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Dirty tricks spouses engage in when they disengage from marriage

You probably wouldn't be getting a divorce if you were perfectly happy with your spouse and his or her behavior over the years -- so it's probably only natural to fantasize about how to finally get even for some of the worst things that he or she has done.

Don't do it. Dirty tricks tend to come back on you when you least expect it, and what you see as "just desserts" could be seen by the court as vindictiveness, unwillingness to play fairly and a sign that you can't be trusted.

Here are three things that you need to avoid doing, no matter how much you might enjoy it:

1. Make a dramatic exit.

Don't have the moving van pull up right after you're sure your spouse is well into his or her work commute and empty the place down to the nails on the wall. That could signal the judge that your capacity to split assets fairly is less than stellar.

2. Starve out your spouse.

If you're the breadwinner in the family, it's not in your best interests to try to starve your spouse into submission. Cutting off all the credit cards, refusing to pay the house's utilities because you aren't living there and using other economic means to try to force your spouse into accepting a paltry settlement could instead backfire on you. A judge could order you to pay temporary support and even make you pay your spouse's unnecessary legal bills.

3. Get your spouse into legal trouble.

This is probably right up there with "shooting yourself in the foot" when it comes to bad moves. If you rely on your spouse's income for support payments, getting him or her into legal trouble is costing you as much as it does your spouse. If your spouse loses his or her job, you also lose your support payments.

If you're thinking of making a move that could give you a little personal satisfaction and justice, talk over the issue with your attorney -- before you act. It's much more important to keep your mind on the goals for your divorce instead of thinking about how to extract a little revenge for the marital problems.

Source: womansdivorce.com, "Dirty Divorce Tricks," accessed April 07, 2017

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