Nebraska parents going through a divorce might be tempted to use the legal system to get revenge against a cheating spouse, but paying lawyers to fight gets expensive and may not be emotionally beneficial in the long run. The idea of airing grievances and publicly embarrassing a disappointing partner can be appealing, but it is a mistake that can cost everyone involved a lot more than money.

There are plenty of reasons why leveraging the courts to exact revenge is not recommended, but perhaps the most resonant one when kids are involved is that harming a parent usually harms children too. The marriage may be ending, but the parental relationship goes forward, so inflicting emotional and economic harm upon the parent has some impact on the children. It can also complicate matters if a child sees one parent treating the other unfairly. Children should not be forced to pick sides in a divorce, and the quest for revenge puts them in an awkward and unhealthy place.

Another factor against revenge-seeking is that it rarely plays out as expected. Judges hear many cases throughout their careers and are generally not shocked by salacious details. A judge’s goal is simply to determine whether grounds for divorce exist and then to divide assets and parenting time as fairly as possible. There is even a risk of backlash if one party is too focused on vengeance.

The concept of revenge can be attractive but requires a backward-looking focus just when individuals most need to look forward for themselves and their kids. A much more beneficial use of the divorce process is to establish boundaries and rules for dispute resolution going forward.

Choosing to end a marriage requires careful consideration during emotionally challenging circumstances. Consulting an experienced family law attorney may help divorcing couples learn about options, outcomes and strategies for moving forward.