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Fighting the urge to fight dirty during divorce

Ending a marriage is an emotional process. In some cases, these emotions involve anger, bitterness and resentment. If this is the case in your divorce, it might seem like fighting and mudslinging is all but inevitable.

However, there are a few reasons why it can be critical to fight the urge to turn every discussion into a battle. 

  1. It could backfire. People who are nasty during a divorce or make false allegations might think such actions will make them feel better. However, these efforts are unlikely to change behaviours or the course of a divorce for the better. In fact, it could create more tension, and instead of making a person feel better, being combative could make him or her feel worse -- and perhaps look worse in the eyes of the court.
  2. It can delay the process. Amicable divorces generally move more quickly than contentious divorces. As such, a person who is making false allegations, revealing unflattering personal information about an ex or harassing him or her online could be delaying the divorce by causing more problems that need resolution. In some cases, such actions can result in requests for protective orders or a breakdown in negotiations, both of which can stall the legal process.
  3. It can hinder your own growth and post-divorce life. Moving forward after a divorce can be difficult; it can take patience, help and hard work. Lashing out and behaving poorly during the divorce may only make more work for a person if they have regrets about their statements or actions.

This is not to say it is always necessary to play nice. There are situations that may warrant a passionate response. If a child's well-being is in danger or if an ex is hiding money or assets, for instance, keeping the peace can take a backseat to securing a fair resolution.

Further, if you are seeking a divorce in British Columbia and do not meet the 12 month residency requirement, you will have to prove in court that either party was unfaithful or that one person was physically or mentally cruel to the other. These can prove to be unavoidably combative cases.

Knowing what behaviours to avoid during a divorce can be difficult. However, with the guidance of a lawyer who has navigated the process many times before, you could find it easier to avoid costly, and possibly regrettable, missteps. 

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