Approaches and Tactics to Minimize Post Divorce Conflict
Divorce Doesn’t Always Resolve Conflicts, and Fundamental Differences Can Persist. However, by Following Some Tips And Gaining Legal Understanding, You Can Foster A More Peaceful Relationship With Your Ex
Many couples divorce due to conflict. They may assume that the finalization of their divorce will resolve all conflicts, but this would be a false assumption. For a lot of divorced couples, post-divorce conflict may become their new normal. This is because the conflict often is not the result of the marriage but of fundamental differences between the former spouses, and these differences do not go away once you are divorced. Fortunately, just because conflicts may still arise does not mean you are forced to continue arguing with your former spouse until the end. With some simple tips and strategies and a basic understanding of court orders and how the law works regarding them, you can begin to find a more peaceful relationship with your ex-spouse.
Thorny Matters Leading to Post-Divorce Conflict in New Jersey
If a couple has no children, it is quite possible that they can divorce and go their separate ways, never to see or hear from each other ever again. Couples with children, on the other hand, must co-parent, and that means they must find a new relationship that allows them to do what is best for their children despite being divorced. In some cases, even couples with no children may find themselves in conflict.
Spousal support may be a source of conflict if the receiving ex-spouse does not inform the paying ex-spouse or the court system that they have remarried or otherwise taken action that eliminates their right to receive support. This support may also be a source of conflict if the paying spouse does not feel the receiving spouse should be receiving spousal support at all or that they should be receiving less. Additionally, conflict can arise if the receiving spouse believes they should be getting more alimony.
Child support is an extremely common source of conflict. The custodial parent may believe they should receive more child support while the noncustodial parent may think they are paying too much or that the custodial parent is not spending the money they receive appropriately. Changes in circumstances, such as increases or decreases in income or living expenses, the addition of more children by one or both parents and other factors may also generate conflict. Ignoring the court order by failing to pay child support or paying less than ordered are also frequent conflict sources.
Finally, ex-spouses may find themselves back in court when one party fails to abide by a court order. This may result in that party being held in contempt of court, which can include penalties like fines, wage garnishment, liens against property (in cases of unpaid child support or alimony), modification of the order to ensure better compliance, and jail time.
Changes in Circumstances Have a Direct Impact on Post-Divorce Conflicts
Changes in circumstances after divorce can lead to post-divorce conflict. Not every change can lead to conflict, but there are some significant changes that are often a direct cause of conflict, particularly for divorced parents.
Some of these changes in circumstances may include an increase or decrease in income, a significant location change, remarriage, or the addition of more children.
When alimony or child support are ordered, it is based on the income of each party. Therefore, if the paying spouse has a decrease in income, they may want to pay less. They may also want to pay less if their ex-spouse has an increase in income. At the same time, the receiving spouse may want to ask for an increase in support if their income decreases or they learn their ex-spouse has received a raise.
For parents with minor children, if one parent moves a significant distance away, this can create a lot of conflict. There may be arguments over how much child support should be paid, who is responsible for transporting the children to and from visitations or school, and whether the current custody arrangement is sustainable with the increased distance.
Remarriage frequently breeds conflict in regard to alimony, as alimony frequently stops when the receiving spouse remarries. Having more children may also cause conflict. A parent paying child support may believe their obligation should be reduced if they have more children to support with a new partner.
Navigating Life After Divorce with Minimal Conflict
Some post-divorce conflicts may be unavoidable. But the way you handle it can make all the difference in finding a resolution and having healthier relationships with your children and your ex-spouse. Consider the following tips and strategies to minimize post-divorce conflict.
Don’t Respond When You’re Emotional
Your ex may send a text or email that is intended to make you emotional and get an emotional reaction out of you. However, these emotional reactions can fuel the conflict and in some cases, even be used against you in court. Instead, if you are emotional, don’t respond. Allow yourself time to calm down and create a calmer, more reasonable response.
Keep Your Children’s Best Interest at the Forefront
When you’re engaged in conflict with your ex-spouse, it can be easy to forget what’s important and start fighting to get your way. Instead, remember the most important part of the situation: your children and their best interests. Agree that you and your spouse will always do what is best for your children and remember that agreement when you are in the heat of conflict.
Set Boundaries and Keep Them
Navigating the new relationship between you and your ex-spouse after divorce is difficult enough without conflict. With conflict, it’s easy for lines to be blurred and crossed. Set clear boundaries with your ex-spouse and stick to them if your ex-spouse tries to cross them. At the same time, make sure that you are also respecting their boundaries.
Communicate in Writing or by Phone When You Can
Often, it is when you are face-to-face with your former spouse that the most potential for conflict arises. To avoid this, try to communicate by text, email, or phone whenever you can. This not only cuts down on conflict by avoiding the face-to-face element, but communications by text or email also provide a paper trail of your communications so that a judge can see what has been happening if you must return to court.
Let Our Family Law Team Assist with Resolving Post-Divorce Conflicts in Passaic County, NJ
While it is not impossible to work out post-divorce disputes with your former spouse on your own, an attorney may be able to assist you in smoothing out the relationship. An experienced post-divorce dispute lawyer at Montanari Law Group may be able to assess the source of the conflict and help you find a resolution. We may also be able to help you understand any court orders that are confusing, enforce child support, enforce spousal support, modify court orders, step in when your divorce decree is being violated, or navigate complex legal procedures.
If you are frustrated by a post-divorce conflict with your ex-spouse, consider contacting a post-divorce conflict attorney at our office in Little Falls, New Jersey, today at (973) 233-4396 to learn more about your legal options. We offer free consultations via online requests and by contacting us directly to speak with a member of our team. Let us know how we can assist you with post-divorce conflicts that arise legal issues in Hoboken, North Caldwell, Woodland Park, Jersey City, Montclair, Hackensack, North Bergen, Fairfield, and throughout Passaic County.