Isn't the difference intent to defraud (blackmail) versus keeping the upper hand as the honest party in fairly negotiating with a known dishonest party (leverage)?
I would think leverage is him knowing you have a lot of information that is damaging, so they're open to negotiation so you don't reveal it - the info is a trump-card to keep WS honest.. Importantly, it's cool if they don't know but imagine how much/how deep info you have, as they did a lot of crap. I'd say blackmail is more "do specifically X or I'll show Y info" - like a tit-for-tat.
So in a sense, blackmail is a fraudulent, transactional portion. Leverage is looking at the whole picture.
In my case:
I 'm as strict NC as I can get away with, considering we have young kids. I can't avoid briefly seeing STBXWW today because of a kid switchover at a clinic, but last I saw her physically was a month ago.
I collect what I find. Then I correlate dates with events - what I have on STBXWW, what I was doing the same date, how the kids were doing with me at the time. I keep a spreadsheet. I make notes of possible damage to my kids (no fault state, so the separation of assets is straightforward, but I am very much the stable parent and all of this is to prove she's not during the custody hearings).
Then I send to my Lawyer. He'll know which to use as leverage and what not to worry about. I believe my L may be sharing some of it with WW L, but I don't know, I haven't asked. I think if it goes to trial the Ls have to share everything they will use (not sure but I think that's it).
Haven't had my first custody hearing yet, so I don't know what the guidelines are like (on the orientation they said to try to keep it about the kids, hence the spreadsheet correlation). But it's good that it's providing me a timeline that is verifiable and can be used in court should this go to trial.
I don't plan on making any of this public unless things go horribly, horribly wrong and she decides to invent and accuse me publicly of something or other (which she would need to do in order to turn the tables on this very clear legal case, so she may try in the height of narcissism). Even so, I don't know if I'd want to do it until after D is final - don't want her to use it as an excuse to drag things legally just out of spite.
Still, once she sees that I have detailed records during custody and I'm just sharing what's relevant to the kids she'll wonder what else I have. And since I won't talk to her about anything, that's leverage right there. You don't have to say what you have as long as WS knows it's plenty. They know what they did and seeing you organized and showing only enough for the part of the process you are looking at should scare them enough.
Leverage, the way I saw it, was the equivalent of saying: give me what you owe me or I'll see you in court. Same as with a roofer who took the money and walked off the job.
Blackmail is for gain and promises secrecy in exhange, (I made no promises either). In blackmail, the blackmailer sets the value - not a judge.
Not a technical explanation, just my POV.
Well, my goal is that things are equitable and reasonable. The info I have could be devastating to both of them professionally.
I guess in a way, I want the reality of that to smack my WH between the eyes and wake him up to what he is doing.
Alternately, the info I have could also be used to save my WH's ASS if AP decides to try a sexual harassment suit against him.
At this point though, my goal is to make sure my kids are NEVER around OW, for as long as I can get that enforced. She is seriously unstable.
ETA: and let's not forget the naked pictures I now have if OW. One of those things I'd love to do, but never will because it is wrong, is to email all of those to her and tell her that she should rethink sending those because MY husband tends to be careless.
[This message edited by nekorb at 2:23 PM, February 13th (Thursday)]
I had "leverage" in that I told XPOS if he agreed to certain things in our settlement (nothing I would not have been entitled to anyway) and agreed to a quick dissolution with no fighting and no attorneys then I would not file for an at fault divorce for adultery and drag him, his whore, and their demon spawn into a court room. Was that really blackmail? Either term applies, really, but I did what I needed to do to get thru this crap as quickly and equitably as possible with the least amount of upheaval for me and my kids.
The world of family court is different than the rest of the world. I'm sharing this with you because I don't want you to get your hopes up about certain things. I want you to have a clearer vision of what to expect. Lord knows I did NOT know these things when I first started down this road. I have had some very painful & infuriating lessons to learn along the way about family court, abuse, and dashed expectations.
I think what you're describing as far as wanting to keep things reasonable during your divorce proceedures is fine. You're not looking to extort money or influence. You're just wanting what is fair & proper according to the laws established. There is nothing wrong with that.
Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it.
My WH SEEMS like he will be fair with me, but who knows. I kind of want him to hear about the info I have so he can see how careless his behavior has been concerning his license. You know?
AND I want to keep OW far, far away.