Mediate This!

Most Common Reasons for Divorce You Should Know to Protect Your Marriage

November 05, 2021 Matthew Brickman, Sydney Mitchell Season 1 Episode 41
Mediate This!
Most Common Reasons for Divorce You Should Know to Protect Your Marriage
Show Notes Transcript

What are the most common reasons for a divorce that I should know of to protect my marriage? Matthew Brickman and Sydney Mitchell answer their most frequently asked questions about divorce as they go over several key points:

  • Assume nothing.
  • Know who you are before you get married. 
  • Know who you're getting married to. 
  • Know the laws and statutes in the state you live in.
  • Don't take advice from anyone who isn't a legal professional in the state in which you're getting married and living in.

If you have a matter, disagreement, or dispute you need professional help with then visit iMediate.com - Email mbrickman@ichatmediation or Call (877) 822-1479

Matthew Brickman is a Florida Supreme Court certified family and appellate mediator who has worked in the 15th and 19th Judicial Circuit Courts since 2009 and 2006 respectively. But what makes him qualified to speak on the subject of conflict resolution is his own personal experience with divorce.

Download Matthew's book on iTunes for FREE:
You're Not the Only One - The Agony of Divorce: The Joy of Peaceful Resolution

Matthew Brickman
President iMediate Inc.
Mediator 20836CFA
iMediateInc.com

Sydney Mitchell:

Hi, my name is Sydney Mitchell.

Matthew Brickman:

Hi, I'm Matthew Brickman, Florida Supreme court mediator. Welcome to the Mediate This! Podcast where we discuss everything mediation and conflict resolution.

Sydney Mitchell:

Welcome everybody to this episode of Mediate This! I'm Sydney sitting here with Matthew and today we are going to be answering some of the questions that you, our listeners have been submitting to us about all things, divorce and mediation. So , um, let's just jump right in. If you do have a question in the future that you would love for us to dive into on an episode of mediate this, you can just send an email, submit your questions to info@ichatmediation.com. It'll get sent directly to us and we'll , uh, hopefully be able to answer your questions here. Okay. We have a question here that reads what are the most common reasons for divorce that I should know of to protect my marriage? And I think at this question, you know, there are a lot of parts of this that we've a lot of, which I think we've addressed, you know, in and through a lot of other episodes, but summarize that for us. What are some common reasons for divorce that I should know of to protect my marriage?

Matthew Brickman:

I think that I probably one of those common reasons for divorces infidelity. Um, so, okay. So how do you protect your marriage? Um, I know some people that , um , male and female that for example, a male will not ever, ever, ever be in any situation whatsoever room or otherwise with the opposite sex alone, it ensures that nothing's going to happen. Like there's always, it's almost like there's always, there's a buddy system, right.

Sydney Mitchell:

A rule of accountability. That

Matthew Brickman:

Exactly, exactly. Um, you know, I've, I've, I've known people that , um, you know , I had a mediation where they had a rule and it got violated and it was that they were never going on a business trip with , um, any coworker that's the opposite sex. Well, that didn't exactly go over well, because when they started doing it, they ended up having an affair and whatnot. So, you know, really it goes, I think it goes to setting up the boundaries to protect like how , like look okay. So , um, if we, if we focus on just a , just a small piece of this question, okay. So they asked what are the most common reasons for divorce that I should know of to protect my marriage. Okay. If you're going to protect anything of value, forget your hair , anything of value, what are you going to do? Like you're going to do, like, let's say for example, you have a gold bar or up case of gold. Don't tell me, you're just going to leave it laying around the house. And any Joe Schmo can just come in and out of your house and you know, oh yeah, your wife can have her girlfriends over and you're going to have poker night and get hammered with all your guys. And then you wake up and all your Gold's gone . Come on. No, you're not going to put yourself in situations or loud things because you value it. I think a lot of the problem is people do not value the marriage. Why do they not value the marriage? Because they don't know who they are. They don't know what they're sharing. Therefore they don't really care, you know? Um, because you know, and the other thing too, is it depends. Okay, it sounds bad, but why are you getting married? So many people get married out of , uh , loneliness. Co-dependency um, mommy, daddy issues, you know, and so they're getting married and they're not coming in and going, this is valuable. This is precious. I'm going to pour all of my time and energy into it. I'm going to protect it. If you are going to chair something and protect it, you will do whatever it takes. You will set up whatever boundaries, whatever rules are there, if you're going to protect it. But I think a lot of it depends on, okay. So common reasons for divorce. Okay. Well, why did you get married in the first place to get married? Because you just couldn't wait to get the mommy and daddy's home. I I've divorced those types of people. I divorced the co-dependence , the lonely, the insecure I brought , you know, most of, most, most people that are getting at least first time marriages or second time marriages are broken and they just keep going from broken to broken, to broken. Um, but you know, how do you protect it? Well, I think that's really up to each individual to define how would they protect something that they value.

Sydney Mitchell:

So you mentioned infidelity being a major cause of divorce. What are some other, you know, what are some other reasons that you tend to see a lot of mediation? And I know there's whole , um , there are a whole slew of things, you know?

Matthew Brickman:

So, so aside from, you know, cheating , um, money, money , um, either too much or lack thereof and it doesn't really matter. There can be plenty of money. I had one the other day, oh my gosh, Sydney, good for her. Good for her. She bought a little bit over 1800 shares of Tesla stock. When it was $12 a share, she spent $22,000 buying Tesla stock. That is worth one point. I think it was 1.8 million. She bought it just before they got married while the two of them were living together playing house. And so there's an argument that it's non-marital. And yet she's asking for alimony, which is setting him off the night before mediation, just because of the stock market. She made $60,000 just sleeping. The stock went up, she made 60 grand while she was asleep. He only makes like 34,000 a year. And she's asking him for alimony going, you've cut us off and you don't support us. He's going, he's like, I want half of the stock. Now. Here's the other thing. During the marriage, he managed the stock. There was no broker. He encouraged her to get it. He was then managing the stock. So there was legal arguments all over the place. And so their attorneys are having a heyday. And of course their attorneys are unfortunately, you know , um , getting paid a lot of money.

Sydney Mitchell:

I was just thinking to myself, the attorneys got to be super expensive as well. So they're dishing out all this money.

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. And so, you know, and then there were a number of other issues with the marriage, but still money. Um, now on the completely opposite side, I had a couple, they were in their eighties and the husband they'd been married forever and ever, and ever like forever. They were older than dirt. They'd been married longer than dirt had been on the planet, probably. I mean, forever. Right. And I actually said to him , you know what I mean, cute couple . And I said to him, I said, look with all due respect, like why now? Like till death do us part is not that far off. Like you're almost there. And, and they were just like, we were just not happy. We're just miserable. I'm like, okay. So, you know, they just wanted to move on. The husband had always, always, always because look, they're in their eighties, they come from a generation where the men isn't , the men are in charge. The woman stays at home. She doesn't really, she's not involved with the marriage per se. Um, and so she had zero idea of the finances. She had probably less than zero because as we're talking, they're dividing up the marital assets and debt. She's like, we're paying what for cable. And he's like, well, you wanted your , you know, you wanted this channel. You wanted that movie channel on your end . You know? And , and our son wanted the sports channel and he wanted this and we go into the next one. We're paying what for car insurance ? We're paying what for electricity. I mean, she had no idea what food was costing. I mean, she had no clue. Now here's the problem. When we divided up the very little, unfortunately they , they , they lived social security, paycheck to social security. Paycheck had rarely, a whole lot remained homeless, nothing in savings, nothing to divide up. So at the end of it, there was not enough money to go around for the two of them to live apart. They couldn't afford to live separate. There wasn't enough money. And they were too old to like, oh , I'm just going to go out and make more. No, you're not. And so they actually ended up abating, which means that they called off and dismissed the entire divorce action because they couldn't afford to get divorced because there wasn't enough money between the two of them. So it's like, look, suck it up. Figure out your problems till death do us part is not that far off because you don't have enough to divide up so that the two of you could go live independently. They barely had two nickels . I mean, they were, they were drowning in debt, living together. There wasn't anything to divide up. So money, whether you have a lot of it or not enough of it is a huge, huge reason for divorce. So how do you fix that? How do you protect that? Both, both parties need to be actively involved every single month. Everybody needs to make a budget. You're like, like

Sydney Mitchell:

Open communication, you know, from the stories that you've shared about what's being spent and creating budgets per month together. I know a lot of couples that do that together each month and it keeps everybody on the same page. I think that ,

Matthew Brickman:

Yeah. And look, even if, even if one party is not , um, numbers oriented, that doesn't mean that you don't have to attend your family budget meeting because you may have the creative ideas to help the money person, you know, but everybody needs to be involved and everybody needs to be running on a budget like so many people at the end of the month after they get paid, sit around and wonder where their money went. Instead of telling it where to go. If in Sydney, you and I have talked about this, you know, when , when we were going through our previous episodes, you know, with , uh, the mediation agreement and the financial affidavit, the financial affidavit for so many people is the most overwhelming document of the entire paternity or divorce because it's the financials.

Sydney Mitchell:

And they're not aware of what's being

Matthew Brickman:

Sat down and said, okay, this is what I make. What am I spending on food electric? Because this is for the first time, they not only have to write it down. They have to provide all the documentation that proves the numbers that they're writing down. I call it either it's a budget form, or it's an exercise. In reality. Most people have no idea of what they make or what they spend. And so by not having that communication, that can then lead to divorce. But look, if everybody knows, I'll tell you, so I'll let everybody into a little secret here, Cindy . I don't know if I've even ever shared this with you. We've known each other for many years. So when my wife I'll tell ya had probably the strangest proposal ever to my wife. So Mary and I were dating for , for a number of years. And I was not very kind at the time. And , um, we were both living. Um, I was living in Jupiter. She was living in Palm beach gardens. We lived not 10 minutes away and we'd gotten together. We had broken up a couple of times, we got back together, we broke up, we got back together on this last time. It was so bad that it wasn't like, okay, we're breaking up. And I never want to see you again. It was so bad that it was winter time. And Mary left Florida for Minnesota to get away from me. Like, you know, it's bad. You know, it's bad when it's like, I'm leaving sunny, Florida in the winter, in the winter time to go to where hell has frozen over. And the frozen tiny Apolis in the winter time, because look , they had a job up there and it was like, I need to get away from you . So she was up there. She was out there. I , we still talked , I even went up and visited her. And , uh, but you know, we , we had about a year separation and I really realized, wow, I really do love this one . And so , um, she was going to be moving into a different apartment and we were talking bills and expenses. And so I said, well, but if we only had one rent and one electric and we split food and it like, oh no, I was saying to her, I said, well, if you only had one electric and one rant and only split food, but if you were able to then get on a discount for car insurance and cell phone and stuff, well , you would be able to make your bills then. Right. She said, well, yeah, but what are you asking? And I'm like, well, but if , if , if you were able to cut those in half and share those with someone else, then that would, that would definitely work. What do you ask it ? She goes, are you asking for me to come back and get married? I said, yeah, I guess so I made the most unromantic, but I'm thinking from a monetary logical arguments. Right ? Okay. So, so, so Sydney, we, she came back down, so she moved back down. The first thing we did was we sat down at the computer with an Excel spreadsheet and I said, okay, what is, what is your income? Here's my income. Okay. Let's list out all of your bills, your credit card bills, your student loans, everything, your car, everything. And then here's mine. And then we divided up. I said, I said, look , you're moving into my condo. And basically I looked at it as if , if she wasn't here, I would have these bills and expenses anyway. Right. So, you know what, I'm just going to pay those. Like, my mortgage is my mortgage, whether she's living with me or not now electric, I I'd like to keep the windows open and get fresh air. She's like, oh no, no, no. It was way too hot. I want the air conditioner on . Okay, then fine. You pay for the electric. So we went and then, I mean , we went through the spreadsheet and even divided, divided up. Okay. Who's paying for Christmas gifts, your kids, my kids, us, you know, who's, who's, you know, what about vacations? Like we went through and basically created up a budget and assigned ourselves the financial responsibility, or we're going to split this or whatnot. And 14 years now being together never had an argument about money. We structured everything from the beginning based on okay. What people argue about the most money. And , and so we, haven't had an argument about

Sydney Mitchell:

If we get on the same page about that. I

Matthew Brickman:

Mean, oh yeah. I mean, we've argued about other things through the years and we've had difficulty through every, through other things that money, which is, I know, I know. Um, but these, you know, look, if you know, it's a common reason, then how do you protect it? You protect it by being proactive. Yeah. You know, we live in a very passive damage control world instead of be pay attention and let's do preventative maintenance and preventative maintenance is marriage counseling, preventative maintenance is set up a budget. Preventative maintenance is communication. You know, preventative maintenance is know what you're getting in to before you get married. I mean, you know, if you have a mindset of, okay, let me do everything I can to avoid Matthew mediating. And then me being a story on Matthew and Sydney's podcast, then you know what, I should probably do it otherwise. I'm sure I'm going to be a story on there. And I'll be like, oh yeah, he's talking about me. He didn't say my name, but yeah, that was may , you know? Um, so yeah, so common reasons, how do you protect it, protect what you value and be proactive

Sydney Mitchell:

And setting those setting those boundaries or, or patterns or habits or meetings, you know, setting those from the get-go as soon as you can. And it's, I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but it's never too late to do that. You know, for a couple that's maybe been married for a long time and, and now they're wondering, so what are some issues I start thinking about? It's never too late to establish some of these boundaries and have these conversations.

Matthew Brickman:

So, so I'll just finish up this, this particular question with, with, with this story. So there's a couple of marriage counselors that , um, actually send me there , people that are in marriage counseling to mediation, and you're like, why are they going to mediation when they're in marriage counseling to work on their marriage? So what's interesting is the marriage counselor sends them to me because number one, he says, they need to get a glimpse of what life is going to look like if they, if they don't follow through with this counseling. But also as they're going through the counseling, it helps to establish rules because it helps things not deteriorate to a point where then the counseling fails . Right . And so, yeah, it's never too late. I mean, I've had people that have been married forever that are in marriage counseling, trying to save their marriage. They come to me, we set up all the rules. It's not a legal document. They don't file it with the court cause they haven't filed it with, I mean, they haven't filed their divorce papers cause they're not getting divorced yet, but you know what? We set up ground rules and now they've gotten ground rules to help move their marriage forward as they're trying to build and restore, protect and whatnot. So it's never too late. Occasionally Sidney and I will be releasing Q and a bonus episodes where we will answer questions and give you a personal shopper .

Sydney Mitchell:

If you have a comment or question regarding anything that we discuss, email us@infoatichatmediation.com that's info@ichatichatmediation.com and stay tuned to hear your shout out and have your question answered here on the show

Matthew Brickman:

For more information about my services or to schedule your mediation with me either in person or using my I chat mediation virtual platform built by Cisco communications. Visit me online at [inaudible] dot com. Call me at (561) 262-9121 toll free at 8 7 7 8 2 2 14 79. Or email me@mworkmanatichatmediation.com.