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What Can Be Used Against You in a Divorce?

Divorce is usually a time-consuming and exhausting process. It can become even more tense if one of the parties chooses dishonest divorce tactics and tries to accuse the other spouse of unacceptable behavior. Sometimes, to obtain sole custody or a larger part of joint property, spouses may resort to intrigues, looking for evidence of the other party’s wastefulness or irresponsibility towards children.

In this article, we will focus on what exactly your future ex can use against you during a divorce, what not to do until the dissolution of marriage is granted, and how to prevent unexpected results of the case. In addition, we will analyze the recommended post-divorce actions that will help you avoid any problems with the law and possible conflicts with your ex in the future.

Hidden Assets

In Arizona, spouses can independently agree on the division of joint property during a marriage dissolution. If they cannot find a compromise, the court will divide their assets in a divorce equitably (AZ ST 25-318).

Regardless of whether you decide on sharing the property yourself or with the help of the court, you need to list everything you own in the Petition for Dissolution of a Non-Covenant Marriage. You should indicate all real estate, motor vehicles, furniture, pension, and other assets and liabilities you and your spouse have.

Some parties resort to hiding financial information to decrease the amount of child support or alimony. If it appears you have some hidden assets, divorce may turn in an unexpected direction. For example, the court can change the proportion of property distribution or order you to provide more financial assistance to the other party if it is proven that your income is higher or you have more assets than indicated in documents. On the other hand, if you are the party receiving spousal support, its amount may be reduced.

Finding hidden assets will not be a problem if an experienced lawyer is involved in the case. All your purchases and actions with bank accounts can be tracked. If your spouse manages to confirm that you hid financial information from the court, it will affect the outcome of the divorce and may result in fines and other penalties.

Text Messages, Emails, and Communications

Your soon-to-be ex can use your text messages as evidence when trying to prove your infidelity, abusive communication, or even threatening. If you have conflicts over the terms of the divorce, and Facebook or any other social network contains the history of your communication with quarrels or accusations addressed to your spouse, it can have an impact on divorce outcomes. Even if you delete them later, you cannot be sure your spouse did not save them by taking screenshots.

The same concerns email communication. Some messages that do not contain profanity or offensive statements may be interpreted differently by the other party. Besides, even innocent photos of you hugging your friends can cause a new conflict and be used as evidence of adultery by your spouse. In other words, your future ex can claim that these are photos that caused divorce.

During the divorce, Facebook profile you maintain can also have a great influence on the case outcome. Your photos or posts that show contempt for your spouse can be used against you.

The only way to prevent the accusations is not to lose your temper and to remain calm when communicating with the other party. You need to try to reach a compromise to resolve the divorce issues without unnecessary insults. Also, you should not discuss the process of divorce and your relationship with the other party in correspondence with friends or colleagues.

Social Media Posts

Posts or videos on social media and divorce may also be related. More specifically, the other party can use them against you in court when matters of child custody, alimony, spousal support, and others are decided.

For example, if you brag about buying a new car while asking for spousal maintenance during court proceedings, it’s quite possible that your request won’t be granted. If you are filmed relaxing in a nightclub or drinking alcohol, it may affect the distribution of child custody. Your spouse can argue that you are not the responsible parent who can get joint parental rights.

Although you can maintain social media profiles, announcing divorce on Facebook is not the best idea. Your spouse may call your statements contemptuous or even outrageous. It does not mean you cannot publish new posts, but you should always consider what can be accessible to the general public.

Is it illegal to post pictures of your ex? It depends on who is in the photos and how they were obtained. If you or your family are also presented in these pictures and your spouse does not object, you can share them in your profile. If you have received them without permission or the other party is against disclosing their personal data, it may be considered a violation of law and human rights. To prevent conflicts, you should not post photos without your ex’s permission. You need to monitor the materials you make available to third-party access and the potential consequences of their distribution.

A History of Abuse

In Arizona, fault-based grounds for divorce are recognized only for covenant marriages. However, abusive behavior will have consequences for ordinary marriages as well. If you are a victim of domestic violence, divorce may not be granted on this basis. Still, the cruelty towards you will be taken into account when the court determines the conditions of marriage dissolution.

How abuse and divorce will be related and what the result of marriage dissolution will be depends on case-specific circumstances. Usually, during divorce, domestic abuse will have the greatest impact on the resolution of child custody issues. According to AZ ST 25-403.03, when deciding who will have custody of minor children, the judge will consider the best interests of the kids and analyze witness testimony, medical records, police reports, and other documents that may confirm the abusive behavior of the other party.

How to prove emotional abuse in divorce? Verbal abuse is often more difficult to establish. The injured spouse can evidence it by providing a video recording of the insults, involving witnesses, or showing threats in correspondence.

Divorcing an abusive husband who was convicted of a crime against you or another person will also affect the distribution of joint property. According to AZ ST 25-318.02, the court will not award any part of marital ownership to a spouse imprisoned for at least 8 years.


Divorce on the grounds of adultery is possible only in states where fault-based reasons for marriage dissolution are recognized. In Arizona, infidelity in divorce may be a legitimate reason to terminate marital relations if you have a covenant marriage (AZ ST 25-903). However, the fact that you can file on this basis will not mean that it will significantly change the consequences of your divorce.

Divorcing a cheating husband does not guarantee that you will receive a larger share of property or spousal support. Your partner’s cheating can have an impact only if you prove that they spent your joint money on the affair and were wasteful. In this case, the judge can change the proportion of property division; it can also affect the alimony award.

How Can You Protect Yourself During a Divorce?

The list of what to do during a divorce depends on the circumstances of your case, but the general rules are that you need to be honest and respectful with your future ex-spouse and the court.

Advice on what not to do during a divorce may include:

  • do not hide financial information,
  • do not try to blame the spouse if it is not their fault,
  • do not act without considering the consequences.

If you are interested in how to protect yourself during a divorce, below are some recommendations that can help you avoid an unexpected outcome of the marriage dissolution.

Be Mindful of the Text Messages and Emails You Send

In correspondence with your future ex, be respectful, do not let emotions take over, and do not write words that can be used against you. You should not disclose personal information about your case in text messages to third parties; if your data becomes available to the general public, it may also be harmful. Any manifestation of aggression in emails you send can lead to accusations of abusive behavior and affect the resolution of child custody terms.

Don’t Sign Anything

All documents you sign during your life, and especially divorce, should be carefully checked. Do not put your signature on papers until you familiarize yourself with their content. Your spouse may act deceptively and offer you to enter into agreements that will not be in your favor. If you engage a lawyer, you can ask for their advice before signing any paperwork if you have doubts about its legality.

Don’t Violate Court Orders

Every court order is binding. Violation of a court order may result in prosecution. The penalty for disobeying a court order will depend on the situation. It can be a fine, deprivation of some rights, or even imprisonment. If the judge has made a decision but you do not agree with it, violation of court order will not be the best decision. You need to file an appeal to ask the court to review the case and reconsider the divorce terms (AZ ST 25-325). It is the only legal way to change a court order.

Don’t Move Assets

When filling out the divorce papers, you must disclose financial information and list all your assets. You should not try to transfer marital property to a separate one; the same applies to your spouse. However, if you doubt their honesty and worry about “How do I protect myself financially in a divorce?” you can ask the court for a temporary order. This document will determine how to use your joint property during the divorce process and will protect the assets from moving by your future ex (AZ ST 25-316).

If you wonder, “How do I protect myself financially from my spouse?”, you can sign a marital contract before you get married to define your separate property. If you do not enter into it before marriage, in most cases, the only option to protect your finances during the divorce may be the issuance of temporary orders by the court.

To sum it up, many details can be used against you during the marriage dissolution. You can protect yourself if you act wisely and comply with current legislation.