I hate to write this, but I can’t deny it:
One simple truth about divorce that most people ignore is that the legal system does a pretty lousy job of divorce. I’ve even heard a court commissioner say, in court, “A bad settlement is often better than a good ruling.” This is not an immutable characteristic of the legal system, it’s due to a critical mass of people (not all people in the system, just enough in the system) who work within the system doing a lousy job, particularly (but not exclusively) with child custody.
Another simple truth: the legal system does not care about you and is not designed to care about you. Don’t look to the legal system for sympathy or encouragement.
Another: the contested divorce process is generally for most people far, far more distressing, time-consuming, expensive, unfair, and disappointing than they expected.
Lastly (and I wish I could take credit for this, but this comes from John Schindler): “Good behavior in a marriage is often bad behavior in a divorce.” Basically, he’s saying that no good deed goes unpunished in divorce, e.g.:
- a woman who subordinates her career to devotedly taking care of her children and husband for 10 or so years or more will be ill-prepared for the demands of newly single life.
- the longer a man takes good care of his wife in marriage increases his risk of having to pay her a ton of alimony, even if she’s the one who walks out on him.
- being kind and honest and fair is good for marriage, while being vindictive, dishonest, and deceitful often pays big dividends in divorce.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277