- Fight: intimidate the adversary to gain leverage;
2. Flight: hand over the case to the judge
The back and forth conversations between divorce attorneys in a contested (disputed) divorce consist of language that is used to intimidate the opposing side in order to gain leverage or favor in the case. For instance, when a couple is disputing over who gets to keep the family home, an attorney will likely use language to make the adversary appear unworthy of getting the home as compared to his or her client. If the husband, for instance, left the family home upon separation, the wife’s attorney could use this fact against him in litigation by stating that he abandoned the family home and therefore it should belong to the wife. Another scenario would be, one spouse left the other with full responsibility of their children, then the attorney for that parent would suggest that the person taking care of the children should keep the marital home.
If an attorney is obviously getting backed into a corner without a good rebuttal, that attorney might decide to let the issue be brought before the judge to save him or her from any further attacks. This could occur if one party has a clean slate in the case with nothing to hide while the other party has a laundry list of issues. A legal team can only dig up so many non-issues to distract the court until they finally have to give in to the opposing side and hope that the judge shows some empathy for their side.
If you’re involved in a contested divorce and see that your adversary’s attorney has backed away by omitting to comment or “leaving it to the judge”, this is likely a positive sign for your side. Attorneys will use whatever tools they have at their disposal, so the lack of a rebuttal or defense is a clear sign of a lack of ammunition or support for their side.