With Halloween around the corner, we're reminded that we see a lot of scary divorce horror stories in our line of work. Divorces are difficult, emotional, and complicated—and anything with those ingredients can sometimes lead to scary, terrifying results.
In many horror movies, we know way ahead of time that a character is walking into a really bad situation. We yell at the screen, "NO! DON'T GO IN THERE!" Divorces are quite similar. Here are some of the most common scenarios where we want to yell at you to NOT GO IN THERE!
Entering the Divorce "Twilight Zone" Without an Attorney
On the Twilight Zone, normal people go about their day to day lives and suddenly find themselves in a world that seems like the real world on the surface—but things aren't quite right. That's what happens when you file for a divorce—even a simple, uncontested divorce. It's a legal process that seems like the "Twilight Zone" to most people. Many of the steps in a divorce are complex and don't make a lot of sense. That makes it easy to mess up by filing documents incorrectly or making paperwork mistakes that lead to a court rejecting what a person submitted. Without an attorney, that may leave you in a twilight zone limbo with your divorce filed but not finalized as you desperately try to make things right.
The Curse of Your Haunted House
In many divorces, spouses battle over the house. And in some cases, it's a battle to get rid of it. Unfortunately, if you want custody of your children, you may get stuck with what's considered the "marital home"—and that means you're possibly stuck with a house that's underwater, foreclosed, or just simply more than you can afford. An attorney can minimize the impact of obtaining such a negative asset by helping you look at all of your options during settlement negotiations or a trial.
Sleepwalking Like a Zombie Through Your Divorce
Like zombies, so many people mentally check out from the entire divorce process because they are too emotional or overwhelmed. They didn't participate in the divorce process, they signed agreements without thinking about them, and then they realize six months after the divorce is finalized that they are in a bad situation. At that point, it's mostly too late to fix alimony, child support, and child custody situations, and there is only so much an attorney can do after the fact to fix what happened. No matter how emotional and overwhelmed you feel, you need to be a fully alert human being—not a zombie. An attorney will help represent you and fight for your interests—especially when you might be too distracted or emotional to deal with it all yourself.
Any Skeletons in Your Closet?
Skeletons in your closet? Haunted by your past? We have all done things that we regret. However, it's not wise to keep these secrets from your attorney. To avoid bringing up past issues, we see many people enter into terrible divorce agreements just so they don't have to reveal something embarrassing. The public shame and damage to your divorce case that you imagine in your head is usually not going to happen. In most cases, revealing an affair, a DUI, or some other detail will not hurt you financially or ruin your child custody outcome—but your spouse can definitely intimidate you with these details if you don't bring them out into the open. Be honest with your attorney so that he or she can help you strategize about how to handle these skeletons and still get you a fair outcome.
Getting a Gandalf to Battle Your Saruman
In Lord of the Rings, Saruman was a wizard who turned to evil. The only character able to stand up to Saruman was another equally powerful wizard: Gandalf. Similarly, divorce cases can get nasty and your spouse's attorney may act mean, dishonest, and difficult. By yourself, battling both your spouse and their attorney may be like Saruman defeating a mere human. A good attorney will battle on your side like a wizard to help you deal with any difficult people along the way. It's hard to think clearly while also dealing with sometimes crafty attorneys waiting for you to slip up. An attorney on your side will ensure the battle is equal and fair.
The same lesson we learn in horror movies is the same lesson seen above. DON'T GO IN THERE! Instead, rely on an experienced attorney who knows all about the scary "Twilight Zone" of divorce and can lead you through unscathed. Make sure to contact us for a consultation.