What To Do When Divorce Gets Ugly

The ideal scenario in a divorce is that both sides handle things without starting fights or making threats. Unfortunately, that's not always how things go. If your ex is making a mess of the situation, you need to know how to handle it. Divorce lawyers tell their clients to handle ugly cases by doing these five things:

Use Your Attorney

If you don't have an attorney, call a divorce law firm at your first opportunity. Even in a divorce where everyone is prepared to part ways peacefully, it's wise to have legal counsel. That goes double when someone is tossing around threats or trying to wreck the process.

Especially if you're in a situation where there are physical or verbal threats, put the divorce law firm between you and your ex. Tell your ex to call your lawyer if they need to discuss anything. If they need to pass along information or ask any questions, your attorney can do so.

Focus on the Divorce

Some states have a no-fault divorce system, which means that the divorce court won't deal with the issues behind the divorce. Even if you're dealing with violent conduct, that's a matter for the criminal courts. The divorce court is there to terminate the marriage in an orderly manner.

As a practical matter, this means divorce lawyers only focus on the dissolution of their clients' marriages rather than abuse, cheating, or similar problems. The no-fault system all but guarantees a divorce court can't and won't get involved with these concerns. Make sure to check the laws in your state so you know what to expect from going to divorce court.

Don't Reward the Behavior

No matter how nasty your ex gets about the divorce, there's no upside to firing back at them. Whenever possible, disengage from conversations. If they insist on talking about it, tell them to have it out with your attorney. Stay calm and get out of the conversation as fast as possible. Don't feed into it.

Be Practical

If you have to deal with basic issues like child visitation, be practical about it. If your ex's behavior rises to a dangerous level, call the police. Your ex is welcome to file a case with the family court, and a judge can hear all their complaints in a controlled setting. The court will enter temporary custody and support orders fairly fast.

Know Your Rights

Some people will try to feed lies about the process to their exes. Know your rights. In the modern divorce system, they can't stop the divorce if you want it.