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From The Experts

We've gathered knowledgeable, dedicated divorce experts from a variety of fields to lend their advice and perspectives. Our experts include lawyers, healthcare professionals, certified professionals, and everyday women with insight into the topics that will help you stay empowered.

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When two people with differing viewpoints butt heads, the result is often acrimonious. Words can be used in the heat of the moment that can stay with a person for a lifetime, and while we all like to think of ourselves as someone who will take the “high road” no one knows how they will react to these types of situations until they find themselves enmeshed in one of them.

Here are some points to ponder:

Despite your best efforts, both of you will say and do nasty things to each other during the divorce. It may have seemed unimaginable that either of you were capable of such things. Divorce creates a transient craziness in many people. You feel lonely, frightened, and perhaps more vulnerable than you have ever felt previously. In response to the intensity of these emotions, people do crazy things.

Entrance into the legal system often magnifies such feelings. People enter the process expecting fair and reasonable treatment, but once the legal process begins, their feelings may change. Attorneys become part of the process, and the bureaucracy of the courts involves even more people in an already complex situation. Because your life can seem suddenly out of your control, people become secretive in the divorce to gain an upper hand and to re-establish a sense of control. They feel they are protecting themselves, or their children.

In these situations, less is more. Remember that what you think is protective can be provocative. It signals “I don’t trust you!” to your spouse. Once you start down the path of distrust and self-protection at any cost, you are embarking on a much longer, wilder hike than you may have planned when you started.

Anything that can be accomplished within the confines of civil behavior  during these troubled times will be remembered by both parties in a much more positive light.

Excerpted from Your Divorce Advisor: A Lawyer and a Psychologist Guide You Through the Legal and Emotional Landscape of Divorce

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