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How to handle a power imbalance in divorce

Divorce is naturally a difficult process to go through, but if a power imbalance exists between the two spouses, it can make the whole process even more traumatic for the spouse with less power.

If your husband or wife has been controlling and overpowering during your marriage, you may find comfort in learning that there are ways to level the playing field during your divorce.

In a healthy marriage, each spouse has the same value and worth. They will discuss issues and reach mutual decisions even if they have to compromise.

However, if your spouse assumed more power and tried to control you in the marriage, he or she will likely also try to maintain control of all the decisions in the divorce. This could leave you at a significant disadvantage.

Examples of circumstances that can cause power imbalances include:

  • Money -- If your spouse earns significantly more than you do, or if you are a stay-at-home parent, he or she may have controlled the finances during the marriage.
  • Using the children -- Your spouse might have been working on gaining the loyalty of your children, believing that the more popular parent has more power.
  • Loss of emotional investment -- If your spouse has become emotionally disengaged while you are desperately trying to save the marriage, he or she may seem to have all of the power.
  • Dominating personality -- Domineering individuals are typically also aggressive, and if you are one who would rather submit than be confrontational, your spouse will have all the power.
  • Alcoholism, abuse or addiction -- The presence of any of these can cause a power imbalance, if not treated.

If any of the above ring true, you may find comfort in knowing that the right divorce attorney can ensure that your voice is heard and your wishes are acknowledged.

How to choose a lawyer who can level the field

The good news is that you do not need to take on your controlling spouse by yourself. Being represented by an effective family law attorney is essential when there is a power imbalance in the marriage.

You need a lawyer who is aggressive and ready to stand up for your rights and opinions. At the same time, your lawyer should allow you to remain in complete control of the decision-making in your case. Keep these things in mind as you look for a lawyer who can best represent you.

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