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How to handle a difficult spouse during a divorce

A divorce can be a stressful event for all involved. Matters such as child support, custody arrangements and property division can push both people to their limits. Even couples who agree to keep the acrimony to a minimum might find themselves in contentious situations. However, if one spouse is acting in a matter that is creating conflict, there are things the other spouse can do to diffuse the situation.

One of the most important things a spouse can do is document everything. Keeping track of when the other spouse spends time with the children and noting the amount of money you've provided for care or taken out of a joint account can be helpful information if a dispute emerges later. Being organized is important during this time since it may be easy to forget or misinterpret a conversation during hectic divorce proceedings. Having written documentation of what took place might neutralize the situation.

It is also a good idea for both people to agree to keep the past in the past. Dredging up old issues will only muddle the current situation. Once both spouses have decided to separate, the only thing that should matter is getting through the divorce as quickly and painlessly as possible. If children are involved, it should be a priority to keep their lives as normal as possible.

Speaking to a therapist can also help alleviate some of the stress of a divorce. Having a neutral party with whom issues can be discussed can help a person keep calm when dealing with a less-than cooperative spouse. It is also important that anyone getting a divorce seek guidance from a legal professional. These people can try to ensure that the divorce proceedings go as smoothly as possible, and they can assist in helping the parties reach agreements that are ideal for everyone involved.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Coping With an Impossible Spouse During and After Divorce" Caroline Choi, Feb. 13, 2014

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