When people get divorced, they typically want the process to be fair and amicable. This can be especially important to people who have children.
However, while many divorces do end peacefully with both parties satisfied with the agreement and committed to a positive co-parenting arrangement, this does not always happen. Even in cases where the parties start from an amicable place, a divorce can become contentious. Why does this happen?
Why divorces get combative
Despite various tools to help people understand the legal system, it can be quite intimidating. The divorce process also costs money and can require a great deal of compromise and patience. Such situations can be too much to handle for some people, particularly when they are already under tremendous stress. They can become easily frustrated or defensive, which can interfere with their ability to reach agreements quickly and cooperatively.
People can also be afraid. They may be fearful of losing custody of their child or being unable to support themselves after a divorce. When faced with these possibilities, people may be more prone to fighting than settling.
Dishonesty is another element that can create problems during a divorce. If a person lies about infidelity, tries to hide money, or fabricates allegations against the other person, any willingness to work together can vanish.
Coping with contention
It can be difficult to adjust when a divorce becomes contentious. People might panic and make regrettable missteps. They may do or say things that cause even more problems.
To cope with a divorce that is not going as planned, there are a few things you can do. Keep records of your exchanges with the other party; retain detailed accounts of your child’s schedule; avoid making negative statements on social media or to other people that could be used against you in court.
It can also be wise to consult legal, financial, and medical professionals who can help you navigate complex issues, from child custody and property division to the anxiety and trauma you may be experiencing.
Even if you are committed to an amicable divorce, complications can arise that jeopardize that goal. However, being prepared, having support, and avoiding behaviors that could further upset the process can make it easier for you to get through your divorce and focus on moving forward.