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Addressing conflict during divorce

Divorce is a stressful time often filled with conflict. While we all like to think that we gracefully rise to the occasion in a time of conflict, that may not be true at first. People react to pressure in different ways, and sometimes those responses are not consistent with who they usually are. Suddenly, a logical and level-headed adult turns into a screaming or irrational person they do not recognize.

According to experts, these responses to conflict or the threat of conflict can be a matter of a lack of experience addressing disputes with serious implications, which leaves them unsure of how to behave. Many may not realize that resolving disputes is a choice where it can be done in a positive or a negative manner.

Reframing the narrative

Various forms of mediation can help reframe the dispute. While an experienced family law attorney helps devise a strategy, clients can also consciously think about who they want to be as they address and resolve this life-changing conflict. A set of questions can help them determine their answer:

  • What is this conflict really about?
  • Was there behavior you did not like or recognize as negotiations began?
  • What is at the root of this negative behavior?
  • Would a different approach result in a different and better outcome?
  • Would you like this behavior witnessed by family, friends or colleagues who look up to you?
  • How can you ensure more effective behavior in addressing conflicts next time?

Building a new future

It is tempting to go into battle with a take-no-prisoners attitude, but many ex-spouses still must work together to raise a family. While a knowledgeable attorney will be immensely helpful for equitably resolving matters during the divorce process, a spouse who can address conflict in a healthful manner helps themselves and their family.

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