JOSEPH F. EMMERTH A LOOK AT FAMILY LAW OF SULLIVAN TAYLOR & GUMINA, P.C.
DON’T LET YOUR DIVORCE TURN INTO
a Horror Story!
I’m a big fan of horror movies and literature, so you can bet that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I’m a sucker for a good costume party, but I also love staying in and marathoning the “Halloween” movies, with Donald Pleasence starring as Dr. Loomis. But as much as I love shouting advice at the characters on the screen — “Don’t get into that boat!” — I sometimes feel that I’m watching a horror movie unfold in real life as I help clients through divorce. And there’s nothing fun about that.
spouse, as we negotiated over who was going to keep a specific piece of furniture. At the time, the other attorney and I thought it was an heirloom or an antique. Then the truth came out: The item was only worth about $50 and had no emotional value. They were just going back and forth to spite each other, and it cost them both hundreds of dollars in attorney’s fees.
In horror movies, nobody wins. And in that divorce case, nobody won either. Sure, someone got the piece of furniture, but at what
Divorce is a very emotional experience, and it can be hard to act rationally. One time, I spent hours going back and forth with the attorney who was representing my client’s ex-
cost? Getting a divorce is an extremely stressful experience, so it’s understandable when things get heated. Fortunately, we have the law to fall back on, but it’s always good to listen to the advice of your attorney. October may be the month for horror movies, but the season for horror movie divorces starts next month. The holiday season is always rough, and it can be tough to hear that you can’t run into court on Christmas to enforce what you want to see happen. I find that the question I wound up asking about that piece of furniture — “Is it really worth it?” — is a great question to ask when something goes awry. Here’s one example:
OCTOBER MAY BE THE MONTH FOR HORROR MOVIES, BUT THE SEASON FOR HORROR MOVIE DIVORCES STARTS NEXT MONTH.
It’s not worth violating a court order and possibly being held in contempt to stop the kids from going to the other parent’s house an hour earlier than what the Parenting Plan says. It just isn’t. It seems like we always know what the best advice is for characters in horror movies, especially when we’ve seen the movie before. When it comes to divorce, I’ve seen the movie more than a few times, and I usually know what the best thing to do will be, no matter what your situation is. My recommendation? Stick with your divorce decree, don’t give your ex any extra ammunition, and give me a call if you have any questions.
Oh, and happy Halloween!
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