As divorce attorneys are well versed in the numerous and varied reasons that couples split. Many of the same issues that led to divorce may resurface and could be exacerbated by the divorce process. What is a person to do when they are again on the receiving end of their soon-to-be-ex's anger, blame or hostility?
People who frequently use this type of attack are known as “high conflict”; they stir up conflict wherever they go. It can be very difficult to separate yourself from their inability to control themselves, and respond without getting defensive. Here are some of our top tips for dealing with your angry ex during divorce:
- Limit your Contact: The best way to avoid trouble with an angry ex is to limit communication. If you must have face-to-face interactions keep them short; email is even better. Keep your communication concise. This can be difficult, particularly where emotions run high during divorce. We often help review our client's email communication to the other party before they are sent. See our website re conflict communication. Write your email, step away to cool down, and then come back; making sure it is as brief as possible.
- Just the Facts: Present information in a clear, informative way. Keep emotion and opinion to a minimum. Ask yourself why you are responding, and what is the message your need to get across. If you need a reply or specific information It is perfectly reasonable to be firm and set deadlines.
- Remember your Manners: Remember to keep the tone friendly. You may disagree about everything, your ex may be a terror, but a thank you can go a long way. It can be extremely difficult to thank someone who is blaming, accusing and hostile but an “I appreciate you letting me know about your concerns” immediately changes the tone of the exchange; making them more open to what you have to say.
Because we focus solely on family law, we understand the dynamics of high-conflict divorce and can help guide you through the process. Please contact Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC for a free consultation regarding your divorce. For more information about collaborative divorce or mediation please visit our website.