Every year, divorce attorneys are asked, “What can be used against you in a divorce?”
As people increasingly use technology in every aspect of their lives, the evidence in a divorce can range from voice messages and videos to social media posts and screenshots! In other words, there are quite a few communications, platforms, and applications that can potentially be used against you or your spouse in a divorce.
Ideally, the best way to protect yourself is by hiring an attorney specializing in family law before you file for divorce. Your divorce attorney will likely be familiar with the most common sneaky divorce tactics used and how to avoid them.
Before you file for divorce in Houston, talk to family law attorney Cassandra Daniels. Call the Daniels Law Firm today.
10 Sneaky Divorce Tactics You Should Know About
The following are the top 10 sneaky divorce tactics you should be aware of to better prepare yourself for a divorce.
1. Breaching Temporary Orders
Healthy communication with your spouse is key to increasing your chances of a fast and smooth divorce. It’s critical to keep in mind that the intention of the court is to encourage healthy communication between parties to achieve mediation. Most couples want to avoid going to court to have a judge settle their divorce. In fact, less than 5% of all divorce cases end up in trial.
On occasion, your communications might include following temporary orders from the court, including:
- Child support
- Parental rights and duties
As an example, a breach of temporary visitation orders can possibly include your spouse showing up unannounced and/or without permission. In this case, depending on your terms and advice from your attorney, your spouse may be found in contempt, which can then possibly be used against them in your divorce case.
It is the responsibility of each party to follow all temporary orders whether you fully agree with them or not.
2. Under Reporting Income & Assets
Many people think that getting a divorce in Texas means all assets must be split 50/50. However, what the law actually states is that the court decides on a division of the estate that they deem is “just and right,” while taking into account each party’s rights and any children of the marriage.
Because there are several factors to determine dividing an estate, some people choose to lie about how much they make a year and/or give incorrect information about holdings or hidden assets.
It is not wise to be dishonest about your income or assets. In Texas, doing so is considered “fraud on the community”. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets or lying about their income, talk to your divorce attorney, as any evidence can potentially be used against them.
Are you thinking about getting a divorce? Contact the Daniels Law Firm today to get started.
3. Making Impactful Financial Decisions
Before and after starting the divorce process, you should keep an eye on your financial situation.
A spouse may…
- Cancel credit cards without warning
- Open new shared credit card accounts
- Lock the other party out of financial accounts
- Spend frivolously
- Make frequent or unusually large account withdrawals
People typically turn to these sneaky divorce tactics in an effort to upset the other spouse and/or tank their credit score. Remember, you are not considered single or unmarried until your divorce is deemed final by a judge.
4. Using Social Media To Vent Or Expose The Other Spouse
This is a big one!
Social media platforms are public. Yes, even if you have certain privacy settings, whatever you decide to share or post from your account can be used against you in a divorce.
According to a National Law Review article, 81% of attorneys find evidence worth presenting through social media. This is because evidence can potentially prove situations like infidelity, abuse, or other truths relevant to your case. In other words, if your friends and family can see your posts, so can a divorce attorney.
You cannot control your spouse, but you can control your own actions – which includes not discussing personal details online. This leads us to our next topic.
5. Incriminating Information In Emails & Texts
It’s important to know that Texas is a no-fault state, meaning the court can grant a divorce without having to assign fault to either party. However, your spouse’s emails and texts can be used as evidence to place fault in your divorce. Yes, even screenshots are acceptable.
Remember, delete does not mean delete forever. Even deleted messages and emails can be recovered in a number of ways, like asking your cellphone provider for a copy of texts or calls made on devices with your name on the account. If you already have this type of evidence stored, be sure to share it with your attorney as soon as possible. This way, they can determine an ideal strategy moving forward.
6. Delaying The Divorce
Your spouse may drag their feet, continue to delay the process, be uncooperative, and/or otherwise manipulate you to call off or postpone the divorce. It’s an annoying tactic a spouse may use to drag out the divorce for as long as possible.
This type of strategy is exactly why it’s important to have a divorce attorney who can help. Because they’re familiar with family law, they know the firm timeliness rules regarding responding to a suit filed and other essential processes.
It’s also helpful to keep in mind that no matter how quickly you want to end your marriage on paper, Texas has a required 60-day “cooling off” period before you can move forward with your divorce.
7. Attempts To Lower Child Support
If you share children with your spouse, they may potentially ask for more time with your kids with the intention of lowering their child support payments. Another common tactic is for a spouse to become intentionally unemployed or demoted with reduced hours to alter their income and pay less in child support.
What you might not know is that in Texas, the court can consider the spouse’s potential income and take that into account when making decisions about child support.
8. False Allegations
Making false allegations can extend the amount of time it takes to get a divorce. Keep in mind that it’s not about what’s being said but what can be proven.
The best thing you can do in this hypothetical case is to remain calm and collected, and only speak to your attorney about what to do next. They’ll likely set a plan in motion that focuses on defending you to prove those allegations wrong.
9. Causing Children Mental Or Physical Harm
If your spouse emotionally or physically abuses your children in retaliation after your divorce is filed, any evidence proving this can be used to take action with the court to protect your children from further abuse.
Furthermore, you can potentially use that same evidence against them in your divorce case. This tactic can be called parental alienation, and it’s one that does not prioritize the needs of the child. It instead interferes with a child’s emotions to “pick a side” of one parent versus the other.
10. Using Children As A Manipulative Tool
Your spouse may manipulate certain aspects of your relationship with your children in an attempt to get their way. As an example, they might hide the whereabouts of your children to prevent you from spending quality time with them.
A spouse may also attempt to get back at you or heavily inconvenience you by moving with your shared children out of the county, state, or even country. This is complicated for a few reasons but can possibly be used to argue in your favor regarding parental alienation. If you think this might apply to you, talk to your attorney for sound, legal advice.
All decisions about shared children should be made with the best interests of said children in mind. Parenting classes, support groups, and relying on trustworthy family and friends will be useful to keep a level head if your spouse takes this route.
Hire An Attorney Familiar With Sneaky Divorce Tactics
Going through a divorce can bring out some of the most complex feelings and bold actions in an individual. And while you can’t completely control what your spouse says or does, you can control your own actions.
Hiring a divorce attorney can diminish your chances of making poor snap decisions that can have a negative impact on the outcome of your divorce.
Don’t go unprotected. Call Daniels Law Firm today.
The information in this blog post is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Daniels Law Firm or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.