In yesterday’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC we began our topic of dirty tricks parties will sometimes choose to employ in divorce cases by bringing up the subject of false allegations of violence perpetrated by one spouse on the other. In today’s blog post we will continue to discuss this topic as we share two other dirty tricks that I have seen people going through divorces use with varying degrees of success in the past.
Cancelling out available attorneys via conflicts of interest
This is sort of an age old technique that has been made fairly well known due to television and the media but I figure it’s worth mentioning here- if for no other reason than it is sort of entertaining to think about. The basis of this dirty trick is that a person can contact every single divorce attorney within a certain geographic area in order to keep that attorney from being able to take the case of their spouse.
Here is the basis for doing this: once an attorney speaks to a potential client he or she is barred from being able to then represent that person’s spouse. This is due to the first spouse having already shared information about himself to that attorney in the consultation. The end result is that because the attorney possesses a degree of knowledge about that person, if he or she were to represent that person’s spouse there would be an unfair advantage.
As a result, this is a conflict of interest that is achieved through trickery. If your spouse is mad at you and wants you to struggle to find a “good” or reputable attorney she may take it upon herself to go and talk to every attorney with a good reputation within a ten mile radius of your home. This may not be the most efficient use of her time but it theoretically could bar that attorney from representing you in that divorce. I can’t guarantee it and an attorney would need to consult with the Texas rules of professional conduct for attorneys to verify this, but the general principle that it could represent a conflict of interest still holds.
Keep in mind that you would not be without recourse, however. If your spouse were to do this sort of thing you have the ability to throw it back in their face (metaphorically speaking) by producing evidence of these misdeeds. If you can collect evidence of some sort of your spouse having engaged in this sort of dirty trick you can show a judge in a hearing that your spouse committed purposeful acts of wrongdoing against you. It would not be surprising if a judge were to punish your spouse somehow or to at least assess attorney’s fees against your spouse.
The bottom line is that if you have a feeling that a divorce is approaching in your life do not sit on the sidelines and let your spouse make the first move. Listen to your instincts and act accordingly. You can do your research and meet with potential attorneys quickly and efficiently given the presence of attorneys online. Most attorneys (our office included) has multiple means by which you can set up a consultation on their websites.
Looks can be deceiving- especially when it comes to parenting
Hopefully this is not an applicable dirty trick to your situation because it is involves your children. In some marriages one parent shoulders almost the entirety of the burden of parenting the children while the other gets off much easier. It could be because your spouse works long hours or is just generally uninterested in the day to day workings of your family that he is not an overly involved parent. Sure, he has lived in the same house as your children but he is rarely at home and when he is there is a high level of disengagement. This could be something that has driven you nuts for the duration of the marriage. Maybe it is the primary or secondary reason for your having pursued a divorce in the first place.
In and of itself this is extremely frustrating. I am a parent of two small kids and am fortunate enough to have a wife who is just as engaged in the parenting process as I am. With two kids at home it is easy to become frustrated, angry or worked up over any number of issues that arise in the normal course of parenting. Having a partner to lean on and shoulder some of the burdens of parenting can be extremely important and can provide peace of mind if nothing else.
Imagine, then, the frustration that you would feel if you or your spouse were to file for divorce only to see in court documents and in testimony in live court, your spouse suddenly making himself out to be a parent of the year candidate. The father who could not find time to attend school recitals, performances and could barely be made to cook a dinner once a month was now proclaiming to anyone who would listen that he was and is every bit the active and attentive parent that you are. Would you be shocked beyond belief to see this “transformation” that your spouse would have made?
Do not be shocked if this situation plays itself out in your case. Perhaps not to the lengths that I have described in my hypothetical example but to a large extent you find that every parent in their divorce case will play up their strong suits when it comes to parenting. If no strong suits exist many parents will invent strengths where none could realistically be found even after close examination. I think the tendency to play up your attributes and downplay your shortcomings is a reasonable one considering how important the divorce is. However, to completely fabricate a history of being an involved parent takes a great deal of guts.
Your spouse’s motivation is fairly transparent in this regard: he wants to get as much time with your children as possible in terms of a visitation/possession break-down. Perhaps he realizes the error of his ways and is lying to make up ground that he ceded to you in your marriage. A more cynical person may note that he wants to become the primary conservator of those kids because he does not want to be on the hook for child support payments until those children graduate from high school or turn eighteen.
Whatever the motivation, you need to be aware of the prevalence of this behavior to varying degrees in Texas divorce cases. You should do your best to identify this trick early on in your divorce and make sure that your attorney is aware of the difference between your spouse’s actual parenting techniques and the ones that he states were employed in the court records. There is no shame in staying on top of your spouse and making sure that the court is aware of his actual parenting record. Bringing in witnesses to contradict your spouse’s stories about involved parenting is a good idea.
Dirty tricks happen in divorce cases- but you don’t have to be caught off guard by them
The idea that you will be fortunate enough to avoid any falsehoods or dirty tricks coming out of the mouth or case filings of your spouse in a divorce is just simply not realistic. It’s likely that you won’t see bad acts like the ones that we described in yesterday and today’s blog posts, but sneaky, untruthful and misleading statements are made frequently in divorce cases. You will be better off if you are aware of these practices and can protect yourself from them.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- The Dirty Trick of Damaging, Destroying, or Selling Marital Assets in Texas
- The Dirty Trick of Filing for Divorce in Another City
- The Dirty Trick of Moving Out of State with the Kids
- The Dirty Trick of Hiding Assets During Your Texas Divorce
- The Dirty Trick of Wasting Marital Assets or Going on a Spending Spree During Your Texas Divorce
- The Dirty Trick of Engaging in Spousal Starving During a Texas Divorce
- The Dirty Trick of Stripping the House During a Texas Divorce
- The Dirty Trick of Using the Same Divorce Lawyer
- The Dirty Trick of the Common Law Marriage
- The Dirty Trick of Getting Your Spouse to Leave the Marital Home
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The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
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