Money: Why Do People Fight Over MONEY When They Divorce?

fight over money
Divorcing People Tend to Fight over money. Why do they do that?

Why do divorcing couples love to fight over money so much? They say money talks. I say, money never talks as loudly as when two people decide to end their marriage. Boy. Talk about a guerre mondiale!

I was just reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence, actually he said some interesting things about money. And it is where I got the idea for this post about fighting over money. D.H. Lawrence could not have put it better when he wrote these interesting lines about money. Here is one:







Money? Money one always wanted. Money, Success – the bitch goddess…that was a permanent necessity. You could not spend your last sou and say finally that’s that. No, if you lived even another ten minutes, you wanted a few more sous for something or another. Just to keep the business mechanically going, you needed money. Money is a necessity. The only absolute necessity.


That is so true, isn’t it? Money is the only absolute necessity. It is not that people want to be evil or fight just for the sake of fighting when they divorce and go to battle over money. They literally are fighting for their post divorce existence! Without money, there is no existence! The notion that having money is evil could only have come from a pauper who knew not how to get money. Because money is a mystery and not everybody can get it no matter how hard they try. Money is not evil. Money is all that there is. It is the ultimate mystery of the is.

Again, listen to Lawrence on money:

If you were young; you just set your teeth and bit on, and held on till the money began to flow from the invisible. It was a question of power. It was a question of will. A subtle, subtle, powerful emanation of will out of yourself brought back to you the mysterious nothingness of money: a word on a bit of paper. It is a sort of magic. Certainly a triumph. The bitch-goddess! Well, if one had to prostitute oneself, let it be to the bitch-goddess.

Well, then. That is what it is about. The bitch-goddess. Power. Triumph. An exercise of will for which in return you get cold, hard, cash. When people fight over money in a divorce (and some of these people are stinking rich and don’t need another dime, btw) they are fighting about power over their enemy (who is now the former spouse). They want to triumph over this opponent. They want to exercise their will in such a way to say “I won” because I got the money. The win is just that. A concept. A notion. They want to win just to win. And money, winning money – the ultimate bitch-goddess – is the most indisputable way to say “I won.’ I got the cash and you lose because you had to give me the money.

That is why people fight so hard over money when they divorce. Because sure, in society, the fact that the marriage ended might be construed as a loss or a failure. But getting the amount of money they want, is a way that these individuals feel some sense of power and triumph. The reverse is true too. Keeping the other person from getting the amount of money they want (even if it means hiding the money) is also about power and triumph.

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Author: Phoebe Montague

I am American living abroad. Right now I live in Melbourne, on the coast, in a beach house with a bunch of expats. I am a divorcée of a certain age. I write in my free time and teach English to make money.