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Tips For Minimizing Conflict In Divorce


Most people do not come out of a divorce action with a great relationship with their ex. Sure, it CAN happen, but most divorce actions grow contentious at one point or another. Stakes are high, your entire world is changing, and people often feel completely out of control of their life.

With emotions at such a high state, it is completely understandable that conflict is inherent in divorce actions. You will likely not be able to completely side-step disagreements, but there are steps you can take to minimize the tension and, thereby, make the process run more smoothly for yourself and your family.

Some general tips that can help ease contention in a divorce action are discussed below.

Minimize Contact

There are many, many situations where communication needs to happen, but it does not need to happen between the spouses themselves. You and your spouse can communicate through a third party, or even your attorney or mediator.

You can get the same work done, often more proficiently, by communicating through a person who is not as emotionally tied to the situation as you are.

Be Wary of Social Media

There is no need to avoid social media completely, but it is wise to be wary of what you are putting out there. Once something is put out into the online-universe it may be impossible to take it back. Something said or done in one moment of anger can have significant consequences as you move forward with your divorce.

Often people seem to forget that when they say something online those words really get viewed by an audience. Irresponsible or damaging comments made on social media may be used in your divorce action to demonstrate, for example, that you are a reckless or irresponsible person whose custody request should be scrutinized.

Be mindful as you proceed in online forums.

Focus On Yourself

You cannot control your spouse. Focusing on things that are out of our control can make anyone edgy or confrontational. Focus on positive steps you take moving forward. This minimizes any negative atmosphere inherent in most divorce cases.

Do Not Overreact

Unfortunately, in many cases a divorce proceeding becomes like a battleground. Whatever their motivation for doing so, it is not uncommon for one spouse to try to get a rise out of the other. However, in almost all cases, reacting to being baited does not do you any favors. This is particularly true if you have minor children who witness negative exchanges between their parents.

Again, often it is wise to have as much communication as possible go through a third-party, such as your respective attorneys.

Custody Exchanges

One party not adhering to the agreed upon custody arrangement is a prime reason for conflict in divorce. It can also get sticky if the parents have to interact upon drop off and pick up.

One strategy that many parents find useful is to use your child’s school or daycare as the epicenter for custody swaps – one parent drops the child off in the morning, the other parent picks up in the afternoon. This minimizes one parent inconveniencing the other, and minimizes facetime. Having drop off and pick up take place in public forums is also a good safeguard against the exchanges turning heated.

Contact Cardwell, Steigerwald Young LLP

If you are considering a family law action, contact the distinguished San Francisco family lawyers at Cardwell, Steigerwald Young LLP. One of our experienced attorneys would be happy to discuss the specifics of your case with you and help you to determine the best path forward.




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