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 in terms of outcome of your case. 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."
Both of these approaches are doomed from the start because your lawyer lacks tact and is pushing an agenda that is not child-centered
(which a Judge will do), but rather parent-centered.
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. Arizona 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 best suits the child, not
one parent or the other. 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 on moving on with your life, 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
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: email@example.com