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Managing Parenting and Divorce with a High-Conflict Spouse

 Posted on December 29, 2022 in Divorce

DuPage County Divorce AttorneyDivorce is rarely simple or pleasant, but certain types of personalities tend to make the divorce process much more hostile. This can include personality disorders like Borderline Personality Disorder, paranoid schizophrenia and other mental illnesses, and even people who, while having no diagnosable issue, are just plain cruel or vindictive. 

Yet the divorce must go forward and for parents of young children, this means seeking a resolution to complex issues of parental responsibilities and parenting time. It can feel impossible to do this, but eventually, every divorce is concluded and every set of co-parents finds or is given a parenting agreement and you will get through yours, too.

Let Your Lawyer Protect You

While the divorce is ongoing, it is important to let your attorney manage issues with your spouse by communicating with your spouse’s attorney. If at all possible, avoid speaking with your spouse. You can request an interim parenting plan that dictates how parenting time will be shared and how children will be moved between households; doing so may be the best way to protect yourself and your child. If you must communicate with your spouse, do so only in writing so you can document any abuse or hostility. Depending on the levels of abuse, you may need to seek an Order of Protection that prohibits your spouse from contacting you or your child altogether. Each case is unique and your attorney can help you decide the best path forward.

When the Divorce is Over

Illinois law now prefers parents to share parental responsibilities and parenting time unless there is a compelling reason for only one parent to have full custody. Judges are usually hesitant to separate children from a parent except in the most extreme circumstances and may utilize tools like supervised visitation to make sure children are safe and can continue having a relationship with both parents. 

However, having strict boundaries in place does not mean the co-parenting process will be easy or straightforward. One option for parents who struggle to get along is a strategy known as “parallel parenting.” Parallel parenting essentially divides parenting into two separate areas that rarely or never overlap. Parents will not attend things like extracurricular events or parent-teacher conferences together. They will not talk to each other except in rare circumstances, and then again, only in writing if possible. Parallel parenting can allow both parents to maximize their relationship with their child while minimizing their exposure to each other. 

Call a Wheaton, IL High Conflict Divorce Lawyer

If you want to get divorced but are worried that your spouse could make the process miserable, get help from the experienced team of DuPage County divorce attorneys with Goostree Law Group. We have helped many people separate from spouses with personality disorders, mental illnesses, or combative personalities, and will do our best to guide you through the divorce process peaceably while still fighting to protect your interests. Call 630-364-4046 today and schedule a free consultation. 




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