What Cost Divorce?

It has been said divorce is expensive, but “worth it!” Expensive indeed. And an acrimonious divorce is significantly more expensive than most. This is a point that was driven home to one party to such a divorce in Britain when she found it necessary to hand over her £250,000 (approximately $370,000) custom diamond ring to her divorce lawyers so they could continue the fight on her behalf. It has been reported by the British online publication “Mail Online,” the online version of the “Daily Mail,” that Marco White, celebrity chef, and star of the popular show “Hell’s Kitchen,” (previously hosted by a former protégée of White’s, Gordon Ramsay), gave the gift to his wife of 8 years and mother of his three children, Mati White after she gave him his two sons. Ms. White is reported to be penniless now, after having already spent nearly £1,000,000 (roughly $1,475,000) on her divorce lawyers!

The pair (most notably Ms. White) have made the press in England with some frequency as their fights and hostility have played out in London restaurants and other venues. In one reported instance Ms. White became enraged at her husband while dining at a posh London restaurant and flipped over the table, tossed the restaurant’s stereo system off the shelf, and then hurled wine and finally an ashtray at her husband as he retreated into the street. Evidently, things have continued to unravel and the divorce moves forward, leaving a financial nightmare in its wake. To what end, though? Satisfaction? Revenge? A sense of purpose? Unlikely.

The real tragedy of this frighteningly expensive, highly public spectacle is in the impact it will have on the parties’ three small children. Soon they will be old enough to read of this behavior of their famous parents on their own and have almost certainly already been talked about at school behind their backs. When dealing with this level of volatility, which has been reported to have been witnessed at their home as well as out on the town, the impact on the innocent victims, the children, is ferocious and will last a lifetime. At some point, someone who is going through a divorce needs to examine their priorities and start making rational decisions for the betterment of their children and themselves, as well as recognizing the fact that, like it or not, the relationship with the other parent will continue for a lifetime. Spending oneself into poverty (even temporary poverty – in this case, it is reported that Ms. White may end with £25,000,000 in the divorce settlement) sends the wrong message to your children while at the same time placing everyone in the family into a state of chaos that ravages everyone involved.

Divorce is difficult and the issues are complex and the emotions run high. We feel betrayed by the one we love, or simply confused and lost and full of fear. This is the time, then, to take stock in yourself and in your position and in your family and realize that you will survive. Tomorrow really is another day, and we owe it to ourselves and to our children to be the best we can be in times like these. We will likely be judged b ourselves and by those around not so much by the circumstances in which we find ourselves, but by how we handle those circumstances.

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