Divorce is rarely a contest between equally-situated parties. More common is the situation in which one party enjoyed a substantial amount of power or control over the other spouse during the marriage and tries to continue exercising control throughout the divorce proceeding. This can be manifested in a variety of ways:
- One spouse offers to pay the other spouse a lump sum award in return for the other spouse making other concessions or waiving important rights;
- Offering to pay for the other spouse’s attorney or “recommending” that the spouses share an attorney to save on costs; or
- Threatening to “destroy” the other spouse in divorce proceedings or threatening that the other spouse will get nothing in the divorce.
What to Do When You Are Being Treated Unfairly or Threatened During a Divorce Proceeding
Spouses who find themselves on the receiving end of such tactics and threats do not have to simply endure such treatment. The following steps can help bring this behavior to the court’s attention and put a stop to such inappropriate behavior:
- Make detailed notes about the behavior. Keep a notebook or other physical documentation of the concerning or threatening behavior. If your spouse is sending you harassing or threatening text messages, for example, take pictures of the text messages and print them for future reference. If your spouse communicates with you through email, print copies of the emails. If your spouse threatens you over the phone or in person, document when and where this happened, what was said, and whether anyone witnessed the encounter;
- Do not agree to joint legal representation: Not only is it unethical in most circumstances for a lawyer to represent both spouses in a divorce, this arrangement, or having your spouse pay for your attorney, will almost certainly work to your disadvantage. Consult with and retain your own legal counsel in order to best protect your legal interests; and
- Bring the behavior to the court’s attention through legal pleadings: You, or preferably, your attorney, should bring the troublesome behavior of the other party to the court through a legal pleading and requesting a hearing on the matter. At this hearing, you can present evidence and testimony about the behavior and the court can enter appropriate orders to stop the behavior from occurring in the future.
Under no circumstances should you tolerate behavior that is harassing or threatening in nature or behavior that makes you uncomfortable.
How a DuPage County Attorney Can Help
At Arami Law, our experienced and dedicated Chicago family law attorneys are committed to protecting your rights throughout the pendency of your divorce. When your spouse attempts to intimidate or threaten you, turn to us for assistance. We can not only put your mind at ease regarding what your spouse can – and cannot – do through the divorce proceeding, but we can help you seek protective orders through the court so that you are not resigned to enduring the troubling behavior. Call us right away at (312) 584-6355 or contact us through our website to get started with a member of our firm.