Don’t take the bait

Some excellent advice from Diana Mercer at the Huffington Post:

These are my top tips for staying out of trouble:

Ignore Legal Smack Talk from Your Spouse: I love that spouses try and give each other legal advice. Really? Since when did your spouse go to law school and become a divorce lawyer? And you’re listening? Heck, even if they’re dishing out good advice, it pays to double check.

Question “My Friend Said”: If your spouse talks about friends’ divorces or what the lawyer plans on doing to you legally, ask:

• How many years did that friend’s divorce take?
• How much did it cost?
• How much did your lawyer say that taking me to the cleaners would cost in legal fees?
• Is your lawyer willing to put it in writing that they guaranteed that their result will be better than what I’m prepared to offer voluntarily?

You’re safe with that last one—no lawyer would guarantee anything or put fees in writing so this will force your spouse to have an honest discussion with the lawyer about the pros and cons of pursuing any given action.

[…]

…Your spouse will say stuff to you just to get you riled up. Ignore it. “Obviously, this is a hot topic for both of us, so I’m not going to respond at this point. I do hope we can work all of this out, though, at some point.” Then change the subject. Say that as many times as you have to.

Eventually, your spouse will get bored when it’s clear you aren’t going to fight back. This will freak your spouse out a little, particularly at first, so feel free to chuckle. When you start to behave differently than you have over the last eleventy-million years they’re going to wonder what’s up and watching that might be a little amusing as the old tricks don’t work on you anymore.

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