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Dirty tricks to watch for during your Maryland divorce

Getting a divorce can be tough, no matter what the issues. Yet, when a contentious divorce spirals out of proportion into a process full of lies, mind games and dirty tricks, divorce can become a nightmare. Having an effective Maryland divorce lawyer on your team can help you minimize the challenges while uncovering some of the tactics your spouse may be using against you.

The following are examples of some of the "dirty tricks" some spouses will use during a divorce and what you can do to prevent them.

Conflicts of interest

In one case, a spouse made appointments with the top lawyers in his area, and described his take on his spouse's marital affairs. Once this happened, some of the lawyers had enough confidential information that they could not represent the other spouse. The original spouse did not have to hire any of the lawyers; the intent was to prevent the other from hiring any of them.

While this happens very rarely, we encourage everyone thinking about filing for divorce to speak with a divorce attorney soon. Not only will it prevent this situation, but it will help you protect your interests from day one of the divorce process.

Pressuring a spouse to sign an agreement quickly

One spouse may pressure the other to sign a divorce agreement in hopes of that spouse not realizing that the deal is unfair. Also, a spouse may threaten that if the other does not sign the divorce agreement immediately, less money will be available down the line. Pressure and threats are red flags that a spouse is likely hiding information. Do not sign a separation agreement without first having an attorney review that agreement.

Making financial decisions alone

Has your spouse always controlled the finances? Is he or she moving funds into separate accounts, closing credit cards and potentially hiding assets? A spouse should not be making any financial decisions on joint accounts or funds without the other spouse's consent during a divorce. An attorney can help you take steps to secure your financial accounts and ensure proper division of assets and debts during your divorce.

Failing to pay spousal or child support

The "obligor" spouse may refuse to make timely payments on alimony (spousal support) and/or child support in order to cause financial difficulty for the other spouse. When a party does not follow court orders, you may turn to the court to enforce those orders.

In a perfect world, when parties have decided to end their marriage, it would be done so in a civilized and adult manner. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you protect yourself from these tactics and respond when they are used against you.

Source: Forbes, "How 'Conflicting Out' Top Divorce Attorneys Can Impact Your Divorce," Jeff Landers, Apr. 17, 2012.

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