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Welcome to FYI Divorce, real life divorce tips

Welcome to FYI Divorce, an unbiased resource that’s not tapping into the industry of divorce, but tapping into the heart of the matter; PEOPLE’s LIVES.

You’re reading this now, because you’re thinking about divorce, starting a divorce, going through a divorce or have already experienced the divorce process.  There are very few resources on divorce that are truly objective resources.   Almost every divorce online resource has the money strings attached, so the perspective of the article or website is skewed.  No longer, my friends!  Welcome to FYI Divorce, an unbiased resource that’s not tapping into the industry of divorce, but tapping into the heart of the matter; PEOPLE’s LIVES.  This is not a place to find legal advice.  This is a place to find the real deal; reveal what’s behind the divorce curtain for lack of a better analogy.

Hold onto your hats, because FYI Divorce will be taking you on a wild ride.  There will be insight garnered from personal experience (a perspective outside of family law), there will be interviews of divorcées, there will be interviews of industry workers and most of all there will be NO SUGARCOATING.  It’s time there is some real talk about what goes on in the courthouse and the courtroom and how the individuals’ experience can be drastically different depending on what state and county the divorce is filed.

There are many different types of divorce.  There are online divorces, uncontested divorces, contested divorces, only custody cases in non-marital situations, domestic violence divorces, irreconcilable differences divorces (which covers up the true reason for divorce), short term marriage divorces, long-term marriage divorces and the list goes on.  It’s time someone talks about the experience that unravels once you enter this tangled web of family law.  DO NOT ENTER the divorce lane without reading FYI Divorce first.

If divorce was simple, there would be no need for FYI Divorce.  Divorce is complicated.  The state government and attorneys make it even more complicated.  It’s not like you can file all the necessary paperwork with or without an attorney and go on your merry way as a singleton.  Once you go down this expensive path of family law there is no U-turn.  Do I have your attention?  Your life matters.  Family law does not consider your life.  Family law does not care about you, your family or even your kids.  Family law is there to accept your dollars, shuffle paperwork and do it all over again the next day.  There are those rare few in family law that do want to have a positive impact in the industry, but those people are extremely scarce and busy; good word travels fast.  Stay tuned for more real talk on divorce tips and family law.

Getting Divorced? Avoid Court or Wear a Gas Mask.

Family Law is truly the black eye of America.  It is a system created by lawyers to leverage domestic disputes for their advantage.  There is no one to hold the judge accountable for the judgments.  If both sides have lawyers or attorneys, they will consume all marital assets.  Their tactics, rhetoric and treatment requires a gas mask.  If you go pro se while the other person is abusive in nature, that person will use up almost all marital assets.  No matter what is done, if the relationship ends because one person is abusive and that person has enough funds to hire an attorney – that person will get their way no matter what.  When one person will not compromise and it is the same person that has filed and/or paid the most money while the other person is responsible by not spending beyond their means, one mistake going pro se will ALWAYS benefit the other person if there is no criminal record or criminal activity.

It is uncertain if things would be different if attorney representation was equal on both sides for my case.

Having an attorney secured financial support in my situation; however, that same attorney allowed the judge to impute income and administer below guideline child support.  Going pro se, the financial support may have been even less.  Shocked?!  It does not faze me anymore.

The only benefit of my current situation is that the abuser is in no way going to be awarded the marital home.

Through all this utter turmoil experienced, there is a silver lining.  There is no way that I will be forced to live under the same roof as the abuser.  Usually the abuser does not file for divorce, in my case the abuser did.  The abuser likes to maintain control and control is impossible without the victim under their watch usually; however, in my case, the abuser was a white-collar male who feared going to jail, because I would not turn a blind eye to his actions behind closed doors.  One time the abuser said to me, if you do not send out the Christmas cards, I will divorce you.  The following year he filed for divorce, but it was not over Christmas cards.

Hindsight is 20/20.  As a person who witnessed abuse and was subject to the abuse myself, videotaping the incidents would have been better than confronting the abuser hoping that the guilt would lead to changed behavior.  Confronting the abuser increased tension and pushed the abuser away preventing any real evidence collection while under the same roof.

Here’s the epiphany, someone who abuses another person either blames the victim or pardons their own guilt as justified.

An abuser cannot change.  They cannot change by extrinsic motivation or intrinsic motivation.  They will repeat the same mistakes, rituals and behavior in other relationships.  Some lessons are learned the hard way.  Do not learn the hard way like me.  If there is no abuse in your relationship go through mediation.  If there is no abuse in your relationship and you hire an attorney, by the end of it you will have a list of abusive interactions to add to the broken relationship as well.  Avoid going to court by filing for divorce first before your spouse (if divorce is truly your only option and your spouse is unpredictable).  Filing for divorce is one serious advantage of being the petitioner (see Divorce Strategy, Petitioner or Respondent).

If you are the respondent, convince the divorce filing spouse to seek mediation.  If you wait too long, the court attorney toxic gas will have already infiltrated all orifices of your spouse and there’s no way of reversing the contamination.

 

The Dichotomy of Darkness in Light

When you get married you are making a commitment.  Marriage is not this endless love nest or dating on steroids (it can feel that way in the beginning though).  It can take years before you really know a person, for me it took my relationship 6 years, before my other half turned to the dark side.  In my analysis, this switch was triggered by our first born, but anything can trigger it if the person you are married to has a trigger.  In my situation, maybe he didn’t know what love is, maybe he couldn’t wrap his head around the flaws, maybe he just did not want to put the effort into the marriage to make it work, maybe he still wanted to be married to the young girl he could control or maybe he let his guard down and darkness entered his heart replacing the love he had for me with love he had for himself instead.  The last four years with him were an unforgettable abuse whirlwind .  He gradually became a different person or he gradually revealed his true person starting at the birth of our daughter (trigger event).  Either way it triggers a discussion that has been floating around in various social media circles, the belief that darkness and light can simultaneously be in the same place at the same time.  Scientifically it is impossible; but metaphorically it is possible.

This is the challenge between the realist and the idealist, the dichotomy of darkness in light existing all at once like the yin and yang from the Chinese belief system of the Tao (even though it does in fact represent duality); however, I think looking deeper the symbol sums it up nicely; there’s not one portion of the symbol that is gray (mixture of light and dark).  Each section is separate, there is no blending of black and white.  Also, if ever there is imbalance like a mixture of light and dark (my interpretation) or too much dark for example, they call this vacuity in Chinese medicine, there’s an actual word that describes the consequences of becoming confused.  This tipping of the balance is also known as a depressed state of being.  My other half seemed to be bit by the Existentialism bug.  Wikipedia sums it up nicely, “people who face the emptiness and accept responsibility aim to live ‘authentic’ lives.” Ah ha!  The answer is clearer now than ever.

There is no such thing as darkness within light or light within darkness; however, if you are the type of person who likes to color outside the lines I think this metaphorical way of thinking helps you rationalize the things you feel guilty about.  This is not about shame, blame or judgment.  It’s about calling a spade a spade.  This faulty way of thinking is damaging relationships everywhere, not only in marriages.  This way of thinking throws off the balance of life.  A person who aims to live by their authentic sinful self throws morality to the wind and embraces immorality as a characteristic of living.  Guilt is not a disposable feeling.  Guilt has a purpose.  When you throw away a purposeful feeling that is only associated with human beings, is not that regression instead of progression?

Don’t Let Divorce Happen to You

There are many words circling in my brain.  Disillusionment, frustration, duped, disbelief, hurt, shocked, sad and empty.  Emotional stages of divorce vary for everyone.  Since separation, acceptance was the immediate response to the tragedy of my divorce considering the abusive history that ensued once the first child was born.  The feeling was mutual when  I received the papers.  Was the first born a trigger?  It felt like the first born ignited something.  The change was gradual at first.  After having a baby, the woman goes through a major transition physically and emotionally, I was no different.  I was not myself, no woman is; however, no amount of stress is any excuse for abuse.  He was not himself either.  Men do not have the babies; however the change can impact men in unknown ways.  It could be the laws of nature, it could be genetics or it could even be the environment that fosters the change; whatever it is, the abusive spouse is not justified in their poor treatment of the other.  When you get married, you are supposed to work through difficulties like speed bumps, so I thought.

If your spouse has unacknowledged abuse in their past, brace yourself you will be facing roadblocks as tall as mountains adorned with caution tape and floodlights, that’s what happened and why I find myself getting divorced.

As a little young thing, I did not pay attention to any of the signs during courtship.  Young people, are accepting of flaws in others, because they lack the experience to discern otherwise. That was me.  I bought his story hook line and sinker.  He fell in love with a girl who hung on his every word and did whatever he wanted to do.  He became her ideal mate, not because those characteristics were apart of who he was, but because he desired to be that person for her.  It sounds like an everyday love story.  Both people should make each other better.  That sounds good.  It sounds RIGHT.  It is like some famous quotes, “You complete me” from Jerry McGuire or “It’s always better when we’re together” from singer songwriter, Jack Johnson.  This understanding of companionship is downright false and misleading.  It is imperative that each person in the relationship is who they say they are.  Do not change to be “better.”  Do not put on airs.  Do not try to be anything for your partner other than yourself.

If you use any other strategy for love your relationship will end and if you make the mistake of getting married it will end in divorce.  Do not let divorce happen to you.

After, the makeup second child, he decided to finally end it when the makeup child was incubating in my womb.  I was so angry after I found out I was pregnant and that he reverted into the same pattern/person that he was before we made up, so much so, that the second child conception was the last time we were together.  It was dreadful.  He was bent on acting like everything was okay publicly; however, at home the emotional abuse ran rampant and there was no end to conflict.  After the baby was born, he filed for divorce.

That little bundle immediately became my silver lining.  I was incredibly thankful that I had this little parting gift, but the pain inside was just as riveting because I knew the baby and my oldest would not experience the nurturing environment I had while growing up.

The relationship spun out of control.  It became so wound up after the first child, the reset button remained blinking, begging to be pushed.  Words and actions gradually ate away at the marriage stronghold.  The person that committed his life to me, all the sudden forgot who he was and what we were about.  All that mattered was his way and objections would be met with avoidance and/or rejection/conditional love.  My vision was clouded.  The constant changing person before me left me off-balance unable to regain my footing.  My emotions got the best of me.  Divorce was not even in the picture before children; however, children changed the family dynamics and conflict can ruin a marriage.

Do not pretend to be someone else.  Do not let conflict ruin your marriage.  Do not be anyone, but yourself. Talk about everything.  Practice forgiveness daily.  Poor into your marriage like it is the very thing that gives you life.  Compromise.

5 Steps to Heal from Divorce

If you find yourself in the traditional divorce situation against your will it’s extremely difficult.  If you find yourself in a traditional divorce situation voluntarily, because you are the one filing for divorce; you have a lot of input on how the divorce goes and you should be responsible with your role regardless of why you are filing for divorce.  There is no room for retaliation.  There is no room for backstabbing, set-ups, poor words or threats at this point.  All these divorce emotions paired with poor actions are ruining your chance for closure, emptying your bank account and indirectly hurting your loved ones.  There has been enough hurt up until this point to last two lifetimes.  Get off the treadmill, stop spending money and start healing from divorce by following these steps:

  1. Fire your attorney. If your divorce has lasted over 2 years, your attorney is running the meter and does not care about you or your family.
  2. Get your finances in order. Retail therapy is only exacerbating your stress and those consumption feelings are short lived, but the endless credit card debt lasts years and years.
  3. Be willing to compromise. Compromise in every place of your divorce; finances, assets, debts, custody arrangements, etc.  There is a best-case scenario and it does not involve you getting everything.  The best-case scenario is a fair agreement, so there is no bitterness.  The more you lack compromise the longer your divorce.  Do not have a “my way or the highway” attitude.
  4. Get therapy. If your spouse claims there are issues you are avoiding.  Guess what?  There are issues you are avoiding.  If you are still acting the same way you did when you first filed for divorce that’s a clear sign there are issues.  Those issues need to be processed and discussed in a safe environment.  Therapy is that safe place.  It’s good for you and if you have children they will benefit from it.
  5. Harness your words. Words bring life and they can bring death.  It is words that probably put the first arrows in your marriage in the first place.  To heal, you need to follow this communication rule “Say only what is absolutely necessary.”

There is no way you can start healing from your divorce if the above steps are ignored.  If you ignore the steps, you are choosing to prolong the pain.  That choice is a selfish one, because divorce impacts everyone in your immediate circle and beyond.  If you have children you are purposely harming them as well. Fire your attorney, get your finances in order, compromise, get therapy and harness your words.  It’s time to move on.  It’s time to take the high road.  It’s time to heal.

Divorce is Devastating – Attorneys with a conscience are difficult to find

When you are thrown into a divorce situation you expect people that are acquainted with the process to uphold a certain standard.  You expect judges to judge rightly. You expect lawyers to know the law, understand financial obligations and have empathy concerning custody.  Newsflash!  There is no standard.  I have read about certain judges in family law that have intervened in court when the attorney or attorneys steamroll their clients; those judges are a rare and dying breed.  The public has no idea what awaits them if divorce comes knocking on their door which is why things are the way they are.  You don’t know what you don’t know.  It’s impossible to discuss family law without talking about the people that make family law possible – the country’s representatives.  There have been only two US presidents with divorces in their past, both celebrities, Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump (no attempt to tackle family law so far).  The divorce list is quite expansive for the run of the mill politician in the senate, congress or city government.  It is surprising that family law is operating like the Wild West when so many of our supposed leaders have experienced this corrupt system, because they too are divorced.  Did they reveal the problem to the last US president, Barack Obama, who identifies with lawyers since he was one?  Lawyers are excellent politicians.  He could have done something to impact positive “change” for family law “change” was his campaign message after all, but he didn’t come near family law with a ten foot pole.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against lawyers only something against a system that allows lawyers to take advantage of others.

Going through a divorce destroys the fabric of family.  Divorce is devastating to society because it causes so much turmoil in the nuclear family, extended family and other relationships.

Divorce is necessary in some cases; however, filing for divorce lately has become as easy as selecting and purchasing something online.

America is so busy with vices a sort of forgetfulness sets in when it concerns the government until presidential elections of course, that’s when everyone is fired up about their “ideal” candidate and all the sudden they are a political expert. Americans also regain consciousness about the government when terrorists decide to kill American lives…  I wonder what Abraham Lincoln would say if he looked at the United States government as it is now.  It’s too bad more politicians do not think about America’s early predecessors while they are in office.

Family law is a fairly new practice.  It developed around the time Franklin D. Roosevelt was president (it is uncertain if FDR influenced current practices in anyway).  The New Deal wasn’t the only thing that happened during his presidency, Mr. FDR also had an affair.  When ideals are lowered in any government it ricochets across the country and impacts the people within it.  These various fractures happen because government is a source of leadership for a country.  It provides governing structure.  It provides infrastructure.  It provides protection against threats. It provides its constituents a certain way of life.

Government is no different than any place in society, it is a place where mistakes are made.

The concern is when those mistakes are covered up, stamped out, ignored, avoided and life continues without a reset button or a corrective action.  Status quo is no longer an option, the health of society is at stake.

There are some people that understand the health risk of divorce on society.  These people try to change things for the common good in government; however, their efforts often get squashed by the opposition, because it destroys everyone else’s system or change is limited by state (it appears Senator Jeremy Ring from Florida understands part of the problem, but can’t get a bill to address it).  That’s why no one in family law with a conscience speaks up.  By speaking up they destroy their career, their connections and their life.  Some in family law that have a conscience will either leave family law and go with another career after they’ve witnessed too much pain or they will eventually become complacent and accept how things are by limiting their contribution to the problem or try to balance things out.  Others, the formidable others, will capitalize on people’s pain without remorse.  I hope if you must be in a divorced situation with attorneys, you come across a lawyer with a conscience, because that truly is your only hope if attorneys are involved (see also: Going Pro Se in an Attorney’s World).

What do you do about parental alienation?

Parental alienation is an unfortunate outcome of divorce.  If at first your divorce is amicable and then suddenly turns sour due to attorney involvement (attorneys can plant the seed of alienation even if it is not happening) or the jungle of emotions that naturally occur with divorce can inadvertently make the children pawns.  Sourness can happen, no divorce is immune.

Parental alienation will not happen if both parents are invested in seeing their children persevere through their divorce.

In some situations, one parent can be the extremist and abduct the children or constantly miss visits and taint the children’s ears with lies and/or truths that negatively impact the other parent in the children’s eyes (this occurs on both sides: custodial and non-custodial).  This emotional abuse, will lead to the child or children externalizing or internalizing problems.  The most bitter and vengeful parent will use anything in their arsenal to punish the other parent (this could be the same behavior that existed before the divorce – poor married behaviors become exaggerated in divorce).

No matter what, your children need both of you.  They need to know you are listening.  They need to know that you care.  Constant conflict between divorced parents hurts the relationship on both sides.  Once your children are in college, you don’t want to be the parents that only get phone calls for money.  Know what to do when you are the custodial parent and when you are the non-custodial parent if a form of alienation is happening.

If you are invested in seeing your children persevere through your divorce YOU NEED TO DO the following if you are the custodial parent:

  1. Follow the court order. The courts are flawed on many levels and mistakes can happen in the courtroom without a doubt; however, if you are the custodial parent it is your JOB to be the RESPONSIBLE one.  No excuses.  If the order is wrong you must get it corrected before you change anything in the schedule and you MUST get the other parent’s permission if it is a one-off change.
  2. Do not engage when the non-custodial parent is mudslinging. It is your JOB to be the RESPONSIBLE one.  No excuses.  Children can pick up on this right away.  Remember children are the smartest in the room.
  3. Be unbelievably consistent. It is your JOB to be the RESPONSIBLE parent since you have physical custody.  If the other parent misses a visit, act as though it was planned or turn it into a better situation by doing something special with the children.  If the non-custodial parent has trouble remembering the schedule, remind them constantly with traceable documentation (email, text and/or mobile divorce app) – so there are no surprises.  That way if it is the day before your vacation they can’t say, how come you didn’t tell me sooner or I didn’t agree to that.
  4. Silent coyote when the children are present. Remember, it is your JOB to be the RESPONSIBLE parent.  That means no specifics on the other parent while your children are present.  Schedule time to get together with friends while the children are in school or make sure the children are occupied in another room out of earshot if you are discussing your feelings about the divorce situation (this goes for family too while you are not present).
  5. Reverse the damage. If the non-custodial parent is alienating the children from you, address it right away.  Do not wait for a better time.  Do not rationalize.  Do not make excuses for them.  Tell it as it is and then move on.  Reinforce your love. You are the custodial parent, it is your JOB to be RESPONSIBLE and that includes safeguarding your relationship with the children without engaging in the same scheming tactics as the other parent.

If you are invested in seeing your children persevere through your divorce YOU NEED TO DO the following if you are the non-custodial parent:

  1. Follow the court order. If it is wrong or you feel there has been an injustice, fight to get it changed, but DO NOT disrespect authority by terrorizing the custodial parent.  If the custodial parent is being irresponsible it is your JOB to be the RESPONSIBLE one.  No excuses.  Custodial is skipping your visitation days, be gracious and then GO TO COURT (get legal advice to steer you in the right direction).
  2. Do not engage when the custodial parent is mudslinging. Your children need you to be the RESPONSIBLE one, it is your JOB especially since the custodial is stooping to low levels to gain control or punish you.  They are not punishing you; they are unknowingly punishing the very people they should be protecting, the children.  Take the high road, because your children will notice and when they are old enough they will request to live with you or it could be sooner if you present a strong enough case before the judge (DO NOT manipulate the children to request anything, be kind only and hope for the best).
  3. Be unbelievably consistent. If the custodial is missing visits, find a way to have constant contact with your children.  If your children are in school, do something special for them each week and visit them there.  If your children see their grandparents and you still have a relationship with them, try to see them then.  It is imperative that you be RESPONSIBLE by maintaining contact.  It is your JOB to undo everything the alienating parent is doing and you MUST be relentless.
  4. Silent coyote when the children are present. If you can’t say something nice do not say anything at all.  Children will replay everything that is mentioned in front of them in their heads.  Even if the custodial parent has said horrible things, be silent.  If the children ask about the things that are said, explain them, refute them, fill their ears with good things and your love and leave it at that.  By setting the example you are doing your JOB and being RESPONSIBLE. Document everything.
  5. Reverse the damage. Since you have less time with them, it is more difficult for this to occur.  You must keep fighting to get a court order that gives you time with them.  Every time you are with them it MUST be more POSITIVE than negative especially since you see them less.  You have less time, so there is no room for stupid mistakes like checking your phone constantly while you are with them.  Be grateful for the time you have and show your children you will persevere in adversity.  Your strength will encourage them, because you are showing you are RESPONSIBLE and putting your parent JOB as top priority.

Whether you are the custodial or non-custodial experiencing parental alienation, follow the court order, do not engage in mudslinging, be unbelievably consistent, silent coyote when the children are present and reverse as much damage as possible.  Coparenting and even parallel parenting requires BOTH parents be RESPONSIBLE.  Being a good parent is hard work and being a divorced parent is twice as hard, so take it seriously.  Being a parent is as important if not more important than any JOB or career that exists.  Being a parent is a privilege.  Do not squander the role and most of all DO NOT alienate the very person that your children love the most and DO NOT claim alienation when it is not happening.

No-Fault Divorce vs. Fault Divorce – Which is Better?

It is understandable why people say “stay together for the kids.”  Staying together seems like common sense, especially if the reason for divorcing is “I’m just not happy,” also known as no-fault divorce.  All states are now “no-fault” states, meaning you can file for divorce under the reason “irreconcilable differences” or something similar.  There are some states that still allow you to file for a specific reason otherwise known as “fault divorce”; however, a specific reason is not required.  Some more conservative states do give more weight to the spouse that files a fault divorce when dividing assets; however, it really depends on the judge.  Family law is a system that capitalizes on people’s misery and it is very questionable how attorneys and judges can maintain their sense of humanity while practicing family law under 21st Century conditions (one very good reason to avoid divorce if you do not have a good reason for filing a divorce).  If there is truly no-fault on the other party, file no-fault and follow through during divorce proceedings.  File online if you have a short marriage, no assets and no children.

A no-fault divorce was created for several reasons (this is opinion, not fact).

#1 Money making engine – Divorcing without cause increases earning potential for everyone in the divorce industry.  Couples who are parents have more stress on their relationship than other couples, so divorcing without a real reason is more common.  There is no such thing as a fast divorce when children and assets are involved, because emotions run high concerning loved ones and money – attorneys do not put on the brakes especially if they know your income.  Couples that are empty nesters lack the glue of the family unit and are more likely to become discontent without a real reason as well.  Empty nesters are a goldmine because they have accumulated more wealth than the young families.  Attorneys gotta know what they are working with.  You are their livelihood and they want to get paid $$$.

#2 Keep things private – Divorce information is available to the public.  First, anyone can attend a divorce hearing and second, anyone can request anything on a specific divorce.  By filing “irreconcilable differences” the run of the mill person cannot access the details unless you disclose them through the process (remember emotions run hot in divorce especially if the attorneys add fuel to the fire to guarantee a good payout).  You may want to keep things private; however, if you lack self-control through the process or ruffle the feathers of your spouse, privacy and frivolous motions or request for orders or even declarations can and will ruin your life at least temporarily.  Going to court is worse than going to the DMV.

#3 Increase the number of people divorcing – Less people are marrying and less people are divorcing.  In any business if the number of your customers decrease, the business owner must downsize or create demand.  Having a no-fault divorce makes it easy for people to call it quits.  In fact, if you have any enemies and you are married, better guard your marriage and run your business wisely; because you could be a target for the money hungry hippo.  The unknowing spouse may even become a target which is outside your control.

A fault divorce or grounds for a divorce means there is a defined reason for the divorce.

The reasons for divorce vary by state and are not strictly governed by a moral code.  It is uncertain how each item makes the list.  A common reason is adultery (some others include: imprisonment, domestic violence, disability, alcoholism, etc.)

If one of these is occurring it is best to disclose it, especially if there are children in the household.  If one of these is not occurring, any decent human being should file a “no-fault” divorce, because divorce is extremely painful.  You add insult to injury if you falsely claim anything and you are hurting those divorce cases that really have a legitimate reason like domestic violence.  Family law is not criminal law, it should be called creative family law, often cases that have real problems get overlooked, because so many people have taken advantage of the system (a system that is run by people and paperwork).  A system run by people means mistakes happen, bias does occur and poor judgements can be made.

Family law was only conceived in roughly the last 100 years and the moral standard varies by state and county and practicing judicial procedure is only enforced when there is accountability.  There is less accountability when there is less money available for the courts to run which enables corruption.  Some attorneys and/or judges are not corrupted, but choose to deal with the system without changing it because it could negatively impact their practice (family law is a closed network and the people divorcing are only passing through).  Others actively leverage the corruption to further their career or increase their standard of living and others use it as a tool for dominance, control, revenge or payback.  It should be unlawful for any mediation divorce to go to court and there should be a cap on expenditures for those who have a somewhat amicable divorce or make under $100k (value of assets excluded from determination), family law is the Wild West. If there is truly no-fault on the other party, file no-fault and follow through during divorce proceedings.