High Conflict Divorce

For many, divorce is a high conflict event in their life. The stress and confrontation can be devastating. A true high conflict divorce is when a marriage ends and a war begins. Both parties can be high conflict individuals or just a single party. In some cases, the high conflict person may be abusive, controlling, narcissistic, or all of the above. Because of these character traits, every day and every aspect of the divorce (especially child custody and visitation) becomes a battle. More conflict means that your attorney has to spend more time on your case and that makes it more expensive.

If you find that no matter how reasonable and flexible you are, your spouse or ex-spouse, is causing conflict, do not follow their lead. Reach out to an attorney at the Law Office of Hernandez and Smith and discuss your options. There are certain expectations the court will have and you need to make sure you have the admissible evidence you need and that your case well organized and prepared.

Here are some tips to try and cope with your high conflict ex-spouse:

  • Keep your personal life to yourself. You are not obligated to share any information with your ex-spouse that does not relate to your children. This also goes for your ex-spouse; they do not need to share anything with you that does not pertain to the care of your children.
  • Avoid or limit time on social media. This will prevent you from oversharing personal information or resurface emotional hurt or grief if you see posts about your ex-spouse.
  • Ignore (but document) harassing messages or phone calls. Your ex-spouse may send you rude or angry emails, texts, or online messages. They may be about your personal life or how you choose to spend your time with your children. Do not respond to anything that does not require a response related to your children. If you are following the parenting plan, then you do not need to justify your actions. Document how often you receive these types of messages and confer with your attorney about the course of action you should take. If the messages contain any threats of bodily harm to you or your children, contact the police in addition to your attorney.
  • Explain to family and mutual friends who you share with your ex-spouse that you are going through a high conflict divorce and that as a result, you may be withdrawing from social media or certain social events in order to prevent your ex-spouse from crossing personal boundaries. Advise them to disregard any rumors that they may hear about you and ask them to not take part in the continuation of such rumors.
  • The stress of a high conflict divorce can be overwhelming – do not be afraid to seek professional help because of what your ex-spouse or others may think or say. Therapy can help you find the proper channels to establish emotional boundaries and off-set some of the stress or emotional strain your ex-spouse puts you through.

We have created a guide with recommendations for your parenting plan with a high conflict ex-spouse that can be viewed by clicking here.

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