Divorce Chicago Style: Tricks or Treats at Halloween?

As children plan their costumes and get excited about “trick or treating” this Wednesday, I am reminded of the dirty tricks spouses play on each other before, during and after a divorce.

Here is a list of examples compiled from friends, books, court cases and my own experience. For the purposes of this post, I am assuming that the husband is doing the “tricking.”

  • Cancelling the credit cards without telling the other spouse so that when she tries to use them she can’t buy groceries or gas.
  • Sneaking valuables out of the house before the other spouse has a chance to take inventory or has a clue that a divorce is about to start.
  • Sending the support check written with the wrong amount. This requires a request for a replacement check and thus a delay in getting the support.
  • Demanding primary custody of your children even though he would have agreed to a joint custody or visitation arrangement.

You will probably be terrified or at least angered by these and similar actions.

The offending spouse is hoping to wear you down and that you will agree to a less than fair settlement.


My advice: Stay calm, do not retaliate and keep notes about the events. Keep your attorney informed and rely on his/her advice. Make sure that you have an emergency fund for essential expenses at all times. I believe that life has a way to resolving injustices, even if the courts do not always address them.

So don’t retaliate, notate!

Send me your examples of "dirty divorce tricks."

Here’s hoping you get more treats than tricks on Wednesday!


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