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TooLong

What did your divorce/custody battle cost you?

22 posts in this topic

So....in the end, what did your divorce and custody battle end up costing? So far mine has been $16k with the latest bill and here is what I have gotten for it:

Being dragged to custody court twice, once after the insane therapist accused me of parental alienation for missing one visit and asking that one other be rescheduled...after dutifully taking S15 there for almost a year and giving son to DE pretty much whenever he wanted. Ended up having to make a formal complaint with the State (all the therapist stuff alone was $2k in lawyers fees)

Slapped with a contempt petition for a whole bunch of nonsense which we had to answer.

Being dragged to domestics twice. Once having to appeal because the gave the man (and I use the term very loosely) who made $140K a mortgage deviation even though I made $13K at the moment (plus support). Cost of the appeal, $3k.

Two discovery and settlement conferences which got us nowhere. Plus lots of back and forth between lawyers.

My lawyer repeatedly asking for information the court ORDERED him to give me.....I finally got SOME of the stuff I needed in January....court said to get it to me by the prior May.

Now, we made a settlement offer in April which he never even had to courtesy to answer, much less counter offer. At the end of November DE's attorney said they wanted to push forward and we again asked for an answer and/or counter offer and then possibly mediate. His response? Go straight to the court and ask for it to go through there. There will be a settlement conference next month (which will go nowhere since he still says all of the business money is his and has proceeded to add a pack of lies, half-truth, deceptions and double dipping to the "evidence") so my lawyer said we go to that, then another one, then the Master tells us what she thinks I should get and when he doesn't like it (she already said what she thought back in April.....and he REALLY didn't like it), then it goes to trial (with the same master) and if he still doesn't like it, then it goes to a judge. I was told another 6 to 8 K.....but judging from how it has gone with the estimates so far, it will be more like 10 to 12K at least. And the worst part it, I am helpless......my attorney said once he goes to the court, we HAVE to cooperate. So, my choices are go through this, or take whatever pitance HE deems me worthy of. On the way out the door he told me I would get no more than 50% of what HE says are marital assets (and he says I get none of the business, he counts our daughter's car as mine, and he even wants to count the tuition trusts for the children (purchased with my mother's inheritence) as my assets....in other words, he would give me almost nothing.

And every time he does something really nasty, he makes sure to write and tell me how he was doing just what he promised.

So ladies and gentlemen......how much did yours cost in the end? I have friends who got out for less than $5K........how I envy them.

TooLong

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Mine didn't cost me a thing. I qualified to have my court costs waived, and he didn't have an attorney so I just did it on my own. I know I'm really lucky.

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MIne - a whole lot of pain, anger disbelief and heartache. :arguement:

We had no assets to divide so it's all been about the kids. Legal aid for court costs, just time and too much of my life. :raincloud:

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I'm just at the start of the process and am trying to figure out how much it's going to cost me. We're not fighting over kids, we're fighting over the house. (and yes, the blessing that we're not fighting over kids is not lost on me).

The original quote by the lawyer to negotiate with B and do a binding financial agreement and tidy up all the paperwork was $2500. This was for a simple case but with allowance for some complications. However, B has stuck his heals in so I'm now getting them to outline my options with rough estimates of time and money for each. My biggest problem is that the house is worth nothing (the prices have fallen so low that selling it wouldn't pay all of the mortgage), so for every month that goes by I'm paying a lot of interest I won't get back if I end up having to sell down the track. B doesn't want to negotiate until next year. That's a lot of money for me to pay for nothing. And B hasn't contributed since we bought the place, and can't because he doesn't have a job and has no plans to get one (he's living on his mother's couch).

Best case for B- he negotiates and gets something.

Worst case for B- it goes to court and he gets nothing.

Best case for me- I get the house and a big bill from the lawyers

Worst case for me- I loose the house, get a big bill from the lawyers, a big debt on the shortfall of the mortgage, and I loose a years worth of interest repayments.

As you can see, I have a lot more to loose than B, and he knows it too. He's taking the road that leads to court.

At this point I'm wondering if I should force a sale now. I would end up with no house, a reasonably small lawyer debt, and the shortfall on the mortgage. Give me 2 to 3 years and I may be clear of the debt, I'd be free from B completely, and I could start saving for myself. B would get nothing, but it's better than I would get.

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I'm just at the start of the process and am trying to figure out how much it's going to cost me.

At this point I'm wondering if I should force a sale now. I would end up with no house, a reasonably small lawyer debt, and the shortfall on the mortgage. Give me 2 to 3 years and I may be clear of the debt, I'd be free from B completely, and I could start saving for myself. B would get nothing, but it's better than I would get.

Force the sale. This way you only have 2 to 3 years of debt and you are free of him NOW. It took me a Looong time to realise that it was the fight he was after (because even negative attention is better than no attention at all), the end result was pretty irrelevant.

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Thanks Big Girl, you've validated what I've been thinking. While I can win the fight, the emotional toll will be huge. I don't know if it's worth it.

My Dad can't believe I'd even consider giving in (as he sees it). He is in the mindset that it's half B's debt, so B will have to pay it. And the fact he can't will force him to "sell" to me. He hasn't figure out yet that law and enforcement of law are two different things. B can get away with not paying, and he will.

It comes back to the flight or fight descussion in my mind. Flight has its advantages too.

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KB spent over 50,000.00 and his ex probably about the same, or more...........

*MG*

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TooLong i can remember you asking this question ages ago when you just started the proceedings.

Mine cost 7k no children involved

I'm so sorry you are going through this, i wish i could help

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TooLong,

Your situation sounds a lot like mine was. My final bill........I stopped counting at 56K. His had to have been higher.

He just refused to negotiate. At our first settlement conference, I agreed to most of what he asked for and he backed out of the whole thing the next day. His lawyer was in charge and I folded on several things just to get it over with. What was with that?

He sent letter after letter from his attorney for little unimportant things. He refused to remove his things from the house for a year and a half. I was told I could get rid of it myself since he refused to get it after being notified. He finally tried to schedule to pick it up on the one day that year that he knew I was having a party. He finally got it a few weeks later and he needed a full size moving van. He brought a paralegal from his lawyer's office and paid her to watch them load up. It took most of the day.

All of his records had to be subpoenaed because he wouldn't cooperate with disclosure. He handed in falsified documents. I asked, and the court agreed to freeze all of his accounts because of this and because he was moving assets and hiding others.

He dragged his feet on every thing. He almost ran me out of money.

He forgot to pick up the kids or forgot to bring them back. He made promises, and broke them.

After 2 years of this, the divorce was finally final. We never made it to court. He got a new lawyer and she just made him stop. I couldn't believe it. He blamed everything on the old lawyer. Guess she showed him how much it was costing him and that I had stopped playing a while ago. He also couldn't access his accounts. Even then, it was another full year before everything was split and access to his remaining accounts was given back to him and then only after my portion was transferred to me.

The final outcome was that he ended up completely sabotaging himself. I received considerably more than I had originally asked for in the first place and it more than paid for my legal fees.

That's my story.

I wish I had read this before I filed: http://divorcesuppor...sive-Spouse.htm

I think they wrote it about him. lol

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He just refused to negotiate. At our first settlement conference, I agreed to most of what he asked for and he backed out of the whole thing the next day. His lawyer was in charge and I folded on several things just to get it over with. What was with that?

After 2 years of this, the divorce was finally final. We never made it to court. He got a new lawyer and she just made him stop. Guess she showed him that I had stopped playing a while ago.

The final outcome was that he ended up completely sabotaging himself. I received considerably more than I had originally asked for in the first place and it more than paid for my legal fees.

Here is your classic just needing the negative attention. You agreed to his demands and he backed out...I'll tell you what's up with that, he wanted to fight you and it was over too soon. He dragged his feet on everything until someone showed him you weren't playing anymore...I'm so glad your settlement paid for the bills but wouldn't it have been nice if your kids could've enjoyed that money?

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The money we gave to lawyers, et al. could have been used to send one of our kids to college. The whole fiasco was probably the most stupid and absurd thing that I have ever been involved with. When we agreed on something, he changed his mind. He just wanted to fight and was unreasonable about everything. He may have figured that I would just fold. Who knows? It would be interesting to hear his take on the whole mess as I am sure that his story would not bear any resemblance to mine.

When I hear women say that they are sure that their stbx would never hurt them or the kids and will be fair, I tell them to be careful and protect themselves. I never expected his behavior. Some divorces are amicable. When you divorce someone who lied to you, abused and controlled you for years, that is not likely.

One thing he said after we split was he felt like we were always at war when we were married. I was dumbfounded I really thought we wanted the same things and were on the same side. I drove myself crazy trying to please that man. Someone said "You never really know a man until you divorce him." That was certainly true in my case.

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Some divorces are amicable. When you divorce someone who lied to you, abused and controlled you for years, that is not likely.

:clap::14::frustrated::this is abuse::barf:

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I haven't started the process. Can't afford retainer, make just over the max for legal aid, so I'm stuck. I have filled out the paperwork myself and as soon as I figure out how to file, I will, this year.

I hear of all the costs, and it really wouldn't be worth it to me to have a long fight, which it would be. I don't think I'll get much out of the house since we had bought it the year previous. He can take the house and shove it up his keister. My main thing is to get custody of my kids on paper.

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I was lucky - I divorced my ex in the late 80s when legal aid was more generous than now. If I was divorcing him today in the same financial circumstances, I wouldn't be able to afford a solicitor and would probably lose my share of the house to his crooked lawyer's finagling.

And it's true what Sunbird said: it was only through the divorce that I really began to see my ex for the selfish, vindictive, lying little weasel that he was. Who knows - if not for that, I might still believe to this day that the divorce was all my fault.

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...what Sunbird said: it was only through the divorce that I really began to see my ex for the selfish, vindictive, lying little weasel that he was.

Boy is this the truth!!!

When I left Mooch, nearly 4 years ago, I was dedicated to the idea of mediating our divorce. I read up on it and really liked the idea of the two of us being in the driver seat, determining together how our post divorce family would look. I believed that if we could do this with a minimum of animosity, that it could only help my kiddos. And I believed that my then husband would negotiate with my well being in mind, as I was. :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: I was so naive and I should have listened to everyone on this board who told me "you cannot mediate with an abuser". But nooooooo, my situation was different! So, I agreed to support him completely for three years, put off the divorce for three years so that he could remain on my health insurance, all with the PROMISE that at the end of three years he would be able to support himself. So i went into considerable debt to fully support him. But in my mind, I could easily take care of that debt at the end of three years.

Well I bet you can guess what happened when we reconvened mediation last January to finalize the divorce...he went back on his word and suddenly was needing 5 to 6 more years of support. We mediated for 6 months, and got absolutely no-where. Total fees paid to mediator: Around $20 K. So then we tried collaboration. Fail due to his inability to realistically negotiate. Total to collaborative lawyer: $5,000. I was ordered by the court to pay his collaborative lawyer 1600.

So, now we are litigating. We were able to reach an agreement on support, with the help of a judicial settlement conference. Cost: $10,000. And now I am trying to increase my time share with my 12 year old. So far the cost of that has been nearly $7,000. Oh, and lest I forget, I have had to pay nearly $3500 in his legal fees.

So far then, the total cost has been over $45 K.

I wish, wish, wish, I had not wasted the money on mediation and collaboration. However, it did help me to see in so many ways, just what a weasel Mooch is.

Grabby

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BTW, I want to thank all of you for sharing your stories. I am naive enough to give B the benefit of the doubt. But because of all of your stories I am pulled back into reality that B is doing exactly what all of your spouses have done. I want to think better of him but he has given me nothing to base this on. I feel like I am walking into a fight, but at least I know it and can prepare, and hopefully minimise my losses.

So, thank you.

Grabby, B has asked (well, he's not exactly asking) for 1 year before he will negotiate. I won't bother waiting.

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I'll give you a 'so far' answer as until my kids are 18, this will likely go on. I have a court date pending. So far it has cost me over $40,000, probably closer to $50,000.

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I'm a little worried. Someone called my attorney a "bulldog." And that they are pricey. I didn't know who to go thru. Have a friend that used the firm and she was ok.

I think after all is said and done? $10,000? OUCH. This is IF we agree. *There was much looking back into his financial doings. He has been very sly. Calls his savings "moms"

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I didn't have a job, so I kept having to go to college for student loans to get money to pay for it. I used to remember how much it cost, but it just blurrs together now.

In my case I couldn't afford to pay attorneys what they wanted.

My ex had consulted with all the attorneys in the area, so they couldn't represent me under conflict of interest. One attorney saw what he had done and represented me anyway. He went to the bar association and had him disbarred over it. One attorney mostly kept representing him, so he didn't get disbarred, but I was expected to pay for it even though he was my attorney on the record.

I had to go out of town to hire an attorney. She was the only one willing to represent me at that point.

I separated in 1995. I didn't get the divorce until 1999 because he kept dragging it out. He kept having the date of separation moved. In Virginia you have to live separately for a year, and he kept lying and saying we'd been together when we hadn't. The court always took his word over mine. Attorney #2 even agreed with the judge that "women usually lie" and allowed my testimony to be disallowed because I was on my period, so they said I was too hormonal to be credible as a witness.

I ended up borrowing over $25k I think it was in student loans. It went on living and legal expenses. I was in court sometimes two or three times a week. Sometimes I actually got a week or two break from court.

During that time he and his family would stalk and threaten me. I'd be assaulted. The cops assisted them instead of me.

I developed PTSD over that time period. I was so jumpy at so much.

There weren't really any assets other than a car. I was wanting that out of my name because it was affecting my food stamp case. I wasn't even able to get a car of my own during that time because I couldn't legally have two cars in my name and get any assistance at all. I would've basically been homeless had I had my own car. He did all he could to keep my name on the title. And it was still on the title after the divorce. It was court ordered that the car be sold and I'd get half. The car just disappeared and my name wasn't on the title anymore. DMV wouldn't investigate. He had to have forged my signature on it.

He basically did all he could to prevent me from getting away and/or becoming independent.

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Around $10-12,000 for the divorce.

But more in years to come for custody hearings... I loose track....

He was ordered to pay some of my fees, he did not, so a few yrs later my attny came back to me for what ex was ordered, and I had to re read my contract, didnt know if he defaulted I had to pay. :(

And my ex still owes me $50,000 in back child support.

Ive got a little over a yr to go till my youngest is 18, then Im legally DONE with the man in regards to kids, Hallelujah!

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Just went and spoke to the bank; I wanted to understand all my options when it came to the mortgage.

I knew B had written to them and told them he refuses to sell, so if I suggest otherwise it's fraud. I didn't mention it and just explained the situation I am in, and that I just want to talk so I understand everything before I make any decisions. The Bank Manager quite quickly explained I can't sell without B's permission, and I explained the legal advice I had received... no issues there.

Anyway, at the end of it all the Bank Manager told me it was B's loss. YES!!! I have the bank on my side :)

I know it's a little thing, but I feel like I had a win. Banks have guidelines they have to operate within, but when they know the person and are comfortable with that person, often the banks can be more leanient.

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We did our own divorce and he wrote it up. I held my ground and got a fair settlement. Then he walked on everything he wrote. Tried to accuse me of trying to sabotaging the sale of the house. He was suppose to pay for the deed. and he refused to send me the paperwork and pay? He just would not send it but was not saying he wasn't sending it. Then he threatened to have me arrested for him faluting on the house. Then he tried to trick me into selling his house in a quick sale which would make me liable for double taxes. Then he stopped paying on the time share and lost my property pretending I did not pay when he was responsible. He is then trying to pretend like he is broke but buying new house and car. Then trying to guilt me into sending money. Are you kidding paperwork means nothing. It is just another way to harass me. He is a sicko. He was suppose to make me have more of as a role with my child and he is just racking me over the coals. If I want something I have to prove it then fight for it. You know it is not worth it. I just trying to get as much written down so I can show our son something when he is adult. I could take him to court and he would still pretend he is doing it with no action. Words are nothing but used to make him look good. All I can say is go for the kids and do not worry about anything of value it is cheaper to start over. Sell everything. Leave not mutual.

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