Unfortunately, many people turn out to be bullies during divorce even when they did not manifest signs of aggressive and violent behavior before they got down on their knee and popped the question to their fiancée-to-be. Verbal and physical abuse is the most common form of bullying during the marriage, but have you ever heard of bullying during a divorce?
It often happens that a spouse who has not previously displayed signs of bullying behavior begins to bully his or her spouse during a divorce. If this is the case in your situation, how do you cope with a bullying spouse and how do you mediate your divorce if your partner is a bully?
This is the question we asked our Salt Lake City mediation attorney at The Ault Firm.
How do I know that my spouse is a bully?
Some of you might wonder, “How do I know that my spouse is a bully?” What does bullying look like during a divorce? Some of the most common forms of bullying in a divorce include but are not limited to:
- Making false allegations about their spouse;
- Making up stories and past incidents that paint you in a bad light;
- Threatening with physical abuse or other types of retaliation if you do not agree to his or her terms;
- Threatening to take full custody of your children;
- Threatening to prevent you from seeing your children;
Hiring an experienced mediation attorney in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah to intimidate you or coerce you into making poor decisions.
The only source of power that drives bullies is your fear and inability to stand your ground. The biggest mistake you can make when dealing with a bullying spouse in a divorce is not doing anything and not pushing back. Do not let your spouse feed on your fear and inaction.
Ensure your safety
Just because your partner is a bully it does not necessarily mean that he or she wants to cause you physical harm. But, unfortunately, many bullying partners are abusive and even dangerous.
If your spouse displays bullying behavior in a divorce, make sure you and your children stay safe. Consider speaking with a skilled divorce lawyer to find out about your options on getting a restraining order against the violent and abusive spouse.
With a restraining order, you can teach your bullying spouse a lesson. Most bullies do not respect the personal boundaries of their victims, which is why setting clear boundaries with a restraining order can ensure your safety and show them that you can fight back.
Keep records and record conversations
Typically, bullies never shy away from expressing their anger and violence, even in written and verbal conversations via electronic communications. If you are dealing with a bullying partner in divorce mediation, you can benefit from keeping records of the emails and text messages your bullying spouse sends you as well as recording phone calls and in-person conversations with the bully.
Remember: Utah law permits recording verbal communications with other parties as long as you are one of the parties to the communication. In other states, meanwhile, you would have to get their consent prior to recording.
Don’t be rushed into making ill-judged decisions
Making ill-judged decisions in divorce mediation is the worst mistake you can make during a divorce, and bullying spouses are hell-bent on forcing you to make mistakes.
Do not let yourself be rushed into agreeing to your spouse’s terms and conditions. Instead of making poor decisions, consult with a Salt Lake City mediation attorney from The Ault Firm to speak about your particular case. Schedule your consultation by calling at 801-539-9000.