The Dirty Tricks of Divorce and Custody Cases

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Child Support

I have been a family law attorney around 18 years. Avoiding child support seems to be an epidemic. Here are some examples of what I’ve seen to avoid child support:

  • Working on the side for cash, but there is no evidence;
  • Working a job that pays tips but there is either limited disclosure or the tip disclosure is far lower than what is actually received by that working party; and
  • Working a job where there are bonuses but failing to disclose them or when there is disclosure a party merely has the employer continue the bonus to the next year.

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is frequently a part of a custody or a divorce case when this has never been at issue before. One party will “push the buttons” of the other to get them to commit domestic violence. Grabbing a cell phone from the other party’s hand could be domestic violence. Pounding on the other party’s car when they are leaving with the child and everything else the parties own could be domestic violence.

A conviction of domestic violence usually entails that the party who was not the perpetrator gets primary physical custody of the minor children, child support, and the tax exemption for the child or children. This may also allow the person with primary physical custody to relocate at a later date from the State of Nevada upon a successful petition to do so.

Child Custody

Oftentimes, a party will lie to resolve custody in their favor by saying the following:

  • The other side can see the child or children whenever they want;
  • If that party is given primary physical custody, they will never ask for child support; or
  • If a party is given primary physical custody, they will never leave the state for relocation purposes.

Once the deceiving party gets what he or she desires, all representations are suddenly forgotten and they want child support, to relocate, etc. Consult with an attorney before you sign anything.

Spending Money

In a divorce case, one party often purchases a new vehicle in order to sell an existing car that has equity and to buy a much more expensive new car with a loan that eliminates the equity. The higher car payment could be used to minimize payment of alimony and get rid of the equity in the prior vehicle. Sometimes, a party will “rack up” debt and then use the debt as an excuse to reduce or eliminate any alimony payments. Excessive bills on the Financial Disclosure Form might also be used as an argument to reduce or eliminate an alimony payment.

Lawyer Tricks

The tricks are not limited only to the parties. Attorneys play tricks as well. One trick is to file an Opposition so late that this prevents a Reply from being filed. The attorney filing late then has a great opportunity to make false allegations of drug use, domestic violence, or something else that is difficult or impossible to refute without filing a Reply

After 18 years, there is not too much that surprises me. Having an experienced attorney that knows what to do in all of these situations and more can be critical to obtaining the best possible results when the dirty tricks are in play. Experience really matters and can make the difference between a terrible result and a very good result over the course of the litigation.

Brian J. Steinberg, Attorney