To paraphrase your mother: If you had a nickel for every man who has paid for idly-spoken words during a divorce, you could buy the Golden Gate bridge. While we all have the right to free speech, what you say really can come back to haunt you, so it is important to know how to stop talking when you are faced with a divorce situation.
This is not always easy. Sometimes our emotions get the better of us. It is easy to lash out with words or to gloat over some real or imagined triumph. However, once you cool down, it is all too easy to see how those words spoken in anger could come back to haunt you.
Here are some common verbal mistakes men make during divorce and a better way to handle these situations.
Poor: “You will not get any money from me.”
Better: Avoid talking about finances. That is your attorney’s job. At best, you will make your former spouse angry; at worst you will make her vindictive. If your spouse asks about money or assets, direct her to your attorney or explain that you have been instructed not to talk with her about the subject.
Poor: “The kids want to live with me.”
Better: Even if it is true, and even if she does not particularly want custody of the children, phrasing it this way will probably bring out the fight in her. If the kids do want to live with you and are old enough to make that decision, she will find out soon enough. Instead of a challenge, use the phrase, “I want what is best for the children.”
Poor: “I know you have been cheating on me.”
Better: Never tell a former spouse what you know about her infidelities, indiscretions or financial situation. If it comes down to a fight, a surprise attack is usually best. While it may be very difficult to bite your tongue, accusing her gains you nothing. Instead, talk to your attorney about your options.
Poor: “Let’s sleep together one last time.”
Better: One night together could put your entire divorce settlement at risk. As hard as it may be to pass up a chance for “regret sex,” there is nothing to be gained by such an action and much to be lost.
The Men’s Legal Center wants to help you navigate the complicated divorce pathway. Contact us today for an initial consultation.