There are plenty of opportunities for divorcing spouses to make a mess out of everything during a divorce case. In this article, I’ll tell you about five things that will turn your divorce case into a train wreck.
Divorce is tough. It’s emotional. Your soon to be ex-spouse may also be a complete bag of (insert preferred expletive). Maybe they’re so bad that you’re considering doing whatever you can to stick it to him/her during your divorce case out of spite.
Maybe spousal retribution isn’t your goal, but you’re just so emotional about the ordeal, you don’t know
I’ve seen clients employ these five tactics with great success… if your goal is screwing up your divorce. Read on and learn the secrets so you too can turn your divorce case into a train wreck, or avoid it (the preferable goal).*
1. Listen to everyone but your lawyer.
If you really want to make sure your divorce is a gruesome train wreck, be sure to listen to everyone except your attorney.
Base your expectations for your case on what everyone but your lawyer says will or should happen in your divorce. Do this regardless of whether these people are Omaha family law attorneys familiar with the facts of your case, or laypeople who watched that Divorce Court TV show a time or two.
Pay attention to what your friend got in their divorce, or what you heard your friend’s friend got in theirs. Even if their circumstances are completely different from yours.
Set unrealistic goals based on the unrealistic expectations you’ve made… no matter what your lawyer says.*
2. Use your kids as a weapon.
Use your kids to make your spouse suffer. Tell your kids what a giant bag of monkey turds their other parent is. (Double bonus if you can actually make your kids dislike the other parent and refuse to spend parenting time with them.)
Sure the judge may not like it, and it’ll probably eventually backfire on your and end up damaging your kids, but just think of how ticked your spouse will be in the meantime.
Also consider teaching your kids to spy on your ex and tell you everything. It just makes sense. They work cheap, they’re small, and can easily go unnoticed.
Psychology experts would poo-poo all of these ideas. Remember, though, they would be concerned with your child’s best interests. All you care about is wrecking your divorce, no matter the impact on your kids.*
3. Order or suggestion? You decide.
If you don’t like the judge’s Order, do what you want. The Order is probably just a guideline or a suggestion anyway. It’s not like it’s a Court Order…
Wait — uhh, well. I guess it is a Court Order. But still.
Your lawyer might say fancy words like “willful disobedience,” “show case” and “contempt.” The important thing here is making your spouse suffer and making yourself feel good for a little while. (Plus, your friend Larry says your lawyer is wrong.)*
4. Make a scene on social media.
The more photographic evidence of your inappropriate behavior you post on social media, the better to irritate your spouse with. It’ll show them you’ve moved on. If your child’s a social media connection, make sure they also see the post and point it out to your spouse.
Social media is also a great place to publicly embarrass your spouse by airing your grievances and/or posting private things about them. Who cares if it does long-term damage to your ability to work with your spouse to parent your kids. This is about short-term revenge.*
5. Freak out.
If your spouse says things like, “I’m going to get full custody,” or, “I’m taking you to the cleaners,” believe them. Freak out every time they say something l like that. It will wreck your divorce case really well.
Although probably lacking a law degree, your spouse is likely psychic or knows something you don’t. Also, your spouse’s lawyer is presumably awesome and your lawyer is, in all likelihood, a clown — just like your spouse keeps telling you.
The ideal reaction is to freak out. A lot. Really flip out. Lose sleep, don’t eat, and be sure to tell your kids all about it (refer back to number two). Ultimately, your goal is to dance like a marionette every time your spouse pulls your strings.
Also, habitually call or email your lawyer to report your spouse’s prophecies. Ask your lawyer for a detailed plan regarding how they intend to stop each and every one of your spouse’s predictions from coming to fruition. Not only will this help screw up your divorce, it will also make your legal bills skyrocket.*
Hightower Reff Law doesn’t endorse any of these, and strongly suggests you do the opposite.
Consider keeping your nose on your face instead.
Doing any or all of these things is likely to make your divorce case take longer and cost both you and your spouse more. More in financial and emotional resources.
If you choose to turn your divorce case into a train wreck instead of behaving prudently, you’ll also have to wait longer before you can move on with life.
Notice that I’m talking about you, not your spouse? If making the divorce tougher to spite your spouse is your goal, you may accomplish it. However, you’re also quite likely to cut off your own nose to spite your face.
Consider as well that acting in these ways is likely to harm your credibility with the court. Bad behavior that calls into question your parental judgment or fitness could also negatively affect your child custody case. Moreover, in some circumstances, the court could sanction you for contempt of court. (Your friend Larry is wrong.)
At any rate, if you act badly during your divorce case, you’ll cause major collateral damage. The victims likely to be hurt most… your children.
*Hightower Reff Law doesn’t endorse train wrecks.
As you may have gathered, Hightower Reff Law doesn’t endorse these ill-advised spite tactics or purposefully turning your divorce into a train wreck in any way. We strongly suggest you not try these five ways to turn your divorce case into a train wreck, or any others.
These kinds of bad behaviors are very likely to harm the outcome of your divorce case and/or damage your family relationships. Most concerning, some of these emotionally driven, poor choices hurt children.
I hope this information will help readers avoid these mistakes. The client who makes well reasoned, rational choices, instead of emotional poor choices can be at peace, knowing their family relationships and children won’t suffer avoidable negative consequences.
This article should not be construed as legal advice. Situations are different and it’s impossible to provide legal advice for every situation without knowing the individual facts.
Author, Hightower Reff Partner Attorney Susan Reff, is a well respected Omaha, Nebraska family law and criminal law attorney with more than fifteen years of law practice experience. For more about Susan, visit her profile page.
If you need help with an Omaha area divorce or other Omaha family law case, contact Hightower Reff Law today and come visit with one of the attorneys at the Omaha office.