I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to the divorce process. Some divorcing couples are cordial – that’s what we all hope for and is best for the children, if any – and come to agreements rather quickly.
Others almost maliciously plan their divorces long before telling their spouse they’re planning to leave so they can gain an advantage in the divorce.
If you think divorce may be in your future, read this article to get an understanding of some of the things that can come up in a divorce case... and what you can to do prepare yourself.
At their worst, spouses who are planning to leave their significant other can be very strategic to their own benefit. I’ve seen people plan their divorces six months or more in advance. For example, if they know their spouse is about to receive a significant inheritance or a bonus, they’ll wait for the money to come in and be deposited in a joint account, then file for divorce and attempt to make the inheritance or bonus marital property. [Depending when the bonus was earned, it may be marital property anyway.]
Sometimes they’ll wait for their partner to hit a low point before making their move. Say the spouse is down in the dumps and starts drinking a lot. They might turn to him or her and say, “Would you run to the store and pick up a carton of milk?” When the spouse gets in the car, they’ll call the police a report a DUI.
A DUI conviction could affect the outcome of a divorce case, especially if there are children and custody schedules involved.
I’ve seen spouses stop paying utilities without telling the other (“well, if I’m not going to live in the house any longer, I don’t want to pay for heat”), I’ve seen spouses close credit card accounts on the other (making for embarrassing situations in the supermarket), and I’ve seen spouses dig through the other’s personal belongings to find damaging information about them.
It can get very ugly.
There is no doubt in my mind that some people plan their divorces in advance. It’s unbelievable to me that two people who loved each other and wanted to spend their lives together can become so vindictive, but it does happen.
How Can You Protect Yourself?
If you think a divorce is coming down the pipeline (perhaps you’ve long suspected that your spouse was unhappy) and you think your husband or wife might pull some unsavory moves, it’s a good idea to get an attorney in your corner right away.
Document bank accounts, funds and spending, and have a conversation with your spouse to find out where he or she stands.Divorce is never pleasant for anyone involved, but there are definitely ways to make the process more fair. If you’re considering a legal separation or divorce, call us at 303-449-1873 to set up a free consultation.