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Let the Evidence Show…

Let the Evidence Show…

I promise you the following story has not been embellished.

The judge awarded him the residence.  His soon-to-be ex-spouse was ordered
out.  When he arrived at the house, this
is what he found:

            Raw meat
rotting in the oven

            Weeks of
garbage left stinking in the garage

            Every carpet in the house soiled
from their pets being allowed to go wherever they pleased

            Remotes from the garage door
openers and ceiling fans/lights gone

            Bathroom sinks were covered in hair

            Hateful messages were written with
Sharpie on his suits and shirts

            Nasty messages were written on
mirrors in lipstick

            Rotting food found in the

            Items she was ordered to leave in
the residence, conveniently tucked away in the crawl space.

On countless occasions I have been surprised by emails,
recordings, and photos I receive from either my client or the opposing counsel
to illustrate recent behavior of a party in a custody action.  I have many times been in the uncomfortable
position of having to address with a client evidence of bad behavior.  It never ceases to amaze me that people are
shocked that someone took down evidence of their words and actions.  I am even more surprised when a person, in
the face of hard evidence, persists in defending (or worse, denying) their

Oftentimes, the more credible action to take is to
acknowledge the bad behavior and be truthful about it.  It is during divorce that otherwise normal
emotions are amplified at an exponential rate. 
Hurt, anger, confusion, fear, and sadness may all prompt someone to
react contrary to their normal character. 
It is part of the human condition in the face of challenging emotions
and circumstances to sometimes react too quickly or to resist the urge to act
out.  Judges understand this and it is
okay to admit to your humanness. 

I often tell clients to act as though the judge, their
version of God, and I will be reading or viewing all of their actions.  Living
a life of self-imposed scrutiny can be an eye opening experience.  I recall a particularly bad “divorce day” when
I didn’t particularly feel like showing up in a moment as my most graceful self.  The small thought of whether I would want my
daughters to see me behave in a certain way – jolted me awake.

Whether going through divorce or not, whether going through
a difficult or stressful time or not, you have the constant and unique ability
to always be your own judge.  I urge you
to live a life such that the evidence will always reflect the true you.

Angela Dunne