Business or Revenge – Keeping your Perspective in Family Law Matters

Posted on 17 May 2012

On TV, or when talking to people, it’s common to hear someone say that they will take their spouse for everything they have. “I’ll show them” “If they are going to leave me, I’m keeping everything” “They left, they should have to pay” or the good old “I’m going to take them to the cleaners”.

There are two main problems with this approach to negotiations in a family law matter:

  1. it takes a high emotional toll; and
  2. your legal fees will escalate rapidly.

Most people who are using these phrases have experienced a very nasty breakdown of the relationship, and are seeking a way to heal the wound or find a way to exact revenge for the behaviour of their former partner.

Tips on how to avoid a ‘revenge’ family law settlement

  1. Evaluate your financial needs. Understand what you realistically need to achieve from your financial settlement with your former partner. It may be a good idea to go see a financial planner before starting the negotiations.
  2. Where possible, attempt to communicate with your former partner about their expectations. If you can’t speak with them, try email communications. Try to keep your communications non-accusatory, factual and to the point.
  3. See a counsellor to assist you with the emotional aspect of the breakdown of your relationship. Discussing your situation with a counsellor will be of great assistance to you to assist you with separating your emotions from the financial settlement.

If you need to discuss your financial settlement, please contact our family law team at Dooley & Associates