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Will your spouse use dirty tricks during your divorce?

Divorce rarely involves just the two spouses. Too often, well-meaning family and friends get involved, offering bad advice and stirring up negative emotions. Before you know it, what could have been an amicable settlement turns into a litigated battle.

If you are in such a situation, you would be wise to protect yourself. Even if you and your spouse have agreed to keep matters civil, trusting that things will stay that way may be placing your future at risk. If you already know how manipulative your spouse can be, failing to take precautions could be setting yourself of up disaster.

Watch for these manipulative behaviors

Many spouses are shocked when their exes use underhanded tactics to gain the advantage in a divorce. On the other hand, such tactics may also be no surprise to a spouse who has dealt with psychological bullying throughout a marriage. In some cases, an angry spouse may use these forms of manipulation to place the former partner in a vulnerable and desperate situation by the time the divorce hearing or mediation comes around. Your spouse may also simply act with vengeance when taking the following actions:

  • Funneling the money out of your joint bank account
  • Refusing to help with household bills, utilities and other joint obligations
  • Maxing out your joint credit cards
  • Waiting until the last possible moment to pay you court-ordered support
  • Filing a series of unreasonable petitions to keep you off balance and add to your legal fees
  • Refusing to negotiate the terms of the divorce, including the custody of your kids
  • Filing for sole custody or keeping you from the children

By the time your scheduled court appearance or mediation session arrives, you may be broke, exhausted and emotionally drained. This may result in you being willing to give in to any of your spouse's demands just to get the process over with. Unfortunately, reacting in this way to such manipulation may leave you with years of financial struggle and minimal time with your children.

Ideally, you can deal with these possibilities proactively by setting up separate bank accounts, canceling joint credit lines and obtaining court orders for temporary support early in the process. However, if your spouse's actions have caught you off guard, your best option may be to seek the advice of a skilled California attorney who has experience assisting those attempting to divorce abusive or controlling spouses.

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Law Offices of Catherine A. Schwartz
6877 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506

Phone: 951-335-0510
Fax: 951-686-8195
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