Best Approach to Conflict Resolution in Divorce
A divorce is a highly-stressful, often fragile situation with many moving parts that can easily lead to conflict. While some amount of conflict is generally a natural and inevitable part of a the divorce process, excess arguments exacerbate an already stressful situation.
Why Does Conflict Arise During Divorce?
When you go through divorce, you experience a whirlwind of emotions ranging from fear, sadness, anger, a sense of betrayal, confusion, to an overall lack of stability and balance during this period in your life.
In addition to the emotional toll, there are moving parts in play that create conflict during the process.
The most common reasons behind conflict during a divorce are:
- Financial security
- Living situations
- Bank accounts
- Division of personal items
- Child custody
Proven Tips for Conflict Resolution
There are many ways to resolve conflict during divorce, making the process as amicable as possible. Here is an exploration of best approaches to conflict resolution during a contested divorce.
Understand Your Spouse’s Perspective
As difficult as it can be at the moment, put yourself in their shoes and try to see the entire situation through their eyes. If both parties can achieve this perspective, it paves a solid path for resolving both minor and major potential conflicts.
Create a Safe Space
Having a safe, quiet space to speak can make a world of difference in resolving conflicts. Avoid the temptation to discuss conflicts over the phone or when tensions are escalated. Speak to each other in an established safe space where you can read body language, diffusing potential misunderstandings.
Speak with Empathy, Not Judgment
The words you choose and how you deliver them during a conflict are one of the most powerful tools in conflict resolution. By avoiding judgemental phrases like “you never…” or “you always…” and choosing to speak with empathy and openness, you put yourself on a path to successful conflict resolution.
Avoid Unnecessary Examples
One of the biggest mistakes made during conflicts is the inclusion of unnecessary examples and past references. It’s basic human nature, but ask yourself if pointing out the time the other person forgot an anniversary or made a poor decision years ago will benefit anyone. Absolutely not. It will likely only pour gasoline on the embers. Focus on moving forward.
Handle One Issue at a Time
Divorce-related conflicts tend to take on a life of their own and expand into multiple disagreements before your eyes. Try to avoid this by circling back to the initial issue and calmly resolving it before any underlying issues spiral out of control.
Try to Look Back in the Moment
Finally, as difficult as it may seem, try to put yourself in a future mindset while you are handling a conflict. For example, ask yourself if being “right” at the moment is worth damaging the future relationship. Think about how both of you and your children will view the divorce looking back. Will it be remembered as a battle, or two mature people that successfully restructured their relationship?
Always Aim to Resolve Divorce Conflicts
Throughout your lives, you and your partner have developed your own unique approach to handling conflict based on life experiences.
Unfortunately, many of them happen in the heat of the moment. Your defense may be to ignore, skirt around the conflict or attack confronted with conflict. These approaches put both parties in danger of the conflict festering and stemming into additional issues or over-escalating when they could have been handled amicably.
Help from Divorce Attorney
A good divorce attorney knows that conflicts will arise during a divorce and has had years of experience in navigating the waters of conflict. In fact, it should be a strong skill set your divorce attorney brings to the table.
The divorce lawyers of Nilsson Legal Group can help manage conflict and know the legal and personal ramifications that can happen if you allow conflict to go unaddressed.
We are proud to be recognized among the best divorce lawyers in Fort Worth, Texas. Our years of experience and dedication to our clients will help you navigate the often murky waters of conflict resolution and manage the divorce process successfully.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with our Fort Worth divorce lawyers.