Illinois residents facing the fallout from a marital split could be tempted to use the legal process as a method of getting revenge against a misbehaving spouse. The emotional turbulence and acrimony of a failed marriage can make a public airing of grievances against someone seem attractive. However, there are important factors to consider. Aside from the financial implications of paying lawyers many thousands of dollars to wage a paper war, there is an emotional and mental health aspect to consider for both the adults and children of a marriage.

While there are numerous reasons to avoid a quest for vengeance, the most compelling is child welfare. Anytime parents go to war, children are caught in the crossfire between people they love and respect. Seeing parents attack and tear down each other is destructive to a child’s self-esteem and emotional health. While the marriage may be ending, the maternal and paternal relationships are ongoing and must be nurtured from all sides in order to facilitate the healthiest adjustment to post-divorce life.

Another key reason to set aside revenge-seeking behavior is inefficacy. Judges are rarely as appalled or motivated to punish as litigants believe they will be. They hear thousands of cases and are often desensitized to all but the very worst behaviors. Generally, judges just want to find workable solutions for all parties.

Seeking revenge requires staying mentally trapped in the failed marriage with backward-looking behaviors. Revenge seekers run the risk of getting stuck in a loop of blame and pity that prevents them from ever moving forward to the next phase of life.

Getting a confidential consultation from a qualified family law attorney could be necessary for a divorcing spouse. There are many factors to consider, and the most prudent course generally begins with a well-informed decision.