Dealing with High Conflict Divorce


Posted on: February 2nd, 2021

Going through any divorce is understandably difficult, and each case will involve varying degrees of conflict. However, there are certain instances when divorces can be deemed ‘high conflict’, and these types of proceedings tend to be much harder to navigate. Our family solicitors have years of experience supporting couples through these types of divorces, and they know as well as anyone that every case is unique. Read on to find out more about high conflict divorce and how best to deal with one.

What makes a divorce a high conflict case?

Of course, there is likely to be tension and disagreements in most divorce cases. This does not necessarily mean that the divorce should be classed as high conflict. Some high conflict divorces could involve the following:

  • Controlling behaviour from one party within the couple, impacting various aspects of the proceedings for the other party
  • Refusal of one party to engage with the legal separation process. This could be relating to aspects such as finances, property, children etc.
  • One party may make attempts to restrict access to vital funds for the other, which could result in them not having basic living funds or legal fees
  • When conversing about the proceedings ahead, one party may try to be controlling and manipulate the situation to prevent coming to an agreement – even if it’s on minor aspects of the divorce
  • Either party may refuse to consider the history of the relationship and the impacts it may have on the future for anyone involved. For example, some areas to consider are mental health and custody of children
  • The legal agreements made with family solicitors at the start of the process may be breached, which impacts the case moving forward

Essentially, a high conflict divorce is where a marriage comes to an end and the couple in question are unable to come to an agreement in a way that is healthy and viable for both. Following this, a battle begins between those involved and a family law case is opened to support the process of the divorce.

divorce solicitors

Involving divorce solicitors if you’re going through a high conflict case

It can naturally be hard to know where to start when you find yourself in a situation of this nature, with someone you once loved. However, there is support and advice available to you.

If you are feeling worried or confused about what you’re going through, the best thing to do is get in touch with a family law firm – and do this as soon as you can. Tell them confidentially about your situation, your concerns regarding your partner and how you would ideally like to move forward. An experienced solicitor will give you the best advice from a legal point of view, and will support you in any way they can so that you get through this journey safely and fairly.

We cannot stress enough the importance of getting support and legal advice when you’re going through this ordeal. You may not fully understand the depths of what you are going through or recognise initially that you are in a high conflict case. If this rings true for you, a professional divorce solicitor will help you to understand your situation, your rights and the best way to move forward. Know that you are not alone, and there are services dedicated to supporting those going through any kind of divorce or separation scenario.

divorce and separation

How to move on and recover from a high conflict divorce

As with any major event, a divorce can have long-lasting impacts on your personal life. It will very rarely be something that is easy to move on from. Even so, there are steps to take to get you on the right track and help you to recover.

One of the first things to do is recognise that whilst you’re not in control of the other party’s potentially destructive behaviour, you can control how you respond to it. The best thing to do is put yourself and your needs first, and not let the other person manipulate your emotions. Get advice on how to do this if you need to – but make sure that getting in the right frame of mind is a priority for you.

Another way to move on is to practice self-care, in any form that suits you. This could be anything from taking time out to enjoy your hobbies to attending counselling sessions. Really think about your own well-being and how you can enhance it. There are many therapeutic ways to invest your time in yourself – you just have to find out what works for you.

Finally, it is key when you’re going through something such as divorce to try to at least learn from your experience. It may take time to fully move on and let go of past feelings, but once you do, you should reflect on what happened and think about what it’s taught you. The process can help with your healing.

If you would like advice or support on issues surrounding divorce, please feel free to contact our family solicitors. We would be more than happy to take a call and discuss our family law service with 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 and we'll guide you every step of the way.

Contact Cygnet graphic