When there is no respect in the courtroom, a divorce can go badly

On behalf of Peterson Stark Scott posted in Divorce on April 14, 2017.

No one expects the end of a marriage to be a pleasant experience. Unfortunately, some people seem to forget that the person on the opposite side of the struggle is a human being with feelings. In the struggle to come out of a divorce with the settlement one desires, it is usually best to remember to act respectfully and with a measure of consideration. A divorce case in British Columbia went horribly wrong for one man when the pressure finally became too much to bear.

A man in B.C. was brought to the brink by an excess of support obligations. His ex-wife of eight years had him in court for allegations that he was not paying the child support he owed her, and he was attempting to have the amount reduced. While the struggle was ongoing, she accused him of assault and had him arrested; however, the judge stayed the charges. She also insisted he be fined $10,000 for contempt of court for his failure to pay. That, too, was stayed, but his appeal to have the support amount reduced was dismissed.

Meanwhile, an ex-fiancee, with whom he had fathered a child after his divorce, was also after him for support. In total, he was required to pay $8000 each month between the two mothers. The extended court battles and high payments drained his funds, and he eventually went bankrupt. In October 2016, he briefly went to jail for non-payment, and he was in danger of losing his driver’s licence and his passport. Seeing no way out from under the burden, he sadly chose to take his own life in March.

The outcome of this situation was certainly an extreme example, but it does show what can happen to a person’s finances when no one cares about anything except getting what he or she wants. Family law in British Columbia can be used much more effectively and humanely when people choose to act in a civil fashion. They can even opt for alternative dispute resolution and make plans through collaboration instead of litigation. A compassionate lawyer will be there to help a man or woman during their divorce no matter what route he or she chooses.

Source: Vancouver Sun, “B.C. man pleads for family court reform in suicide note“, Christie Blatchford, March 30, 2017

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