Divorce is never easy — especially when your soon to be ex-spouse is playing dirty. If they hired a shady attorney who’s looking to attack and embarrass you, you may be tempted to do the same thing right back.
Proceed with caution!
The truth is that most dirty tactics in divorce cases are costly, while hurting the innocent parties and making life harder for everyone involved.
The Downside of Fighting Fire with Fire
First, let’s take a look at the troubles of playing dirty.
Going through a divorce is already taxing, but doing so with malevolence can completely drain you financially, mentally, and emotionally.
Sneaky attorneys offer many ways, both in and out of the courtroom, to make life difficult for the opposing party. Remember, though, this comes with a price tag. Most of these attorneys are purely motivated by money or a personal agenda. Whatever the case may be, their extraneous efforts are billed by the hour and will leave you holding the bag — and a large invoice.
Even worse, both you and your partner’s shady attorneys could work as a team to take all your money. It’s sad but it happens. They can take advantage of you and your spouse’s supercharged emotions to their financial benefit.
If you have the money to play endless games, then perhaps you can sustain the financial blow of hiring a vicious attorney to get to the settlement table. But, be forewarned of the toll it takes on your time and energy as well.
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Canceling credit cards, clearing bank accounts, getting your spouse fired, lying — the list goes on and on with vengeful moves a shady attorney could suggest. However, keep in mind you’ll have to pull off a lot of these sneaky stunts yourself.
It takes work to be shady and, worse yet, you’ll have to live with what you’ve done. Any temporary relief that vengeance may provide will surely manifest into feelings of guilt and remorse, or even retaliation from your partner. Why go through the mental and emotional drain for such short-term results?
Innocent Parties Get Hurt
On the path to destroying your partner, surely your dirty lawyer will present plans that may unknowingly affect others, including family and co-workers.
If you have kids, this is a big problem. Embarrassing and hurting your partner is damaging the parent to your children. Don’t be blinded by this fact. Any damage you do to your spouse can trickle down to the innocent kids as collateral damage.
Jeopardizing your spouse’s job or business comes with consequences, too. They can be connected to other people and their livelihoods. If your partner has employees and the business shuts down, real people could be losing real jobs. Even as an employee, if your partner is suddenly removed from a position or team, their co-workers could be put in tough, stressful situations with the change in staff.
Not Addressing What Matters
When it comes down to it, a dirty divorce is about revenge and pettiness. It’s tit-for-tat without addressing the real issues and your true needs. Being stubborn about material things that don’t matter, meddling with money, or shaming are often signs that deeper issues need to be addressed.
How to Rise Above
Now let’s see how you can take the high road when your spouse and opposing attorney go low.
If your goal is to have your divorce be as peaceful as possible, but your partner isn’t playing nice, the onus is on you. And that’s ok — you got this.
First and foremost, don’t take the bait. If your spouse hired a shady attorney, don’t do the same. Work with other professionals like divorce coaches or therapists to help you through this tough time. Reach out to us and we can help connect you to a trusted, vetted resource.
Next, make a list of your goals and expectations of the case. Focus on these issues and prioritize them. If your spouse wants to take the plants and it’s not near the top of your list, let them go! Understand your position and stay confident. You can be strong without being cruel. This also means that you can wave the white flag on certain issues without losing steam and momentum.
Lastly, hire a divorce attorney that aligns with your personal goals, ethics, and personality. If you’re not sneaky and shady, then don’t hire an attorney who is! Of course, you need to have an expert on your side that can withstand the onslaught of a dirty opposition. Truthfully, some attorneys may be “too nice” and are simply not cut out to compete against a shady lawyer. Take your time in the attorney selection process and make sure they clearly understand all the factors of your case. Contact us if you have any questions or need any support — we’d be happy to help.
Remember, you don’t have to do this alone and you don’t have to play dirty to succeed.