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How to Deal with a Contentious Spouse During Divorce

If your spouse is prone to becoming angry or irrational, you might be concerned about his or her behavior during the divorce process. A contentious individual can make the entire process significantly longer and more difficult on everyone involved. Fortunately, there are some ways you can mitigate the potential problems caused by a spouse’s poor attitude and lack of cooperation.

The following are a few tips to help you minimize the conflict you experience in your divorce:

  • Never respond to threats: In many cases, someone who makes threats during the divorce process is actively trying to bait you into escalating the situation. Try to stay above the fray and don’t react emotionally when you believe your spouse is not acting in good faith.
  • Implement certain contact rules: You might, for example, consider implementing rules that dictate all communication should happen over email or text, instead of in person or over the phone. This serves two purposes: to prevent you from being put into a situation where you are more likely to react to verbal abuse and to more effectively maintain a record of all communication.
  • Ask for your attorney’s intervention: If even text-based forms of communication become problematic, you can ask for all communication related to your divorce go through your divorce attorney instead. This also gives you the peace of mind that you won’t say anything that could come back to haunt you during the divorce process.

Some people automatically assume mediation or settlement negotiations are wasted on contentious spouses. Although it’s true that the mediation process becomes much more difficult when one spouse is uncooperative, there is still a chance the mediator and your divorce attorney can help mitigate the tension and find a solution without having to go to court.

For further guidance on moving ahead with divorce in Minnesota, meet with a dedicated family law attorney at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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