Dealing With Your In-Laws through a Family Law Dispute

Dealing with in-laws involves more than simply selecting a good family law attorney. The state of Florida has plenty of good lawyers, but you need more than legal advice -- you need to see the process of dealing with in-laws as a negotiation from the same side. Since your in-laws are a critical part of your wife or ex-wife's life, they need to be dealt with carefully in order to keep the peace.

Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

Even when there is a dispute within your relationship with your wife or ex-wife, there is still a relationship there that needs to be separated from the in-law relationship. This is a careful balancing act between keeping your in-laws at a certain distance so you can handle some issues internally and keeping them involved. 

The notion of having good fences means that you keep control of where your in-laws are invited into you and your spouse's life and where they are not invited in. If you do not define this carefully, you may find that additional disputes spring up as a result of your in-laws feeling disrespected. When you keep your in-laws' roles relative to your relationship clearly defined, everyone is more likely to keep a respectful distance while staying involved enough instead of misunderstanding.

Know What You Want and Need

If you do not know what you want and need at a given time, you are not going to be able to ask for it and you may not want what you get by default. While recruiting a family law attorney in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Daytona, Boca Raton or Fleming Island FL will help you to navigate the legal issues associated with getting what you want, only you can make the tough calls related to precisely what your goals and desires are.

You must be decisive about what you intend to accomplish within your dispute, who your dispute is actually with and what you need. You will not accomplish anything by trying to appease your in-laws in an effort to keep the peace, but you will accomplish a great deal if you stick to your guns and make it clear to everyone what you expect during the dispute. With the right family law attorney and a clear definition of what you wish to accomplish within your dispute, you have a solid chance of accomplishing your goals while maintaining a respectful and rational relationship.

Respect Everyone Involved

There is no "bad guy" in a family law dispute. No matter what you may personally feel about anyone involved, you need to remember that everyone considers their side to be valid and their interests to be important. Attempting to "beat" someone else will only create divisions among your family. If President Lincoln taught the world anything, it is that a house divided will not stand for long. So work to unify your house as much as possible by showing respect to everyone, particularly your in-laws.

There is a difference between respect and deference, however. While your in-laws may be wise and very useful to understanding your spouse or ex-spouse and where she comes from, their opinion is still only that. Ultimately, while you would be wise to listen to their side of things and deal with them calmly, you need to also respect your right to speak and be understood. If you show them understanding, the likelihood is that for your family law attorney, Jacksonville, Daytona, Gainesville, Fleming Island and Boca Raton FL will be less of a battle ground and more of a place to settle matters peacefully.

Use Communication to Build Relationships Instead of Damaging Them

It has been said that while words are cheap, they can turn out to be very expensive. Before you say anything to anyone, even someone who may not speak to anyone involved in the dispute, consider the implications of what you are saying. Human beings are prone to misinterpreting what others say, particularly when there are strong emotions involved. With some understanding of how others may interpret what you say, you can avoid having to apologize or backtrack because of speaking rashly. Remember that what you say is a good barometer of what you think, so minding one is often closely related to minding both.

Particularly if there are children involved, your dispute is likely to become bitter quickly if you are not careful about how you communicate. Children are very sensitive to bitterness, and can quickly pick up on it if the adults in their lives are noticeably bitter. Remember that once people's lives are joined, especially when children are involved, they become family for life whether it is always pleasant or not. These relationships need to be carefully maintained.

Kenny Leigh and Associates have five offices that serve Northeast Florida and South Florida: Jacksonville, Gainesville, Fleming Island, Boca Raton and Daytona. They are ready to answer all of your family law questions.

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