David R. Hartwig, ESQ.
Attorney & Counselor At Law
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February 2017 Archives

Thinking about divorce later in life? Follow these tips to protect your future.

Divorce is never an easy decision, especially if you have been married for several years or decades, and you are getting into the "gray" time of life. Questions exist, such as: Where will you live? What will happen to your retirement savings? Will you be able to stay involved in the same activities you enjoy now? These are difficult questions, but you have to ask them, and get answers.

Strategy and Aggression in Divorce

Notice that "strategy" in divorce is first; that is because simple aggression in a divorce matter, or in any family law matter is not good. If you really want to burn your spouse, or ex-spouse, because they cheated on you, or some other perceived wrong, then you will simply be wasting your time and money. In general, the courts are not going to punish anybody like that, and Utah law says that things like alimony cannot be used to punish or reward a party.There are times to be aggressive in carrying out your over all plan. Times to clearly assert, with determination, your position and your goals as allowed under law. If, for instance, your spouse abuses the children or there is conflict, you need to stand strong and marshal all of your evidence to protect your children -- that type of problem does not really allow for compromise, not if you truly care for your children.But first, there needs to be the plan, the strategy. You and your attorney need to sit down, determine what you want, what your liabilities may be, and what your rights are. You do have to know where you are going before you start this journey, and it is often best to plan a route, and potential alternate route. To do that, your attorney needs to educate to the risks and benefits of your position and goal.With your plan and strategy determined, it is time to proceed. Depending on what the other side does, you may well have to become aggressive. The other side may play word games, delay matters, become exceedingly verbose, aggressive, or simply refuse to do anything. It is then that you should appropriately assert your position with simple clarity and force. You are not being nasty, you are simply moving the case forward to cut short whatever shenanigans the other side is throwing at you. Sure, the other side will get upset and make all kinds of accusations about you. But if you are using your aggression appropriately it won't really matter. Because you are diligently working toward your goal by clearly and concisely presenting your position to the court. And, if the court gets its decision wrong, you will need the same kind of strategy and appropriate assertiveness to appeal that decision.One final caveat: strategy and aggression may be appropriate in litigation, but aggression is not appropriate in settlement negotiations or mediation. Mediation in particular, is a procedure to work together for a mutually beneficial resolution of the issues.

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