Many spouses don't know that there are
3 basic (if not, essential) rules to divorce. If you follow these guiding principals, most spouses can avoid a blood
bath divorce that could cost them thousands of dollars. While emotions play largely as the barrier, a spouse should
always remain cognizant that their emotional state could drive them to breaking the cardinal rules.
Counseling throughout the divorce process will assist most spouses in keeping their emotional compass
accurate and make it easier to follow the rules.
Rule #1 - The Judge
doesn't care about what you want. Yikes! That's a rule? Can this be true? The reality is that the law doesn't
see things from your perspective. In fact, the law requires that decisions be made (by the Judge and others) in absence
of your desires. A good case in point, would be with the issue of custody. Many parents seek out their rights
from only their perspective. In fact, many attorneys have marketed their services on this approach. Everyone has
heard of the "dad's rights lawyers" and or "mom's rights lawyers."
What many parents don't realize is that when they hire an attorney who is seeking out their rights,
consideration of the law (the Judge) is abandoned. Illinois law employs a child's best interest standard when making custody
determinations. So, what mom wants or what dad wants is insignificant in the court process. The law will provide for
a result that the child would want, if the child could make adult decisions. So, spouses need to put their personal
interests, desires, and wants aside in the divorce process and focus on obtaining what the law provides. Breaking Rule #1
will cost spouses their money and sanity.
Rule #2 - Hold
tight, until the divorce is over. What? It seems like a simple rule, but many spouses find it impossible to follow
this guiding rule. So many spouses in the divorce process have essentially moved on with their lives, upon filing for
a divorce. Perhaps emotionally, they have considered the marriage as dead. Some spouses, have moved on with a
new relationship. These spouses have a tendency (some would say, strong desire) to move on in the sense of openly dating
and or introducing their new significant other to friends and family (sometimes to their children). Some actually have or want to move out into their new post-divorce home or apartment.
Spouses within the divorce process should try to avoid the want and desire to move
on (at least until the divorce is over). So, if you have another person in your life, your spouse should not know who
this person is, and you certainly should not be introducing this person to your children. This would be true under any
circumstance. It's a RULE. Additionally, as much as you can't stand how your spouse eats, snores, nags or breathes,
you should stay tight in the marital home until conclusion of the case. New homes and apartments do nothing but add
problems to the divorce process.
Rule #3 - Always work
on settlement - not litigation. It's important to remember that 98% of all divorce cases settle. So, spend
your time, energy and money on getting there as quickly and economically as possible. Settlements are usually only done
in writing. Therefore, always get a settlement offer on paper and work from there. Verbal discussions on settlement
terms are always misunderstood and generally cause confusion.
If you have any questions about this material, please contact
Paul D. Nordini at (480) 527-9000, or
email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org