When all was said and done, my divorce cost me way more than I originally thought or budgeted for. The majority of my expenses were on lawyers’ fees, I was in it to win it at all cost. A long court battle was the result.
Reflecting back on the outcome, (as well as the cost), I am not sure that court was the right path for me (or for my ex). Now that my emotions have levelled out, I truly believe that a more civil resolution through arbitration, collaboration or even mediation would have been a healthier and more cost-effective path to take.
My biggest regret in the process was not finding a good therapist first for guidance, acknowledgment and an unbiased perspective. As much as I appreciate everyone in my life who helped me through this, taking advice from friends and family was the fuel to my fire and allowed me to stay stuck in my story and rush to hire a lawyer.
For me, the court battle was focused on money, anger and revenge and of course resentment for ending our marriage. The reality with divorce is that the law determines support based on income and length of marriage, and divides assets and determines spousal and child support without judgment on who wanted out of the marriage and why.
When I reflect, I wish I would have taken more time, to let my emotions and anxiety settle down, and not rush into this process. The truth is nobody really wins in a drawn out fight in divorce court. The financial cost, as well as the emotional toil end up breaking you (and the family unit) more, even if you are the one who financially wins the battle.