It is no secret that divorce is wrought with emotions, ranging from dread to relief. Even so, it is common for one spouse to hold more anger than the other – especially if they were not the one who asked for a divorce in the first place.
The combination of all these emotions can sometimes lead individuals to act in ways they might regret, including retaliating against their former spouse. Retaliation is not always an issue in a divorce, but it is a critical matter to be aware of as individuals move forward.
What could retaliation look like in divorce?
The backlash from a spouse could take many forms. The actions might be subtle, while others might be meant to get a rise out of the other spouse. Regardless, these retaliatory actions can often look like:
- Destroying property, particularly assets the other spouse valued or wanted
- Wasting and spending financial assets to drain shared accounts
- Prolonging the divorce process with frivolous disputes or purposeful mistakes
- Cutting off money, accounts or utilities with no warning
- Alienating the parent from their children, or badmouthing the parent to the kids
There are many reasons ex-spouses might take these actions. They might feel hurt or frightened and want to inflict the same pain on the other person. While the emotional response is understandable, the consequences of retaliation can be both personal and financial, impacting the whole family.
How can individuals handle retaliation?
If North Carolina spouses suspect retaliation, there are several steps they can take. Individuals should consider:
- Recording instances and evidence of any retaliation
- Having a candid – though civil – conversation with their ex-spouse about the issue
- Involving legal and mental health professionals to work through challenges
Dealing with retaliatory actions on top of divorce proceedings can be stressful. Even so, it is critical to be on the lookout for signs of retaliation, so individuals can manage these issues efficiently and protect their family’s interests.