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February 3, 2023

Blaming (may feel right but is not the answer)

It is human nature when you are faced with hurt and upset to feel anger and a desire to either be acknowledged as the injured party or to want to humiliate and hurt the person who has hurt you. This is common when parties are facing divorce. Reeling from the rejection or possible betrayal and often buoyed by friends and loved ones, they come in to see their family lawyer with instructions to draft proceedings, with a long list of examples of the other person’s unreasonable behaviour.

This is what the unreasonable behaviour petition was designed for; to give a party the ability to state the reasons why they could not be expected to remain in the relationship with someone who has behaved so unreasonably. This can be cathartic, healing and give the client the ability to say all the things they feel hurt about; some of which may be real and some of which have become bigger in their hurt and distressed state. I understand this desire completely. I can often feel the hurt just by meeting the client. But what does this really achieve?

I have often suggested to clients that they draft an unreasonable behaviour petition of their own. Write it all out, all the hurt and pain and blame the other person for everything that went wrong.

And then we will draft a sensible petition. One which is dignified and conciliatory and often going against everything the client might feel. Why? Because we are going to approach these proceedings in a way that diffuses the conflict not add to it.

We will never negotiate a decent financial settlement or resolve children issues with ease if we start from a position of blame and anger. It permeates every part of the proceedings. Sometimes we get so pulled into the blame game we forget the bigger issues.

It costs money to argue the finer points of who was in the wrong and at the end of it you will still be divorced. Whether you blame each other or not. However, you may be left with two parents who hate each other and the impact that has on children is long standing.

Argue for a fair outcome and for the best for your children but do not waste your time arguing on who is to blame. In the end it changes nothing. Write it out to yourself, ask a friend to read it, give it to your lawyer so they understand how hurt you are and then park it and work towards getting the best outcome for your future. It really is the best way forward for you and your family.

If you would like to know more – please contact our team on 875875 or fill out the form below.

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