In case you missed Part 1, click here for my earlier countdown of the Top Ten Dirty Divorce Tricks, numbers 10 to 6.
Here are numbers 5 to 1:
5. Spending money wildly, as a form of “payback”. Some spurned wives choose to take revenge by spending as much as they can on their husbands’ credit cards before the husbands realise what is going on. One client of mine with an Amex Centurion card received a credit card bill for £30,000 for jewellery purchased by his wife from Cartier. A further £20,000 had been taken off his card and to pay her lawyer’s bills. In such cases, the household bills may well be left unpaid. The court does have power to add back wasted monies, so all is not lost.
4. Assaulting the spouse and the new partner. This tends to prove much more satisfying if it takes place in public, thus causing the maximum possible embarrassment. I was involved with one case in which the wife was found to have hired a hitman against her husband. In another case, the wife threw a brick through the front window of her dentist husband’s surgery. This was a whammy in more ways than one as the glass shattered all over the practice nurse - also the husband’s new lover - who had been sitting at her desk by the window!
3. Using a “friend” as a spy, to gain access to the lawyer’s office and learn at firsthand what is going on. This is the height of sneakiness. A girlfriend pretends to befriend the wife, offers a helping hand with the lawyers, gets to know the tactics and advice - then reports everything back to the husband.
2. “Conflicting out” the spouse’s lawyer. A good lawyer can bring about an extremely successful outcome. It is better to get that lawyer onside - or make sure that the lawyer is placed out of bounds. Many a time I have been aware that this is happening to me. On one occasion, the husband telephoned ahead for an emergency appointment and was prepared to fly over from the Caribbean to see me. On another occasion, a husband thought he had successfully conflicted me out….by consulting a lawyer at my husband’s offices. Sadly for him our two firms, Stowe Family Law LLP and Grahame Stowe Bateson, are completely separate. His dirty trick failed.
1. If all else fails…running off with the divorce lawyer! Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, and this has been known to happen. It certainly gives an unfair advantage, with vastly reduced legal fees. In one case, a devious spouse began an affair with his divorce lawyer. Having paid out his wife, he swiftly married his well-to-do new love!
Nicknamed "The Barracuda" for her tenacity, Marilyn Stowe is one of the UK’s most sought after divorce lawyers, and is the senior partner at Stowe Family Law.