When you asked your spouse for a divorce, you thought it was obvious that neither of you were happy. You hoped that you could part ways like adults and even remain friends.

It shocked you a bit, then, when your spouse reacted with rage. Now, you’re seeing a bitter, vengeful side of your spouse that you never dreamed existed.

Should you be concerned about dirty tricks during the divorce? Probably. Anger has a way of coloring people’s behavior in some very ugly ways. Expect tactics like:

  • Accusations of abuse: False accusations of domestic violence happen all the time with divorce. If you’re suddenly accused, don’t lose your cool — that would be playing into your spouse’s hands. Get legal help and wait until your day in court.
  • Attempts to control all the money: Your spouse may try to cancel your credit card and cut off your access to the bank accounts. Make sure that you have a card in your own name and money you can access in emergencies.
  • Lying about income and hiding assets: Your spouse may try to “win” the divorce by cheating you out of your share of the assets. Make sure that you gather as many financial records as you can.
  • Demanding full custody: This can be done to punish you or try to manipulate you into staying. Don’t give their threats power. It isn’t all that easy to obtain full custody.
  • Stalking, harassment and investigations: If your spouse is obsessed with the idea that you’re having an affair, hiding something or a bad parent, they may stalk and harass you or hire an investigator to “dig something up” they can use in court.

An angry spouse usually equals a difficult divorce. During this time, work with an advocate who understands your situation.