Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

5005 Riverway Drive, Suite 450 • Houston, Texas 77056

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Avoiding Divorce Power Plays

Divorces become quite nasty when one spouse (and their lawyer(s)) want to gain an unfair advantage or must have the sense of winning at all costs. While you can’t control your partner, if you anticipate what they will do to put you at a disadvantage leaves you less likely to be caught off guard.

Good divorce attorneys advise their clients against engaging in power plays, as often such behavior negatively impacts their case or backfires after the divorce decree is signed. While these tactics are not recommended, you should certainly be aware of them. While the tactics are often painful and cause severe inconvenience, it’s in your best interest not to engage in fighting fire with fire and escalating the confrontation.

  • Creating conflicts of interest is most often seen in Houston’s complex divorce cases. One spouse makes appointments with all the top Houston divorce attorneys. The spouse has brief meeting with attorney during which information is shared. Sharing information creates client-attorney privilege. Client-attorney privilege prevents that attorney from representing you, even though your spouse doesn’t actually hire the attorney for representation.
  • Many spouses and their lawyers will try to delay the divorce proceeding by rescheduling court hearings or make excessive requests and motions. They do this with the hope that they can force a settlement if the other spouse runs out of money to continue. Delay tactics can skyrocket other spouse’s legal costs and living expenses.
  • On the other hand, some spouses want to wrap up the divorce quickly. They rush settlement, preventing you and your lawyer from fine tooth combing discovery documents. This prevents you from gaining complete knowledge to finances and assets.
  • Some spouses try to block access to financial resources. Tactics include moving money, cutting off credit cards, or changing the beneficiaries of life insurance policies.
  • Some spouses will attempt to hide, sell, or destroy assets to gain the upper hand. Some of the tactics used are transferring money to offshore accounts, emptying safe deposit boxes, underreporting income or over reporting expense on tax returns, overpaying creditors, and/or deferring salary with the hope of lowering child support payments or temporary spousal support.
  • Fail to pay court-ordered support or bills to starve the other party. The hope is that the other party will not go back to court to enforce the court order and will settle for a lower amount. Some spouses will wait to send payment until the day it becomes delinquent. This tactic delays living expense funds for the other party and children.
  • Use credit to make extremely large purchases, skyrocketing shared debt.
  • Make false abuse or assault accusations. These tactics delay the divorce proceeding because each accusation must be investigated.
  • You can avoid becoming a victim of divorce power plays. If you are planning to divorce your spouse, or suspect your spouse of divorcing you, contact a Houston divorce attorney immediately. Make sure that you inventory all your marital assets, have good financial records, and keep a level head during your divorce proceedings.

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