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Getting Through a High-Conflict Divorce Without Losing Your Sanity

updated:
6/1/2023

Divorce can be a stressful, emotional, and overwhelming process. Unfortunately, things get even more complicated when there is high conflict involved. To make things easier for you, there is a high-conflict divorce attorney at the Hodgson Law Office who can help you with your divorce by navigating the legal complexities of the process, providing strategic advice and mediation between the parties, and helping to protect your rights and assets.

Whether you’re in the midst of a divorce right now or thinking about filing for one soon, it's important to understand how managing a high-conflict divorce can help protect your assets and safeguard your future.

In this blog post, we'll discuss what a high-conflict divorce involves, how to manage a high-conflict divorce, and ways to stay on top of the situation so that the entire process runs as smoothly as possible.

Breaking Down the Divorce Process — How to Differentiate a High-Conflict Divorce from a Regular Divorce

For couples who decide to go through a divorce, they should be aware that there are different levels of conflict and unmanaged emotions that can come up during this process. High-conflict personalities might have a more difficult time when it comes to disentangling their marriage.

A high-conflict divorce is a situation where the divorcing couple experiences intense emotions and their separation is anything but amicable, often due to high-conflict personalities. This type of divorce should be avoided if at all possible, as it can be damaging to the individuals involved and any children who may be present.

If a couple of suspects will have a high-conflict separation due to one or both of the partners having a high-conflict personality, the best course of action is to try and work out details with a mediator or legal professional who can explain the process objectively and without judgment.

They can also provide advice on how best to proceed to help minimize damage from arguments that could arise naturally between two people navigating such a difficult transition in life, especially if one of them is a high-conflict person.

high-conflict divorce attorney

How Long Do High Conflict Divorces Take?

Every year, thousands of divorces are filed around the world and while some settle quickly, many take a lot longer due to the complexity of the situation. High-conflict divorces often take much longer to unfold than the average time of 6 months — in fact, according to statistics, they can take up to 2 years or sometimes even more.

In such cases, both parties will have to work together with their respective legal representatives. Attorneys who understand high-conflict divorces will work hard to negotiate and resolve issues such as the division of assets, alimony payments, and other key details.

If you have a high-conflict spouse, know that any delays in communication between each side or any obstructions from both sides when it comes to progress can significantly increase the length of time for getting divorced in this scenario.

9 Effective Strategies for Surviving High-Conflict Divorce

how long do high conflict divorces take

1. Understand Your Legal Rights and the Process of a High-Conflict Divorce

Going through the process of a high-conflict personality divorce can be a difficult journey. It's important to understand your legal rights so that you can be properly prepared if tension arises.

Consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer and understanding applicable state laws are great places to start. Any skilled litigator or law firm should be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have, provide an overview of the legal proceedings associated with a high-conflict divorce case, and advise you on what legal documents need to be filed to move forward in the process. It's also important to create realistic goals as they'll help lay a proper foundation for the resolution of your disputes while minimizing negative comments.

Taking the appropriate steps and being aware of your legal rights is key when attempting to maneuver through this difficult time.

2. Analyze How the Court Will View the Situation in Terms of Child Custody, Alimony, and Division of Assets

When making decisions regarding child custody, alimony, and division of assets in people dealing with divorce cases, the court must consider a variety of factors.

The courts are primarily interested in protecting the best interests of any children involved in a high-conflict situation and will make all decisions based on their welfare. They'll look at both parents' ability to care for their child or children financially and emotionally before determining who should be the custodial parent.

Regarding alimony, courts may order one spouse to provide financial support to the other. This may be awarded to help the receiving spouse adjust to single life or maintain their standard of living until they can become self-supporting when the marriage ends.

Lastly, when dividing assets, fairly splitting between former spouses is preferred but courts may also consider each party's earning potential and need for certain items such as a house or car as well.

In conclusion, legal decisions regarding child custody, alimony, and asset division are complex and must be carefully weighed by judges to ensure that all parties receive fair treatment — especially when one or both parties are suffering from personality disorders.

3. Seek Legal Advice on How to Best Handle High Conflict Situations

Trying to navigate the waters of a high-conflict divorce can be overwhelming. It can be difficult to balance your emotions and needs, while also protecting yourself legally, especially when confronted with an aggressive or hostile other parent.

Seeking legal advice on how to best handle high-conflict situations with your former spouse is essential to ensure that you are making the right decisions and getting all of the help you need.

Attorneys in this field of law help divorcing couples with high-conflict personalities work through volatile disputes such as custody battles and financial disagreements, so it's important to find a lawyer with experience in high-event separations that can provide sound counsel and help mediate complex issues.

Furthermore, having a legal professional in your corner during this time can help reinforce that you aren't alone — someone besides your family members is there looking out for your rights and fighting for your best interests.

how to handle high conflict divorce

4. Create a Strategy for Co-parenting That's Positive and Effective

Creating a working strategy to co-parent after divorcing a borderline can be one of the most challenging endeavors imaginable, especially if there's built-up animosity between both parties. It requires designing a structure that will allow for effective communication, respect, and appreciation.

To accomplish this, start by emphasizing that consistent communication is key. Both partners should feel comfortable talking about their kids together and setting ground rules.

Additionally, if you are divorcing a high-conflict individual, consider drafting mutually agreed-upon rules for decision-making and discussing those decisions in private or through internet platforms to protect everyone's dignity and privacy.

Put in certain elements such as communication notes or online calendars where parents can log in to check children’s schedules and any other important items which may be pertinent to co-parenting success.

Working together in this way with your former partner will help create an atmosphere of respect, collaboration, and understanding which ultimately paves the way for positive outcomes down the road.

5. Understand Your Feelings and Emotions Throughout the Process

When going through a high-conflict divorce, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the intensity of emotions that often arise. It is important to understand these feelings to move forward in your healing and recovery process, and you'll want to practice self-care along the way.

Recognizing anger, sadness, disappointment, frustration, fear, and loss are all part of the journey during a high-conflict divorce. Taking time to actively listen to yourself can help identify those emotions and validate them as they resurface.

Accepting that you have gone through a great deal of pain can be difficult but necessary to move towards healing and new beginnings.

Through this understanding of self and your own emotional journey, you can provide yourself with the compassion and forgiveness needed for true closure.

divorce support group meeting

6. Take Care of Yourself by Finding Support and Getting Enough Sleep

Finding the right support system is an important part of taking care of ourselves, especially during difficult times like going through a high-conflict divorce.

Joining a dedicated support group for people in the same situation can connect you to resources, lessen your stress levels and allow you to trust that someone out there understands what you are going through — something that can be impossible to find on your own.

Additionally, getting enough restful sleep helps us to better cope with life's challenges, minimize contact with high-conflict people and give our bodies much-needed time to rejuvenate and rebuild themselves.

For anyone dealing with stressful situations, it's imperative that good sleep habits are developed and suitable calming activities are utilized to help take control of their emotions, making the entire process of healing easier.

7. Learn to Set Boundaries with Your Ex-spouse to Reduce Conflict

After a divorce, having to abide by boundaries with one’s ex-spouse can be difficult to adjust to - especially if the divorce was contentious and familial relationships are strained.

However, by setting consistent boundaries and sticking to them, both parties can work together and reduce disputes or additional conflict. For example, boundaries can include:

  • Communication “schedule” that outlines when and how often each individual is allowed to contact their ex-spouse;
  • Agreeing on prior approval for any big decisions involving both parties;
  • Enforcing financial/legal arrangements that have been agreed upon in court.

Doing such things can help create a healthy, functioning relationship between exes even after the finalization of a divorce, especially if one or both parties suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder.

8. Develop Healthy Coping Strategies When Dealing with Conflicts and Disagreements

Conflict and disagreement can lead to conflict and tension, making it difficult to find a solution with the other party. One way to minimize stress is by developing healthy coping strategies when encountering disagreements or extreme behaviors, especially if they're related to high-conflict divorces. These strategies can include:

  • Actively listening and remaining open-minded when put in those situations;
  • Setting boundaries for yourself and others involved;
  • Learning to compromise on certain issues;
  • Speaking honestly yet respectfully with everyone involved;
  • Expressing any feelings or emotions you are having in a positive manner.

Engaging in these behaviors will not only allow more effective communication but also better equip you to confront such experiences without feeling overwhelmed.

what is a high conflict divorce

9. Utilize Any Available Resources Such as a Therapist or Mediator to Help Resolve Disagreements

If your divorce is considered high-conflict, it's important to utilize any available resources such as a therapist or mediator to help resolve disagreements quickly and efficiently. A professional therapist can help you understand your feelings, how to manage them, and how to get through the process.

Mediation may be helpful for couples who have trouble articulating their points of view. It can provide an external source of communication that can guide you in making decisions together while helping each partner feel heard. Although it takes time and effort, if approached with respect, both parties can work to eliminate high-conflict behavior and progress toward resolution.

By exploring all available options including a high-conflict divorce therapist or high-conflict divorce mediation services, couples going through a separation have the best opportunity to come to a settlement that works for everyone involved.

Get Deft Divorce Assistance in Washington State from the Hodgson Law Office

Navigating a high-conflict divorce can be very stressful and overwhelming for those with a high-conflict personality. It's important to remember that you have rights and it is important to understand these rights, the process of a high-conflict divorce, how the court will view your situation, and how to use resources like a therapist or mediator to help resolve disagreements.

Create strategies for co-parenting that are positive and effective so you can create a healthy environment for your children, especially when dealing with high-conflict people or those with personality disorders. Take care of yourself throughout the process by understanding your feelings, getting enough sleep, and finding support if needed. Finally, remember to keep boundaries with your ex-spouse to reduce potential conflicts from arising, and remember to focus on taking care of your mental health.

If you're facing a challenging situation in your divorce proceedings, our compassionate team at the Hodgson Law Office is here to provide you with personalized support. Our experienced attorneys will discuss the best options for resolving high-conflict scenarios, so don't hesitate to contact us for help.

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Mark D. Hodgson

Mark D. Hodgson

Mark D. Hodgson and his legal team at Hodgson Law Office provide exceptional, personalized representation in family law and divorce cases. With a commitment to trust, integrity, and vigorous advocacy, Hodgson Law Office offers reliable and compassionate legal assistance for all your family law issues.

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