Divorce is about division, not punishment

People sometimes come to a divorce case with the belief that the court is going to be on their side and punish their spouse. For instance, maybe they found out that their spouse was being unfaithful, and they have decided that they want to get a divorce so that they can “take everything that they own” or “never let them see the kids again.”

But it is important not to have this mindset, because it isn’t realistic. It’s just not how a divorce court works or what the court is trying to accomplish. They’re not going to punish your spouse in any way. Instead, the goal of the court is just to facilitate the division of things like financial assets or time with the children.

The court’s goals and focus

For example, maybe your spouse says that they’re going to punish you by getting sole custody of the children. They can have that goal if they want, and they can ask for sole custody. But most courts are not going to give out sole custody without a compelling reason to do so. They generally look for things like issues of abuse or situations in which they think the child would be unsafe.

Barring something like that, legal experts generally believe that it is in a child’s best interests to see both of their parents. The court will always attempt to work in favor of that child’s best interests, even when that goes against what the parents would want.

So, in this example, if the court felt that both you and your ex were completely valid coparents, they would likely assign shared custody and give you a schedule that you would have to adhere to. Your ex may be frustrated by this, feeling that their wishes were ignored, but the problem is that their goal for the divorce simply didn’t realistically line up with what the court was going to do from the beginning.

As you move toward a divorce, make sure to keep the proper mindset and consider how you can work together and look into all of the potential solutions you have.

FindLaw Network
The Florida Bar | Board Certified
Super Lawyers
Peer Review Rated For Ethical Standards & Legal Ability | AV Preeminent | Martindale-Hubbell from LexisNexis 2020
AFLP | Association of Family Law Professionals
Bar Register | Preeminent Lawyers | 2020 Martindale-Hubbell