LITIGATION ≠ REGRETS

Guilderland, NY – I often deal with cases that could be resolved faster, less expensively, and with far less acrimony if the motivation behind the case was something other than regret, and trying to Monday morning quarterback your life. I can promise you that litigation is not a cure for regret.
Think of these instances:

1. Poor Investment– If you or your spouse bought swampland in Florida and have now lost your money, I can probably not get it back for you. 1. There may be no money to recoup. While you may be able to get a judgment, it probably is only a piece of paper that you can hang on the wall and not real currency; and/ or 2. There was no bad intent. If someone has “wastefully dissipated” an asset, that can be addressed in property distribution. However, that is generally a gross misuse of funds such as gambling, drugs, or complete mismanagement. Bad luck or poor investment strategy is generally not “refundable.”
2. Co-Parent- Most everyone has a relationship or two that she wishes didn’t happen as the person turned out to be a poor choice. Unfortunately, some of those relationships result in children, whether on purpose or not. Unless someone is a danger to a child, you are probably stuck with this person as a co-parent. While we can litigate until the cows come home, I cannot change the person or wave a magic wand and make them disappear. While you may regret this person was ever in your life, it is probably better for you and your child(ren) to at least carry on with this person as if she was your business partner and your business is raising your child. This may take some of the emotion out of it, and allow both of you to, if not co-parent, at least parallel parent.
3. Withholding money- Parents often have to share expenses: health insurance, medical, child care or extracurricular. Whether it is power, control, revenge or some other emotion, it often manifests in failing to reimburse the other person or contribute your portion. This often leads to a revolving door in court. While you may feel that you are getting back at the other parent or teaching him a lesson, you are wasting your time, taxpayer time and resources (courts, judges), and will be, more often than not, unsuccessful in court. While you may feel writing that check for $10 or $20 or even $100 will kill you, the chance of that occurring is nil to none. See #2, accept the other parent and do what you are supposed to do.

Civility and maturity are two things that should not be out of style, and my hope, especially for our children, is to have stable, loving, and non-toxic households. Before you hire a lawyer, you might want to ask her if that is her goal, or is it fueling your revenge? If revenge is what you want, be prepared to pay-emotionally and financially.

Please give us a call at (518)464-4095, if you have any questions.

Click here to see last months article: The Notebook

Margaret Tabak

Margaret Tabak

Margaret C. Tabak has been an attorney since 1988, starting her career in Schenectady and moving her practice to Guilderland in 1995.  The law firm is located in Great Oaks Office Park (near Crossgates Mall).  Margaret counsels clients in all matters related to matrimonial and family law.  A resident of Guilderland for more than 25 years, Margaret received her undergraduate degree from SUNY Albany and her law degree from Albany Law School.  If you have questions about a matrimonial or family law issue, contact Margaret for a consultation.