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Don't let strong emotions impact your divorce negotiations

Divorce is a difficult experience in nearly all aspects of the word. Unfortunately, the fact that divorce is emotionally difficult can lead to poor decisions that negatively impact the outcome of the case.

Recently, the Huffington Post featured an article about divorce horror stories submitted anonymously by family law attorneys. Some of these stories are good examples of how hurt and anger can cloud someone's judgment, leading to bad decisions.

In one case, a man was angry that his ex-wife was in possession of his toolbox, containing tools worth a total of about $500. He was so angry, in fact, that a hearing was held in which he asked for temporary use and possession. That session cost $3,000 in attorney fees alone. Not only was it a waste of time and money; the man also looked petty in front of the judge overseeing the case.

Another attorney discussed what sometimes happens when a client (or client's spouse) is ordered to take a hair-follicle drug test. Some people show up to the test having shaved their head. They are dismayed to learn that hair from anywhere on the body can be used. Others show up having removed all hair from their head and body.

The first example is surprisingly common. Couples end up arguing about possessions that could easily be replaced for much less than the cost of the negotiation. It may be worth it to fight for a cherished family heirloom, but not for the pots and pans from the kitchen.

The second example may not be too common, but it illustrates the lengths that some people will go to in order to spite their ex and unnecessarily impede divorce proceedings. These people often end up hurting themselves as well, losing both money and credibility.

There is no getting around the fact that divorce is emotionally painful. But it is crucial to find a healthy way to work through those emotions. If you don't, you could end up sabotaging yourself by letting hurt and anger cloud your judgment.