I’ll use my personal experience with divorce as an example of the point I will attempt to make in this article. During our marriage I had certain expectations of my husband; once the divorce had been filed I had the same expectations. BIG MISTAKE!
I knew my husband to be a kind, considerate and respectful man. I thought those character traits would carry through and play a role in the way we settled our lives during the divorce process. I failed to adjust my expectations and by doing so, I failed to protect my legal divorce rights to the best of my ability.
During a marriage we feel a sense of responsibility for the well-being of a spouse. For some divorce takes away that sense of responsibility and it becomes about protecting of their own interests at the expense of others.
If you want to come away from your divorce with an equitable settlement you need to anticipate how your spouse will choose to “defend” his/her position during the process. Just because your spouse was not aggressive during the marriage doesn’t mean they won’t be during divorce.
Behaviors That Can Predict What Legal Strategies Your Spouse Will Use:
- Financial Power During the Marriage:
Will your spouse attempt to swoop down and take all the spoils? Was he/she the top earner in the marriage? Does he/she legal connections? Has he/she hired an adversarial divorce attorney with a reputation for engaging in high conflict divorce?
If your spouse was the one with the power during the marriage, divorce isn’t going to change him/her into someone willing to give up their power. If anything, divorce will make them more relentless when it comes to retaining both financial and emotional power over you.
If your spouse has big money, hires a big name divorce attorney more than likely he/she is gearing up to litigate to the death. If it is at all possible you should arm yourself with the same legal arsenal and attitude.
- Emotional Instability:
No one is more dangerous during divorce than a spouse who has come unglued emotionally. If your spouse is not able to let go of negative emotions and use logic during this time then, if you are not careful you are in for trouble. You will need to take into consideration that you are attempting to negotiate financial issues with someone who is not thinking and behaving rationally.
All bets are off with the kind of person. They are so unstable that they can’t take care of their own financial welfare let alone put much thought into what might be in your best interest. You will not only want a qualified divorce attorney, you will need to consult with a psychologist who is able to help you understand your spouse’s irrational behaviors.
- Your Spouse Wants a Divorce Right Now:
Here is an example of the “right now” divorce that can leave you reeling emotionally and financially. Your spouse is having an affair; he/she is in love and chomping at the bit to build a new life with the new love interest. They, of course, are going to want to take as much with them when they leave the marriage as possible. Building a new life with the other man/other woman can be money intensive and you should expect and prepare for a battle during the divorce process.
On the other hand, the spouse who gets dumped for the new love can attempt to drag out the divorce process by dragging out the process of litigation. He/she may try to wear you down, make you wait as long as possible to start building your new life in anticipation that they will come away with a sweeter financial settlement. In some cases a spouse’s desire to move on quickly can be used against them in favor of the left behind spouse.
If you don’t want to end up living from pay check to pay check post divorce you need to strategically prepare for divorce based on behaviors you are seeing in your spouse. If your spouse is behaving like an enemy you need to take up arms and use any weapons at your disposal.