What’s more emotionally taxing that going through a divorce? Going through a divorce with a particularly difficult spouse. Marital separation is a process rife with legality, compromise, and deliberation and one that asks for quite a fair bit of mental fortitude. Throw a spouse into the mix who’s at the ready to toss in some healthy servings of personal hang ups and a dash of hostility for the hostility’s sake, and you’ve got yourself one particularly stress-inducing battle ahead of you.
Of course, stress is exactly what the opposing party wants from you. By getting you to act emotionally, they can hurt your chances of walking away with things like custody or your current property. We’re here to remind you that dealing with a difficult spouse is just par the course when it comes to divorce and that there are some helpful mindsets you can adopt that’ll make the process less of a slog for all parties involved.
The goal of any argument, before it devolves into a screaming match, is to convince the other party that your opinion is in the right and more logically fortified. Do yourself a favor and shake that notion out of your head before it ends up costing you in court. If communication was a particularly weak suit in your relationship, odds are it’s not going to get any better in courtroom or at a table with lawyers present. Emotion will absolutely trounce logic in a conversation with your spouse, especially if they’re going out of their way to press your buttons. That being said, work with the healthy relationships you do have and be entirely candid and open with your divorce attorney. The more information they have on your current circumstances, the better they can help. Opting instead to take that more logical approach with a hurt spouse can just end up weakening your case.
Focus on Changing What You Can Actually Change
Building off of what we mentioned above, it’s also important to keep in mind that narrowing your focus on the problems your spouse is causing is a recipe for disaster. If you know there’s no hope in changing their mind, then the most constructive thing you can do is shift your focus inwards. Take a moment of self-reflection to come to a conclusion on the changes you can make yourself that can help your case. Start by gathering and organizing all of your legal documents and open your own solo bank/credit accounts. Compose and recollect yourself and all of your necessary legal requirements and present the best version of yourself when fighting for your rights.
This may seem contradictory to everything we mentioned earlier, but, as much as you wish it weren’t so, communication is a requirement in a divorce even if your spouse is being particularly difficult. The trick is to set up a grounds for your chat that curbs most of your impulses to fight. For example, meeting at neutral ground like a coffee shop is well advised. If you feel like any face-to-face meeting is doomed to end in a screaming match, try and set up communication over text or email. You’d also do well to keep documentation of the conversations you have with your partner as well in case something they say or do can be used in court.
Divorce is a trying process for both parties. Odds are one or both spouses feel hurt and it’s easy to let emotion take the reins in a case that should otherwise be treated logically. Remember to fight the urge to resort to mudslinging and name calling, these only make your case seem less logically sound and, should you have a child in the middle of it all, could end up hurting relationships that matter to you.