According to the American Psychological Association (APA), data from the National Survey of Family Growth shows that 48 percent of marriages end when they hit the 20-year mark. Despite this evidence and the colorful divorce horror stories we all hear from our friends, family members, and neighbors, the reality is that not all couples who make up these kinds of statistics experience a toxic divorce. Many spouses are not only able to make a mutual decision to end their marriage, but they are also capable of navigating the process amicably, even acting as a team to ensure a smoother experience for everyone involved.
Avoiding a Contested Divorce
Not every divorce is messy, but those that are can have the power to wreak havoc on your emotional — and sometimes physical — well-being, especially if you do not know how to handle the conflict.
While you cannot control your partner’s choices and behavior during the divorce, you can control your own response to whatever comes your way. For this reason, divorce psychology experts place a big emphasis on the importance of being proactive when it comes to your role in a high-conflict separation.
Whether you are currently experiencing a hostile split or sense that you are heading in that direction, consider the following tips to avoid a contentious divorce or at the very least, to discourage it from becoming more turbulent than it already is:
Reject argumentative behavior – Recognize when the other party is trying to instigate you, and make a conscious decision to avoid argumentative situations. As the old adage says, “Do not add fuel to the fire.” This could not be more appropriate when it comes to high-conflict divorce. The greater the conflict, the greater the contention, which usually results in a lengthier and more stressful divorce process. All divorces are emotionally charged, so it can be difficult to hold back, but knowing when to end a phone call, walk away, or simply remain silent can prevent more trouble from brewing later on.
Find an alternative for conflict resolution – One of the most effective methods for preventing high conflict in the midst of a divorce or for addressing conflict once it rears its ugly head is to bring in a third party to help mediate. A seasoned mediator is trained to intervene and help peacefully negotiate the terms of your divorce and resolve the issues that you and your spouse are having trouble agreeing on. Mediation is a helpful tool for minimizing toxic contact and reducing the overall stress of the divorce process.
Learn your rights – One of the best ways to take a proactive approach to a potentially contentious divorce is to advocate for your rights. The first step is arming yourself with knowledge. Know what marital property and assets you are entitled to and what you can do to protect yourself as you move forward with court proceedings. Working alongside a knowledgeable divorce attorney who can provide insight into your concerns is another way to control what you can and minimize argumentative contact with your spouse.
Contact a Wheaton Divorce Attorney
Divorces do not have to be hostile, but when they do take a turn for the worse, you need professional legal counsel. It is important to understand your rights so you are not taken advantage of during the proceedings. A Lombard, IL high-conflict divorce lawyer can help you sort out the legal details, allowing you to focus on taking care of yourself and moving on to the next chapter in your life. Call A. Traub & Associates at 630-426-0196 to schedule a consultation today.