Some people have challenging personalities that make working with them in any capacity difficult. Surprisingly, difficult people find partners and marry just like everyone else. Whether you have a straight-forward or a complex divorce case, an argumentative person will present challenges to the process that could prolong your divorce or derail it altogether. There are strategies you can employ to help you prepare for negotiations with a contrary individual.
Here are four tips to help you get your divorce back on track.
- Make Your Intentions Clear: The argumentative spouse is likely a perfectionist who prefers to exercise control and final decision-making responsibility for every aspect of their life. When they can’t make the decision or control the situation, they lash out and create conflict. Divorcing this type of personality type will require you to have a plan. You can’t improvise the situation. You also want to avoid surprising this personality type with divorce paperwork. You can plan the time and place you want to have the discussion to discuss the divorce and give them the time and space they need to process the information. The key to this tip is ensuring that your spouse isn’t caught off guard by the announcement you want a divorce. When you choose to tell your spouse about the divorce, you need to make sure you’ve prepared everything you will need to file your petition.
- Create Boundaries to Make Yourself Comfortable: One of the biggest challenges to divorcing an argumentative or high-conflict personality is they enjoy arguing and they like to debate and win. You can’t let their enjoyment of the argumentative nature of the legal process keep you from getting your divorce and moving on with your life. The best way to do this is by setting clear and unwavering boundaries. You must enter into the process realizing some dates are non-negotiable, and others are flexible. Give your spouse the chance to work with you and be accommodating where you can, but do not negotiate with an emotional terrorist.
- Don’t Let Your Future Ex-Spouse Make it All About Them: Divorce is an emotionally draining experience. If your spouse is a difficult person and this has been a problem throughout your marriage, don’t expect it to change during your divorce. If your spouse’s attitude and behavior were a problem during your marriage, it's not reasonable to expect those problems to disappear during your divorce proceedings. Filing for divorce will likely make bad problems with your spouse worse – not better. It would be in your best interest to focus your energy on the task, not on how your spouse reacts to the experience.
- Refuse to Engage in Unproductive Discourse: Don’t allow yourself to be pulled into a situation that will lead to an argument. Conflict is the enemy of a speedy divorce. Arguing about your divorce details won’t help you obtain a better outcome, and you can’t control your partner's actions. You will only make your litigation last longer with every conflict.
- Make Problem Solving a Collaborative Effort: Problem-solving is an essential part of finalizing your divorce. Suppose your spouse is prone to argumentative outbursts or you’re worried about negotiations breaking down. In that case, it’s important to let your spouse know you’d like them to be an active participant in the problem-solving process. You want your spouse to feel they’ve contributed to the overall settlement, so there’s buy-in.
When working to finalize your divorce from a difficult spouse, hiring an attorney can help. The good news is that the best way to get around the problem of a difficult and conflict-hungry spouse is to plan for the person’s argumentative nature to come to a head and propose alternative options to de-escalate the situation. Your attorney can work with you to formulate a strategy that helps to deescalate conflict throughout the divorce process.
Let the Cairns Law Group help you; call us today at (888) 863-9115 to schedule a consultation.