The Dirty Tricks in a Texas Divorce revealed

Readying yourself for a divorce? Jump on board the information train as the Law Office of Bryan Fagan takes you on a journey to knowledge-town. First stop? Learning the dirty tricks that your spouse wants to use against you in this divorce. They say that the best defense is a good offense. True in sports and divorce, as well. Get ready. Get set. Let’s jump right into those dirty tricks to anticipate in your divorce.

Just like in a team sport, you should not go it alone when it comes to your case. When you consider all the elements of a divorce it can seem downright impossible to get through a case in one piece mentally. How do people do it? They have teammates- that’s how. You need to be able to work with a team of people who can assist you in your case. Having a support system in your personal life helps tremendously. So does having an experienced family law attorney by your side during the case. 

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are here to help you. We work tirelessly on behalf of our clients to help them achieve their goals. Read through today’s blog post with us. Then, contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan for a free-of-charge consultation. 

What is at stake in a divorce?

Divorces are emotional. You are going to be ending the central relationship in your life. Your children are going to develop a routine for spending time with their parents apart from the normal schedule. You or your spouse will be moving out of your marital home. The life you knew is going to forever change. Daunting, right? Don’t be so quick to underestimate yourself, however. 

You have what it takes to manage your divorce case. Not only that, but you can work with skilled professionals in your case, as well. When your spouse tries to pull a fast one on you what can you do? Do you have the knowledge base to know how to proceed? Will you let him or her walk all over you? We at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan hope not. There is too much to lose in your case for you to allow your spouse to trick you. 

Don’t get caught up in games during your divorce. You are taking the case seriously and so should your spouse. Expecting him or her to hold themselves accountable is unrealistic. The only person you can control is yourself. To keep your spouse honest is something you can investigate, however. This is where diligence counts and integrity matters. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan will prevent your spouse from initiating these dirty tricks from the start of your case.

Don’t be surprised when your spouse tries a dirty trick in your divorce

We want to assume the best of everyone in our lives- especially our spouses. However, in a divorce, people tend to pull out all the stops to get what they want. Consider the property you and your spouse own. Your house is the most asset most people own. Your vehicle is your lifeline to get to work and attend to other matters in your life. Putting yourself in a position where you have question marks around major assets like these is a mistake. That’s not even to mention all of the other valuable assets within your home.

Your children are the most important part of a divorce case. Having minor children in a divorce means that your spouse looks to the case as an opportunity to gain any advantage possible. The goals that you have in your case look different when you have young kids. Child support, conservatorship issues, visitation, and access are just a few of the important issues in a divorce. Do not think that your co-parent does not view these as justifiable grounds to try and use a dirty trick.

Seeing an opportunity to use a dirty trick means putting up a defense and preparing. To walk right into a dirty trick is one thing. To know that a dirty trick is being used and to do nothing about it is another. At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we prepare you for these moments. Anticipating and defusing a dirty trick before it explodes your case- that is what we do at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan.

Using circumstances and words to change the way you think

In other words- manipulation. Your children are the primary area of a divorce where your spouse’s dirty tricks manifest. Concerned about the well-being of your children in a divorce? Every parent in a divorce is. When we look at divorces with minor children it is normal to be concerned with how the case impacts them. 

When your emotions are at an all-time high and you feel uneasy, this is when dirty tricks are at their most effective. Do not assume that you know your spouse and their character in the divorce. Knowing someone inside and outside a divorce tells me that you understand their true character. Divorce pushes people to their limit. Even honest people are willing to temporarily compromise their ethics to win in the divorce.

Hiding income is a surefire way to escape high child support bills. With as many people nowadays who work contract jobs this is easier to do than ever. Gone are the days when people work one job for a salary and that’s all. With inflation still rocking our economy we see that people work more than one job. Discovering that your spouse hid part of their income after the divorce means it’s too late. 

Property division and hiding assets

Beginning a divorce means performing a basic inventory and appraisement of your property. Assessing what you own and what is owned by you and your spouse provides you with a better understanding of what is at stake in the case. Performing this exercise honestly helps you to better negotiate with your spouse. Pulling a dirty trick can throw off the trajectory of your case. This is where you need to be careful when examining your spouse.

Do not trust the characterization of your property when it comes from your spouse. He or she can try to mislead a judge and you about how valuable an asset is. Owning land, a business, or anything of value means obtaining a second and third opinion as to its value. Shrewd maneuvering and falsehoods make for a difficult time for many people going through a divorce.

Our attorneys recently represented a wife and mother in a divorce. That wife and mother was the epitome of a great mom. She cared for her kids, looked after the home, and did what needed to be done when it came to everything in the domestic sphere. What did not know about was the business side of her husband’s life. Read on to see how this could have cost her severely in a divorce.

A cautionary tale of placing too much trust in your spouse

Our client’s husband came to us (he was not represented by counsel) with an offer to divide community property interests 70/30 in favor of his wife. This was an appealing offer, but it did not tell the whole story. There was a business owned by the husband which started as small but was now anything but. That business would be his to keep, no questions asked. Or, if we started asking questions, the 70/30 deal he proposed was off the table.

Fortunately for our client, the husband tipped his hand when making this statement to us. Something was off about the whole negotiating ploy. He assumed (incorrectly) that his wife would give in to his demand and not inquire anymore about the value of that small business. To that point, our client knew nothing about the business other than what it did on a basic level. When she needed to buy the kids new clothes or purchase groceries there would be money in the account.

We called the husband’s bluff. No deal on the 70/30 split. We knew that we had the upper hand in the courtroom due to our client taking care of the kids and having no job history of skills compared to her husband. We thought we could win that deal from a judge, too. Ultimately, he hired a lawyer and we started to look more in-depth at the business. Ultimately, the community property portion of the business opened a new world of possibilities for our client. 

Who wants to be the primary parent?

Becoming the primary parent of your child is a huge goal to have in a child custody case. This means the kids will spend more time with you and you will be able to win child support. Sounds good, right? Well, if it sounds good to you it also sounds good to your spouse. When there is something as appealing as primary custody at stake you can expect your spouse to engage in dirty tricks. 

Parents fear their spouse making false allegations of abuse against them in a divorce. That false allegation could relate to the kids or your spouse themselves. Do not underestimate your spouse in a time like this. It means that you need to be on guard for any dirty trick that your spouse could play. While you cannot prevent your spouse from randomly lying about you there are steps you can take to prepare your attorney. 

The most clearly defined step you can take in this situation is to help your spouse understand what is at stake here. Whatever past you have that may not be pleasant comes out in a divorce. Share that past with your attorney. It is not pleasant to talk about, but it is necessary. Here, again, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan can share a dirty trick pulled by an opposing party against a client of ours.

Dirty tricks in child custody- a real-life example

A few years ago, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan represented a young father in a child custody case. He was in a real predicament. He was not married to his children’s mother. She had the kids for the weekend and took a trip to Georgia to visit family. Seemed innocent enough. He expected the kids back home on Sunday evening, as normal.

Sunday evening came and went. The kids and his co-parent did not make it back to Houston. Next, he called his children’s mother. She did not answer the phone. He had some phone numbers for her family, and he tried to call each of them. A brother of his co-parent answered the phone and told our client directly that his sister wasn’t coming home. Neither were the kids.

This got our client to think critically about what was happening in the lives of his children. The only thing in the world that this man cared about was his kids. Now his co-parent was trying to take them away. Even though there was no family law case filed yet I think we would all agree that this is a dirty trick. She lied about taking the kids for a weekend visit to see family. 

Our client did not take the dirty trick of sitting down

Even though he was not able to prevent the apparent kidnapping of his children, our client went into action once he saw what was happening. First, he contacted our office and spoke to one of our experienced child custody attorneys. Once he decided to hire our office, we immediately filed a child custody case on an emergency basis. Notice was provided to his co-parent. She had the right to be notified that in less than three days a hearing would be held on this matter. 

Surprisingly, an attorney reached out to our office the day before this hearing. He told us that our client’s co-parent had just hired him. He would be there for the hearing the following morning. At that hearing, he spoke to me before the hearing about the case. I expected us to have a cordial, direct conversation about the subject matter of the case. His client had returned to Texas and was coming to court that day.

Nothing struck the attorney on this case as odd. However, what came next was example number one of the dirty tricks available in child custody cases. The opposing attorney told us that he had information about a sex offender living with our client. Our client’s uncle was a registered sex offender. The opposing counsel was prepared with the man’s sex offender listing. From there, the attorney from our office walked over to speak with our client.

Always be truthful with your attorney to avoid dirty tricks

The dirty tricks of this opposing party were on full display here. Not that she caused the uncle to live with our client. However, the attorney could have spoken to our attorney on the phone the day before. However, he and his client chose to spring it upon us at the last minute. Not exactly professional or collegial but so it goes. 

Our attorney went over to speak to our client. He admitted to his uncle living with him. The incident in question which led to the sex offender status took place fifteen years prior. He was not able to find a place to live on his own. Our client took his uncle in. This was not ideal, but our client felt a duty to help a family member. The opposing party had never voiced an issue with the living arrangement until the child custody case was filed. 

Ultimately, we had a direct conversation with our client. This had been done earlier but we directed our client to share any other details that he may have withheld. It was a good conversation. Sharing this information up front would have circumvented the dirty trick of his co-parent, however. 

Final thoughts on dirty tricks in divorce

All is fair in love and war, as they say. A divorce is both of those things. It is not out of the ordinary for spouses to engage in tricky behavior to gain advantages in a divorce. There is only so much you can do to prevent that from happening. 

However, you can be proactive in this case. Tell your attorney the truth all the time. Even when the truth is not pretty. Next, have goals for your case and communicate those to your attorney. Last, work with an experienced family law attorney. Dirty tricks are intended to catch you off guard. When you are facing a spouse who will resort to tricks to win, you need all the help you can get. Thank you for sharing part of your day with us here.

Questions about the material contained in today’s blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan    

If you have any questions about the material contained in today’s blog post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free-of-charge consultations six days a week in person, over the phone, and via video. Interested in learning more about how your family is impacted by the material in this blog post? Contact us today.

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At the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, the firm wants to get to know your case before they commit to work with you. They offer all potential clients a no-obligation, free consultation where you can discuss your case under the client-attorney privilege. This means that everything you say will be kept private and the firm will respectfully advise you at no charge. You can learn more about Texas divorce law and get a good idea of how you want to proceed with your case.

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