So it's basically like everything else in the Church...if you don't play the game right, you'll get burned (though even if you do play it right, sometimes you just get sick of it). They didn't show remorse? How stupid are these people, everyone knows you put on a show for any court...most people in authority simply want to fill self-righteous and important, give them the appearance of the respect they desire but don't deserve and you'll be far more likely to get what you want...sounds to me in the case you're presenting that the defendant simply had a better understand of rhetoric and psychology than the plaintiff.
And again, how many of these people were seeking an ecclesiastical divorce before a civil divorce and how many had already got a civil divorce and civilly remarried prior to petitioning for a divroce? You pull that stunt and all the 'pastoral sensitivity' gibberish lines up directly behind your case.
You made a very important point, these are spiritual courts, not canonical courts, those presiding over them have a nominal understanding of the Canons at best (the most capable Orthodox canon and ecclesiastical lawyers in this country are nominal at best). And because these courts are 'spiritual' and not canonical, they are very easily manipulated. The entire notion of a legal system without well defined, codified, and promulgated laws is absurd; it is absurd because it is easily manipulated by those skilled in rhetoric and psychology and offers no consistancy or justice. The only real offence is being stupid (not that that, in and of itself, is inherently bad...it's just different than our traditional notions of fairness and justice)