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How to Handle a Contentious Spouse During Divorce

 Posted on September 18, 2019 in Divorce

Wheaton divorce attorneyFor some, divorce can feel like a fresh start after being in an unhappy marriage; however, divorce can also bring out the worst in people. Many partners think they know their spouse, but there are times that a divorce can change a person completely, prompting them to act in ways that their spouse never imagined. Some divorcing couples become extremely argumentative and combative, making the divorce more difficult and emotionally stressful for everyone in the family. Whether you anticipated your spouse’s difficult behavior or were surprised by their attitude, here are a few tips to help you get through a divorce with a high-conflict spouse:

Minimize Contact With Your Spouse

One of the most important things you can do to deal with a high-conflict spouse is to limit your contact with them. Avoid speaking to them unless it is necessary for your divorce or for parenting reasons. When you do contact them, try to do so in written form, such as texting or emailing, to make it easy to record the conversation in case it may be necessary to provide evidence of your interactions. 

Remember to Pause and Breathe

High-conflict spouses will often do anything they can to get underneath your skin. They will try to push all of your buttons to get a reaction out of you, because for them, conflict is enjoyable and can be used to their advantage in the divorce proceedings. Do your best not to give them the reaction they are looking for. Take a deep breath, formulate a response, and then talk to them in a calm and collective manner. 

Do Not Try to Co-Parent

It can seem counter-intuitive to not work with your former spouse during or after a divorce, but with a high-conflict spouse, traditional co-parenting can be impossible. An option for parents with a highly contentious relationship is parallel parenting. Rather than working together, you and your ex parent separately. In other words, you set your own rules and stick to them. This can result in inconsistency between the households, but it can eliminate high levels of tension. For example, you and your former spouse may host separate birthday parties for your children, or you may have separate parent-teacher conferences with their teachers.

Hire a DuPage County Divorce Attorney for Legal Support

Even the most mutual divorces can be stressful, but a high-conflict spouse can make your divorce nearly unbearable. With help from a skilled Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer, your best interests will be the main priority. At the Goostree Law Group, our attorneys have more than 80 years of combined family law experience, and we have helped many clients successfully navigate high-conflict divorces. Call our office today at 630-364-4046 to schedule a free consultation.






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