If you were to survey New York residents who have marital problems, you might find commonalities in their stories. On the other hand, every relationship is unique, so the issues that arise between you and your spouse might not apply to another married couple. The same is true regarding divorce. Child custody or property division might be a primary concern in one case but not another.

In such a survey, you’d also likely learn that spouses who choose to divorce typically want to do so in the swiftest, most amicable fashion possible. What if your spouse doesn’t appear to be one of them? What if he or she is being mean and spiteful? It’s helpful to have a clear understanding of state laws before proceedings begin and to know where to seek support if a problem arises.

Where has all your money gone?

New York is an equitable property state in divorce, which means the judge overseeing your case will determine a fair split of all marital assets, which may not necessarily be 50/50. If you review your jointly owned bank account statement and notice that there is money missing from your account, it might mean that your spouse is up to no good in preparation of property division proceedings.

You have a right to investigate the matter and to inquire about the missing money. It would undoubtedly be wise to speak with both your spouse and a bank official. If you suspect your spouse is trying to hide assets, you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for additional support.

Check your credit card statements

If you think your spouse is trying to get back at you for filing for divorce, you’ll not only want to carefully review your bank statements but credit card statements as well. Spouses engaged in underhanded divorce activity might take revenge against an unknowing ex by making numerous expensive purchases on a jointly owned credit card account, knowing that the ex is agreeing to take on the existing credit card debt as part of a property division settlement.

Has your spouse blindsided you with a child custody petition?

Perhaps, you and your spouse talked it over privately and agreed to share custody of your children. Maybe there’s another issue, however, where you disagree, so your spouse turns the tables and requests primary or sole custody of the kids in order to bait you into agreement on the other issue.

While meanspirited and unethical, this type of thing happens all the time in New York family courts. You don’t have to cower under duress or sit back and do nothing while your ex tries to take advantage of the family justice system. Many concerned spouses turn to experienced family law attorneys for support in such circumstances.