This post is about lessons everyone should learn from the divorce case of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford concerning how NOT to go about getting a divorce; that is, if you want to at least keep the shirt on your back! (Of course, this is simply a blog and no legal advice is offered, not even to the Governor. You should first discuss each of the issues in this blog with your own divorce attorney, just as Governor Sanford should have done so)!
Friday's announcement by the Governor's wife, Jenny Sanford, that she had filed for a divorce probably shocked no one. Unlike many other politician wives, she had made it clear, from the beginning, that she wasn't going to simply ignore his infidelity and "stand by her man!" But the path taken by the Governor, beginning with his bizarre behavior which culminated with his June, 2009 press conference was the real shocker! In my opinion, here are some of the reasons why.
For instance, you will recall that the Governor, (shown above during earlier, happier times), had strangely disappeared from the state for several days, without telling anyone. Of course, we later learned that he had taken a secret trip to Argentina to see his girl friend. (We later would also learn that he had taken other similar trips at taxpayers' expense).
But there's more!
Then, in another strange move, he had his staffers lie by announcing that he had merely taken a hike on the Appalachian Trail.
But there's more!
Finally, Governor Sanford's most bizarre behavior may have actually occurred during his June "mea culpa" press conference. There, as you will recall, he confessed his adultery to the world! A public confession of adultery, in itself, is bizarre and ill-advised!
But wait, there's more!
Check out videos of the press conference on Youtube, or elsewhere. Note the two young women, (probably staffers), standing behind the Governor, as he spills his guts. To me, they appear to be trying not to snicker throughout his confession! Their giggling added to the odd episode. Surely, they must have realized that something strange was unfolding before their eyes! Put another way, these young women, like everyone else, must have been thinking: "I don't believe I would have said what he just said!")
But there's still one more lesson to be learned!
If you listen to nothing else I ever say again, please listen to the following lesson, (and, in my opinion, this mistake made by the Governor, aside from the affair itself, is perhaps the worst mistake and most bizarre thing he has said or done). That lesson is: If you ever feel compelled to confess adultery to the world, (and as a divorce lawyer, I certainly wouldn't recommend such a confession!), PLEASE NEVER, EVER TELL THE WORLD THAT YOUR LOVER IS STILL YOUR SOULMATE!!
Because when you do, you might as well grab your checkbook and ask your spouse how many extra zeroes does she want you to add to the divorce settlement check!