Pennsylvania parents dealing with the emotional fallout of a failed marriage may be tempted to use the justice system as a tool to gain revenge seek revenge against their spouse. Hurt feelings can make the idea of hurting someone with a public outing of misdeeds seem attractive in the moment, but attempting to do so is generally an expensive mistake that costs much more than money.

There are a number of reasons why revenge should not be a focus during divorce litigation. A primary reason for couples with children is that exacting revenge harms the children as well as the former spouse. The marriage is ending, but the children will typically have a relationship with both parents, and emotional, economic or reputational harm inflicted upon either parent also affects the kids. Many divorcing couples think that a judge will be shocked to hear about infidelities and other wrongs committed during a marriage, but this is usually not the case. Judges hear thousands of cases in their career, and there are very few things that can shock them. Mostly, judges just want to ascertain the existence of legal grounds for divorce and then find a fair solution for splitting families.

Revenge may feel good in the moment, but it is a decidedly temporary feeling. Couples who are focused on revenge get caught in a cycle of anger and blame that prevents them from moving forward to the next chapters of their lives. A much more prudent course than seeking revenge is looking to establish appropriate boundaries and rules for the post-marriage life.

The decision to end a marriage is one that requires careful consideration. Couples who are contemplating divorce may want to consult with a qualified family law attorney to learn more about potential outcomes.