Some women who are in the midst of a divorce fail to recognize the surreptitious tactics employed by their husbands to prevent them from receiving their fair compensation. This is particularly true in high-asset divorce situations, where the men generally have access to well-trained attorneys who are accustomed to securing divorce decrees that are most advantageous to their clients. Advocates say that women should not despair, though. A variety of options are available to make sure they get a fair share during the divorce proceedings.
One tactic that is often employed by soon-to-be ex-husbands is called "conflicting out" the top lawyers within a jurisdiction. The man will set up short appointments with each high-powered lawyer in the nearby region. During the meeting, he will share enough information to create an attorney-client relationship, which will then prohibit that lawyer from representing the woman. Even if the man does not choose to employ the services of that attorney, fewer options exist for the woman in the case. Celebrities such as Heidi Klum and Seal have squared off in a similar fashion. Klum reportedly went "attorney shopping" before their split.
Divorce professionals encourage women to employ the services of an attorney as soon as possible to avoid this situation. If the woman procrastinates when she is deciding upon legal representation, she could lose out on some of the top professionals in the area, which means she will also likely lose out during the divorce itself.
Other tactics employed by men during divorce proceedings can halt or delay the process so that the woman's legal fees are driven sky-high. This "stall and delay" tactic can delay the distribution of assets from alimony payments and other funds and it can ultimately force the woman to accept an unsavory settlement offer because of financial difficulties. Conversely, the man may pressure the woman to proceed too fast through the divorce, which generally indicates that they want to hide some asset or fund for their own personal use. Sometimes, the women have not received all of the important discovery documents that they need and they are left with fewer marital assets than they deserve.
Finally, men may deny access to some financial resources because women are only minimally involved in the family finances. The husband can leverage the woman's ignorance of everyday expenditures to hide liquid assets, moving money into secret accounts. This can leave women without the financial abilities to pay for groceries and other critical items and it can be particularly difficult for abused women who live in fear of harm to themselves and their children.
Husbands who fail to pay the court-ordered support and who refuse to relinquish their assets are breaking the law and women need to ensure that they are prepared to fight back. Family courts often do a poor job of enforcing financial rules and so women need to prepare themselves before they embark upon the divorce process to guarantee that they receive fair compensation.
Source: Forbes, "How 'conflicting out' top divorce attorneys can impact your divorce," Jeff Landers, April 17, 2012