Deescalating a tough divorce

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in family law on Friday, September 22, 2017.

While some divorces are relatively quick and painless, others can be drawn out and brutal. When a toxic ex makes separation complicated, there are things that a Missouri divorcee can do to make the process easier.

People who are narcissists or have high-conflict personalities could use a divorce to make drama. They might hide marital assets, use intimidation tactics, pick pointless fights and drag out the dissolution process. It is important for the other person to stay level-headed and not take the bait when goaded as this is unlikely to solve anything.

If verbal communication leads to arguing or yelling, then switch to writing messages instead. Spouses can text, email or send messages via attorneys and use neutral, short messages to eliminate conflict. If one spouse does explode and writes something inflammatory, then this conversation will be documented and could be presented in court. When dealing with a troublemaker, temporary arrangements before a divorce is finalized should also be in writing. If support and custody orders are written and signed, one partner cannot go back on an agreement like they could with a verbal plan.

While some exes can be toxic, many may be unpleasant but not dangerous. No one has to endure the latter, and a restraining order could be necessary if a spouse is violent or harassing toward the other.

Sorting out issues like property division, child custody and alimony may be more difficult if one person insists on being contentious. If negotiation or mediation does not work, a couple may have to go to court so that a judge can make determinations. While it can be tempting to give into a demanding, aggravating spouse, one should not make hasty decisions due to frustration. One may wish to consult an attorney who can represent their best interests.

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