Don’t make these mistakes when thinking about your divorce litigation
- Don’t try to win at any cost. Divorce litigation brings out the worse in many people. Winning at any costs usually means you pay more than the outcome is worth just for revenge. After 29 years of litigating divorces, we can attest to to the fact that neither side “wins.” Litigating out of principle usually means you spend a lot of money trying to make yourself happy, and end up unhappy anyway.
- If you are stubborn, you can control of the outcome. Setting your feet in stone and refusing to budge usually does not get you the win you thought it would. A fair settlement is one where both parties walk away without getting everything they wanted. If the judge has to decide, both parties usually lose more than they would have had they simply sat down and worked it out.
- You made all the money and she stayed home, so you own all the property. Louisiana law requires the court to divide debt and assets equally, no matter which spouse paid for the asset or which spouse ran up the bill. The only exceptions are if the spouse used money from an inheritance or a gift, or money the spouse had before the marriage to purchase the asset. Therefore, the fact you worked 80 hours a week while your spouse stayed home is irrelevant.
- This is all your spouse’s fault. As the old saying goes “It takes two to tango.” There is always enough fault to go around. Calling our your spouses faults and failings will likely get a response from the other side pointing out your faults in graphic detail.
- Your concept of fair is not likely to coincide with the law. See #4 above.
- The judge will see it your way. The judge is charged with following the law. See #4 above. If you are fighting over custody of children, the court does not care about you. It only cares about what it sees as the result that will advance the best interest of the children. That usually means as much time as possible with each parent, a child support award based on the guidelines, and both of you ordered not to disparage the other in front of the children and to support the child’s relationship with the other parent.