Escalated tensions in your marriage made you realize that it was time to go your separate ways. Words as well as objects were flung. The physical dangers and venom spat out between the two of you was just too much. You have to get out of this contentious marriage.
Now, you must do so carefully, tactfully and strategically. Careful steps must be taken when involved in a high-conflict divorce situation. You did not want things to end this way with your spouse, but they have as adult-like behavior has disappeared. Understand that you must get through this minefield, and you can do so while maintaining your dignity.
Protect the kids, take the high road
Keep your mind on resolution. Here are some crucial issues to address in a high-conflict divorce matter:
- Protecting your children remains the priority: Your kids more than likely witnessed some of this toxic behavior between their parents. They remember, and they hurt. Put yourself in their place to understand their feelings and concerns. This also is the time to stop saying negative things about the other parent.
- Protecting yourself is a close second: If you have been targeted by physical, verbal and now legal attacks from your estranged spouse, do not take the bait. Set firm boundaries, minimize contact and carefully document any incident in which your estranged spouse attacks, harasses and lies to you. And never be alone with him or her.
- Always take the high road: Avoid the behavior that got you to this point. Stand firm in avoiding arguments or conversations that get “lost in translation.” Your estranged spouse is responsible for his or her own behavior, and you cannot control that. But you can maintain your composure.
- Work with a dependable family law attorney: A reliable, experienced and empathetic legal advocate provides the guidance and understanding you need. An attorney likely has seen every divorce scenario and knows how to tactfully handle it. He or she will prepare all legal documents, including those related to parenting plans and even restraining orders.
The bitterness of a high-conflict divorce stings. Do your best to shield yourself and your children from its effects. In time, you will recover and so will your children.