For many mothers, it’s not what you can expect from a divorce that worries many, but rather, it’s the unknown secrets that lurk in the shadows of the process. I’ve been asked, “what should I really worry about?”
That answer could draw many hours of conversation, but to narrow it down to 4 quick things to know, here are some shockers from divorce-land:
1. Judges will not follow the law and not enforce your court order for child support.
“Wait – what? This can’t be true.” But guess again. It’s important to know that there are different types of court in the United States. Divorce Court is a court of equity. This means that equity (fancy for “fairness”) must control the outcome above the law. Crazy, right? But true. So, if your spouse has a less than good reason, he’ll be off the hook, at least for a while, and he’ll be given all sorts of time to repay what he owes with a nice and easy payment plan.
2. It doesn’t matter what you want.
“Come on. This list is getting horrible.” But seriously, all true. In divorce, it matters very little about what you want. In terms of assets and debts, it’s largely pre-determined how those issues play out, regardless of your wants. Also, alimony is now by formula so the bucks you need to cover daily expenses doesn’t even go into the calculation anymore, like it once did. Custody too is about a child’s best interest, which may be very different from a mom’s best interest.
3. Your looks matter.
“Stop the insanity!” Yup, sorry. You better look and act great in your divorce. It’s a full blown personality contest. Think High School, but worse. Any sort of deviation from a cookie cutter process will largely be determined on how likable you are. Better looking, better dressed, better personality all matter.
4. Aggressive lawyering will hurt your outcome.
New Illinois legislation has caged the pit-bull lawyers. Even my very own aggressive side has to go through a tune-up given the new laws. Starting January 1, 2015, being aggressive will only drive up fees and get you essentially, the “boob” award for the one bringing the gun to the peace parade.
Essentially, changes in Illinois law are about to further remove the emotional underpinnings of a divorce. You and your lawyer have better know what these changes are and how they will affect the outcome of your case.
You’ve been warned.