.
Of course, my husband never actually paid this money.
As I sit here, bankrupt and in foreclosure, I still get a $50,000 bill from my divorce lawyer every month. Past due.
So to recap the costs (at least the ones I can recover), I come out a financial loser:
Mediating Lawyer: $4,000
Collaborating Lawyer (mine): $10,000
Litigating Lawyer (mine): $140,000
Guardian ad Litem (kids’ lawyer): [information withheld]
Collaborating lawyer (his): [information withheld]
Litigating Lawyer (his): [information withheld]
Criminal Lawyer (his): [information withheld]
Bankruptcy Lawyer (mine): $1,200
Private Investigator (his): [information withheld]
Business Evaluators: $20,000
What’s it worth to be divorced, anyway?
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 2 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 3 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 4 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 5 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Startup
- 6 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 7 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 8 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 9 Attorney Actually Starting to Believe Own Bullshit
- 10 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook