If you think your spouse is planning to leave you, or if they have already left, it’s crucial to watch out for sneaky divorce tactics. Often, the person intending to divorce will try to keep things quiet and under wraps to gain an advantage. Here are 4 sneaky divorce tactics that you need to watch out for.
Sneaky Divorce Tactic 1: Hiding or Stealing Assets
One of the most sneaky things a person can do during a divorce is to try and hide or steal shared assets. Hiding or stealing assets by transferring money into hidden accounts or hiding valuable items in safe places is underhanded behavior. If you suspect your spouse is doing this, it’s crucial to speak to a lawyer right away to protect your rights.
Some examples of how someone may subvert the legal divorce system and hide assets include:
- Cleaning out joint accounts (judges will see this as NOT okay)
- Transferring money into hidden accounts (sometimes offshore)
- Hiding valuable items in safe places
- Making false statements about the value of assets
In addition, your spouse may use a power of attorney to clean out your personal bank accounts or assets. Stealing items from a safety deposit box may not be beneath some individuals. They may also make bad financial decisions in your name, such as running up debt on a personal credit card you have saved on your computer. A general power of attorney allows them to act for you as if they are you in a financial capacity.
If you no longer trust your spouse, talk with your family law attorney about immediately changing any power of attorney documents naming your ex to act in your name.
Sneaky Divorce Tactic 2: Refusing to Communicate
Another sneaky tactic that people use during a divorce is refusing to communicate. If your spouse avoids you in every way, speak to a lawyer so they can help facilitate communication. During the separation period, it is crucial to work out your divorce agreement so that the judge will sign off on your divorce. If you, as a couple, can’t work out your divorce issues, the judge will do it for you.
If your spouse refuses to communicate, your attorney can help you find legal ways to document their lack of communication. During separation, you are still legally married. If your spouse still refuses to work out an agreement and does not show up at divorce court, you will receive what is called a “default divorce.”
A default divorce may sound nice since you don’t communicate or have to work out an agreement before the divorce. However, a default divorce is not something you want to plan for. Whoever refuses to communicate or show up to court may lose their marital rights to a fair share of marital property, alimony, child support or visitation, or other rights.
Sneaky Divorce Tactic 3: Hoarding Income
If your partner made the income for the home while you were the homemaker, you might need legal help to get income. If your spouse plays dirty, they may refuse to pay the bills for the family home and deny you any money for living expenses. If you have children, the situation can become dire.
During separation in NC, your marital property is still your marital property. So spouses should equally share the money in a joint bank account. If your spouse plays dirty and refuses to share, keep proof of their actions. A court will not look kindly on this behavior.
Creating a separation agreement with your ex can help prevent power grabs for more than they are entitled to. Sometimes a spouse is angry and acts out of spite. An attorney can help make it clear that you will not tolerate their money-mongering ways.
You may be able to file an action for post-separation support with your attorney’s help. An order for child support during your separation period may also be possible. It’s crucial to take the legal steps necessary to protect yourself and your children from life without the electricity, internet, water, and food you desperately need to live in today’s world.
Sneaky Divorce Tactic 4: Refusing to Negotiate
Some spouses refuse to negotiate in good faith during a divorce. They may think that if they hold out long enough, their spouse will give up and take whatever they offer. This sneaky tactic usually backfires because it only prolongs the process and makes everyone unhappy.
It’s essential to have realistic expectations during a divorce. It is reasonable to expect your spouse to negotiate. However, if you expect them to agree to all of your demands, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
If you have children, you need to make sure that you can still communicate with your ex-spouse after your separation and divorce. Whether you can co-parent effectively in the future is at stake. If possible, you need to find a way to work together and compromise on important decisions.
One way to work through a separation agreement can include using a mediator or counselor to communicate effectively with your ex. A mediation specialist can help both of you see each side and compromise in ways that work for you both.
Remember this list is not exhaustive but just a few tactics to watch out for. There are many sneaky divorce tactics that spouses use to gain an advantage in the divorce process. Be prepared to take action. If you’re in this situation with a spouse, find an attorney who can help you through the legal hurdles you’ll need to jump to make it out of your marriage with your legal marital rights and property intact. And remember to take it easy on yourself. Your spouse’s bad behavior is not your bad behavior.
Talk it out with a counselor or good friend if you feel guilty or anxious about what is happening. If you worry about your safety, talk with your family law attorney about a domestic violence restraining order. Sometimes proactive legal moves are your best option to keep you and any children unharmed.
We Can Help
At Plekan Law, our family law attorneys work with you to draw up separation agreements, find your way through divorce negotiations, and represent you in court proceedings when necessary. If you are in an abusive relationship, we help you find legal ways to combat subversive tactics during separation and divorce. We understand how difficult this time can be, and we’re here for you. Give us a call today and find out how we can help.