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Revenge in a Divorce is a Losing Strategy

Divorce is a very emotional and trying time for anyone going through it. The emotions for a person going through a divorce can cloud a person’s thinking and ability to make important financial and if there are children, custodial decisions.

A very common emotion is that one party wants to make the other party "pay." I see it all of the time in my practice. The “injured” spouse wants the court to admonish and show that the other spouse is a horrible person, is evil, or worse. The “injured” spouse cannot think past punishing the other spouse and thus cannot and will not listen to any advice about the important strategic and financial decisions that must be made. The result ninety-nine percent of the time is that this strong anger and resentment back fire and the "injured" spouse actually ends up in a worse position than he or she would have if they would not focus on revenge and focus on obtaining everything that the law permits during a divorce.

When individuals are seeking revenge and retribution against a spouse, they also rely upon the advice of their friends and what I like to call "bar room" attorneys. These individuals are usually only good for stoking the hate and animosity that one spouse has for the other. It is not healthy and not beneficial for a positive outcome.

Every one is human and divorce brings out the worst in people. But don’t let the person that hurt you hurt you more by making you hate them to the point where you would rather see them destroyed and making sure you are going to come out as well as the law permits. Your attorney is there to give you advice and guide you through the process. Your attorney will be aggressive and will fight for you to get everything you deserve, but not to perpetuate revenge, which will ultimately cause you to lose.

Trying to destroy the person who hurt you is not going to help you and many times, the outcome will be ten times worse than if you focus your anger toward obtaining the most you can get from the divorce.


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If spouses cannot fairly divide the marital property, the court will divide it as fairly as possible. Marital fault is not a consideration in property division. In Pennsylvania, property acquired during the marriage is jointly owned regardless of title. The court considers the duration of the marriage, individual assets and potential for bringing in money, how much each contributed to the marital property, including homemaking, and who will have physical custody of the children.
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