Although Ohio family lawyer Melissa Graham-Hurd always seeks to resolve family disputes in a negotiated settlement, sometimes divorce and separation tend to bring out the worst in some people, and they must be dealt with accordingly.
If you have one of these people in your life, accept that:
- Self-interest apparently justifies deception and outright lies that would be intolerable to nice people in ordinary times.
- Self-protection requires a new set of guidelines for dealing with your difficult former spouse or partner as a legal adversary:
- If love is gone, substitute business-like politeness. Even if he/she hates you, you can still be true to yourself, still have pride in your actions, and be able to hold your head up high with dignity.
- Be skeptical when speaking with your former partner. Half of what is said is meant to deceive you; the other half is self-deception.
- Hold your cards tight. Don’t let the difficult spouse know what you know.
- Walk away from arguments or conflict. Do not dance the “dance of anger” any longer. While it takes two to tango, it is harder to dance alone.
- Expect your difficult spouse to resent your lawyer and make statements designed to make you question your lawyer’s knowledge or experience, or exaggerate the cost of having experienced counsel.
- Don’t enter into negotiations with your difficult spouse without your hired gun.
- Don’t make agreements or sign memoranda without talking to your lawyer first.
- When in doubt, believe your lawyer, not your spouse.
- Don’t allow yourself to be bullied into compliance!
- Learn to say “Talk to your lawyer and have him/her talk to mine.”
- Don’t rub in your legal victories. Losers try to get even.
- Make sure your mail is not intercepted by your difficult spouse. Consider getting a post office box.
- Make sure your electronic messages and mail are not intercepted by your difficult spouse. Change your providers, change your passwords, change your user names.
- Make sure there are no additional debts being incurred or debts increased. Get your free annual credit report and continue to check it for discrepancies.
- Check your bank account balances frequently!
- Check your credit card statements carefully!
- Do not keep any files in connection with your case in your marital residence or any other location where your difficult spouse could seize and obtain them, especially not in your car if he/she still has keys, thus learning your entire case and strategy.
- Do not presume that your attorney received a document sent to you by someone other than your lawyer. Call the office and inquire.
THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED TO BE A BRIEF WORKSHEET AND IS NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE ON YOUR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES. IT IS ONLY INTENDED TO ASSIST YOU IN UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS.
IF YOU SHOULD HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT THE OFFICE TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT – 330-996-4099.