unhappy couple arguing on couch

When a marriage ends, it can be an emotionally overwhelming and frustrating experience. As such, conflict is bound to arise as you and your spouse will have to iron out the terms that will apply to the termination of the marriage, including custody, support payments, and property division. While it is understandable that some disputes may arise during a divorce as parenting time and hard-earned assets are at stake. However, when disagreements become so intense that they disrupt daily life and have a negative impact on the children, and no amount of mediation can help, it has evolved into a high-conflict divorce. A high-conflict divorce can be challenging to navigate as disagreement can become a battle, making the divorce go from difficult to disastrous. If you’re currently facing a high-conflict divorce, contact our experienced Monmouth County Divorce & Separation Attorneys, who can help you utilize practical approaches to help minimize the fallout of the dissolution of your marriage. 

What is a high-conflict divorce?

If an agreement cannot be reached between spouses regarding the terms that will apply to the termination of their marriage, it does not necessarily mean that they’re facing a high-conflict divorce. When disagreements regarding custody, support payments, and property division evolve into major disputes that disrupt everyday life, and no amount of refereeing works, it is considered a high-conflict divorce. Typically, one or both spouses engage in negative behaviors that intentionally derail or prolong the divorce process. They do this to inflict unnecessary emotional pain on one another out of spite. In cases where one party has a high-conflict personality, the other party needs to use practical approaches to de-escalate intense battles to reach a favorable divorce settlement agreement.

How should I handle a high-conflict divorce in New Jersey?

While getting through a divorce can be extremely trying, especially when one party refuses to cooperate, the other must utilize specific strategies to negotiate with a high-conflict person. Firstly, you should minimize contact or at least keep communications neutral. A high-conflict person will thrive on confrontation. Therefore, they will likely say and do things to provoke you to ignite an argument. To prevent this from happening, you should keep things short and sweet. You should try to only communicate in writing and quick phone calls if necessary. However, you should eliminate face-to-face meetings. It is also imperative to avoid being reactive. Regardless of their responses, keep your communications brief and informative, remaining in a natural zone.

Furthermore, you should keep your feelings to yourself. You should avoid disparaging your spouse to your children as it may make them feel like they have to pick a side, ultimately negatively impacting their overall well-being. Therefore, as tempting as it may be to protect your children’s best interests, you should not bad-mouth your spouse in front of your children. Keep negative comments to yourself to safeguard your children’s emotional, mental, and physical well-being.

There are several strategies spouses can utilize to handle a high-conflict divorce. If you’re currently facing a high-conflict divorce, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted attorney from the legal team at Paone Zaleski & Murphy today. Our firm is prepared to guide you through this complex legal process to help you achieve a favorable divorce settlement agreement.