10 Ways to Have a Nasty and Expensive Divorce

Your attitudes and actions can make a divorce much more costly.

Posted Aug 05, 2020

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels
Divorce can be less costly if you avoid these attitudes and actions.
Source: Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

When you announce that you are getting divorced, some well-intentioned friend or family member will probably say you should “lawyer up” by hiring the most litigious attorneys you can find.

Some clients will visit the most litigious attorneys in their area just so that their spouse can’t then retain them. This is going to be a nasty and very expensive divorce. 

At the same time, most divorcing people say they don’t want to spend a lot of money. This might lead you to choose to do a collaborative or mediated divorce. These are no-court choices and designed for people who can manage a non-adversarial process. However, the attitudes you adopt and the actions you take can make a modest-cost divorce into a much more expensive one.

10 ways you can increase the cost of your divorce:

  1. Rushing the process—because impatience slows the process down.
  2. Trying to wrest control of the process from the professionals you have hired to help you—even though the experts know how to make a divorce process efficient.
  3. Procrastinating on doing the required tasks and getting your homework done.
  4. Canceling appointments at the last minute.
  5. Showing up at meetings without the information and documents you were asked to bring.
  6. Refusing to get the emotional support you need, such as working with a divorce coach or therapist, to navigate this very emotional time in your life.
  7. Listening to “street talk” from your friends and family rather than relying on your divorce professionals who are the experts.
  8. Breaking trust by taking unilateral action regarding your assets, such as selling property, overspending, or canceling an insurance policy—this will surprise and scare your spouse.
  9. Arguing in meetings—arguing is expensive.
  10. Withholding information after requests to produce it.
Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels
Arguing during divorce negotiations is one way to increase the cost of your divorce.
Source: Andrea Piacquadio/Pexels

10 attitudes that increase costs

  1. Focusing on the past and trying to even the score in your divorce.
  2. Trying to get paid back for your past compromises in the relationship.
  3. Diminishing and blaming your spouse repeatedly during the process.
  4. Portraying yourself as being and doing things all “right” and your spouse as all “wrong.”
  5. Refusing to acknowledge that you also contributed to the breakdown of the marriage.
  6. Seeking “judgment” or revenge and wanting to punish your spouse.
  7. Focusing on what you don’t want instead of getting clarity on what you do want.
  8. Engaging in tit-for-tat—going low when your spouse goes low.
  9. Refusing to see that your spouse has a legitimate perspective.
  10. Thinking that if you see your spouse’s perspective that you have to give up your own.                                                                                                                                                                                  

You always have a choice about what actions you take and the mindset you adopt. The choices you make will impact:

  • How long your divorce takes.
  • The final cost.
  • How painful the divorce is.
  • The damage to your family.

If you are feeling very reactive and overwhelmed, then seek out a divorce coach or therapist to support you through the emotional currents of the divorce process. 

© Ann Gold Buscho, Ph.D. 2020

An earlier version of this was published on collaborativepracticemarin.com March 17, 2017 by co-writer Nancy J. Foster, J.D.