Divorces are bound to be difficult. Oftentimes, no matter what the circumstances are, one or both of the spouses may feel that they are entitled to more assets, more of the community money, or they may even feel that they should receive full custody of the children after the divorce. With tension and emotions running at extremely high levels, thoughts like these are inevitable and are bound to spark a string of worrisome threats and accusations directed at the other spouse. Please know that these are only threats and none of them will hold any relevancy until your case gets heard.
Bring any threats and any of your other concerns to the attention of your divorce attorney.
If you are currently fielding threats from your spouse, be sure to bring these matters and any of your other concerns to the attention of your divorce attorney who will assure to not be worried. Be aware that vindictive spouses will threaten things or make large proclamations without the advice or the proper knowledge of the law. To better prepare you for any threats that you may come across, we have compiled a list of the ten most common threats that a vindictive spouse may make and have followed each with reason or response as to why their claims are premature and/or false.
Ten Threats a Vindictive Spouse Might Make
1. “I will tell the court what you are doing and the judge will make sure that you don’t get the kids”
Threats pertaining to custody made by a divorcing spouse are usually a good sign that they know they are unlikely to get custody themselves. If you have been threatened with something similar, please only view it as a defense mechanism used to try and have you back off. Also, do not pay attention when they threaten to illuminate everything about your personal life to a judge. Chances are, whatever they disclose will have no bearing on how well equipped you are to raise or take care of your child.
2. “You can’t take money from me”
You are simply asking for what you are entitled to. With 8 other states, California embraces community property law. This means that everything acquired during a marriage, from wages to property, will be considered community property and will be divided equally between you and your spouse. However, any property acquired as a gift or that was part of an inheritance will be considered separate.
3.”It’s my way, or you get no money”
Threats of this nature are often made by people that are used to being in control of situations or people that typically have things go their way. You should take comfort in knowing that, regardless of what they are used to, issues like these will be governed by the law.
4. “I plan on going to jail before I give you a dime”
The state of California takes matters like child and spousal support very seriously. In order to guarantee that you get the money you deserve, there are many tools enforced by the state. A vindictive spouse may even be forced to serve jail time for contempt of court if they refuse to pay. However, this rarely happens due to the fact that most people would rather voluntarily settle their obligations than spend time in jail.
5. “I’m going to quit my job so you don’t get any support”
Believe it or not, this happens. This action is highly frowned upon and judges will most likely come down extremely hard upon anyone that attempts to flee from their responsibilities. If your spouse refuses to work or is not working to capacity, the courts may assign a fictional income when factoring support. Also, if you have been threatened with this situation and someone else was present when it occurred, you will need ask that person to be a witness and to testify exactly what they heard.
6. “You shouldn’t trust your attorney. Mine will represent you better and will save you money”
You will always be better off with an attorney that you have interviewed, one that you feel comfortable with, and one that you feel will properly represent your best interests. It is very important that you do not fall for your spouse’s trap when he or she asks you to consider hiring on their attorney. He or she, by offering to utilize the attorney that best fits their needs, may be attempting to take control of the divorce and increase their chances for a favorable outcome.
7. “Your attorney is running up your bill by asking for unnecessary documents. You should demand all “discovery” requests be cancelled now.”
The discovery process is very common and extremely necessary. While it may involve seemingly intrusive questions, it is one of the only ways for an attorney to attain a well rounded understanding of the case and the individuals involved. However, due to the intrusive nature of the questions, the spouse that has to answer them will often get irritated or complain about them. If this happens, pay no attention to their appeals for you to cancel discovery requests and let him or her know that the discovery process is a necessary procedure and will be beneficial.
8. “Because of what you have done, you will never see the kids again.”
Please view this as another empty threat that your spouse has little to no control over. The California courts will always have the children’s best interests in mind, and that means they would like both parents to see their children on a frequent and continuing basis. In cases where one parent tries to stop the other from spending time with their children by moving away or other means, the court may change the custody agreement in order to guarantee that each parent is allowed equal time.
9. “I plan to fight to the end. I don’t care about legal fees.”
Some vindictive spouses may make this threat, thinking that the other will back down prematurely. If this happens to you, make sure to inform your attorney immediately. Once they are aware that your spouse is going to attempt to draw your case out, they will be familiar with these delay tactics and push toward trial. If these delay tactics continue and the judge is made aware of them, the judge may sanction the delaying spouse to pay both sets of attorney fees.
10. “I will file for divorce in Nevada.”
While it is possible for a spouse to file for divorce in a different state or country, the laws of the state that you reside in will determine the division of your assets and custody. This means that if you live in California, and your spouse files in another state, community property law still applies and you will still get exactly what you are entitled to. If this situation arises, consult with an attorney as soon as you can!