Bad Behavior in Family Law
Bad behavior is rampant in Family Law.
Perhaps it’s the myth of “no fault” divorce that tricks people into believing they can be assholes without consequence.
Or maybe people believe they’re “justified” because of the way they were treated in the marriage.
Family Law Is a Special Area of Law
Family Law is a very special area of law. It is the ONLY area of law where you are asking the Court and hiring lawyers to unravel YOUR personal choices.
In Criminal Law, crimes are caused by strangers. Civil Law, car accidents are caused by strangers. But in Family Law, there are no strangers…and no victims.
It is easy to point the finger and blame the other side. I know I have. But it doesn’t help you out of the bad situation you are in. If you don’t assume personal responsibility for your choices, you will never move on.
Even though California is a no-fault state, where you “technically” won’t be punished for hurting your spouse, being an asshole DOES hurt your pocketbooks, because lack of trust and anger is what breeds the emotional fighting. Fighting = attorneys’ fees.
So STOP IT with the bad behavior.
If you are abusing your spouse, STOP it. It is wrong to abuse your spouse in any shape or form, physical, emotional or verbal. Abuse isn’t just “punching” or “slapping” or otherwise physically hurting someone. Abuse can be manifest in calling someone a “dumb pig”, or a “waste of space”, or even labeling them “narcissist”.
Domestic violence is a serious issue, and you can lose custody and get kicked out due to that.
False Abuse Allegations
Similarly, if you are making up stories to get sole custody and exclusive possession of the family home, and get money, it is WRONG. I know many lawyers try to convince you to do this. It is WRONG. Do NOT do this.
Cheating is wrong. It is an utter breach of trust. Just because the California Courts won’t punish you for “infidelity” doesn’t mean that it is morally acceptable. If you cheat on your spouse, be prepared to suffer the consequences.
Addiction to drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, gambling, shopping – is wrong. If you are the victim of your addiction, SEEK help. There is no excuse for it. Blaming your spouse for your porn addiction is gaslighting. Own up it – it’s YOUR addiction, and YOUR fault.
False Sense of Entitlement
I see a lot of false sense of entitlement amongst family law litigants. “I deserve…” “But I just want what’s MINE”…. “He needs to pay me to live…” “She needs to give me 50/50 custody”…
“IT’S NOT FAIR!”
Of course Family Law isn’t fair. You are asking the law to interfere with your personal choices. How do you think it will end?
Nobody deserves anything in life. Just because you married a millionaire does not mean you are entitled to his money after he leaves you. Just because you have a stay at home housewife raising the kids while you work to advance your career does not mean you will get 50/50 custody when she leaves.
Consequences of Your Choices
YOU make choices when you enter into a marriage. Those choices have consequences.
Not having to worry about money during the marriage is wonderful – but be prepared when that security is taken away because you know nothing about the money. I am an advocate of being financially savvy and being an inspouse during the marriage. You have that choice.
Having 50/50 custody is a privilege, not a right. If you have NEVER helped with the children, don’t expect the children will be used to a 50/50 schedule right away. It is your privilege to spend time and help care for your children during the marriage. IF you forfeit that during the marriage, don’t suddenly expect 50/50 custody in your divorce.
Always Have a Premarital Agreement
Do NOT enter into a marriage with all of your wrongful assumptions. When you “assume”, you make an ass out of you and me.
Before you marry, talk about the finances. Who is working and who is staying home? Is he paying the bills? How much are the bills? Who is raising children? How much does the nanny cost?
Discuss your expectations of one another, and don’t confuse expectations with standards.
Treat Your Spouse With Respect, Always
Our modern culture is plagued by rampant disrespect and cancel culture. Just because someone doesn’t agree with you does not mean they don’t deserve your respect, or that you should cancel them.
When I see such bad behavior online, I personally wonder what is going on with their personal lives. Is it ok to treat anyone, much less your spouse, this way?
Divorce does not have to be so nasty. If both spouses treated each other kinder during the marriage, the fact that their marriage is ending wouldn’t have to affect their children. Divorces should not cost millions of dollars. Women should not be left destitute on the streets; men falsely accused of domestic violence; children losing parents who love them.
Put Your Family First
Put your family first. I implore you. Do not come to me seeking to destroy your family; I will not help you. I have a duty to guide you, and I will only encourage good behavior.
Bad behavior is rampant in family law. And it must stop.