In the climactic scene of Richard III, the beleaguered king offers to trade his kingdom for a horse. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
When your marriage turns out to have been a bad bargain, whether the fault falls on you or your spouse, you may be tempted to sign away your child visitation rights, the deed to your house, and even the bulk of your investment portfolio, just to get it over with.
Before there is any talk of divorce many find that they have roped themselves in, by means of pre-nuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, property ownership documents, financial arrangements, and patterns of behavior, to a situation that has no viable exit strategy. By the time you find yourself in divorce court, there is already a long paper trail of documents with your signature that could give the upper hand to your spouse: the detailed apology for your affair; incriminating text messages, the waiver of all claims on the priceless oil painting; and a stack of notarized documents you signed, against your better judgment, in order to keep peace at home.
Some of the mistakes we make in our relationships are impossible to explain to ourselves, let alone to a divorce court judge or to the camera under the withering interrogation of your spouse’s attorney via zoom deposition.
It is rarely your best or only option to caveto all your spouse’s demands and sign off on a blatantly unfair settlement offer just to get out from under a bad marriage as soon as possible. Whatever the power imbalances may have been during the marriage, the law in Connecticut offers numerous protections designed to make it possible for both spouses to have a fair chance at a successful life post-divorce.
If you are not a great negotiatoryou should think about hiring a lawyer who is. A competent lawyer may look at the “iron-clad agreement” you signed 20 years ago and figure out in a matter of minutes why it is null and void, or contains loopholes big enough to drive a truck through. A lawyer with a good poker face may be able to convince your spouse’s attorney that you have a winning hand, and that it would be best to keep this divorce from reaching the courtroom. Once you convince the other side to enter divorce mediation, the balance of power may shift to your advantage.
If you find yourself looking down the proverbial barrel of the gun in the form of an angry spouse with an aggressive lawyer and reams of evidence against you, you need to consult with a legal advisor capable of assessing your situation thoroughly and perhaps figuring out how to give you a fighting chance to obtain a reasonable settlement.
Carmina Hirsch is one of Connecticut’s most respected divorce attorneys. She can set you on the right track to come out with a viable solution.
Hirsch Legal, LLC is one of Connecticut’s most experienced divorce and family law practices. We serve clients in New Haven and upper Fairfield County (Bridgeport, Danbury and Milford). If you are filing or responding to a divorce action, please contact us as soon as possible for a confidential consultation.