I want to try and work things out, but it just seems to be getting worse. I think we are going to have to go to court.
High conflict cases can heat up quickly, so you will need a legal team who can negotiate from strength and head to court if necessary. High conflict cases often end up in trial so be sure you have a lawyer who has the experience to see this through.
Unfortunately, one out of four divorces result in high levels of conflict. This was the finding of a 2010 study published by Malcore, Windell, Seyun, and Hill, in an article called Predictors of Continued Conflict After Divorce or Separation: Evidence From a High-Conflict Group Treatment Program. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 51:1, 50-64.
In high conflict cases, almost everything is a struggle. Your lawyer will have to engage in legal discovery to learn most of the facts of your case. For instance, financial documentation will most likely require interrogatories, subpoenas and depositions rather than a simple call to opposing counsel. And not many decisions will be made outside of court. Even straightforward issues end up causing unnecessary stress and legal fees. And it never seems to let up.
You Need an Attorney Who Can Handle Complex Issues
In high conflict cases, your legal team needs to be on their toes pretty much 24/7. You will have questions and need emotional support often. Most importantly, you need someone who will “give it to you straight” and not make false promises about your chances of success in court. Be sure your lawyer is ready to take on this kind of case. And if they promise you something that other lawyers don’t, you may be falling prey to the old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”
Find a lawyer who limits the number of high conflict cases she has at any given time. Nothing is worse than feeling alone and without legal support when you are on the receiving end of a barrage of nasty accusations and aggressive legal tactics.
In a high conflict divorce, you need a strong yet compassionate lawyer at your side. In this incredibly stressful situation, you will need a legal team who understands you are in a crisis situation. In high conflict cases things tend to happen quickly. It’s imperative that you have a team who has enough staff so that if your lead lawyer is in trial or on a deposition, another lawyer can jump in without missing a beat. If you work full-time, you will need an attorney who is accessible after hours and on weekends.
The Effects of High-Conflict Divorces on You and Your Children
A high conflict divorce is usually bad for everyone. In the 1980s there were several studies on the effect of divorce on children. If you anticipate a high conflict divorce, you should be aware of the statistics and be prepared to help your children deal with their stress.
Obviously, it is critically important that you are able to care first for yourself, and then for your children as you go through a high conflict divorce. And dealing with your lawyer should not add to that stress. In a high conflict case it’s very important to try to shield your children from the ugliness. You will probably need the help of a child specialist to educate you about how to support your children. This kind of expert is a vital team member who can work closely with your lawyer. Find a lawyer who has strong relationships with child specialists so your legal team is cohesive and can communicate well with each other.
In addition to a child specialist, you will likely need a financial expert who is experienced in hotly contested divorces. A good financial expert has paraprofessionals with divorce finance experience so you don’t find yourself paying three hundred dollars an hour for an expert to put together a spreadsheet for you.
In addition to the stress on children, the stress on the individuals going through divorce is overwhelming. In fact, depression and health-related issues are common, and the higher the conflict, the worse the effect.
Contact Amanda DuBois Today
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a high-conflict situation and believe that you are misunderstood or unfairly attacked, DuBois Cary Law Group can help. Our extensive experience in contested and high-conflict divorce means that we are not intimidated by an aggressive opponent.
Amanda DuBois has more than twenty years of trial experience and Monica Cary has had her share of hotly contested trials over the past ten years as well. We will go the distance for you in litigation, working diligently for the resolution you want. We have had success litigating divorce cases against very aggressive lawyers. If our schedule allows, we will gladly help you navigate this unbelievably distressing situation from a position of strength and with maximum support.
If you have further questions concerning a high-conflict or volatile divorce situation, or want to arrange a confidential consultation with one of our Seattle or Bellevue divorce attorneys, please contact us today. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue and can meet with you in one or both of those locations as needed. We look forward to meeting you and helping you resolve your high-conflict divorce issues.