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Financial threats common in divorce

While some divorcing spouses can reach an amicable split, many other divorces are characterized by conflict and deep emotional upheaval. Threats are not uncommon in these cases, and husbands and wives who have been physically threatened by their spouses should get out of the situation as quickly as possible and seek help.

However, physical threats are not the only type of threat spouses endure. Financial threats are also common, and if your spouse has threatened you with financial ruin, then it is important to know what to do to protect yourself.

First of all, keep in mind that an angry spouse's rant may not be the same thing as a legitimate financial risk. The vehemence with which your spouse claims that you aren't entitled to a share of the marital property doesn't make the statement true. However, if your spouse is threatening to spend all of the money in a shared account, you may want to speak with your attorney sooner rather than later.

It may also be a good idea to write down when your spouse makes financial threats. Not only could a record of these threats be useful in establishing an effective divorce strategy; having a written record might help you better cope with your spouse's rants if or when they occur.

As with many issues in divorce, the important thing is to try to remain civil.

A couple of weeks ago, we discussed a topic closely related to financial threats -- bullying among spouses. For more on that, please see our post from Dec. 30 -- "1 in 10 respondents say spouses, partners are financial bullies."

Source: Forbes, "How To Cope With Your Husband's Financial Threats During Divorce," Jeff Landers, Jan. 8, 2014

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