Explosive Divorce Cases

Some cases become scratching, clawing grudge matches in which the only defense ever considered is a more aggressive offense. It seems as if everything is fought over, no holds are barred and there is never even a momentary lull. Thankfully, the odds are overwhelmingly against this happening to you.

But, what can you do if this does start happening to you? Well, one person really can’t do this alone. Your spouse may have the power to increase the expense and emotional level, but he or she won’t be able to turn this into a free-for-all unless you participate.

What you have the most control over is the way you move your case along. Do everything you can to get to the end of the litigation as quickly as possible. You’ll minimize your cost by eliminating or not responding to some of the diversions your spouse may create.

Obviously, you have the least control over your spouse’s conduct. We’re not talking about subtle behavior. You’ll be tempted not to take any more of this without fighting back—or launching your own assault. If you do, you’ll get drawn into a give-no-quarter battle and lose whatever chance you may have to convince the court that you are wearing the “white hat” and your spouse should have to pay some of your fees and costs necessitated by his or her outrageous conduct.

The court has a great deal of power, some of which you may be able to enlist to control your spouse or nullify the effect of his or her conduct. For example, you are moving your case along, so you’ll always be ready; the court will start imposing deadlines on your spouse.

Your attorney can use the court to impose restrictions on your spouse’s outbursts. Document the outrageous conduct, send a written warning and then take your spouse to court. Get an order, serve it and then enforce the order by contempt. You’ll soon have less nonsense to put up with. Orders for attorney’s fees will be increasingly granted if this persists. However, if you join in the fight, the court may end up disgusted with the both of you, and not care who started it.

What is the alternative? Remember Chuck and Geri? Each thought that he or she was above the law and that the other was contemptible—for existing! The court got sick of seeing them. Their attorneys grew tired of participating in court resolutions the parties never intended to honor. Chuck and Geri enjoyed the fight, neither one showing the least interest in calming things down. Their relationship continued on, but in a strange new form. Eventually they tired of the game, having accomplished nothing other than expending great amounts of energy and money with nothing to show for it.