Divorce can bring out the best and the worst in spouses. During this stressful time, spouses should be prepared to deal with some common tricks and should know how to address disputes as calmly as possible.
Former or soon-to-be former spouse may engage in distractions. For example, they may engage in arguments over child visitation during summer vacations, while distracting you from more important issues like child support.
This is often accomplished by making multiple discovery requests, filing frivolous pleadings or omitting important information. Making an outline of priorities and insisting that they be addressed can help combat this tactic.
Another tactic is magnifying a small problem. For example, a spouse may take the one time that the other parent was late for a child pick-up and claim that this is an ongoing problem. Keeping a calendar or journal can help dispute exaggerated or false claims. It should document time with each parent, appointments and friends. Communication should be ongoing with teachers, doctors and coaches.
Spouses should also prepare for delays and the time needed for divorce. They should not change reasonable positions merely because the other spouse tries to drag matters out through negotiations or court proceedings.
Spouses may also complicate matters by using vague or confusing language in court documents or settlement documents. Time should be taken to review these documents with the assistance of an attorney to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises.
Finally, money may be used as a serious threat. Spouses should discuss their goals with their attorneys to confirm that their priorities are being met without time and money being spent on diversions and delays by the other party. An attorney can help assure that these rights are protected and that a fair and reasonable decree is issued or negotiated.