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Feelings of Unfairness During Divorce

It’s easy, perhaps too easy, to get a divorce. Divorce is automatic under no-fault laws that seek to correct past failures of the legal system. The old process wasn’t realistic or even civilized for most people. While you may feel victimized by the legal system, it might have been worse under the old version.

Women may feel that they are victims because support orders are not as large as they were twenty years ago. True. Support orders are often inadequate and leave the homemaker, with the children, in a state of relative poverty compared with the ex-husband’s lifestyle achieved with higher earning power.

Men may feel that they are victims because they pay support forever after a long marriage. True. If property is equally divided, the opportunity to give a nest egg to a homemaker is lost. Unfortunately, rehabilitation to help the supported spouse get on his or her feet and into the work place is rare. On the other hand, a few judges may feel safe in ordering the wage earner to pay what appears to be never-ending spousal support regardless of the facts. To the extent possible, the intent of the man and the woman in this unhealthy relationship that they are trying to terminate should be honored and the relationship severed except for necessary support, protective and child-related issues.

Business owners feel victimized when the court places a high goodwill value on a business they have no intention of selling. Then, the court turns around and orders the business owner to pay support based on the income generated by the business. The business won’t generate any income if liquidated to get at the cash value the court found. There won’t be that much cash anyway because of the big tax bite the court didn’t take into account since there’s no evidence of an imminent sale. The net sales proceeds invested will not generate enough income to pay the support as ordered and have reasonable funds left on which to live. Finally, the supported spouse usually gets the majority of the other assets in order to equal the value of the business—including goodwill.

Every achiever has a reason to be angry. The business owner is hit with a high theoretical value for their business and then hit again with a high support order because the business is so productive. The parent devoted to raising the children may be left in a financial bind as their former spouse’s earning power creates a widening status gap between them.

You’ll learn in advance how to deal with the legal problems of your case. Your support network will help you through the day-to-day traumas. Should a crisis get you down, your support group can help you up. It all starts with talking with someone.