It’s useless trying to get into the ‘hows’ of a divorce. Fact is women initiate seven out of ten divorces and it’s not difficult to see why divorce is such an inviting idea to them. They get to keep the kids, the house, the dog, the car and half or even more of the property. That’s not to say that a divorce doesn’t affect the woman. But you cannot avoid the fact that men end up with a very raw deal.

Mana The problem may not be with your former spouse – divorce has a tendency to turn otherwise good people into bloodthirsty vampires. And helping them is a skewed judicial system which ensures that women get the lion’s share of your assets. Divorce can be a dirty business – with the help of lawyers, your ex can easily play power games to gain an unfair advantage over you. Since the law isn’t going to change anytime in the near future, it’s in your best interest to ensure that you don’t end up holding the wrong end of the baton. Here are a few tips to help you get the better of your ex:

1. Prepare: Even before you file for divorce, you must prepare yourself emotionally and financially. This is going to be one of the biggest roller-coaster rides of your life and you must be ready for it. One of the first things you must do is get yourself a good divorce lawyer. With a capable lawyer, half of your battle is already won. Interview prospective lawyers to know more about your potential risks and how to avoid them. Once you and your lawyers have worked out a plan of action, you must organize your paperwork and keep it up to date.

2. List Your Assets: The next most important step is to list all of your assets. Most men are so busy slugging it out with their wives that they don’t realize the importance of creating an exhaustive list of all their assets. If you don’t know how much and what you own, how can you fight your ex. To begin your financial planning, gather all historical financial documents like tax returns, banking records, real estate purchase and sale documents and any other records that pertain to your assets. Ensure that this list of assets doesn’t fall into your spouse’s hands.

3. Role-play: This may sound funny but it can help you to overcome any roadblocks that you may face in the future. Take a friend or colleague into confidence and let them know what you plan to do. Next, practice different possible situations with them. This will help you anticipate and get past problems that may occur in the divorce proceedings.

4. Drain the bank: Now that you’ve prepared yourself mentally for the challenges ahead, it’s time to take action. If there are any jointly held bank accounts, withdraw all the money from these accounts and transfer the funds into an account in your name alone. Be careful not to divulge this secret to your spouse beforehand. Soon, you’ll be able to sit back and enjoy the fun as your ex-wife tries to handle the problems associated with covering the bounced checks.

5. Shred/ hide/ cancel credit cards: Your credit card is your weakest link. Ensure that your wife doesn’t take advantage of your card. Many wives have been known to use their husbands’ credit cards to purchase and stock up on personal items. Some of them even charge large purchases to the card. The husband is then stuck with the debt on the credit card as he probably had no idea about his wife’s sneaky ways. The best way to ensure you don’t fall into a similar trap is to cancel as many of your cards as possible. You could transfer the card to another issuer but make sure that your wife doesn’t know about this change. Once that is done, hide your card to ensure that your wife doesn’t have access.

6. Starve your spouse: If you want to settle the divorce on your terms, starving your spouse is the best method available. First, if you are the sole breadwinner, move out of the family home. Next, flatly refuse to pay any household bills or send any support until the court forces you to do it. Pursuing this method will, at some point, push your your wife into a financial corner. Desperation will then force her to agree to a settlement on your terms.

7. File Bogus Petitions: Trouble your wife by filing bogus petitions against her. You could even try to exclude her from the family home under your state’s protection from abuse laws.

8. Strike Fear In Her Heart: While it is true that mostly women get primary custody of the children, it is not a law etched in stone. Fathers too have won custody and take care of their children. Even if you don’t mind a joint custody or visitation agreement, go ahead and petition the court for primary custody of your children. This will ensure that she gets suitably frightened. Now you can use this fear to force your wife to reach an agreement – a financial one – on your terms.

9. Prolong the agony: Create issues where there are none and benefit from the ensuing conflict. You should avoid any kind of discussions with your wife including arrangements for her to have parenting time with your children. All this will ensure that the divorce is a prolonged affair and will finally wear your wife down. After all she’s not going to be too happy if she ends up losing all she has to her attorney before she gets her hands on any of your assets.

10. Delay Payment: In case you have no choice but to pay support money, there’s a method to make even this an agony for your wife. All you need to do is delay paying support money until the last possible day – even if you have the money to send. Before you do such a thing, do ensure that your spouse doesn’t have an income withholding order. Delaying support doesn’t become an offense in some states until it is 30 days past due. This means that your wife can only take legal recourse from day 31 and beyond. That gives you 29 days to get under her skin by delaying her support payment.

11. Be smart: The list above describes a few of the sneaky things you can do to guarantee that your wife doesn’t get away with daylight robbery. But before you adopt any of the above techniques, make sure that they are worth your while. If you have any children, acrimony between you and your wife could have a bearing on them. Also, the hard feelings and bitter aftertaste of your legal battles could hamper your chances of leading a normal life again.

Are you ready to face the consequences of this bitterness? If yes, then go ahead and use any of those methods. If not, be smart and negotiate a settlement that will be beneficial to both you and your wife.

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