Even the smoothest of all divorces promises to be an intensely emotional journey. While divorce typically stems from unresolvable conflict, some dissolutions become severely contentious. Bitterness usually leads to divisive battles over custody and dividing marital property.
While you may be willing to pursue a divorce with good intentions and a spirit of compromise, your spouse may not be on the same page. If you and your partner don’t see eye to eye, it’s possible you may be heading for a high-conflict divorce. Here are some signs you may recognize.
Signs of a high-conflict personality
Many studies have shown that roughly 15% of Americans have personality disorders. But having a personality disorder doesn’t automatically mean someone is a “high-conflict” person. Those who are can usually be identified by how they react to problems and sensitive situations, such as:
- Blaming everyone else for things that don’t go their way
- All-or-nothing thinking and an unwillingness or inability to compromise
- Exhibiting extreme behavior, such as being physically or verbally abusive to others
- Being highly emotional when expressing their point of view, especially when anyone disagrees with them
- A lack of empathy for others
If your soon-to-be ex has any or all of these traits, seeking guidance from an experienced lawyer who understands high-conflict divorces is advisable. By getting help and being proactive, there’s a better chance of minimizing conflict. This includes steps you can take before, during and after the divorce process. This is especially important if you have children for their sake and your own, as divorce ends a marriage, not the relationship with your co-parent.