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Can badmouthing a spouse jeopardize a favorable divorce outcome?

Posted on in High Conflict Family Law

Divorce can bring out the worst in anyone. While Texas is a “no-fault” divorce state, spouses can also file on grounds such as abuse, adultery, cruelty, abandonment or fraud. Any one of those instances can easily lead to a high-conflict divorce.

But, allowing anger to boil over into unkind comments about a spouse can actually harm a reputation, damage the family dynamic and, in many cases, hurt a person's chances for a favorable divorce – whether it's through a settlement or litigation.

Advantages of taking the high road

Despite the perceived short-lived emotional benefits of speaking harshly about a soon-to-be ex, making nasty or rude remarks can lead to a lengthy and expensive process. The benefits of an amicable split include:

  • Dividing assets: Texas is a community property state, meaning all marital assets are equally divided unless there is a pre- or post-nuptial agreement in place, or other special orders. However, a contentious relationship with your spouse can make reaching a settlement challenging.
  • Child custody: Texas courts make the well-being of children their priority in custody arrangements. Any documented animosity against the other parent through email, social media or even word of mouth can get back to the judge, and possibly sway them into making an unfavorable custody ruling.
  • Peace of mind: Divorce is stressful even when spouses get along. Contentious words and actions not only make it harder on everyone, including your children. Adopting a respectful attitude often results in a less emotional and more cost-effective process.

Guard against momentary meltdowns

Even the best people can let stress and anxiety lead to an occasional outburst over personal frustrations. However, even if it happens only once, and it's done in a public way, the court isn’t aware that a rare showing of anger may be out of character.

The best approach is to keep one's cool, even if a spouse makes it difficult to avoid responding in kind. Keeping a clear head and staying positive and focused throughout your divorce can result in setting you up for a better future – both mentally and financially.

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