Canadian mayor shows what not to do in a divorce

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C posted in Divorce on Friday, August 26, 2011

Going through a divorce can be trying, both mentally and emotionally. Some say it elicits a kind of temporary insanity, prompting well-adjusted people to commit heinous acts that they never would otherwise.

Some people may commit these acts because they feel wronged by their spouses — or wronged by the judicial system in their divorce proceedings. Whatever the reason, judges in St. Louis tend to frown on obstructive or harassing behavior, just as they do in Canada.

The mayor of a Canadian town in the province of Quebec found out his “pranks” will have consequences for him down the line. The mayor deposited a 20-ton boulder in his ex-wife’s driveway, complete with a bow and birthday well-wishes spray-painted on the side.

According to the mayor, “She never had a rock big enough for her tastes, now she has one.” He may have been laughing at the time of his prank, but the mayor now faces mischief and harassment charges for his actions.

Pranks are all too common in divorce cases unfortunately. Spouses deface one another’s vehicles, or hide precious items and refuse to give up the location. Other spouses run up credit card debt with ostentatious purchases after a separation, but before the other spouse can cancel the joint cards.

This behavior can only affect both the prankster and the recipient negatively, and should be avoided at all costs. This is especially true in divorce cases involving children. Parents are never out to hurt their children when lashing out at a spouse, but more often than not, children are hurt in the crossfire. The mayor didn’t just put that boulder in his wife’s driveway. He put it in the driveway of his children’s home as well.

Divorcing couples should try to keep their children in mind when tempted to misbehave. Or, in cased where the couple has no children, they should at least try to imagine how their behavior will look to a judge. Ultimately, the best course of action is to rise above petty pranks, and attempt to treat each other with dignity and respect.

Source: The Globe and Mail, “Divorce pranks: You might think it’s funny, but the judge won’t laugh,” Zosia Bielski, Aug. 18, 2011

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