Underhanded Divorce Tactics: Things to Look Out for if You’re Going Through a Divorce

Underhanded divorce tactics.

Underhanded Divorce Tactics: Things to Look Out for if You’re Going Through a Divorce

Divorce cases can be some of the most contentious found in the court system. Add in additional factors such as children, major debt, major assets, and even pets, and the situation can become even more complicated and litigious.

Even when both parties initially attempt to make proceedings amicable, it is not unusual for perceived unfairness to seep in. As a result, one party may find that their spouse has resorted to sneaky tricks or underhanded tactics in an attempt to achieve what they want.

The best defense against an opposing party that is playing such tricks is to have an experienced and attentive family law attorney, like those found at Rideout Law Group. However, being able to recognize common underhanded tactics can help keep you a step ahead should they arise.

Deliberately Delaying Divorce Proceedings

Arizona is a no-fault divorce state. This means that if one spouse files for divorce, the divorce will be granted, even if the other party does not want a divorce or did nothing wrong. However, a disgruntled spouse may try to stall the proceedings for as long as possible in order to delay the signing of a divorce decree.

Proceedings can be delayed for a frustratingly long time as a result of a party refusing to disclose financial information, failing to appear for hearings, missing deadlines, flip-flopping on settlement terms, or not signing documents, among others.

The longer proceedings last, the more money a party will need to spend on attorney’s fees. Delays can also cause the other party to feel frustrated and may even cause them to agree to terms they may not initially have wanted to in order to try and bring the case to a close.

Deliberately Rushing Through Divorce Proceedings

While a divorce case that wraps up quickly can be helpful in terms of saving money on attorney’s fees, it can also result in divorce terms that haven’t been completely thought through and are ultimately not in the best interest of one, or both, of the parties.

If one party seems to be aggressively rushing through the case, they could be attempting to win themself the “better deal” by glossing over details or causing such details to get lost in an overwhelming amount of paperwork that requires quick attention.

It is imperative that you take your time to review every detail of the finances and terms involved in your case, and that you never sign anything without being absolutely certain that it is in your best interest (or the best interest of any children involved). Don’t be afraid to ask for additional information or additional time as needed.

Making False Allegations

If any terms of a divorce need to be ruled on by a judge, the judge will take certain charges and convictions into serious consideration when issuing their ruling. In particular, a history of domestic violence, physical or sexual abuse, mental health issues, drug or alcohol abuse, and child neglect are taken quite seriously.

In an effort to gain the upper hand, particularly in regard to the legal decision-making or parenting time for any children, one party may attempt to make false allegations against you. They may also file an Order of Protection against you with false allegations to try and gain credence. This will cause you to be required to move out of your home and not have contact until the protective order is, hopefully, dismissed in a court hearing.

Being Untruthful About Income or Assets

Divorced spouses are not often thrilled by the idea of paying money on child support or spousal maintenance. These amounts are determined based on spousal maintenance and child support calculators that factor in income, employment history, marriage length, parenting time, and costs for things like insurance, schooling, and childcare.

One party may try to prevent having to pay a large support amount by liquidating assets, transferring assets or funds to another person, lying about business accounts, stashing cash, or deliberately racking up debt for the other party.

If the parties share a business, one party may attempt to divert assets or falsify records in order to prevent an accurate division of assets.

Turning Children Against You – Parental Alienation

When making decisions regarding legal decision-making and parenting time, courts consider the wishes of children if they are of sufficient age and maturity to have such an opinion. Badmouthing a parent, or making up lies about them, in front of the children can cause the children to turn again the other parent. Additionally, one parent may block the other parent’s communication or visitation, telling the children that the other parent simply never reached out or forgot about them.

Gaslighting and Manipulating

Emotionally manipulating the other party can cause them to lose focus and agree to terms they may not have otherwise agreed to. This can occur by instilling guilt, doubt, or fear into the other party, as well as gaslighting them. This can cause the manipulated party to suffer mental health issues, potentially making them look unfit or unstable in the eyes of the court.

Requesting Extra Visitation Time to Decrease Child Support Payments

Child support payments are awarded based on many factors, not least of which is the amount of parenting time that is awarded. If one parent is awarded significantly more parenting time than the other, the parent with the lesser amount of parenting time will likely be required to pay a higher amount of monthly child support. By requesting additional parenting time, a parent may be able to decrease the amount of child support they owe. Be aware of a parent requesting additional court-ordered parenting time if they don’t seem to have any actual interest in spending time with their children, or the ability to do so, and are only looking for financial gain.


Rideout Law Group handles cases throughout the entire state of Arizona, with offices located in Scottsdale and Lake Havasu City. Our attorneys are experienced in handling divorce cases. For a free consultation, call 480-584-3328.

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