What to know about navigating a high-conflict divorce in Massachusetts?

couple arguing

When a marriage ends, it is never easy, but navigating a high-conflict divorce can make the process even more challenging. Understandably, conflict is bound to arise when couples are burdened with determining the terms that will apply to the termination of their marriage, including custody, support, and property division. When one or both parties have combative personalities, it can escalate minor disagreements to significant disputes, making it impossible to cooperate to reach a mutually agreed-upon divorce settlement. As such, letting the constant emotional turmoil get the best of you in these situations can result in unfavorable divorce terms. Therefore, to ensure a favorable outcome, you must know how to handle a high-conflict divorce properly. Please continue reading to learn the different approaches you can use to deal with high-conflict divorce and how our dedicated Bristol County Divorce Issue Lawyers can help you today. 

What is a high-conflict divorce?

Disagreeing with your spouse on contentious issues does not necessarily mean you are dealing with a high-conflict divorce. A high-conflict divorce occurs when combative individuals intentionally engage in negative behaviors that derail the process and cause unnecessary emotional pain to one another. Individuals with combative or high-conflict personalities typically avoid taking responsibility for their actions and often portray themselves as victims. They may exhibit erratic behavior and struggle with decision-making due to their inability to manage their emotions, often resorting to extreme actions. As such, it can make handling the divorce process seem impossible. However, with the assistance of an experienced divorce lawyer, you can utilize practical strategies to navigate your divorce and achieve favorable divorce terms.

How should I handle a high-conflict divorce in Massachusetts?

Fortunately, there are several different strategies that you can follow to deal with a high-conflict divorce:

  • Keep conversations brief. The best way to navigate a high-conflict divorce is to minimize contact. Individuals with combative personalities thrive on confrontation, so they will use an opportunity to provoke you into an argument. They will twist what you say and use your words against you to antagonize you. Therefore, you should eliminate face-to-face meetings and keep communication neutral through writing. This may include emails and text messages, and even letters in court will help mitigate the risks of being reactive to their responses.
  • Don’t let your emotions control you. Although emotions run high when dealing with a divorce, you should not let them control you, as it can impair your decision-making. Emotional outbursts can result in the court thinking you are acting in bad faith. You should be prepared for the worst and manage your emotions to ensure you do not say or do anything that can be used against you.
  • Don’t involve your children. It may seem harmless to disparage your spouse to your children. However, it can have a negative impact on their well-being. To safeguard your child’s best interests, keep your emotions to yourself and refrain from speaking about your former spouse in front of them, as they may feel inclined to pick a side.

As you can see, several practical approaches can help you best handle a high-conflict divorce. If you’re currently facing a high-conflict divorce, contact an adept lawyer from The Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C., who can help protect your future.