I recently had the privilege of representing some divorce clients that shared some characteristics: lengthy marriage, my client was the homemaker and raised the children, opposing party worked and controlled the finances, and at some point after the nest emptied, the marriage disintegrated.
In every one of those divorce cases, the income-earning spouse tried everything possible to take control over how the marital finances and assets were divided. In every case they were unwilling (at best) to fully disclose what those finances and assets were. And the more they were pushed to provide those documents, the more the refrain became:
“He’s wasting our money!”
I’ll give you one guess who “he” is.
Over and over again, the opposing party pushed on my client to “just settle,” “just let me give you this chunk of money,” “your lawyer is only lining his pocket,” “your lawyer doesn’t care about you,” and a host of other comments that shouldn’t be repeated.
At some point in every case, I had to reassure my client that we were taking the right approach. After all, for 15, 20, 25 years, their spouse had called the shots with respect to the family finances. Now would probably be a pretty good time to stop that approach.
And in each and every instance, when the divorce resolved, my client wound up in a far better financial position than what their spouse was willing to “give” them. In each case the money spent on “he” was economically the right decision for my client. In other words, the return on investment in retaining our representation resulted in a superior outcome in the division of assets and the amount and duration of alimony. Why else would you retain an attorney in a property division and alimony case?
The moral to the story? Don’t let the guy you are divorcing tell you what to do. Odds are, it is not in your best interest. Oh, and let your attorney work his/her magic. Your bank account will be quite glad that you did.