The average divorce, all told, costs roughly $20,000. But, of course, a long, drawn out settlement can cost far more. Just ask Arjun. He filed for divorce from his wife after their arranged marriage failed, and in the 13 months of divorce negotiations that followed, he had to pay his lawyer $300,000 dollars, his ex-wife’s lawyer $50,000, and he gave up nearly half a million dollars in assets, all while swimming in student debt.
When I was doing my radiology residency, my mom was really pressuring me to meet someone. I’m Indian, and she went the arranged marriage route. One of my mom’s friends found a woman in England that they thought would be perfect for me. She was a doctor, too. I got her contact information and we talked over the phone and email for about three months. Then she flew down from England to meet me in person. I was afraid her family would come down and force me to propose then and there but she promised there wouldn’t be any pressure. When she flew down to the states, my whole family descended where I was training in Ohio. Everyone started pressuring me like I knew they would. She pressured me too.
I caved. We did it. We made plans for the grand wedding. That happened within weeks of her showing up. Soon, I started to see a lot of odd behaviors from her. I tried to get her into some other programs — she had just finished med school and was looking for a residency. But she got fired from two programs.
I thought maybe starting a family would bring out some motherly instinct and maybe divert her into a new purpose. We had a daughter in 2005. She did not have any motherly instincts at all. And it didn’t help our marriage. I didn’t want my daughter to be brought up in a divorced home, but it got so bad. I could tell my daughter was picking up on it.
At some point, my friend talked to me and said that he understood that we wanted to stay together for…