For many people in Texas who get a divorce, the attitude is one of war. The soon-to-be former spouses are combatants fighting over issues such as child custody, assets and, perhaps, the ability to say that a victory has been claimed.
Experts in the field say that this attitude might pay dividends in the short term -- but at a steep cost. This is why two judges have written a book called "Do Your Divorce Right," in hopes that people will avoid the worst of the combat and instead seek a more moderate path toward ending their marriage.
The book details several instances of bad behavior by people going through divorces: a woman who, while drinking, donned her wedding dress and attacked her husband -- who was having an affair -- earning her a trip to jail. One dispute over Tupperware led to a "split the baby" approach, with one party receiving the containers and the other party the lids.
The book also contains a lot of information for people who want to represent themselves in divorce cases. Motivated by cost -- or sometimes by pride -- many people choose to eschew formal legal help and go it alone. Several years ago, when the authors were developing the ideas of the book, they figured at least three out of four divorce cases had at least one party who was not represented by an attorney -- and they expect the numbers have only grown. However, people who act on their own behalf do not have the experience, and sometimes the patience, that a family law attorney can provide to someone going through a divorce.
Source: Portland Press Herald, "Maine judges' book appeals to 'better angels' in divorce proceedings," Ann S. Kim, Nov. 26, 2012