How To Protect Yourself from Dishonest Divorce Tactics
Getting a divorce on Long Island, or anywhere else for that matter, is a life-changing experience. Unfortunately, few divorces are completely amicable and often, spouses are at odds with each other during the process of dissolving their marriage. Sometimes, frustration, fear, and the desire for revenge go too far and one spouse may use unscrupulous tactics to try to control the divorce narrative. To help you protect yourself, following are some of the sneakiest divorce tactics and how a Long Island family attorney can help protect you from a spouse that tries to use them against you.
One Spouse Hiding Assets
One spouse may attempt to hide or conceal assets or money from the other in a divorce to avoid having them subject to equitable distribution. They may move money from a joint account to an account only in their name, or they may “sell” assets to a friend who will then “sell” them back after the divorce is over. In very high net worth divorces they may even move money offshore, and then move it back once the final settlement is issued. However, this goes against the legal requirement to provide full and fair financial disclosure in the event of a divorce or legal separation. Any attempt to hide material or liquid assets during a divorce is against the law and may result in the perpetrator being held in contempt of court.
Using Your Children for Leverage
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for children of a divorce to be used by one spouse to get back at the other or to control them in some way. Children may be used as pawns by problematic parents and their wellbeing may become an incentive to get one parent to do as the controlling parent wishes. For example, a spouse may drag their feet during child custody matters to make resolving the issue more expensive and time-consuming for you. Or, they may attempt to pit your children against you, telling them stories to make them believe you are a bad parent that doesn’t want them or the divorce was your fault.
Staying Unemployed to Avoid Paying Support
On Long Island, the amount of child support, spousal support or alimony paid is determined by how much each parent makes and who spends the most time caring for the children in their home. A noncustodial parent may stay unemployed or underemployed in an attempt to avoid paying as much child or spousal support as they should. They may get a job under the table or “off the books” where they are paid in cash and don’t report earnings to the state, so their wages cannot be garnished for child support. Or, they may even ask employers to withhold raises, bonuses or promotions until after the divorce is final so their higher earnings won’t be used to calculate support.
Creating Conflicts of Interest
A divorce lawyer representing your spouse cannot also represent you. The same is true if your spouse meets with a lawyer for a consultation and provides intimate details about your marriage and upcoming separation but does not retain that lawyer. Because your spouse divulged private information and established an attorney-client relationship, you cannot then retain that lawyer even though your spouse also did not end up selecting them. This leaves your pool of experienced divorce lawyers from which you can choose more shallow, while your spouse has had time to meet with multiple divorce attorneys and select the most compatible one.
How to Get Help from a Long Island Family Lawyer
If you’re considering getting a divorce or have been served with divorce papers by your spouse, you need to retain a reputable, experienced, and trustworthy Long Island divorce attorney as soon as possible. Any delays give your spouse the opportunity to make legal and financial moves that could harm you in the future, as well as potentially put your children’s wellbeing in jeopardy if you and your spouse are parents.
At Hornberger Verbtisky, PC, we understand how frightening it is to go through the process of dissolving your marriage, especially if you suspect that your spouse will try to use sneaky or dirty divorce tactics to come out ahead. It’s important that you have adequate legal representation on your side as you move through your divorce, child custody, and alimony negotiations. Contact our office now for a consultation to discuss your case by calling 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page.
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