What to Do When a Divorce Gets Ugly

10 October 2018
 Categories: Law, Blog


The divorce process can stir up plenty of emotions, and it can be especially challenging to deal with if one side is insistent on turning it into a fight. However, it is important to come at the process with the goal of being as productive as possible. Keep these tips in mind if your divorce is beginning to turn ugly.

Stay as Calm as Possible

One reason a person may seek the support of a divorce lawyer is to install a buffer between them and their former partner. It is hard to stay calm about things, and antagonistic exes can go to great lengths to draw their former spouses into fights. The important thing is to stay calm. You should also make a point to document every bit of erratic or confrontational behavior, even if that means calling the police.

Respond to All Requests from the Court

Regardless of the circumstances of a divorce, you should assume that everything the court asks of you—whether in writing or in person—should be met with a thoughtful response. If you have questions about what your answer should be, a divorce attorney can explain how each step of the process works.

The one mistake you don't want to make is failing to answer the court's inquiries. This can lead to a default judgment being entered against you. While it is possible to have the court set aside a default judgment, that will simply take more time and increase the judge's displeasure with you.

Keep the Kids Out of It

Many people have an impulse to talk with their children about their divorce, and curiosity can make it a difficult topic to steer away from. While you will likely have to explain what's going on, just stick to the bare minimum and the facts. Do not engage in any attempts to characterize your own behavior or the conduct of your ex, even if your kids press you with questions about why you're getting divorced. In addition to just being poor taste, statements that poison children's opinions of their mother or father, even accidentally, can be factored into custody and visitation negotiations.

Don't File Until You're Ready

Even if it means entering into a legal separation, it is better to get all your paperwork in order before filing. Your divorce lawyer can review your situation and say whether or not you're ready to proceed with a petition.