Tips on How To Deal With A Controlling Spouse During a Divorce


A controlling spouse is likely to cause you distress before and during a divorce. Such a spouse will also cause you a lot of unnecessary grief after the divorce if you do not deal with him or her properly during the divorce. If you are reading this post, you probably believe that you have a controlling spouse who constantly dictates what your actions and your children’s actions should be. This could even be a factor of why you are facing a divorce or is considering one now.


A controlling spouse means an unhappy marriage. After all, you probably entered the marriage with expectations that your partner will support your independent thoughts and judgments and what happened is just the opposite. A divorce with a controlling spouse can have different circumstances from a normal divorce.



Planning a Divorce When You Have a Controlling Spouse


A controlling spouse is a marital headache. There’s no other way but their way. They are always critical and inflexible. The worst thing is that if a situation is not going the way of the controlling spouse, he or she can turn it against the other spouse. The controlling spouse can also manipulate things in the marriage to make sure that he or she gets what he or she wants every single time. It can be extremely trying for the other spouse, and divorce is likely to come into the picture. However, just because you are undergoing divorce does not mean that you’re safe from your spouse’s controlling claws.


So, if you are dealing with a divorce with a controlling spouse, there will be more things for you to consider. Therefore, you’d have to plan for your divorce properly, setting goals along the way. There is a chance that your divorce case will never reach a trial and you can end up with a settlement through a mediation instead. This all depends on how you plan for your divorce with your controlling spouse. Let your attorney know exactly what you wish to achieve so that both of you can plan accordingly.


Plans are essential when you go through a divorce. It becomes even more important with a controlling spouse in the picture. If you don’t plan enough, your spouse will probably do it for you since his or her control issues will certainly lead to that.



The Best Way to Approach A Controlling Spouse in a Divorce


First and foremost, you’d need to create goals that will help you to be stable and productive even after the divorce is over. It would be in your best interests to seek the advice of an expert family law attorney. It would be helpful if you specifically seek out an attorney with a successful experience dealing with a client with a controlling spouse. Such an attorney would be ready with a plan on how to deal with a party with control issues during the divorce. Your attorney will help you keep your sanity during an extremely trying period of your life.


In setting goals, you need to do more than just wish for something to come true. You need to write down specifically what you wish to accomplish at the end of the divorce. Make sure that you have strong plans that can counter those of your controlling spouse. Make it a point to meet with your attorney before he or she files your petition for divorce to go over your plans and to plan your course of action better. Make sure your attorney fully knows your goals before starting the divorce process.



Prepare for Your Case


The best way to approach the divorce with a controlling spouse is to prepare for the divorce when your spouse cannot even imagine the thoughts of divorce ever crossing your mind. Preparing for divorce early will give you an advantage. A controlling spouse during a divorce could potentially attack you first the first chance he or she gets after you file for divorce.


If you can, start collecting documents and written evidence when your spouse is least suspicious. You can gather important evidence for your case without your spouse becoming aware of your divorce plans. It can be a challenge in some cases since a spouse with control issues is involved. Your case can potentially include a lot of negotiation and discussion with your spouse and his attorney. You can definitely end the divorce through a settlement if you receive an offer that is satisfactory for you and the interests of your child.


The thing is, a lot of spouses who have controlling streaks tend to limit their spouse’s access to financial paperwork and other documents once they know that a divorce is inevitable. This makes gathering evidence for your case difficult. This can also put you at a disadvantage especially when you are seeking to end the marriage with a settlement.


What To Do

Ask your attorney what documents or evidence would be necessary for the case even before filing a divorce petition. You can then collect the documents quickly before your spouse realizes your plans for divorce. Always remember that preparation is your best bet when it comes to divorcing a spouse with control issues. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.





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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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