Part 6 – Legal Tips: Looking Ahead
I knew little to nothing about the court system before my husband left. However, as you might relate, I got a quick education.
Current law and the state in which you live have a huge say in each person’s experience when a husband leaves. Although, different factors may be at play in your situation, I wanted to share with you some of the zingers that really caught my attention as I found myself walking on this unexpected road.
My prayer is that some of the information here may be of help to you as you face some of the challenges that lay ahead.
6. Living Under An Ever-Threatening Threat
“Anyone can sue anyone, anytime, for anything,” a lawyer once said to me. It’s an upsetting feeling. There is always a threat that you could be taken back to court, or that you could also decide to take your ex back to court because that is one of our rights in our legal system.
When talking to another lawyer, he suggested that a clause be placed in any future legal contracts that states “any further disputes would be resolved by Christian mediation or arbitration,” because that would greatly reduce costs and also be fair for both parties. Peacemaker.net is a large ministry organization that equips and certifies professionals in local areas who provide this service.
Another clause which could be added to your legal agreement is this: “If either plaintiff or defendant takes the other back to court regarding this contract, then the party doing so must pay half or all legal expenses incurred for both parties as a result.”
Sometimes, as I’ve known, the judge has ruled that my ex-husband had to pay half of my legal fees because it was obvious that it was his actions that were causing my court fees. In another case, though, an ex-husband dropped his court cases just a day or two before it went to trial, and so his ex-wife was loaded up with lawyer fees that he never had to pay because they never appeared in front of a judge. So, it would not hurt to have your lawyer request a clause regarding future court fees for peace of mind, just in case there is a ‘next time’ in court.
The truth is this: Only God does not change, but our circumstances often do –and sometimes because of court proceedings and a judge’s ruling.
Purpose in your heart to know the One who does not change so that you will not be moved by your circumstances when they surprise you and shift like the sand on a beach after a storm.
It may help you to always remember that God is your provider—not your ex-spouse, not your job, not the courts. God uses all those sources, but he can provide for you from other sources as well. Trust him now and plan to trust him in the future.
How do you jump successfully through all the hoops in the legal system when you do not know the first thing about the law when it comes to divorce? Maybe you have heard stories, or maybe someone close to you has gone through a divorce already. When it comes down to it, each one of us must prayerfully walk the road alone; make important, level-headed decisions about many matters as they come up; and understand what the wide array of consequences mean for ourselves in our particular situation.
Remember this: God will help you. I recommend that you make it your top priority to ask Jesus to be involved with you each step of the way. Ask for wisdom because God promises that He will give it to you (James 1:5).