Top Tips To Avoid a Messy "Mean" Divorce!
Sometimes reading about other couples' divorces can help save your marriage. Other times, you see the same mistakes being made in your own relationship, and might be able to avoid the same nasty divorce.
A client, I'll call him "Ted," swore to me that "everything was fine" but then his wife slapped him with a restraining order. When he called to talk to her about it, Ted (unwittingly) violated the order and ended up under arrest -- charged with a felony for violating a court order, as well as misdemeanor aggravated harassment for the phone call. "She didn't have to do this," he lamented. "If she wanted a divorce, she could have told me; we could have done this in a friendly way."
I see it all the time: guys are dumbfounded that their wives take drastic measures to get their attention when they want a divorce. But it's no surprise to me. I'm a woman (and a divorce lawyer): I know how we operate.
Another client, "Andy" was desperate: he owed more than half a million dollars in back child support and alimony and his ex-wife was seeking enforcement, including a violation for failure to pay, which would land him in jail for up to six months. They had been divorced for about 10 years and at the time, he agreed to pay through the nose.
"I felt bad," he explained. "I was the one leaving the marriage, and at the time I was doing really well at work." His guilt and a rushed desire to settle landed him with high payments and no assets (he gave her the house too). His payments became untenable when the economy soured and his job was cut.
Divorce Guilt: I've seen it in my practice a million times a spouse comes gives over the farm, or worse, comes up with a million reasons why their ex is a horrible person, shouldn't see the kids and should be in jail.
Read more about my take on "Mean Girls" and "Divorce Guilt" and other issues at my blog: The Divorce Artist.
I give practical advice and take an up-front approach to each case. I believe that lawyers should be clear, direct and above-all, honest. My office is bringing a new face to lawyering: we are aggressive and firm when necessary, but also able to guide you to a lower-conflict divorce should the opportunity arise.
Named by Super Lawyers as one of New York’s Rising Stars for 2013 (best attorneys who are 40 or under), Morghan Leia Richardson is a divorce attorney and mediator in New York City.
A former journalist, she is regularly featured on the Huffington Post and The Good Men Project.
Morghan juggles her Queens-based law practice with her other job as divorced mom of two preschool-aged boys. Her firm is Richardson Legal PLLC.