Cordell & Cordell’s Virtual Town Hall Highlights Dirty Tricks in Divorce


During the divorce experience, you may find yourself facing untrue allegations made against you by your soon-to-be ex and opposing counsel. Your ex may be withholding custody, extending the amount of precious moments with your children that you are missing and may be making allegations, in order to justify keeping you away from them.

Whether the allegations are related to abuse, neglect, drug use, or excessive alcohol use, you cannot stand pat and do nothing. You have to take a proactive approach, in civilly addressing these allegations in family court.

This proactive approach will be provided by your family law attorney, who you have entrusted to represent your best interests and help you navigate through this emotional experience.

By trusting that your lawyer has a strategy to combat any dirty tricks that may be used in family court, you can preserve your place in your child’s life and put the best foot forward in your post-divorce life.

False allegations

Cordell & Cordell CEO, Executive/Managing Partner Scott Trout hosted a Virtual Town Hall on September 17 with a panel of attorneys from around the country that addressed many of the dirty tricks that attorneys use, in order to discredit men and fathers in family court.

One of the more common tricks used to discredit your character may be to claim domestic violence or abuse. This is done, in order to obtain a protective order.

“Let’s say we have two divorcing spouses,” said Cordell & Cordell California Lead Litigator Jason Hopper. “If one wants the other to move out of the marital home, there’s really no basis to force them out.

“In California specifically, there has to be a claim of domestic violence. The court cannot evict a person without basis. Some in those circumstances use that opportunity to stretch the truth or exaggerate a situation, in order to get a protective order and remove a spouse from the marital home.

A soon-to-be ex-spouse making a false claim also can cause limitations to be placed on custody and contact with your child.

“In Texas, if there is a threat of violence, even verbal, the court can take that as family violence and issue a protective order,” said Cordell & Cordell Lead Litigator Mysti Dennis.

Financial concealment and spending

Another trick that often is employed by the family courts is the hiding of income. A spouse may have a side business that is not thought to make a lot of money, or they may have a job, where they receive cash, like a waiter or beautician. However, during the divorce process, that side business or cash-receiving job actually may be netting a considerable amount.

“If you think you may be headed for a divorce and your spouse has one of these businesses or jobs, start journaling and keeping a better tab on how much money it is generating,” said Cordell & Cordell New York Litigation Manager Asa Neff.

In addition to hiding income, you may be facing circumstances with a soon-to-be ex-spouse racking up credit card debt or making gift card purchases, in order to conceal income and gain cash for themselves.

“In most states, there is what is called a mutual restraining order, which features language the prevents a divorcing spouse from doing things like increasing credit card debts of the other spouse, utilizing a joint credit card, taking money out from a line of credit, as well as not canceling insurance premiums,” said Cordell & Cordell Senior Litigation Attorney Melinda Johnson.

Trust your attorney

Whether your soon-to-be ex is causing hardships in your divorce related to false allegations made against you, being kept away from your children, or financial concealment of any kind, it is vital that you remain honest and communicative with your attorney.

Your family law attorney will know what to do and how to handle the situation during the process. Entrusting them with the challenges that come will benefit you, your case, and your future.

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