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How to deal with an angry spouse during a divorce

It's not unreasonable to expect a certain amount of anger from your spouse after you ask for a divorce. While a great deal of divorce is about finances, assets and possessions, it is hard to deny the emotional aspect.

Nevertheless, in some cases, a spouse may act out on the anger he or she is feeling. It is best to be prepared for that possibility and know how to respond.

True and false accusations

One method of revenge spouses frequently use when facing divorce is to file for a restraining order. Having such an order against you may force you to leave your home and children and prevent you from contacting them in any way. It may also damage your chances of getting custody when the time comes.

The best way to defend against this is to offer no cause or evidence that it is justified. Do not engage with your spouse over social media, emails, phone or in person. If a restraining order is issued against you, remain dignified and calm. A violent or emotional response may exacerbate the situation.

Your spouse may also try to gather ammunition against you by installing keystroke programs on your computer or tapping your phone. By keeping your conversations and searches innocent, you will defeat that game. Retaliation will only make matters worse for you.

What's yours is yours

If your spouse is angry about the divorce, he or she may try to keep you from what is rightfully yours. The two most important things are your children and your money. A common trick angry spouses try is to demand 50/50 custody in the belief that you would be willing to relinquish other rights in exchange for full custody of your children. Family law experts recommend foiling that ploy by offering shared custody from the beginning, since equal time with both parents is most beneficial to children.

Additionally, it is not surprising when one spouse tries to keep the other from money or other assets. This may mean limiting your access to bank accounts, vehicles or other things you need for daily life.

The best protection against this is to set up your own account and even open lines of credit separate from your spouse. Also, make sure your name is on all accounts and martial assets - banks, credit cards, retirement funds, etc. - before you file for divorce.

Protecting yourself through the settlement process

You can expect an emotional reaction to your decision to end the marriage. It is only human, especially if you feel the announcement will come as a surprise to your spouse. However, your spouse's anger and vengeance is counterproductive, and you have to be ready to react calmly and reasonably in the face of any tactics he or she may attempt.

Your attorney will also be helpful to you in this area. With years of experience in Texas family law, it is likely your lawyer has seen many of these tricks and knows how best to deal with them. By following the advice of your legal counsel, you will be more likely to reach a positive outcome.

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