How to Survive a High-Conflict Divorce

Fighting couple

When you walked down the aisle and said your vows, you might have never imagined that you would ever go through a divorce with the person you thought you’d spend forever with. Unfortunately, people change, situations change, and you and your partner may be in different places in life. Divorces can be extremely trying, even when both parties do their best to reach an agreement. However, in cases where one side has a high-conflict personality, divorce can go from difficult to disaster. They may participate in toxic behaviors, engage in emotional warfare, or refuse to cooperate with the process.

When dealing with a high-conflict divorce, your mental and emotional health may suffer. Take back control with these practical approaches.

Accept The Situation and That It’s Not About You

Accepting that your marriage isn’t working is not an easy realization to reach, but once you’ve acknowledged the situation, you can move toward a happier life—one without the pain, anger, fear, sorrow that you may currently be feeling.

As you go through the divorce process, try not to take things personally. It may be hard not to react, especially when your ex is emotionally terrorizing you, but they are lashing out because of their own insecurities. Just remember, even when your ex’s behavior is at its worst, it’s still about them, not you.

Minimize Contact

A high-conflict person typically thrives on confrontation, and they will likely manipulate your words and actions. The best way to deal with this type of ex is to minimize contact as much as possible. When possible, eliminate face-to-face meetings and always communicate in writing, even when you think a quick phone call will suffice. If an issue arises, pulling up texts, e-mails, and letters in court will be much easier than having a “he said, she said” moment. As you go through the proceedings, have your attorney take over communication.

Don’t React to their Manipulation

It’s not uncommon for toxic people to rile the other party up to get a reaction out of them. Engaging in this conflict will only prolong the divorce process and more emotional pain, even if you respond logically. Remember, the only thing you can control is your actions.

Because high-conflict spouses are manipulative, they won’t hesitate to use dirty tricks in a divorce. For example, they may gaslight you into saying things that would reflect poorly on you in court, or they might attempt to hide assets. Be vigilant to these behaviors and let your legal team handle matters.

Seek Experienced Legal Counsel

When dealing with a messy and contested divorce with a high-conflict spouse, it’s essential to find a skilled Chicago family law attorney. A skilled lawyer can help mitigate the damage of your spouse’s unexpected or manipulative ways.

Your attorney will be able to analyze your case and help you determine what course of action will be in the best interests of you and your family. This includes defining specific agreements into your child custody and visitation plan, property division, and financial matters like child support or alimony.

If you are considering divorcing a high-conflict spouse or are in the middle of a high-conflict divorce, the attorneys at Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. are here for you. We understand how exhausting and overwhelming this time can be, but we will do everything we can to provide you with sound guidance and support to protect your family. Getting through a high-conflict divorce requires strategic thinking and perseverance, but with the right amount of planning, emotional preparation, and the right divorce attorney, it is more than possible.

Call Law Offices of Jonathan Merel, P.C. today at (312) 487-2795 to speak to our compassionate lawyers.