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Understand The Personalities Involved in Your Divorce

Your personalities—yes, you and your spouse—will have a major impact on the way your case proceeds. Will you need aggressive representation to deal with your spouse? Are you or your spouse out to get revenge? If so, your case will require more time, effort and money to get anything done.

John came to see me years after his divorce when his ex-wife Nancy moved to our city. Nancy had been enjoying unusually high support, and was now interfering with John’s visitation with their children. As we confirmed, Nancy would never forgive John for leaving her, or for being happy or for just being John. It took extraordinary effort to correct the support order and resolve the visitation problems because of Nancy’s rage.

Are you or your spouse already taking a hard line with the other? Is one of you trying to dominate and control as always? Betty also came to see me after her divorce, complaining the final terms hadn’t been carried out. Eric had always taken the position that Betty didn’t count. He simply kept accusing her of failing to comply with the terms of the judgment. Of course, he was making it impossible for her to meet her responsibilities and get her assets. Make a special note in your Case Evaluation if you are trying to pull out of a one-sided relationship like this.

What is your emotional posture at the moment? Be honest; it’s in your own best interest. Do you need a lot of handholding, at least for a while, because you have become so upset or disoriented? Karen’s husband had thrown out all of her personal items and refused to offer any financial help when she was released from the hospital, unable to care for herself.

Is your spouse unable or unwilling to agree to anything because of his or her emotional state? Special needs such as these are additional facts to include in your preliminary evaluation of your own case. Assess the human side of your case and write it down. Add a comment if special handling appears necessary or if it looks like smooth sailing.