Five Games Abusers Play In Divorce

Posted on: 19 February 2015

If you are wanting to get away from an abusive mate, you need to realize that their abusive behavior will likely intensify when they discover your plans. If your abuser is wanting to divorce you, perhaps because they are having an affair, they will also want to make sure you are not left in a good position. You need to think ahead, because there are five ways an abuser could try to control you during divorce and afterward. You will want to be prepared to handle these tactics and protect yourself.

1.  Trick you into receiving a criminal charge:

In this game, the abusive mate does things to get you upset, and they may even strike you (but in a place that won't show). You may naturally try to defend yourself but what you don't realize is that your mate has already called the police. So when the police come, your mate acts like a beleaguered victim, and seems to be the most reasonable one. You, however, appear as someone out of control because you are frustrated, angry, scared, and/or confused, and this could end up with you being the one charged with domestic violence.

The abuser's ultimate goal is for you to be convicted of domestic assault so they likely would not drop the charges, no matter how much you plead with them. (This is rather ironic since often the true abusers get away with assault more often than not, because they can manipulate the victims into withdrawing any charges they may receive.)

2.  Coerce you into accumulating disabling debt:

An abuser may also try to force you into getting into debt so that you would have a hard time after leaving them. They might get credit in your name and run it up, or intimidate you into allowing them to buy things on your credit.

3.  Make it hard for you to find a lawyer:

Your mate may go "lawyer shopping" and consult with the best lawyers in town. Even though he/she may not plan on hiring them, this creates a conflict of interest so that the lawyers in your area can't be hired by you.

4.  Cut you off from assets:

Your abusive mate may work very hard to try to keep you from having anything after divorce. They may try to rush the divorce because they have hidden assets, or they may try to slow down things so much that you feel desperate to settle because you need some money. They may refuse to turn over assets even though this is illegal.

5.  Turn your children against you:

An abuser may not be satisfied with just leaving you penniless, giving you a criminal record, and ruining your credit. They may also want to keep the children from you, or harm your relationship with them. They may even try to program the children to lose all respect and affection for you. This is called "parental alienation."

To protect yourself:

You have to realize that an abuser does not think the same way you do, and you need to accept this even if you have a difficult time understanding it. While you may just want to feel happy and safe (and help your children grow up happy, healthy, and secure), an abuser wants you to feel powerless, so that they will gain control of the situation.

You also need to start becoming self-protective as you become aware. This means putting some money aside in a secret place or bank account, seeing a therapist to cope, and making rational plans to leave. If things start to get heated, leave immediately; you don't want to get hurt, or be a victim of abuse through the legal system.  You should find a family lawyer (at or another site) that understands what you are up against, and will give you some sound legal advice to cope with your soon-to-be ex's dirty tricks.