You think you and your spouse both know that the marriage is a bust. You tell him or her you want a divorce. At this point, you’re almost expecting relief.
Instead, your spouse is furious. There’s shouting. Shoes get thrown. Plates get knocked off the kitchen table. Doors get slammed. You’re starting to worry that the neighbors are about to call the cops when your spouse storms out, screaming about staying in a hotel.
The anger isn’t over. A lot of spouses try to hurt the other person during the divorce or even before getting to court. Below are 8 things you should watch out for.
1. Your spouse starts taking money and hiding it. For instance, one woman’s husband was a small business owner, and she slowly stole cash and hid it away until there were stacks of money he knew nothing about.
2. Your spouse empties the safety deposit box. You put your grandmother’s jewelry in there, but your spouse grabs it and heads to the nearest pawn shop.
3. Your spouse gets offered a promotion and turns it down. This artificially lowers his or her income so that you get less in the split — and then your spouse promptly takes that promotion after the divorce is finalized, because the boss was in on it.
4. Your spouse goes to the kids without telling you. You wanted to break it to them together, but your spouse tells them and paints you as the bad guy.
5. Your spouse endlessly insults you in public. You just want to pretend to be friends until it’s officially over, but your spouse tells everyone that it’s your fault and casts you in a negative light. Everyone even includes the kids, the mailman, the neighbors, the in-laws and all of your family friends. You feel like you have to move and start over.
6. Your spouse keys your car. It may be illegal to destroy someone else’s property, but your spouse is on the warpath.
7. Your spouse destroys his or her own property. You want to split up the assets? You can’t have that art collection if it’s all ruined. That vacation property is going to take a lot longer to sell if it’s been trashed.
8. Your spouse changes the locks. You wake up the next morning and go to work, and when you get home, you can’t get into your own house. Do you break the window? Do you call the police? You have no idea how to proceed.
When people are mad, they act rashly and emotionally. Even if these things seem outlandish, they do happen during divorce cases, and they can really make those cases longer, more complex and far more contentious.