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Tips for defusing conflict during divorce

For some couples in North Carolina, the emotional impact of divorce can be so great that the process becomes contentious. However, there are steps people can take to defuse it and proceed civilly.

First, people should recognize that what was a problem in the marriage is likely to become a problem in the divorce as well. This means that whatever the couple argued about during the marriage is likely to become a point of conflict during the divorce. Couples can use this knowledge to anticipate and defuse conflicts. This is true not just for big issues but for such things as body language. Spouses who know each other well can often tell when the other is upset before anyone else does and take action.

However, if it is not possible to head off an explosion, the best reaction is not to respond emotionally. This could mean taking a walk, breathing deeply or any other action that helps a person calm down. In some cases, the other spouse might be deliberately attempting to provoke a reaction. If this is the case, it should be ignored. It may be helpful to enlist one’s therapist or attorney for support. Taking the high road in a divorce can be beneficial for an individual, for the children and for the future co-parenting relationship.

Working together to reach a divorce agreement may be less costly and stressful than going into litigation. If there are children, focusing on their best interests, just as a judge would do, may help parents resolve their differences. Parents should keep in mind that even if they disagree with the approach each of them has to parenting, that does not mean that either of them is an unfit parent. Unless the child is unsafe with one of them, they should focus on ensuring that the child has time with both of them.

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