How To Divorce a Difficult Spouse

If you’re reading this, then chances are you might be in a marriage that is headed towards divorce, or you are already in the midst of it. Perhaps your marriage is beyond repair and as much as you want it to end, maybe you have some fears because you know that your spouse is not going to give you an easy way out. While a therapist can help a divorcing couple come to terms with the situation, it is important to protect your mental health at this time. Ultimately, you will be parting ways from your spouse, and they will have to accept this fact eventually.

One of the keys to a successful divorce with an unmanageable spouse is to take your emotion out of the legal proceeding. This can be difficult of course, because even if you’re happy that the marriage is ending you’re still going to have plenty of emotions. And one of those emotions might be anger, which is a buildup of all the ways that your spouse has been trying to get under your skin. Your spouse probably wants to escalate the situation and try to bring you down with them. As tempting as it may be to retaliate or stoop to their level, focus on how you can deal with them from a legal perspective and not an emotional one. For extra support, your lawyer can use certain strategies to motivate an uncooperative spouse into acting more reasonably. 

After you hire a lawyer, limit contact with your spouse. It is really your lawyer’s job to protect you and your best interest, so they can communicate with your spouse (or their legal team) that you don’t have to anymore. Your lawyer can deal with your irrational spouse so that you can attend to other things and focus on your new path forward. Think about goals that are important to you and what you can actually accomplish and control during this time. Now that your marriage is basically behind you, think about where you want to live, what you envision for your future, and what you want to do. It is more than okay during this time to think about yourself with shameless selfishness. Because of everything you have endured thus far, you deserve to focus on yourself and create a barrier so that your spouse can no longer continue to chip away at you.

Even if the situation does not feel peaceful right now, commit to doing things within your control that will ultimately get you where you want to be. Life is much too short to be caught up in a fight with an angry soon-to-be former spouse. You can make the most of this experience by getting help from a lawyer and putting yourself first. As a family lawyer from Bernie Kempen knows, a difficult spouse can make divorce more challenging, but there are professionals to intervene and ways to keep your own sense of calm amidst the chaos.