In general, pursuing amicable, cooperative solutions during a divorce is preferable. These efforts can be less stressful, less expensive and result in long-term benefits for all involved parties.
However, there are situations in which being amenable is not in a person’s best interests. Below are some common scenarios when it may not pay to play nice during a divorce.
When your ex is lying
Too often, parties make false allegations and statements during a divorce. They might fabricate abuse accusations or misstate their financial resources on legal documents.
However, lying during a divorce can make it impossible to secure just outcomes. Further, it is illegal to lie under oath. As such, if your ex is being dishonest or deceptive, it can be crucial to push back and defend yourself and your right to a fair settlement.
When your rights are at risk
Playing nice during a divorce can be important, but it should not come at the expense of your rights. And make no mistake that you do have rights, which could include:
- Time with your child
- Fair division of community assets and debts
- Working with an attorney
If someone attempts to rob you of these rights or make you feel like you deserve anything less than a fair outcome, being polite can be ineffective.
When your child’s welfare is in danger
As a parent, you have a duty to protect your child; this includes protecting them from a painful divorce and dangerous people.
In most cases, mediation is preferable when resolving family legal matters. And shared custody can often be in a child’s best interests. However, these measures can be unwise if they endanger a child’s well-being.
Under these circumstances, parents may need to utilize more aggressive measures to protect their children from threats to their physical or mental health.
The difference between assertive and antagonistic
Too often, people feel they must be amicable during a divorce or risk being called hostile or bitter. However, there is a difference between causing unnecessary conflict and standing up for yourself.
Your future, family and rights can be on the line in a divorce. In situations where they are in jeopardy, playing nice may no longer be in your best interests.