Every once in awhile, "let's try again" is an important path to take.
It takes a lot of hardship and indecision to get to the decision of divorce in the first place, so to go back on it takes even more work than that.
But if it's happening, it must be important.
Here were some of those answers.
My aunt and uncle recently decided not to get divorced. He's legitimately crazy and on his fourth wife, she doesn't speak any English and is with him for his pension.
This divorce started because he ran up a large amount of credit card debt buying worthless art at auction. He wanted to mortgage their shared house to pay it off, but she wouldn't sign for that (because it would just make a bad situation worse). Thus he wanted to divorce her for not signing and she wanted to divorce him to secure her half of the money from his antics. They recently decided to call it off, though.
My uncle's logic for calling it off was that he doesn't want to pay the lawyer's fees. He doesn't really care about losing half his money, but he's not willing to give a cent to the lawyer.
My aunt's reason was that she realized she's 13 years younger than him, and that she could just outlive him and get all the money.
So, they remain unhappily married.
Making An Effort
I do a lot of divorces in my practice, and typically the ones that get called off are the younger couples that decide they did not make a good enough effort to save the marriage. Half the time, I'll see the client again in about six months. The other half seems to work out.
The only case that stands out in my memory is a case that was nearing the end... both attorneys had put in a lot of work. Mediation had been semi-successful, and we were fairly confident we were going to be able to settle the divorce without a full blown trial, but we knew that a couple issues might have to be decided by the judge. It was clear that the divorce was going to happen though.
One day, I get a call from my client. He told me he didn't want the divorce anymore, and he gave me his reason why. I informed him that we couldn't stop the divorce from happening if his wife wanted to press forward. He told me his wife wanted to call off the divorce as well for the same reason, which I'll get to in a moment. I called OC, and he informed me that his client wanted to call off the divorce as well... for the same reason.
Apparently, both parties had been visited by God on the same night, and he demanded that they honor their vows and make the marriage work. Keep in mind both parties have spent a lot of time and money already. I asked OC what his thoughts were, and he said "Who are we to argue with God?" We had a good laugh, and they are still married to this day.
The Worst Kind Of Person
When I was a kid the neighbor's dad ran off (went to get cigs and never came back). He was a rich banker type and his wife was a harried stay at home mom with three boys about my age.
About ten years later and she's a real estate agent making decent money. She lost weight, dresses nice, etc. Basically the MILF next door. She has a fiance but is technically still married so starts the legal proceedings.
Guy comes back to appear in court, sign papers, etc. and falls head over heels in love again with his estranged wife.
She takes him back and dumps the fiance.
My friends, the three boys down the street, hated their dad for leaving and couldn't believe their mom took him back.
Divorce lawyer here.
Seen a few reconciliations over the years. Couple of cases I've seen:
- Husband completed rehab and was fully committed to sobriety.
- Separation where one party was living in a Marriott suite for a month, not securing own residence. Just too hard on the family going through just that transition, much less an entire divorce.
- Two parents realizing that they couldn't put the kids through the process of a divorce at that time.
- Two elder parties who just realized it made no financial sense to be divorced (taxes, health insurance, etc.)
One thing to definitely make clear is that lawyers (for the most part) are actually happy to see two people not get divorced - especially if there are kids involved. Yes, we don't get paid as much, but there's always someone getting divorced; as a divorce lawyer you accept that you traffic in human misery and sometimes it's just nice to see people staying together. Reconciliations (when it's for the best) and adoptions - those are the best parts of the job.
My parents called off their divorce. My mom didn't make enough money to take care of the kids alone. She would have had to move us all back to our home country where she would have had family help. My dad didn't want to lose me so they stayed together. In the end they divorced 10 years later.
Not a lawyer but an assistant to a family law attorney.
Had a call yesterday from a woman looking for a divorce, but was unsure how to go about it. Her husband has traumatic brain injury and therefore can't sign any legal papers himself.
The reason she wants the divorce though is so that she can be paid for taking care of her husband. Apparently she can't be paid as in home care while they're married so she decided to jump on the divorce train.
My parents called off theirs twice. They separated and lived apart for about 6 mos each time. They hid the fighting well as it blindsided us kids each time and it crushed my dad. Only time I've ever seen him cry was mom telling us he was moving out.
In the end, each time, he just caved on his position regarding the issue because he couldn't stand not seeing us each day. My sister was the result of their last reconciliation and the last 20 yrs has been the longest stint without an attempted divorce.
It Gets Better
My parents called off their divorce 3-5 times over the span of 10 years. I wanted them to split up because it was obvious they aren't meant for each other.
My mom's reason for not going through with it was a typical "Stay together for the kids" scenario. All though her and I had a rough relationship during my teenage years and one of the times she told me the divorce was my fault.
My dads reasoning, as we found out later, was a lot more messed up. Each time he asked for a divorce it was because he was cheating and tried to leave my mom for the other woman. But every time the woman would reject him and he would go back to my mom. It was a different woman each time.
They did finally divorce when I was 17 and it was messy and traumatic for everyone involved. But things are significantly better now that they are not together.
My brother in law's parents were getting a divorce but then decided to wait until the last kid was an independent adult before getting divorced. They didn't let the kids know until the youngest was 16. I don't think they hated each other but they were seeing other people after the kids knew. They let the kids know that they were basically roommates for the time being and that it was okay. They made sure that the kids didn't have to live 2 lives or "pick sides". Whatever the reason was for not being together as a couple, they kept to themselves. We still don't know the reason. All I know is that none of the kids feel like it was anyone's fault, had happy lives, and love both the parents. Both parties are happy not being together and the divorce was very clean.
I did family law for a while and one client that stuck out was this chill rasta guy whose wife was divorcing him because of his many affairs. Now, this couple were in their 70s at the time so I thought it was a bit weird that she waited so long.
When we got to court we had to wait a few hours for the hearing. My client and his (soon to be) ex-wife spent the whole time cuddling and joking with each other. They were obviously still very much in love. After the hearing I talked to him about it and he told me that they weren't really divorcing over the affairs. Both of them had had lots of affairs throughout the marriage and they were in a quasi-open relationship.
No, the reason they were divorcing was that he had gotten busted for possession too many times and because of this he had managed to rack up a bunch of debts and pending criminal matters. They had decided that if they got divorced she wouldn't have to worry about his debts and he figured he could delay the criminal proceedings by reason of family hardship, possibly until he died.
I don't think their plan holds water but it was what they wanted to do so we helped them through a 'very' amicable divorce.