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A controlling spouse can make a divorce much worse

While some married couples in New Orleans will be able to go through a divorce without too much of an incident, others will struggle for years in court fighting against one another. These couples may include one spouse who is controlling and trying to retain the power that she or he has over the other partner. Though the battle may be expectedly stressful and lengthy, there are ways to prepare for this. If you want to get a fair share during the property division process, as well as a proper child custody and support ruling, you should make sure that at least some, if not all, of these precautions are taken.

One of the first things a person trying to divorce a controlling spouse should do is make copies of every financial document. This includes bank accounts, investment records, retirement plans, mortgage documents and any other major purchases or investments. Without these copies, the spouse who retains the finances may try to hide assets from the courts. Though this is illegal, many individuals will attempt to do so during a divorce. Another tactic that should be used during this time is opening your own bank and retirement accounts. If you can open a credit card, you should do so now as well. By financially separating yourself from the individual trying to control you, you are empowering yourself and removing power from your partner.

While on the topic of bank accounts and credit cards, anything that is considered a joint account should be closed or frozen. Without these protections, a spouse looking to get back at you for filing divorce may decide to go on a spending spree and then leave you with the mess to clean up on your own. Though this may sound malicious, a person should not underestimate the lengths people will go to during a divorce to get satisfaction. Many experts note that divorce is one of the most stressful events to go through and, because of this, it can bring out the worst in people.

If you are going through a divorce, be it from a controlling spouse or otherwise, consider getting counseled by a legal professional. Attorneys who specialize in divorce and family law can be quite helpful in both simple and complex divorce cases.

Source:  USA Today, "Protect your finances while divorcing a bully" Elizabeth MacBride, Jun. 23, 2013

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