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Lessons to learn from the 12-year divorce

Couples across the U.S. can stand to learn a lesson or two from a couple who have been locked in a bitter divorce battle for 12 years. After six lawyers, legal fees totaling over $100,000 and over a decade, this couple is still working through their divorce settlement, though the marriage was formally dissolved in 2001.

After the wife was injured in a car accident, she felt that her injuries caused her to be 'put aside' by her husband. As a result of their prenuptial agreement, she received a hefty amount of money, which paired with her the settlement from her car accident totaled over $1.2 million. She has sought a larger spousal support amount than what was agreed upon in the prenuptial agreement as a result of her medical costs from the accident.

She was offered a quarter of a million dollars by her ex-husband to drop her case against him and accept compromise. She has refused unless he is willing to round the amount up -- to a full one million.

Divorce litigation can be a drawn-out process -- though very rarely does it last as long as 12 years -- if the spouses choose to be difficult and antagonistic in the courtroom, as we see in this case. Litigation can become very costly over time. It is best for the wallets and the emotions of both spouses if some kind of agreement can be reached as cordially as possible within a short frame of time. This couple has been working through their divorce for 12 years, and neither has been able to move on and start over.

Divorce doesn't have to be a battle, but choosing which items in the settlement are worth fighting for is an important decision. Working with an attorney who advises on where compromise is necessary can bring a difficult process to a more acceptable end.

Source: OCRegister, "Rosendale v. Rosendale: Divorce case stretches to 12 years," Greg Hardesty, Sept. 6, 2012

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