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Underhanded Divorce Tactics (and How You Should Respond)

Divorce does not have to be a harrowing experience, but some spouses make it that way. Any experienced family law attorney in Galveston & League City has come across lawyers who encourage clients to engage in sneaky, underhanded tactics. Fortunately, we can push back in ways that allow us to keep the divorce on track—and your sanity in one piece. In this article, we identify some of the sneakiest tactics used in divorce and end with an explanation of how we can protect you.

Wasting Joint Assets

When your spouse realizes divorce is on the horizon, they might start spending money like crazy. They could run up joint credit cards, empty entire savings accounts, or even make withdrawals from their retirement savings. Remember, most assets you obtained while married are community assets in Texas; they belong to both of you. A spouse wastes assets because they want you to receive less after divorce. Some even spend large amounts on a new boyfriend or girlfriend.

Hiding Assets or Lying about Income

Texas is a community property state, so you should get around half of your marital assets, regardless of who bought the asset or how it is titled. Unfortunately, some spouses hide money or investments. There might be offshore accounts or accounts in other people’s names. Your spouse might be funneling money to a new romantic partner, who is stashing it away for both of them to use once the divorce goes through.

Mediating in Bad Faith

Mediation can help squabbling couples reach common ground and really speed up a divorce. But when a person engages in bad faith negotiation, then your case might drag on even longer. A common tactic is to tentatively agree to child custody or alimony, only to call up in a couple of weeks and say the agreement is off. Now we need to start up all over again and have lost critical weeks and months.

Making False Allegations Against You

This is a common tactic in divorce. Your spouse might allege you were abusive to them or the children. Suddenly, you are facing false criminal charges and a damaged reputation. Your spouse might even get a protective order to have you removed from the house. Unfortunately, a person can get a temporary protective order ex parte, meaning without a hearing, although you ultimately will get your day in court.

Turning the Children Against You

Divorce is emotional. A frustrated spouse might say something negative about you without really thinking. That’s unfortunate, but not surprising. However, other spouses intentionally try to turn the kids against Mom or Dad. They make up stories, lie to your children, and feed into any negative myth about you. The goal is to get the children to tell a judge they hate you and never want to be around you. Or, they hope the children back up the false claim of abuse. This is a vicious, underhanded tactic—but we have seen it happen over and over.

Stalling Your Case—Or Even Rushing You to Agree

Delay tactics are common in divorce. For example, the other side might constantly reschedule status hearings or mediation, which is a way to get under your skin.

On the other hand, rushing you to settle is also an underhanded maneuver. The fact is a divorce takes time. We might need to properly value assets, like a small business or even your home. In other cases, we need to work with child psychologists or other experts to make a case for custody. Anyone who tries to rush a settlement is acting in bad faith.

Here’s How to Respond: Hire Us

The simplest, most effective way to fight back against underhanded tactics is to hire an experienced Galveston divorce lawyer. We can:

1.       Freeze joint accounts and obtain a court order to protect your money.

2.       Work with forensic accountants to trace money and find hidden accounts.

3.       Seek sanctions against your spouse for hiding assets.

4.       Defend you in a hearing for a protective order, telling your side of the story.

5.       Fight for you to see your children, even if a judge orders you to leave the family home.

6.       Apprise a judge of any attempt to alienate the children from you, which could impact child custody.

7.       Ask the court to sanction the other side for lying in your case and present solid evidence to back up our claim.

Contact Us for a Consultation

At Tad Nelson & Associates, we can’t promise your divorce will be easy. But we will promise to protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly. Call us to schedule an appointment.