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Badmouthing Your Ex Can Cost You – Literally

When going through a divorce, you likely do not have feelings of love, or even like, toward your soon to be ex-spouse. In fact, it can be very tempting to vent to anyone who will listen about all the horrible things he/she has done to you both throughout the marriage and during the pending divorce case. A good family law attorney, however, will advise you to keep the badmouthing to a minimum as most of the time it can do nothing to help your case. In fact, often times badmouthing the opposing party, particularly in a public forum, can be to your detriment in a divorce case.

Consider the divorce case of Ira and Janice Schacter. Ex-wife gets less in divorce of BigLaw partner because her badmouthing hurt rainmaking, judge says, by Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal, April 9, 2014. Ira Schacter is a partner at a New York law firm. His wife, Janice, became upset after Ira allegedly paid $215,000 for his new girlfriend’s engagement ring while refusing to pay $12,000 for their daughter’s hearing aids. Janice then ranted and called him cheap on a popular legal blog site. The Judge in their divorce case found that Janice’s actions harmed her husband’s reputation in the legal community and caused the value of his business assets to decline. Accordingly, she was only awarded 17% of the partnership in the divorce whereas, otherwise, she would likely have been awarded 50% or close to it (depending on other facts in the case).

This case is important to keep in mind when going through your divorce. If you feel the need to vent or badmouth your soon to be ex, do it privately, to a few close friends or family members who you trust. Definitely do not scream it from the rooftops, either literally or figuratively. No good can come of it. You may think you are getting back at your ex, but you very well could just be hurting yourself, as the wife in the case above learned.

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Equitable Division
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