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Divorce Coaching Legal

Foul! Third Party Interference

In the sport of field hockey, when two players from opposing teams are actively playing the ball, and a second member of one of those teams comes in and puts their stick in an attempt to also make a play for the ball, a referee will blow the whistle, halt the action, and call a penalty known as “third party interference.” This is to prevent a third party from entering the picture and allow the two opponents to fairly vie for the ball…on their own without outside interference.

When it comes to the divorce process, people are often surprised when their “amicable” divorce suddenly turns into a contentious battle and, sometimes, all-out war.

I have had so many people tell me, “Oh…we are doing it amicably. In fact, we are better friends now than we were when we were living together.” And then…BOOM! It is then that I have gotten the hysterical phone call that “She won’t let me see my kids!” or “He is such a bastard…he won’t give me money for camp for the kids but he took Boobs McGee to the Caribbean for vacation!” Why does that always seem to occur?

From my personal and professional experiences, it will ALWAYS occur once one of the parties, and it is usually the man, gets involved with another woman. That’s the pattern. That’s not a chauvinistic point of view, it is just that women seem to be more “territorial.” The new woman does not want her man handing money to another woman. And in the majority of cases, it IS the man paying child and/or spousal support to the prior love interest. That does not bode well for relationships that are new and for women marking their territory.

That’s not to say that the opposite does not hold true. If a man sees that he has been “replaced” and another man has been slotted in and is sleeping in his former bed, hanging his clothes in his old closet, and standing in family pictures with his children…you can almost bet that the resentment will lead to a sudden halt in support.

Most people end up finding comfort in a new love interest once the relationship has fallen apart. It is a rare breed that says, “I will not get involved with anyone else until all of this is well over with and I can get my head together.” So it is inevitable that another party will enter the picture long before the true end of the relationship is in sight.

It’s all well and good that people need, seek, and find that warmth and comfort, especially when going through such emotional turmoil. But it is important to avoid the third party interference that can come along with it. The moment the outsider infiltrates and begins influencing the proceedings, both parties are doomed. Doomed because nothing good will ever come of it. The process will be dragged out, causing a lot of unnecessary litigation and an enormous amount of unwarranted billable hours for attorneys.

Of course, attorneys love contentiousness among litigants, it generates revenue. But the heartache it generates for the two sides will cause emotional and financial pain. There will be no referee to blow the whistle like in field hockey to halt the action. Only the litigants themselves can mitigate the penalties that will result in any “third party interference.”

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