How to Handle a High-conflict Divorce

Going through a divorce is stressful enough, with questions about custody, finances, and more. While many couples are able to amicably work out and settle their differences, others struggle to reach a resolution. Sometimes both parties are determined to fight it out. In many cases, however, it’s one individual who insists on making the process as difficult as possible. If you’re experiencing a high-conflict divorce in Greenville, SC, these are some tips for making it through.

Remember what you can and cannot control. Don’t assume that you can reason with the other party or make him or her see things from your perspective. Arguing is unlikely to accomplish anything but waste time and cause even more stress for you. The only one in the divorce that you can control is yourself. So it’s important to keep in mind how best to respond to conflict.

Don’t react. It’s easy to get angry after the other person has said something untrue, hurtful, or insulting. He or she may very well know which buttons to push, so this is most likely deliberate. Your ex is hoping to get some sort of reaction out of you, which may be used against you later. Treating the divorce like a financial transaction will help divest it of emotions.

Limit contact. Like any bully, a high-conflict person craves attention. To the extent possible, you need to deprive him or her of as much attention as you can. It starts with limiting contact. There will almost certainly be some interaction with the other person, especially if custody is involved. Be sure to check with your Greenville, SC family law attorney about the terms of any orders that may apply. If you restrict interactions with the other person to writing, you will have the added bonus of creating a record. Documenting communications in this way can potentially help your case later.

Set boundaries. It’s a good idea to let your ex know what you will and will not discuss with him or her. Set these boundaries early, and maintain them. Don’t allow an opening to talk about something you know will lead to trouble. Be prepared to walk away if your boundaries aren’t respected. The more consistently you practice this, the fewer opportunities will arise for harassing and demeaning treatment.

Keep your children out of it – and the same goes for your ex. Whether custody is involved or not, high-conflict individuals routinely try to weaponize their own children against the other party. This commonly involves using children as leverage or to get information from the other parent. It can be tempting to respond in kind, but your best bet is to stay above the fray. Be sure to notify your Greenville, SC family law attorney if your ex is using your children against you.

If needed, involve law enforcement. At some point, being a high-conflict person crosses the line into criminal territory. Stalking, threats, and related behaviors are not acceptable. Where possible, document the activity that you feel is in violation of the law. If you are facing physical violence or abuse, let your Greenville, SC attorney know right away. Also report any instances of defamation and other forms of harassment.

Find a support network. Whether through church, family, or even a strong network of friends, there is a group out there that can help. Divorce counseling is much more prevalent now, and has helped many people struggling through a divorce. Instead of venting at your ex (which will likely be counterproductive), rely on your network to hear your frustrations. Going through a divorce can be emotionally scarring to anyone. Fortunately, you’re not alone.

Divorce is Difficult – We’re Here to Help

No one asks for the emotional trauma of going through a divorce. And certainly, no one deserves to have to deal with someone intent on making the process unnecessarily painful. Keeping perspective and giving thoughtful consideration to the roadblocks you encounter will help your journey go more smoothly. To learn more practical tips for defusing conflict and to get the legal advice you need, call Greenville Family Law. Our dedicated team is ready to work with you through the hard times.

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