What to Expect in a High Conflict Divorce in Dallas, TX

You hear the term “High Conflict Divorce” and you wonder, “Aren’t all divorces high conflict?” Yes, it is true that divorce is a highly conflicting time in a couple’s life, and yes, it does almost always come with its fair share of tears, anger, and conflict, but when a couple begins to let their feelings interfere with the divorce proceedings, the divorce turns “high conflict.”

In a high conflict divorce, one or both parties create a “war” of sorts that is both costly and damaging. If the couple has children, they may use their children as pawns to get one another to acquiesce to outlandish demands. In fact, most high conflict divorce cases become so vile that even friends and extended family members become affected by the dysfunction demonstrated by the warring couple.

Recognize the Signs of High Conflict Divorce

At the Law Offices of Stephen Clark, we encourage our clients to look for signs that a high conflict divorce may be on the horizon, that way they can curb their behavior and steer the divorce in a more “friendly” – or, at the very least, “more business-like” – direction. Some common signs to look out for during each different stage of the divorce process include:

  • The attempt by one spouse to control the ability for the other spouse to divorce him/her: This may sound exaggerated, but many times, a spurned individual will try to make it next to impossible for his or her spouse to go through with the divorce. If your spouse becomes angry upon the deliverance of the divorce papers, if he or she tries to destroy the papers or claim that he or she never received them, or if he or she hires a high-powered attorney in the attempts to “take everything” from you, you may have a long and difficult road ahead of you.
  • The refusal of one or both spouses to negotiate: One of the most common symptoms of a Dallas high conflict divorce is the refusal to negotiate the division of marital assets. In a normal divorce, the couple works out the division of assets before they even meet with their respective lawyers; in a medium conflict divorce, the couple seeks the assistance of a mediator to help them work towards an amicable agreement; in a high conflict divorce, the couple will rack up thousands of dollars worth of attorney’s and court fees in order to keep each other from getting the couch, TV, decorative vase, or any other trivial marital asset.
  • The refusal of one or both spouses to come up with a child custody agreement: Children are the most precious assets in any divorce, and because of this, they often become the greatest pawns. In a high conflict divorce, one or both parents will file for full custody, despite the state’s wishes for “frequent and continuing contact with both parents.” In order to get the courts to overlook Texas’s stance on joint custody, one or both spouses will attempt to take custody away from the other by making false accusations of child abuse, false accusations of substance abuse, and any other accusations that will paint the other in a negative light to the courts.
  • The violation of the final judgment of divorce: Even after the judge hands down the final divorce decree, which contains legally binding orders about issues such as child custody, child support, visitation, spousal support, property division, and how property division is to be carried out, one or both spouses can continue to make the other’s life difficult. From refusing to pay child support to denying visitation, and from denying spousal support to not following through with property division orders, either spouse can drag the couple back to court to sort out issues post divorce.

How to Handle a High Conflict Divorce

The best way to handle a Dallas high conflict divorce is to not allow yourself to become a part of the drama. We know that is easier said than done, but by refusing to indulge your soon-to-be ex spouse, you can make it difficult for him or her to sustain any joy from those actions, and hopefully put a swift end to the antics.

If you suspect that you are on the brink of a high conflict divorce, confide in your Dallas divorce attorney. At the Law Offices of Stephen Clark, we can provide guidance on what and what not to do throughout each stage of your divorce, and hopefully see you through the entire process without much drama.

Contact the Clark Law Group to speak with a divorce attorney about resolving your high conflict divorce. Give our offices a call at (469) 906-2266, or schedule an initial consultation online, today.

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