5 Signs You are Married to a High-Conflict Partner and How to Divorce One
Divorce inevitably involves conflict. However, some divorce cases are extremely contentious. One of both parties may intentionally draw out the divorce process, refuse to compromise, lie about finances, or use unscrupulous tactics to get what they want. They may overreact to small issues or be completely unwilling to negotiate.
A "high-conflict partner" is someone who constantly blames others, fails to take responsibility for his or her actions, uses threats or manipulation to control others, and has extreme emotions. If this sounds like your spouse and you are planning to end your marriage, you may be facing a very challenging divorce. It is highly recommended that you work with an attorney who can provide the legal support you need and advocate on your behalf throughout the divorce.
Signs of a High Conflict Personality
A high-conflict person is one who is constantly embroiled in conflict. Here are five signs that your partner may be a high-conflict person:
- All-or-nothing mentality - A high-conflict person sees the world in black and white and refuses to see any other perspectives. Any perceived slight or disagreement is seen as an attack and they will go to extreme lengths to prove they are right.
- Sees themselves as the victim - A high-conflict partner often plays the victim, claiming that everyone else is to blame for their situations and problems in life. They may view themselves as victims of injustice and feel that no matter what they do or how hard they try, they will never get what they want.
- Lacks empathy - A high-conflict partner is often unable to sympathize or empathize with others. They may not take into consideration the feelings of other people and can be insensitive to their needs.
- Unpredictable behavior - A high-conflict person has a volatile temper and their behavior is hard to predict. They may have extreme emotional outbursts at any time and can be easily provoked.
- Overreaction - A high-conflict partner tends to escalate minor disagreements into major fights. They may become irrationally angry or hostile in situations where other people would simply brush it off.
Strategies for Divorce
If you are divorcing someone who meets some or all of the criteria listed above, your divorce may be more complex than the average divorce case. Alternative resolution methods like mediation may be unsuccessful. You may need to limit direct communication with your spouse and instead communicate through your respective attorneys. It is also important that you are prioritizing your own needs during this tumultuous time. Consider attending therapy or joining a support group. Practice self-compassion and self-care. It will not be easy, but with the right support system and legal help, you can get through a high-conflict divorce.
Contact a Kane County High-Conflict Divorce Lawyer
The St. Charles divorce attorneys at Shaw Family Law, P.C. are familiar with the difficulties and complexities a high-conflict spouse can bring about during divorce. We can protect your rights and provide the legal support you need. Call 630-584-5550 for a free consultation.