How can a lawyer help you divorce a spouse who’s very controlling?
That is such a common scenario. So often I have people coming in to see me and they’re being controlled by their spouse, and the that the control has been going on for just years and years. What you need to do is hire an attorney who becomes the bad guy for you; hire a good, experienced attorney and let that person be the one who talks to your spouse’s attorney, or to your spouse if he refused to hire an attorney, and work out the details.
If you have been controlled over the course of years then your spouse knows the buttons to push, and every time he pushes those buttons you react in a prearranged behaviour that has been burned into your psyche. So you need somebody to break you from that habit.
My clients regularly come to me and say “but he says” or “but she says,” and I try to emphasise with them is that we no longer care about what their spouses say. So many spouses have lived their whole married life with what their spouse saying being the way that things must be, and that pattern, in particular, must be broken. Having an attorney that can stick up for you is the way to expedite that process.
Janet E. Boyle is a partner at Boyle Feinberg Sharma in Illinois.