Ever since I divorced my wife, quite a few people asked me how I handled the financial part of it. Those people were also often surprised that I was in such a great mood and seemingly unaffected by the divorce proceedings. While I certainly appreciated that some people, including regular readers of my blog, reached out to me in private, I didn’t need all that much support.
I should point out that when I got married, I was aware of the red flags of my now ex-wife. They seemed quite manageable. I thought she would be able to solve her problems. However, my first marriage also happened in some rather peculiar circumstances. Primarily, I was concerned with getting my life back on track, and I mistakenly believed that a marriage would lead to some stability in my life. Yet, I didn’t just get married on a whim. Instead, I got married in a “woke” jurisdiction that only knows alimony in very rare circumstances. Child support is very limited, too. With that woman I did not even want to have children. She claimed she didn’t want to have any either, and only changed her tune once she realized I was on the way out.
My marriage cost me a small administrative fee for the government. I think it was less than the equivalent of $100. There was no fancy celebration. Heck, I told my wife that marriage bands were an anachronism and because she’s progressive, she only ever demanded a nice ring when she was in a particularly bitchy mood. So, ignoring time and wasted opportunities, getting married was cheap. I also got a prenup according to which we were not going to share any property or join bank accounts; what was mine was to be mine, and what was hers was to be hers. She certainly wanted me to take out a mortgage for an apartment and she also insisted on joining bank accounts. In particular the latter was a source for great amusement as she had and most certainly still has a perceived moral obligation according to which all the money she can get her hands on has to be spent. If this sounded too abstract to you, here’s the same in simpler terms: She was convinced that saving is pointless, but only when it came to her own money. What I had saved should of course also be hers to spend.
Within about a year and a half it became increasingly clear to me that my marriage wasn’t salvageable. In fact, her behaviors got a lot worse once she discovered feminist blogs (I kid you not). That’s possibly a story for another post. For this post, though, the key point is that I did not spend a lot of money on her. It was roughly at the same level as having a girlfriend. When she made a dumb suggestion, like staying in a luxury hotel, of course on my dime, I shut her down, and her demands of going on various expensive vacations dissolved in a tantrum when I pointed out to her that I certainly would like an empowered woman like her to pay for half the flight and half the hotel cost. It’s funny how quickly something that was an absolute must minutes ago was “maybe not such a good idea.”
So, I didn’t spend a lot of money entering the marriage. I didn’t spend a lot during the marriage, and now it’s time for the last part: How I didn’t spend a lot getting out of my first marriage. In that regard, it was key that the jurisdiction I divorced my wife in, Sweden, wants women to work. It’s extremely difficult to make the case for alimony. Also, you have to pay for your own legal representation, so starting a frivolous lawsuit is costly, and it remains costly even if you lose. Since there wasn’t a particularly lush lifestyle she could have claimed to have gotten used to — besides, we had been living apart for about two years by the time I filed for divorce — any attempt of trying to extract alimony would have been rather pointless as the chances for success would have been zero. That was also partly due to me divorcing her only after she had made it through the probatory period of a job she started, so had she quit that job in order to claim alimony, she would have had a problem.
In the end, I think I could technically have claimed ownership of half her household items, which were all paid for by her parents, due to the fact that I was officially registered at her place in addition to mine, while she was only registered at her place. Our marriage contract stated that we would keep all our assets separate, with the exception of a shared household. On the other hand, the alternative claim that we didn’t have a shared household could plausibly have been made as well due to me having been registered at two places. In any case, I didn’t want to bother with such bullshit and the quicker I could get my divorce behind me, the better.
My divorce cost me less than the equivalent of $100 in administrative fees. On top, my ex-wife threw away all my possessions at her place, but I saw this coming, so I swapped my clothes before I pulled out. Before I married her, I was aware that she’s a bit impulsive at times. After we got married, I learned that she has genuine psychological problems. Once she even physically attacked me. I did not want to expose myself to unnecessary harm, so I didn’t want to just pack up my things and leave. Instead, I left a few old trousers, sweaters, a few pairs of socks, T-shirts, and underwear at her place. Sadly, I had forgotten about one very nice pair of sneakers, which she threw away, of course. She had a few things at my place, too. This included a spare key to her apartment, which suddenly disappeared. I don’t know what happened to it, I swear.
In the end, I had a low-cost marriage and divorce. Just to be on the safe side, I told my ex-wife that if she tried to pull off some bullshit, she’s very welcome to waste her money on the legal system, and that I’d rather leave Europe than pay one red penny to her. In my case, this is a very credible threat, considering that I have lived in several countries and have moved around so much during my adult life that it has been rare for me to stay in the same city for more than three years.
In the UK, many states of the US, and many states in continental Europe, a starter marriage and subsequent divorce would have been a lot more expensive. I know of a few guys who are currently going through divorce in Germany. This has been taking quite a toll on them. I have to honestly say that I would not have gotten married in a jurisdiction that is designed to completely fuck over men. Yes, I know that laws can and do change. However, I didn’t expect my first marriage to last anyway. Overall, I can’t say I regret it too much, even though it did not work out. I learned quite a bit about myself and women as well.
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