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Facing off against a bully in court? Here's how to prepare

Most people are under the impression that divorce is about emotional manipulation and money. While this may be true in some instances, the overriding  element in divorce is power.

This is especially true when people are trying to leave spouses who are used to being in control. Commonly this involves women divorcing controlling men, but there are some controlling women who are being dumped. These personality types think they will steamroll their spouses in court, but the opposite is actually true.

 

In Houston family courts, the judge is in control and his or her responsibility is maintaining the integrity of the process (i.e. a level playing field). With that said, there's a way to prepare for a bully in court. This post offers some helpful tips.

Have your own copies - You are entitled as a matter of law to copies of all joint financial records so that you can prove what is joint marital property. But bullies want to control what you have and won't give it to you without a fight. The best way to avoid this is to have your own copies. You can contact your bank or financial advisor to obtain this information.

Have your own stash of money - Here's where the term "warchest" comes into play. Having your own stash of cash will help you go to battle with a bully who thinks they can impose their will through expensive litigation.

Get into court ASAP - Once a divorce petition is filed, the marital estate is under the jurisdiction of the court, which means that the judge has the power to set rules for how money can be spent (or not spent), how property may be used, and what must be left in place (i.e. insurance) during the proceedings.

Source: USA Today.com, Protecting your finances while divorcing a bully, June 21, 2013

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