How to Manage a High Conflict Divorce

Posted on: September 30th, 2021

Most divorces involve conflict and disputes due to the nature of the difficult period of time. However, a high conflict divorce, is where the conflict that could have been apparent in the relationship such as controlling behaviour or emotional abuse which

can follow into the divorce and makes the separation more complex. 


Family lawyers who are used to working with high conflict cases will be able to quickly identify the potential signs of a case.  We’ll break down the meaning of a high conflict divorce and how to manage one.

What is a high conflict divorce?

As mentioned above, a high conflict divorce is where the tensions that have built up throughout the marriage continue into the divorce which can potentially make it a high conflict case. In addition, high conflict cases don’t have to be extreme, but if the couple in separation are having issues that could affect the terms of the divorce then it can be labelled as high conflict. 


For example, if a wife leaves a husband who she feels is controlling or narcissistic she may feel like the husband shouldn’t see the children to avoid the children experiencing the same issues she did. The father, however, may not feel like he was controlling and that he was a good father who should have joint custody. This can be identified as high conflict as they lack empathy for one another and cannot come to an agreed outcome. 


Some other issues that can indicate a high conflict case are: 

  • Inconsistent approach to discussing the separation including issues discussing finance and children. 
  • One party may also attempt to restrict the other’s funds making the process more difficult. 
  • Either party not being able to come to agreement on minor details.
  • Lack of inclination to discuss or understand each other’s point of view on the relationship and how it can impact each other in the future. 

How can I manage a high conflict divorce? 

Once you have identified whether you are dealing with a high conflict individual or in the midst of a high conflict divorce there are steps you can take to make your situation easier. If you are worried your own separation may be high conflict, always seek the help from a family lawyer who specialises in these cases. 


If you are a party within a high conflict divorce, the best way you can manage it is to not react and allow your lawyer to take care of the situation. Although you may want to defend yourself it’s best not to go back and forth as it will make coming to an agreement even more difficult. 


Divorce is an emotionally challenging situation for most people without the influence of a high conflict divorce. If you are experiencing or think you could potentially experience a high conflict divorce we always advise to enlist the help of a family lawyer. 

Here at Cygnet Law we have specialist divorce solicitors who are trained to deal with any case no matter how complex. We care about you and cater for every legal problem that a family can experience. If you require any of our services, get in touch with us and we’ll get back to you.

Talk to the experts

If you require any of our legal services or you're not sure where to get started, please contact us at our Redcar High Street office and our solicitors will guide you every step of the way.

Contact Cygnet graphic