When Harry Breakups with Sally

We all know those couples. The perfect ones, who’ve been together so long it’s hard to ever imagine them apart. They are so cute together they are sickening, and they all make us feel a bit lonelier because we haven’t met the right person or our spouse isn’t as great of a partner as these two.  

Image result for perfect couple

However, what the movies don’t tell you is that these people get divorced, too.  

Take Katherine and David. The two met first day of college when Katherine was rooming with David’s good friend from high school, and he stopped by to help her put a bookshelf together. They fell in love fast, and all of their friends were so jealous about what a perfect couple they were together. They went on great adventures – like hiking the Appalachian Trail and road tripping to the Grand Canyon – and they were fully enamored with each other, writing each other poems and love letters. David and Katherine married right out of college, and then moved to the Pacific Northwest to work on an organic farm. Their life seemed like a fairytale, until it got real.  

Two years after their big move, David came back home without Katherine. As the two got older, they realized they had less in common and dreams that went in different directions. Katherine wanted to travel the world taking photos, and David wanted to live in a small town and raise a family. They had always assumed that the other would come around to their way of thinking, but after just 30 months of marriage, they realized the truth. And so, it was over.  

The divorce was fairly quick because they both didn’t have money nor did they have any children. Both Katherine and David were reasonable people who still had love for each other so they came to agreements easy. Still, it was heartbreaking to watch the perfect couple say their last goodbyes. It goes to show you that no matter how happy a relationship seems, no one truly knows what the couple is going through. 

Attorneys who Become Divorce Attorneys

We’ve been administrative assistants for divorce attorneys for several decades, and we’ve seen come to see our fair share of lawyers. At this rate, we’d probably make better attorneys then some of the people our firm has hired! Even so, there are certain things we see over and over again with divorce attorneys.  

First, most of them are in it for the money. Even though the rate of divorce has fallen in the last decade, 46 percent of all marriages break up. That’s good business. Some will tell you that they are in it to help clients, but that is rarely the truth. However, one of the exceptions to the rule is Graine Mediation, who really does care about their clients and helping people make the most out of a traumatic decision.  

Two, they are likely divorced themselves, or their parents were. I suppose this is good because they know the process, but none of the lawyers at our current firm are married to their first spouses.   

Three, they love to gossip just as much as we do. Probably why they are in the field! 

There are some great divorce attorneys out there who are kind and loving people, but you can’t say that about the ones in Buncombe. If you run into one, watch your pocket book!

The Saddest Split in Buncombe

The worst divorce case we saw was about a young woman we’ll call Sarah. She got pregnant when she was 16 to her boyfriend at the time, and they were forced into marriage by her parents. They truly loved each other and made it work with both of them finishing high school and then college.  

In her mid 20s, though, Sarah found out that she had cancer. While it was stage II and treatable, her husband did not handle it well and ended up cheating on her while she was on chemo treatments. She tried to make it work by going to therapy, but in the end her husband was not interested in being married anymore and filed for divorce.  

It was very hard on Sarah, especially because she was still trying to fight the cancer. Eventually, she did beat cancer, and she also got fully custody of their child. While this was one of the saddest divorces we’ve ever seen, we hear that Sarah is now healthy and dating a really cute single dad she met a Parent-Teacher night! 

I do … not

Just a few months ago, one of our attorneys was assigned to work on a divorce of a couple that had been married 65 days! 35 DAYS! That is shorter than Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries!  

The couple had been best friends in high school, and then drifted apart when the wife moved to New York. After failed attempts at being a writer for 10 years, she returned home to live her with her aging parents, and she decided to get in touch with her old friend. He was about a year removed from divorce to his wife and thought seeing an old friend would be good for him. The reunion ignited something deeper, and within two weeks, the couple were engaged.  

It didn’t seem crazy because they were old friends. They already knew each other right? So, after about eight months of marriage, they went down to the courthouse to become wedded. But, immediately it was not bliss. She learned that he had awful debt from his previous divorce, and he soon realized that she had a drinking problem. It was not so many hearts and rainbows, after all.  

The couple had actually broken up a month after their marriage (the wife moved back in with her parents), and while they tried to work something out, it wasn’t meant to be. Because they weren’t married long, the divorce was quick, and the pair was officially separated by the year anniversary of their wedding. 

Why People Get Divorced

Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about divorces and why people break up. We’ve also talked to our friends, and they all have ideas of what they think is the no. 1 reason people break up.  

Most people assume it’s because one person cheated, and infidelity does play apart in a lot of the cases our office handles. Sometimes it’s one-night stand, other times it’s an ongoing relationship. These affairs can be emotional, physical, or both. Sometimes the party that has been cheated on is the one that wants to make work while the other is ready to let go.  

Another common assumption is that most break ups are over kids. One party wants them while the other doesn’t, or they have kids and it’s too much to handle. We have seen both of these play out, and divorce with kids is especially hard.  

The real reason most couples break up is expectation. Many people go into marriage have expectations of what they want the relationship and the other person to be, and those expectations are often not met. Couples that last can adjust those expectations and work through the challenges, whereas for some couples it’s best just to end it right there. Unmet expectations can lead to cheating or misusing finances or other things that eventually drive the relationship to an end, but at the root of most divorces you’ll see that one person thought the other person would be something they just couldn’t’ be.  

Even though the reason changes based on the couple, what we know for sure is that divorce is rarely a sad thing. People breakup because something is not working, so while divorce may be emotionally and financially taxing, truthfully, it usually is the for the best. 

The Most Expensive Divorce in Buncombe

The average divorce in the United States costs about $15,000 in legal fees, not to mention any money or alimony that must be paid to former spouses. However, a few years ago, our office handled one of the most expensive divorces in the county, and in the state.  

The husband in the case was an orthopedic surgeon, and while he made good money, he came from a family with modest means. The wife, on the other hand, was the daughter of energy tycoon and never worked a day in her life. You know the type, right? Went to Ole Miss, hair always sprayed into perfect place? Can smell her overpriced perfume from 10 feet away? That’s her. The two met in college, had two kids, and were married for 13 years before calling it quits. The wife is the one that filed, claiming inconceivable differences, but we all know that she was having an affair with her trainer. Because the two were brought up in very religious homes —ones that would rather have unhappy, destructive marriages rather than divorces — they did not sign a prenuptial agreement.  

So, when the wife decides she wants to continue see the trainer and get rid of her workaholic husband, she states that she is entitled to half of his earnings because she “supported him financially and emotionally” through medical school. The husband was absolutely not having it, and he hired an entire legal team from our office to fight her. Things got messier with two young children involved and the wife demanding alimony even though she has a hefty inheritance and the kids would only be with her half of the time (the other half with their father). Another complication was the properties the two owned, which included a house in Buncombe and a lakeside house in Myrtle Beach.  

Both parties had their arguments of why they should get more. The husband said the wife broke their marital vows by sleeping with her trainer (although she denied it until the trainer was subpoenaed and confessed to the affair), while the wife claimed that her husband had made little time for his family and often chose work over being at home and spending time with their kids. These arguments went on for nearly two years, and it got pretty ugly with old emails and text messages brought in for evidence. Through that evidence, we learned that the husband was likely having an emotional affair with an old girlfriend from high school. Neither party would be down, and the divorce was the constant topic of gossip in the community.  

Finally, after two years, the husband caved and gave the wife both properties along with monthly alimony payments, while the wife dropped the demand for half of his earnings. The rumor was that he was planning to move out of state to be with the old girlfriend and start a practice somewhere else.  

When it was all done, between both parties, the divorce cost about a quarter of a million dollars. Yikes!