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Common Divorce Threats and What to Do About Them

Common Divorce Threats and What to Do About Them

During a divorce, tensions are running high, and it’s inevitable that you and your spouse will have disagreement. With so much built up animosity it’s common for a spouse to hurl accusations and threats at the other. Hearing threats can be very stressful and frightening; however, you should know that your spouses threats are empty until they are validated by an attorney. Often, a spouse will sling threats with little knowledge of how the law actually works. If your spouse threatens you, consult your attorney right away. To help ease your stress, below is a list of ten of the most common threats made by a spouse during a divorce, and the reasons why these threats are empty.

  1. “I’ll tell the court ____ and you won’t get the kids.” Threats about custody are extremely common, and more importantly, are usually unfounded. If a spouse is making threats like this, chances are they are not fit to have custody, and are simply trying to frighten you. Don’t worry about a spouse revealing aspects of your personal life to make you seem unfit. More often than not, the elements of your personal life they want to “reveal” has no bearing on your ability to be a parent.
  2. “Do what I say, or you won’t get my money.” Again, people who make this kind of threat often have no idea how the law works, and they are used to always getting their way. Regardless of what they want to happen, issues of money are decided by the court– not the spouse.
  3. “You can’t take my money.” California functions under a communal property law, which states that any property acquired during a marriage is considered community property, and must be divided equally. You will receive exactly what belongs to you, regardless of what your spouse says.
  4. “My attorney is better than yours, so you should use mine.” Don’t fall for this accusation. Chances are, your spouse is simply trying to take control of the divorce process by putting their attorney in charge. Remember that you are always better off sticking with the attorney that you interviewed, researched, and trust.
  5. “Your attorney you is charging you more because of unnecessary discovery requests.” This is a common misconception, since the discovery process often involves thorough, intrusive questions, which can be frustrating for the spouse in question. However, the discovery process is extremely beneficial to you. If your spouse suggests you cancel it, ensure them that it is a necessary process.
  6. “I’m going to go to jail before I give you any money.” A spouse that threatens this could serve jail time if they refuse to pay child support, but this rarely happens since most people would rather pay than go to jail. Know that the state of California has extensive tools to ensure you get your child support.
  7. “I’m going to quit my job so you can’t get support.” While this situation does sometimes arise, the court takes this action very seriously. They might assign the spouse a fictional income to factor in support. Also, if you someone witnesses the spouse threatening you with this, they can testify for you in court. Judges are likely to come down hard on someone who threatens this.
  8. “I’ll make sure you never see the kids again.” Again, custody threats are always empty. Regardless of how vindictive your spouse is, the court will always take into consideration what is best for the children. Usually, this means that each parent will have their time with the kids, even if one of the spouses moves away or tries to take other measures to prevent you from seeing your children.
  9. “I’m going to file for divorce in [another state].” Your spouse technically could file for divorce in another state, but regardless, the laws of the state where you live will apply to your divorce. So if you live in California, communal property laws still apply to your divorce.
  10. “I don’t care about legal fees-I’m going to fight to the end.” This threat is usually just a scare tactic; they want you to back down. Alert your attorney if your spouse makes this threat. Your attorney can recognize common tactics used to draw out a case and can push forward trial. Likewise, if your spouse threatens you with any of these things, consult with your attorney right away for the best results and peace o