The Low-Down, Dirty Divorce: How to Make It to the Other Side

If you find yourself embroiled in a messy divorce where your ex has hired a nasty attorney to play dirty, doing everything they can to malign and hurt you, you might feel cornered with no choice but to fight back. But there are some excellent reasons not to resort to underhanded practices yourself.

For starters, fighting dirty is expensive and an unscrupulous attorney will be happy to drag it out and take your money. Each dirty trick takes you farther away from a resolution, draining your time and energy while failing to attain the goals that matter. 

Along the way, your loved ones, innocent bystanders and even coworkers can get dragged into the fray and hurt by the crossfire. Children are especially vulnerable. But so are parents, siblings and friends, who may start to pull away as tensions escalate. Your work may suffer, putting your job at risk. By provoking your ex, there is even a chance the situation could turn dangerous for you and those around you–or that in a fit of anger, you could do something you might regret forever.

There is usually little satisfaction in vengeance. In the end, you’ll have hurt your ex, sure, but also others and yourself perhaps most of all. Here’s how to handle a messy divorce and maintain grace under pressure.

Set goals for the future

How do you envision your new post-divorce life? What do you value most? Children and finances are usually at the top of the list. Communicate your goals to your attorney and work towards them with a strategy in mind rather than a scorched earth mentality.

Hire smart

Hire a savvy, reputable attorney who knows all the rules and will stay focused on achieving your goals, not on exacting revenge. Working with a divorce lawyer whose personal values and ethics align with your own can be a huge boost to your confidence and sense of self.  

Be willing to let go and move on

When dealing with possessions, write down everything you think you want. Then assess how well each piece will fit your post-divorce life and prioritize them. Consider if things at the bottom of your list are worth fighting over. And be honest: are there things you don’t love, but simply want to keep from your ex? Let it go.

It is natural to mourn loss and to fear letting go of things that once brought us happiness. Just realize it is vital to make space for new objects and experiences to come into our lives, too. But don’t throw in the towel on what matters most, either.

Surround yourself with support

Confide about your divorce to a therapist, and seek the company of friends and family. Stay physically active, whether it’s swimming or kick-boxing lessons. Listen to music, schedule massages, watch dark comedies and indulge in a hobby you enjoy. Volunteer: giving back makes us feel better. And stay focused on your work. Take extra pride in everything you accomplish in spite of the extra challenges.

Know you will get through this painful time

Try to take the long view. Resolve to avoid isolation and self-destructive behaviors. Remind yourself you deserve better and eventually, you will have your life back.

With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. Be sure to follow us on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Share our articles with others! For questions or to schedule a confidential consultation, contact us.