Managing Divorce From an Angry Spouse

Divorce is difficult. It usually does not bring out the best in people. Is your former true love jealous, superficial, greedy, a cheat, or just plain angry and crazy? If you don’t know this already, you may find out soon.

Still, one of you will have to be reasonable, so you may as well choose that role. Your goal now is to dissolve your union as neatly and fairly as possible, and staying calm will really help. So, in addition to signing up for yoga or fight club or therapy to manage the emotional overload, take some practical steps to protect yourself and your assets.

Know the Numbers

For many couples, one person manages the money or has a better sense of the finances than the other. If you are the one who knows what’s going on, congratulations. Your job is to organize your accounts and ensure that you accurately convey your financial state to your divorce attorney. Be careful and be fair — if you drain accounts and leave your spouse in the lurch, you could find yourself in a protracted and costly legal battle that is bad for both of you.

If you are the one who knows nothing about the money and have been allowing your spouse to handle the finances, now is the time to change all of that. Make sure you have access to funds and that your spouse is not hiding any accounts or draining monies. Keep in mind, too, that divorce laws vary by state. Division of assets is not uniform throughout the U.S.; there are community property states and those that adhere to an equitable distribution model.

If you cannot trust your ex and suspect that there should be more, use your divorce lawyer to make demands for information. Do not try to just pick up the phone and call your ex to talk about money or too much else. If your relationship has deteriorated to the point that you’re getting a divorce, then now is the time to let your lawyers handle communication and administration (while you sit in meditation, working on gaining perspective).

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