Divorce certainly brings out the worst in people. Some actions and behaviors are occasioned by malice or greed. Others are designed to get a perceived a tactical advantage in the divorce action. Regardless, as detailed in Cathy Meyer’s article, these Dirty Tricks of Divorce will, in all probability, end up harming your case more than they help. These dirty tricks escalate the acrimony and could even pre-dispose a judge against the wrong doer.
Here is Cathy Meyer’s list of dirty tricks, with my two cents added:
- Withdrawing marital funds from joint bank accounts and transferring the money to accounts in your sole control. This transfer will result in the aggrieved party running into court to obtain a restraining order preventing the funds from being squandered.
- Running up credit cards charges for which the other spouse is primarily liable. This can be prevented by closing joint lines of credit when the divorce is commenced.
- Refusing to pay any household bills or send any support until forced to do so by court order. This is one of the steps in a routine called "Starve Out The Other Spouse". The goal is to get the other spouse in a financial position where he or she will settle the case out of financial desperation.
- Refusing to speak with your spouse about anything, including arrangements for him or her to have parenting time with your children. This falls into the category of a tactic used by some lawyers to create conflict, create issues that don't need to exist, increase legal fees and wear the other side down. It can also cause a serious break in parent-child ties if the non-custodial parent doesn't get to see the children because he or she can't set up any parenting time.
- Filing false reports of domestic violence intended to have your spouse barred from the marital home.