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Revenge On Your Spouse or Move On: Does Your Philosophy Match With Your Lawyers?


I recently withdrew from a case where my client was financially able and willing to pay me to do a lot of work. Unfortunately, I decided that it was the “wrong kind” of work for me. While lawyers often stick around in cases just because they are making money from the case, I realized it was not good for me to continue because my client and I had very different philosophies of what a divorce (or family law case) should be.

There are often a lot of bad feelings at the end of a marriage. People are angry with their spouses over behavior during the marriage, fearful of how they will get by in their “new life,” worried about their kids. Some people want “revenge” and make their former spouse’s life as miserable as possible. And there are people that want to put all this behind them and get their new life started as soon as possible. You likely cannot have both.

When you meet with a prospective attorney, you should be clear and upfront about what you want. If you will feel better after you have gotten some kind of revenge on your spouse, be prepared to spend a lot of money, and expect that there may be casualties along the way, possibly your kids. The judge may also punish a person that is stretching a divorce out just to cause pain.

I withdrew from the case mentioned above because my client was hell-bent on getting revenge on her husband, even though there had been no abuse or infidelity. She asked me to take actions that served no purpose but to harass her husband, and she engaged in all kinds of revenge-based behaviors against her spouse and even dragged the kids into it. I told her that I am not in the “revenge business.” I just want to put my clients in the best possible situation to move on with their lives. When people have children together, they have to co-parent those kids for many years after a divorce is done. An atmosphere of hostility is not going to make it easy.

If you extract a ton of money from your spouse so that he or she is forced to live in a one-bedroom apartment and you have three kids, won’t the kids be the ones suffering when they go visit their other parent?

Prioritize Your Goals With an Experienced Attorney

So divorce can be an ugly battle with one spouse (or both) trying to get revenge and working to make someone miserable. Or it can be more of a business transaction with assets and debts being divided and a parenting plan created that gives the best situation to the kids. There are attorneys around that are willing to do both. Just make sure that you pick the right one.

If you are searching for an experienced divorce and family law attorney, contact The Law Office of Barbara Graham LLC today.