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Divorce from high intensity spouse can require extra preparation

It is never easy to end a marriage. Even so, some couples are able to split relatively quickly and amicably. On the other end of the spectrum, some divorces can feel almost like a winner-take-all competition.

If you spouse is a high-power individual, it is possible that attributes that in some contexts might have made them a bully have actually propelled them to success in the Darwinian business world. These attributes do not always make for an easy transition back into single life.

There's an old adage: "Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?" Well, these individuals want to be right, and don't care what it costs them or how long it takes to try to prove it in divorce court.

There are some measures you can take to help yourself through a divorce with a controlling spouse. Of course, you'll need the right legal help. You should also begin establishing your own financial presence as soon as you are able; start squirreling away funds that can see you through the divorce comfortably. Establish your own bank and retirement accounts and begin building your own credit; close jointly held accounts as soon as you are able.

You also want to keep impeccable records. Make copy of financial information for shared accounts, and get your hands on the last several years of tax returns. Some high intensity individuals are not above trying to hide assets or attempting to sneak more than their fair share out of joint accounts.

Above all, keep the right attitude. Don't let yourself fall into their contentious game - they enjoy playing it, and coming off as indifferent may take the wind out of your former partner's sails. Remember at all times that as tough as it may be to divorce a bully, it's far easier than being married to one.

Source: USA Today, Protect your finances while divorcing a bully, Elizabeth MacBride, June 23, 2013

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