First Person: Divorce Fights About Money

Yahoo Contributor Network

If money was a problem area in your marriage, expect it to be one in your divorce. My ex-husband and I fought about money issues during our marriage and the same thing happened during our divorce process.

What Is Fair?

During our marriage, we never agreed on what was fair when it came to money. That did not change during our divorce. At the time of our divorce, my ex-husband was making significantly more money than I was. I asked for maintenance, also known as alimony, for one year. We had been married for seven years and I had stayed home part-time during some of that time to care for our daughter. Based on email conversations we had, I believe he was upset with me for asking for maintenance at all and for the amount that I asked for. I believe that in his mind, the amount of maintenance he should have been paying was linked to the house. He expected me to stay in it even though I could not afford the house payments, even including the maintenance payment. What he never knew was that my attorney encouraged me to go for more and to ask for it longer. I felt like the amount of money I asked for was reasonable, as was the duration.

Making Adjustments to Child Support

The fight about money continued several years after the divorce too. When I decided to leave my job, my ex-husband decided to take a significant pay cut in order to provide health and dental insurance for our daughter. I argued that private health and dental insurance could have been purchased at a much cheaper rate than what he got. He asked for child support to be dropped entirely based on his new salary. This led to more arguments and getting attorneys involved. We ended up coming to a compromise. He asked for it to be lowered yet again when he got a different job. Tired of fighting about it at this point, I simply agreed to have it lowered to what he wanted.

Was it worth spending all of that money on attorneys to continue fighting about money? Probably not. It also just created more animosity between us. Which is why I have not asked for any changes to the child support even thought I probably could have. I have learned that someone has to be the one to stop the cycle. I do not want to continually be in a cycle of arguing about money with my ex-husband. It is not worth it. I have enough money to have a comfortable life and I would rather teach my daughter to let go of anger than to continue holding onto it.

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