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How to Diffuse Conflict During a Divorce With an Uncooperative Spouse

Posted on in Divorce

St. Charles IL divorce attorneyThe amount of mental energy couples must expend on the divorce process is often overwhelming, no matter how smoothly the transition unfolds. Divorce scenarios are, in most cases, a mixed bag of events. Some couples sail through the process with mutual respect and civilized interaction, only to discover emotional landmines when they reach the finish line, while other couples struggle with the split from the get-go. Matters can be especially difficult when one spouse refuses to cooperate altogether, leaving the other spouse with all the work and twice the weight in emotional stress.

What Can You Do When Your Spouse Will Not Cooperate?

There are a number of ways someone’s behavior can change throughout a divorce. Sometimes, the change is so drastic, the person becomes nearly unrecognizable to their partner. Some individuals regress, and their behavior can turn so ugly that the divorce becomes flat-out toxic. Even if your divorce has not gone quite to that extreme, you may see a side of your spouse you never knew existed. Experts indicate that people often react differently under severe divorce stress, typically out of self-preservation, which can manifest in many ways including anger or isolation. 

So, what can you do if you are dealing with an entirely uncooperative spouse? Here are some ways you can attempt to diffuse the tension:

  • Go easy on yourself. Research reported by the American Psychological Association (APA) shows that individuals who are patient with and kind to themselves struggle less with the stressors brought on by divorce. The less stress you are under yourself, the more clearly you are able to think and act when it comes to communicating with your difficult spouse. Taking care of yourself in the midst of the split is a good way to help balance out your own emotions as you interact with that impossible ex of yours. 

  • Do not gear up for battle. Research shows that divorce is healthier for everyone involved when both parties are willing to communicate and cooperate. When your spouse is not willing to do either, though, the APA suggests that you avoid looking at your divorce as a battle to be fought. Working with a professional therapist can also help you form potential strategies and solutions for civil communication efforts with your spouse that will give you better, more productive results. 

  • Consider mediation. Before things get too far out of hand, it is a good idea to consider mediation as an alternative to court. Mediation allows both parties to negotiate in a neutral setting, where a certified mediator can direct the negotiations and address disagreements as they emerge. You can prepare for mediation by writing out a list of points you want to discuss, and any concerns that you have been unable to resolve directly with your ex.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

Diffusing tension and conflict in divorce can be a challenge, but arming yourself with the right resources can make a big difference in the outcome of your case. If you are hitting a dead-end in attempts to communicate with your spouse throughout the divorce process, consider speaking with a skilled St. Charles, IL family law attorney who can offer you the legal guidance you need. Call 630-584-4800 for a free consultation at Goostree Law Group today.



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