Nobody walks joyously down the aisle thinking that the person in front of them will make their life a living nightmare one day. However, when it comes to divorce, you may be surprised what people are capable of. Before you start the divorce process, you may want to have an idea of just how much conflict will be involved. After so many years of experience in family law, our attorneys have seen it all. And, from what we’ve seen, there are five big signs a divorce is going to be high-conflict.
Filing Lots of Motions
If your ex has hired an attorney who is notorious for filing a lot of motions and really dragging out the divorce process, you may be in for quite a ride. When some people are going through a divorce they may be overcome by strong emotions that inspire them to act in ways they wouldn’t normally. If they are not able to cope with it effectively, they may hire an attorney who is willing to help them fight over even the smallest assets. Or, they may have their attorney drag out the divorce process to bankrupt their spouse, or cause emotional damage.
When personality disorders get involved, divorces can easily become high-conflict. Certain personality disorders can cause people to be self-centered, dramatic, and lacking in empathy. Any of these traits on their own may contribute to a high-conflict divorce. If your ex does not have a personality disorder, but they have traits of a personality disorder, they can still make the divorce an extremely taxing process. When personality disorders are involved, the best thing you can do is react to your ex calmly and respectfully. It may be difficult, and your ex likely knows exactly how to push your buttons, but it is very important that you remain calm when personality disorders, or traits of them, are involved. People with personality disorders often act just to get a reaction out of you. Do not encourage their bad behavior.
One Spouse Controls All the Money
When one spouse controls all the money with an iron fist, that’s typically a bad sign. If your ex was extremely controlling when it came to the marital finances, you may be in for a high-conflict divorce. Spouses who are financially controlling may not readily compromise on issues like the division of assets, or may even hide assets. This too could lead to a spouse becoming overly litigious, filing claim after claim in an attempt to manipulate you into giving up what you’re legally entitled to. In these situations, you need an expert attorney who has experience dealing with aggressive and manipulative exes.
Unwilling to Compromise
Attorneys can also spot a high-conflict divorce when they’re dealing with a spouse that is unwilling to compromise or won’t listen to any advice. During the divorce process, many people want it their way. However, in high-conflict divorces, at least one party is absolutely insisting on their way, at all costs, even when they know their demands are completely unreasonable. If this describes your ex, you may need to pick and choose your battles. But it’s important not to compromise too much on big issues like custody. A family law attorney can look out for you in these cases by making sure that your divorce is fair and balanced.