Cristi Trusler, author of the Austin Divorce Help Blog recently published a no-holds-barred article outlining nine key strategies utilized by parties who want their divorce to be the worst possible experience of their life. Her post has received great attention in Family Law Blogs from around the country.
Humorous and to the point, here’s what she suggests to litigants looking to make the dissolution of their marriage as lengthy, stressful and expensive as possible:
- Lie. It’s critical that you and your attorney trust each other. So why not lie to them? That’s really a great strategy.
- Get your kids involved. Divorce is unpleasant enough on it’s own. If you really get your kids involved and start using them against each other it’s easy to make it much, much worse – on you and your kids. So go ahead, get a good custody battle going. Make your kids miserable. (If you pursue this strategy, I recommend saving money for therapy.)
- Start dating immediately. If you’d like to make your spouse even less willing to try to reach an agreement, then start dating – and make sure you tell them about it.
- Raid the bank accounts. This is a great way to let everyone know that you are the “bad spouse.” Cut your spouse off from all your assets and don’t let them have any money to live or to hire an attorney.
- Start making big purchases. Spend, spend, spend. This one does two things. First, it’s just more stuff to try and divide during the divorce. Second, since money is often an issue in divorces in the first place, it can give you just a little bit more to argue about.
- Don’t do anything. If you really want to frustrate everyone, including your own lawyer, don’t do anything. Don’t call anyone back. Don’t respond to emails or letters or show up for meetings.
- Don’t listen to your lawyer, get legal advice from your friends and family. This is a personal favorite of mine. I know you hired an attorney to guide you thought this legal matter, but he or she couldn’t possibly know as much about the law as your aunt Dorothy who has been divorced 3 times.
- Hire the most expensive attorney in town. There are some attorneys in town that won’t even talk to you unless you can pay at least a $25,000 retainer. If you really want to nuke all your family’s financial resources while fighting with your spouse, make sure you talk to one of these lawyers.
- Hire the cheapest attorney in town. This is the opposite end of the spectrum. I was always taught that things were cheap for a reason.
We know (or at least hope) you’re chuckling at the notion of taking Cristi up on these nine tips, but the temptation is probably there. A former colleague once told me that “divorces involve good people acting their worst and criminal defense involves bad people acting their best.” I don’t necessarily agree with his words of wisdom, but my memoir will have a number of anecdotes proving them true.