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Addressing personal shortcomings during divorce

No one is perfect; we all have flaws and shortcomings. These imperfections can be minor or significant, but in either case, they can take center stage during a divorce. In these situations, one person's deficiencies or mistakes could be fabricated, exaggerated and highlighted by the other person in an effort to come out on top.

That said, there are ways to effectively address such flaws or allegations so that they do not derail the divorce process.

Acknowledge and accept

Acknowledging mistakes you might have made in the past can have a surprising impact on the divorce. For instance, if you were unfaithful or dismissive during your marriage, admitting as much could give your ex a sense of closure and justification.

Other personal shortcomings, like substance abuse or addiction, can be tremendously complicated to confront in the context of a divorce. However, accepting that actions may have caused pain and working to address underlying issues could help both parties deal with the situation at hand and think about the future rather than dwell on the unchangeable past.

Deny and defend

If the allegations against you are wrong or misleading, defending yourself and setting the record straight can be crucial to your case. In some cases, your property division, parenting rights or reputation could be impacted by the accusations made against you, and defending yourself against inaccurate allegations is vital. This is especially true when it comes to false allegations of abuse, violence, infidelity or criminal activity. 

Ignore and move on

If your rights or legal protections are not on the line, though, it may be wise to ignore ugly and/or false accusations against you and focus on getting through a divorce. The things your ex might disclose or make up during a split can hurt, but it may not be necessary to respond to every one.

As this article notes, divorce doesn't always bring out the best in people; sometimes people lie or  reveal the worst things they know about each other during this process. However, choosing your responses carefully and working with your attorney to assess how and if various statements might affect your case can allow you to approach the situation cautiously and in a way that best protects your future.

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