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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Domestic violence was a part of my family's life for years. When I made the decision to leave with my children, I had to rely on the law to provide the protection we needed. Sometimes, the system does not work as fast as we want. I soon learned that going at it alone without any guidance caused significant delays. I created this blog to help others who are seeking legal means to deal with an abusive ex. By making the right moves, it is possible to get the necessary protections in place so that you can also live a happier and healthier life.


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The ABCs of Dealing With Domestic Violence

Three Ways To Survive A High Conflict Divorce

by Gina Hill

Emotions are riding high and you are both feeling various degrees of hurt and anger. Every discussion about how to settle the divorce ends up badly. What do you do? Here are some possible solutions to the three biggest and most common problems when dealing with a divorce.

1. Use a parenting technique to divide and choose assets.

In divorce, you divide up the assets in relatively even packets and then the other spouse gets to choose which one(s) they want, or vice versa, much like you'd do with children.

If you have a lot of assets, you are going to need a financial professional to help you untangle what there is to get a handle on the accurate values of each asset.

You might wonder if this would work against you in an equitable division state. If you have been married for a number of years, the judge may be inclined to halve the assets equally anyway.

2. Consider a parallel parenting arrangement.

If both of you want joint custody, a parallel parenting arrangement may be your best bet. In this type of custody, contact between parents is limited to short emails, writing messages in a communication log, or with a mediator (such as a social worker) present. Each parent has their own way of doing things and the other parent is not to criticize or interfere. Children are reminded that they will be following the rules and routines of the parent they are with if they get confused or balk when asked to follow them.

You might want sole custody because you are afraid you won't get the support you need if you have been the primary caretaker of the children. This may not be as big a factor as you fear, because the divorce court doesn't want to see people destitute after divorce. The amount of child support paid will be affected by the time spent with the other parent, but the income of both parents will be considered, with the higher earning parent being responsible for more.

 You may be awarded alimony for a time as well, especially if you sacrificed education or career opportunities to take care of the children and/or to help your spouse get ahead in a career.

You can take the time the children are with the other parent to get more training or education, reestablish a social life, and/or work on other things you may have been unable to do.

3. If you are having a problem being assertive, get some support.

There are four modes of communication and they are aggressive, passive, passive-aggressive, and assertive.

Passive communication may seem like a good strategy for peace-keeping but it is unfortunately a route to victimization and continued manipulation/domination. Aggression implies power over someone, abusiveness, and hurtfulness. People who lapse into an aggressive stance may either have antisocial traits, or be scared. 

Passive-aggressiveness is being outwardly agreeable but prone to behaviors that aren't nice. This can include "forgetting" or secretly sabotaging things.

Assertiveness is the antidote to the other ineffective and crazy-making communication styles.  It involves saying what you need to say in a firm but calm manner. It addresses the issue at hand and does not deviate into name calling or dredging up ancient history.

If you find yourself habitually using a poor style of communication, this is a great time to overcome it. You may need to see a therapist, or you could study some self-help books on effective communication. If you do the self-help route, have a friend help you practice and role play.

If you are afraid of your ex, please consult your family law attorney to figure out the best ways to protect your rights and ensure your safety. 

To learn more, contact a divorce attorney like Karen Amacker Attorney