What Being Petty Really Costs You During Divorce

Man and woman arguing in a car


Maybe your spouse just left you for another person. Perhaps your marriage has been in dire straits for years, but it’s only just reached the breaking point. There’s no denying divorce hurts, and it makes many people act irrationally and engage in petty behaviours. Although it’s quite tempting to take cheap shots at your ex whenever possible, it will hurt you in the long run.

Read on about why taking the high road will benefit you during a divorce.

Won’t Someone Think of the Children?


If you have kids, the divorce will certainly be rough on them. Remember that your behaviour during this time can make the situation more difficult.

Your children will be watching how you behave. What kind of behaviour do you want to model? Do you want to blame your ex for everything (even if it’s your ex who wanted the divorce)? Are you going to draw out the custody proceedings and transform them into a battle royale because you feel a sense of entitlement (and not because it’s in the best interests of your children)?

During a divorce, you should ensure you protect your legal rights. However, fighting tooth and nail because you’re upset at your spouse can affect how your kids see you. Put your children’s best interests first during a divorce so you don’t jeopardize your emotional development.

Being Petty Can Be a Drag…


In 2013, the Tampa Bay Times reported on the divorce case of Terry Power and Murielle Fournier. Thousands of couples filed for divorce in Florida that year – why was the case of Power and Fournier so interesting to warrant news coverage?

Fournier and Power actually filed for divorce in 2008. Their case dragged on for over four years. Each side refused to give into the other’s demands. Power believed his ex-wife was only after his money. Fournier’s stance was that Power had the money to maintain her and their children, but was simply being tightfisted.

In spite of two rounds of mediation, the couple could not resolve certain issues which kept cropping up again and again. Ultimately, they settled and the marriage came to an end, although at what cost? Was it really worth it to spend four years in court, arguing over increasingly smaller sums of money? If they had been able to compromise, they could have been divorced years earlier and moved on with their lives.

…And It’s Expensive


The longer you draw out your divorce proceedings, the more money it costs you and your ex-spouse. Remember that lawyers don’t work for free.

Let’s go back to the case of Fournier and Power. Their cost of divorce was $400,000 in legal fees. He sold off many of his assets in order to fund the drawn-out legal battle. His ex-wife’s legal bills were just under half of that – approximately $150,000. She had to take a job paying $8.50 an hour simply to survive.

Even if you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend, do you really want that money to be eaten up by legal fees? You might think that you’re hurting your ex-spouse by spending so much time in court, but you’re doing damage to your bank account at the same time.

Collaborative Law Experts Can Help You Save Time and Money

No one wants a long, messy divorce. Divorce lawyers trained in collaborative practice and mediation can help you protect your rights while reaching a mutually beneficial outcome.

Galbraith Family Law lawyers are trained in Collaborative Practice, and we have been named the top firm by the Barrie Examiner multiple times. Our legal insights have also been featured in the Globe and Mail, as well as Lawyers Weekly.

Click here to contact us, or to schedule a consultation. Or you can call the local office listed at the top of the page.

Brian Galbraith

Brian Galbraith is the owner and founder of Galbraith Family Law Professional Corporation. Brian is known in the legal community for his commitment to efficiently practicing family law using technology and streamlining the divorce processes.

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