Via Dick Price’s excellent Tarrant County Divorce blog, he points to Daniel Clement who writes an excellent blog, the New York Divorce Report, where he had some good lessons for anyone going through a divorce.

Contemplating divorce or already engaged in one? No matter where you are in the process, five common sense rules apply to all family law cases:

Don’t underestimate the fury of a scorned spouse.

" Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned. Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." Anger, jealously and feelings of betrayal inspire the need for revenge. A divorce premised on the need for revenge will be costly (economically and emotionally), bitter and damaging to all.

You can listen to your friends, but maybe don’t pay attention to them.

"Divorces are fact specific. The facts of your case are different from your neighbors your friends, and your co-workers. The facts of your case will determine the outcome. So, when a client tells me that ‘My hairdresser said that I should do. . . ‘ or that ‘I am entitled to. . . .’ I try to find out when the hair dresser started practicing law. By analogy, I don’t tell my mechanic how to fix my car.

Don’t write or say anything that you don’t want to be read or heard in court.

Social network postings, pictures, and even causal asides will be used against you in a contested divorce or a custody fight. Your own words could be the strongest evidence against you. If you don’t want something to be used against you, exercise discretion and don’t say it, post it or photograph it.

Don’t let any anger, guilt or remorse get in the way of a reasonable and fair settlement.

Settlements should objectively fair, based upon the facts of the case. The emotions of anger and guilt cloud judgment. For instance, a spouse who feels that he/she betrayed the other by having an affair, may be willing to ‘give away the farm’ to satiate feelings of guilt. On the other hand, the betrayed party may have a knee jerk reaction rejecting a fair settlement offer because it does not provide for loss of the other’s body parts. Accept the advice of your attorney and financial advisors in order to resolve your case.

Hire a lawyer who practices matrimonial law, not someone who handles divorces only occasionally.

Due to the complexity of the issues involved in the dissolution of a marriage, ranging from the valuation and distribution of assets to the custody and care of children,you should seek representation from an attorney well versed in this particular area of law, not from someone who dabbles."

Needless to say, divorce has serious consequences. Unfortunately, some people don’t consider the long-term effects of what they do and say during a divorce. It is easy to give in to emotion and act irresponsibly in stressful and uncertain times. Instead of reacting quickly and in anger, it is much better to stop and consider your choices and act in ways that will reduce the fighting and put you in a better position to get a good resolution. In other words, stop, think and avoid the temptation to gain temporary, but immediate gratification. Consulting with your attorney before making important decisions is a good way to avoid creating bigger problems.

For information about Family Law Attorney in Dallas, Texas, contact O’Neil Attorneys Family Law.

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Photo of Michelle O'Neil Michelle O'Neil

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes…

Michelle May O’Neil has 27 years’ experience representing small business owners, professionals, and individuals in litigation related to family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and complex property division. Described by one lawyer as “a lethal combination of sweet-and-salty”, Ms. O’Neil exudes genuine compassion for her client’s difficulties, yet she can be relentless when in pursuit of a client’s goals. One judge said of Ms. O’Neil, “She cannot be out-gunned, out-briefed, or out-lawyered!”

Family Law Specialist

Ms. O’Neil became a board-certified family law specialist by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1997 and has maintained her certification since that time. While representing clients in litigation before the trial court is an important part of her practice, Ms. O’Neil also handles appellate matters in the trial court, courts of appeals and Texas Supreme Court. Lawyers frequently consult with Ms. O’Neil on their litigation cases about specialized legal issues requiring particularized attention both at the trial court and appellate levels. This gives her a unique perspective and depth of perception that benefits both her litigation and appellate clients.

Top Lawyers in Texas and America

Ms. O’Neil has been named to the list of Texas SuperLawyers for many years, 2011-2018, a peer-voted honor given to only about 5% of the lawyers in the state of Texas. In 2014-2018, Ms. O’Neil received the special honor of being named by Texas SuperLawyers as one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Top 100 Lawyers in Texas, and Top 100 Lawyers in DFW. She was named one of the Best Lawyers in America for 2016 and received an “A-V” peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directories for the highest quality legal ability and ethical standards.

Author and Speaker

A noted author, Ms. O’Neil released her second book Basics of Texas Divorce Law in November 2010, with a second edition released in 2013, and a third edition expected in 2015.  Her first book, All About Texas Law and Kids, was published in September 2009 by Texas Lawyer Press. In 2012, Ms. O’Neil co-authored the booklets What You Need To Know About Common Law Marriage In Texas and Social Study Evaluations.  The State Bar of Texas and other providers of continuing education for attorneys frequently enlist Ms. O’Neil to provide instruction to attorneys on topics of her expertise in the family law arena.