The divorce process in America has become much more streamlined in the modern age, which might garner mixed opinions from various groups of people. Like it or not, it has become realistic for couples to go through each of the steps it takes to end their marriage in a matter of months (and sometimes faster), without ever having to see their spouse again. Essentially, it is possible to remove much of the conflict from divorce, if that is the couple’s goal.

However, at the end of the day, divorce is still divorce. There are still intense emotions involved, and sometimes those emotions take center-stage. The bitter courtroom battles that are often portrayed in movies and on TV do still happen, and things can get out of hand quickly. If your divorce is filled with conflict and tension, or if you’re prepared for it to be, you have a long and difficult journey ahead of you.

We won’t sugarcoat things for you: a high-conflict divorce will likely take a major emotional, psychological, and financial toll on your life and impact your future for years to come. It’s important to remember, though, that you will get through it. You are resilient and you deserve to live a beautiful life!

The most important thing you can do right now is educate yourself on effective strategies for enduring your high-conflict divorce; this will be crucial to protecting your mental health and regulating your emotions during a time when it would be easy to let them overpower you. In this blog, we’ll explore practical strategies and tips to help you navigate the turbulent waters of this challenging period of your life.

Understanding High-Conflict Divorces

It’s estimated that around 15% to 30% of American divorces are considered “high-conflict,” characterized by the prolonged legal battles and bitter disagreements that they typically involve. Because of this, it is nearly impossible for the couple to communicate effectively or reach mutually-beneficial resolutions. Cases like these necessitate frequent court appearances, extensive litigation, and a high level of legal involvement.

The most common causes of high-conflict divorce are issues such as infidelity, allegations of substance abuse, allegations of domestic violence or abuse, financial dishonesty, and custody battles. It’s even probable that one or both spouses will engage in destructive tactics such as manipulation, coercion, or alienation, which only further escalates the conflict. Because of this, it is especially crucial that anyone involved in a divorce like this takes extra precaution to safeguard their mental and emotional health.

Legal Options And Strategies

The first form of protection in any high-conflict divorce is a skilled attorney – more specifically, one that has extensive experience in these types of cases. An aggressive, albeit strategic, approach is usually the best course of action to ensure that you are not disadvantaged by your spouse’s toxic behavior. However, there is a fine line between an attorney who will do anything to protect your rights and fight for you within the parameters of their role as your legal counsel, and one who only exacerbates the conflict and prolongs your divorce. It’s critical that you know the difference, because reaching a resolution and moving on with your life should be your ultimate goal.

Additionally, it is vital that you document everything – and we mean everything – in order to protect yourself; every interaction, every altercation, every incident, and every conversation that isn’t already documented. This documentation can and will likely be used in court, so the more detailed, the better.

Communication Techniques

If you and your spouse share children, there is a good chance you’ll still have to communicate with your spouse throughout your divorce, no matter how tense things are. Clear and concise communication is essential during a high-conflict divorce. Aim to keep your interactions straightforward and focused on the facts, while avoiding using any emotionally-charged language. It is best if all communication is kept digital, such as through texts or emails, so that there will always be a record of your conversations.

If even this isn’t possible without arguments starting or harsh words being spoken, communication may have to be limited to your respective attorneys. In rare cases, mediation or counseling could be beneficial in reducing existing conflict and fostering better communication in the future. These services provide a neutral environment where both of you can express your concerns and work towards mutually acceptable solutions.

Additionally, setting and maintaining boundaries is crucial for protecting your emotional well-being. Establish clear limits on what is acceptable behavior and communication, and adhere to them to minimize stress and maintain your mental health throughout the process.

Managing Child Custody And Visitation

For high-conflict couples, the traditional co-parenting model may not be permissible. Instead, parallel parenting might be the option that breeds the least amount of conflict and protects the best interests of your kids. You’ll likely need to obtain a temporary custody and visitation order if you and your spouse cannot agree on how to share your parenting time while your divorce is in progress. When exchanging your children, always pick a public place, and try not to engage your spouse in any conversation that could lead to arguments. Above all, do your best to shield your children from the ongoing conflict between their parents.

Financial Planning And Protection

Conflict in divorce is never good for your money, but there are things you can do to protect your financial future. First you need to get an accurate picture of your finances, including all of your marital assets and debts, as well as your projected expenses. Gather your records and documents and be sure to share them with your attorney. Don’t try to hide assets from your spouse, as this could come back to bite you. Likewise, if you think your spouse has hidden or will hide assets from you, tell your attorney. It may be necessary to consult with other financial professionals at some point, such as CPAs or forensic accountants.

Emotional And Psychological Support

It can’t be overstated how important it is for you to protect your peace during this time. Surround yourself with a strong support system, whether that consist of friends, family members, support groups, or professional counselors. Maintaining your own self-care is also paramount to keep your spirits up and remain in a positive mindset. Cherish your time with your kids, find new hobbies (or rediscover old ones!), exercise, and get plenty of sleep. You will get through this!

Hembree Bell Is Prepared To Fight Alongside You. Don’t Delay Securing Aggressive Representation!

Our legal team will adamantly defend your rights and build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Each of our attorneys are passionate, careful, and share one goal: making your life better. Even though a contentious divorce is not typically a positive experience, we believe that the right representation can make all the difference. Our representation can help your interests succeed. Call today to book your free case evaluation and learn more about how we can be your ally!

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