Cordell & Cordell’s Digital City Corridor Highlights Soiled Tips in Divorce
Cordell & Cordell hosted the newest Virtual Town Hall on Thursday September 17th, which featured the most common dirty tricks commonly used in divorce cases.
Scott Trout, CEO / Managing Partner of Cordell & Cordell, hosted a panel of U.S. divorce lawyers to review some of the tactics used by opposing parties.
“I tell customers I think I’ve seen it all and then suddenly something else comes in,” said Mr. Trout.
Child abuse / neglect and drug / alcohol abuse allegations
One of the most widely used tricks is to bring up unsubstantiated allegations of abuse during a custody case. Sacramento divorce attorney Jason P. Hopper says roughly one-half to two-thirds of the potential clients he meets are exposed to some form of abuse allegation.
“It’s something we see a lot of,” said Mr. Hopper. “It is a very stigmatizing type of accusation that even if it is unfounded and ultimately dismissed, the fact that it is brought up can really affect the judge’s opinion on the case and is something we can relate to want to defend proactively. “
Limitation of custody and contact
One of the most harmful tricks someone can use during a divorce is to restrict the other parent’s access to their children in order to gain an advantage in a custody case.
When there are allegations of abuse or neglect, it can be easy to obtain a protection order denying access to the children, even if the allegations are entirely fabricated. Once in place, these orders can essentially set a status quo on custody that is difficult to reverse.
“Judges take no chances,” Trout said, “and when you have a status quo … judges don’t want to deviate. If a child is fine in those eight, nine, or ten months, what do you think they will do? They will go the easy way and say, “Well, the time he has under this command seems sufficient.”
Another common trick is to find ways to hide income during the divorce process. A spouse could very well have their job shortly before filing, so that they have no income to show and can stand up for the spouse’s support.
Albany Divorce Asa Neff discussed a case where his client’s wife was a nurse for 10 years before quitting and eventually filing for divorce. Having no income, she argued that she needed support to support herself.
“I would just say that lawyers can do a lot of things to ensure that courts don’t use zero as income for anyone,” Neff said. “In this case, she was a licensed nurse and we were able to hire a professional expert on her employability.”
Raise credit card debt
Dublin divorce attorney Melinda Johnson discussed how temporary injunctions can be used to prevent another common trick: taking on credit card debt.
“These mutual restraints, which are standard, have very specific language prohibiting each spouse from taking any action, such as increasing the other spouse’s credit card debt,” Ms. Johnson said.
It is clear that there are many tricks that can be used during the divorce process and if you don’t have a knowledgeable lawyer in your corner to protect your rights, you could end up being taken advantage of. Cordell & Cordell divorce attorneys pride themselves on protecting the good of men and fathers. If you are facing a divorce or custody suit, contact Cordell & Cordell for advice.