The following list probably provides those “in the know” with very little new information. However, if you’re not experienced or knowledgeable about what goes on in high-conflict divorces and child custody cases, you may want to familiarize yourself with what is potentially to come. Take a look:
- Clean out the bank account or safety deposit box.
- Run-up the account balances on credit cards.
- Steal or sell the furniture and keep the cash.
- Engage in varying degrees of parental alienation and/or otherwise speaking poorly of you to the children or in front of the children to others.
- Share with the children intimate details of the divorce and/or custody proceedings.
- Leave with the kids unannounced, with no forwarding address or way to get in contact with the children.
- Use financial issues to gain leverage with custody or child-related matters.
- File a petition and/or restraining order to get you kicked out of your own home and restricted from even coming onto the property at any time.
- Spread nasty rumors and speak poorly about you in front of mutual friends to try to divide loyalties.
- Move out of state and take your child, claiming that it is in the “best interest of the child.”
- Withhold or interfere with your visitation rights (custodial interference).
- File motions and use delay tactics to tie you up in court and drain your finances. (Win the case through financial attrition.)
- Falsely claim physical or sexual abuse against them.
- Falsely claim physical or sexual abuse towards your children.
- Get a restraining order against you based on false allegations.
- Force you to move out of the house through harassment and coercion, and then petition the court claiming you have “abandoned the family.”
- Claim that child support was not received on time or at all.
- Involve family members, friends, or others in malicious actions against you.
- Deny, restrict, or interfere with telephone access to the children.
- Interfere with your participating in your child’s school and other recreational activities.
- Use your mutual or, unsuspecting “friends” to get inside information to use against you in court or even turn them into unwitting spies. Worse – engaging the children to be spies for them.
- Withhold important information about your child’s health or well-being. They may even tell stories to professionals that would give them “reason” to preclude sharing the same.
The list above is not all-inclusive, but are some of the most common. These tactics are used with alarming frequency and effectiveness to frustrate, outmaneuver, obtain a legal upper-hand, and wear the target parent down and out.
These tactics can be learned through friends, books that are written specifically for this purpose (by those who were more than likely successful employing such tactics, and unsurprisingly, by attorneys. Sadly, it is becoming more commonplace for some unscrupulous attorneys to recommend one or more of these tactics to their clients because it gives them a decided advantage and almost guaranteed victory in court. For instance, if your ex-partner can convince the courts that you have physically abused her and/or your child, she gains a tremendous advantage over you in all further proceedings. The father will be known as a “violent offender,” a person for whom judges have limitless disdain, and they will not hesitate to grant false accuser whatever they want.
Unfortunately, even when you’re successful in turning away these charges and win, perception is still reality in some circles. It becomes reality to some and it’s a stain on you that is hard to get out. It is imperative that you are the one to remain the calm, rational person with your ex-partner. The less you do to provoke the high-conflict ex-partner, the better off you will be in the long run. You never want to be responsible for a situation getting out of control as they will be the foundation for much heartache in family court.