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Life After Divorce Made Easier Via AmicabilityAlthough our New York divorce forms video, which has only recently been released, provides a great primer on how to get a divorce in New York, there are some things that people forget when going through the divorce process that extend beyond the law and into the realm of civil discourse, and frankly, it never hurts to brush up on some of the basics when it comes to divorce etiquette.

Perhaps the worst thing anyone can do during their divorce is to lie.  Of course, this usually is not a good thing to do in the first place, but lying to a judge about any aspect of your divorce is sure to not result in whatever you are seeking, as well as cost you in other areas.  Particularly when it comes to alimony, child support information, and child custody;  lies in these areas can severely hamper any prospect of getting the advantage you were attempting to get, and the judge will find out about that little (or not so little) white lie eventually, so it is best just to avoid it entirely. The old saying of “the trust shall set you free” is generally a good axiom to abide by.

In the same vein, it pays to follow The Golden Rule: if you can’t say anything nice, just don’t say anything at all.  Although the temptation is great to vent about your divorce on Facebook, the repercussions of doing so do not paint a very pretty picture when compared to civil or altogether non-existent criticisms on an ex’s own page. And as your children get older, internet content will become locked in stone for countless generations to witness–do you really want your teenage son or grandson to see angry comments you made to 10,20,30 years ago?

Word travels ’round the campfire very quickly, and in the likely event that negative things are said about you and you catch wind about it, the best course of action is to simply not respond or not speak poorly of the other person, no matter how tempting or valid it may be.  In situations such as these, turning the other cheek can be as valuable as any legal strategy.  At a minimum, you will exude an air of professionalism and integrity that, for most, will be a positive reflection in a time when the personal code of standards may very well be at an all time low. Your life after divorce will be greatly enhanced and elevated by the behavior that you exhibit and display during the most pivotal moment of a divorce crises.

Keep in mind that most courts dictate child custody (and subsequently, child support) on the best needs of the child.  When the courts see that you teach your children that there are other ways of dealing with conflict than with mutual aggression or ill-will, it certainly becomes much harder for the judge to issue custody to the other parent after seeing that you routinely take obstacles in stride.  On the contrary, demonstrating that you have a penchant for perpetuating and growing a conflict makes getting custody a much more difficult battle.

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