High Conflict Divorce

Coping With a High-Conflict Ex Can Evoke Feelings of Anxiety, Depression, and Hopelessness.

These individuals often thrive on creating chaos, resorting to threats, lawsuits, manipulation of visitation and child support, spreading negative stories about you, and making false accusations. Even routine drop-offs become dramatic events, with a penchant for sending hostile texts and emails to harass you.

Enduring such ongoing drama can be overwhelming. If you’re dealing with a high-conflict ex, you may be grappling with:

  • Sleep disturbances,
  • Depressed mood
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Appetite issues
  • Irritable outbursts
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Social withdrawal

The situation might make you hesitant to share your feelings, leading to increased feelings of depression, anxiety, overwhelm, and isolation. Divorce is undoubtedly challenging, but you don’t have to navigate it alone.

Consulting with a therapist specializing in high-conflict divorce can provide support, help you regain control, and rediscover the joy of life.

Effectively managing a high-conflict divorce requires acknowledging that reasoning with an unreasonable ex is futile. Acceptance that your ex may never “get over it” and that co-parenting might not be feasible, despite external advice, is crucial.

As your therapist, my role is to educate you about your situation and assist you in developing strategies for handling your high-conflict divorce. These strategies encompass minimizing contact, cultivating an effective communication style, establishing and maintaining boundaries, engaging in parallel parenting, managing your own reactions, and finding ways to provide your children with a sense of security.

High Conflict Divorce

Navigating a divorce is challenging, and it becomes even more difficult when dealing with a difficult, manipulative, or controlling spouse or ex-partner, commonly referred to as a “high conflict divorce.” This type of divorce is characterized by lengthy and costly legal proceedings, false accusations, frequent hearings, prolonged litigation, and a perceived inability to get along.

Divorcing a High Conflict Person

When divorcing a high-conflict person, family courts sometimes mistakenly assume that both parties are equally “difficult.” However, this is not always the case, and disproving this assumption requires significant time, money, and documentation. “High Conflict People” often exhibit traits associated with borderline or narcissistic personality disorders. Surviving this emotionally taxing process is possible with the assistance of a trained therapist.

The High Conflict Person in Court

High conflict individuals thrive in adversarial court environments, fueled by their love for confrontation and a determination to “win.” Due to their lack of empathy and tendency for “black and white thinking,” compromise is challenging in a high conflict divorce. Virginia Gilbert’s book, “Transcending High-Conflict Divorce: How to Disengage from Your Ex and Find Your Power” delves into the concept of “splitting” in the family court system and is highly recommended for those dealing with high conflict individuals.

High Conflict Custody Battle

Engaging in a contested custody battle with a high-conflict person can be an extremely distressing experience. These individuals often manipulate and use children as pawns during legal proceedings. If you find yourself in such a situation, the stress can feel unending. Seeking guidance from an attorney specializing in high-conflict custody litigation and working with a professional experienced in this area is crucial for personal growth and positive change.

If you are currently facing a custody battle or divorce with a high conflict person, I provide specialized guidance and counseling to help individuals navigate the complex, frustrating, and often painful processes within the family court system.

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