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When your divorce becomes toxic

On Behalf of | Jan 9, 2024 | Divorce

All divorces have conflicts, but when they continue to escalate, dragging out the resolution to months and even years, the divorce turns toxic. Toxic divorces in North Carolina do not only become lengthy, costly affairs, but they can also have a heavy emotional impact. While in some divorces, both spouses escalate the issues, in others, one spouse is targeted by the other. A targeted spouse cannot control or change the way the other spouse acts, but they can attempt to handle the divorce and protect themselves from the other spouse’s actions.

How does a divorce become toxic?

A divorce can become toxic when one of the spouses consistently creates conflicts and does not cooperate to resolve the divorce issues. During a toxic divorce, the uncooperative spouse might do several things to block the development of the divorce, including:

  • Hiding assets
  • Refusing to pay child support
  • Manipulating the children against the targeted parent
  • Speaking against their spouse to ruin their reputation with family, friends and others
  • Stalking, harassing or threatening their spouse

How to protect yourself during a toxic divorce

When dealing with a toxic spouse, one way to protect yourself is to ensure that the orders included in your divorce are very specific. For example, you might need to make sure that the language for your custody arrangement includes days, times and places for the exchanges of the children. You can also use trustees who will oversee how and when marital assets are divided. Finally, because high-conflict divorces can go on for years, you might need a court-appointed judge who may be able to take action to diffuse the situation, including setting punishments when necessary.

During a toxic divorce, it is also important to take care of yourself, physically and emotionally. You can exercise, meditate or just take time for yourself. It might also help to have a support team of people you trust, who will listen, check up on you and encourage you during the process.