blog home Divorce Navigating a High-Conflict Divorce

Navigating a High-Conflict Divorce

By Nottage and Ward on March 25, 2023

Although divorce often has an inherently adversarial tone, high-conflict cases are far more contentious and challenging to navigate. This situation can make it very challenging for divorcing couples to achieve a fair settlement. At Nottage and Ward, LLP our Chicago family law attorneys are experienced in handling high-conflict divorces and could provide the skilled representation and assistance you need to resolve your case.

With an experienced legal team on your side, you could better negotiate and settle the most problematic issues in your divorce. Your attorney could act as an intermediary, keeping emotions in check and working to minimize conflicts.

Understanding High-Conflict Divorces

The primary characteristic of a high-conflict divorce is the inability of one or both spouses to reasonably negotiate a divorce settlement. Instead, one or both spouses will stonewall the process or purposefully disrupt it to harm the other.

There could potentially be many driving forces behind a high-conflict divorce, including infidelity, financial troubles, personality disorders, or heated disputes over child custody. Personality disorders or high-conflict personalities, such as antisocial, borderline, or narcissistic disorders, are some of the biggest causes of high-conflict divorce cases. Spouses with personality disorders are often unwilling to negotiate or budge on even the most minor or inconsequential matters, which could cause a case to unnecessarily drag on.

Moreover, high-conflict divorces can have a profound impact on any children who may be involved. Children involved in such cases often experience depression, anxiety, and high levels of stress.

Strategies for Navigating a High-Conflict Divorce

If you are going through a high-conflict divorce in Chicago, it is not only important for you to hire skilled legal counsel, but it is also essential that you prioritize your mental health throughout this process. Part of this may include maintaining healthy boundaries with your spouse and seeking professional support to process your feelings regarding your spouse and the overall situation.

One of the best things you can do when navigating a high-conflict divorce is to minimize the amount of contact you have with your spouse. Those with high-conflict personalities tend to thrive on negativity and will try to engage in confrontations and arguments. Instead of feeding their need for conflict, keep communication brief, polite, and leave all negotiations to your attorney.

During this time, it is also crucial to continue gathering evidence, documentation, and anything else that may support your case and the settlement you are seeking.

Legal Options for High-Conflict Divorces

There are many options available for those going through a high-conflict divorce, including:

  • Mediation: If you and your spouse choose to go through with mediation, you will agree on a mediator who would help facilitate productive negotiations between the two of you, ensuring you stay on track by addressing the matters at hand rather than engaging in arguments. The great thing about this process is that it leaves a lot of power in the hands of both parties.
  • Arbitration: When couples are unable to agree on a settlement, arbitration could be helpful. Much like mediation, you and your spouse must agree to it and follow the arbitrator’s ruling. During this process, you and your spouse will meet in front of an arbitrator, present your case, and evidence, and wait for the arbitrator to make their decision. The decision is binding.
  • Litigation: Most of us are more familiar with what the litigation process entails. You and your spouse will appear before a judge with your respective attorneys, where you will present your case, and wait for the judge to make their ruling. For some, especially if your spouse refuses to partake in any other option, litigation may be the only way to achieve a resolution. However, it can be time-consuming and expensive.

Hire an Experienced High-Conflict Divorce Attorney in Chicago

If you are involved in a high-conflict divorce, the Chicago divorce attorneys at Nottage and Ward, LLP are here to help. Backed by more than 25 years of experience, our knowledgeable legal team is committed to helping clients navigate very challenging divorce cases as smoothly as possible. Call us today at (312) 332-2915 to schedule a consultation.

Related Articles:

Posted in: Divorce

Little Black Pearl The Business of ArtWe are proud sponsors of Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center.

To learn more, click here.

Friends of the Chicago RiverProud Member of Friends of the Chicago River.

To learn more, click here.

Client Reviews

Five Stars5 Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for

Leslie has been the strongest representation I could ask for in a very complicated, emotional matter. She has continuously looked out for my best interest and the best interest of my son. She is always prompt in getting back to me and in keeping me well informed about my case.

Read More Client Reviews

Avvo Top Contributor Family Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer
Avvo Top Contributor Divorce Law - Jeffrey Knipmeyer