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How to Protect Your Rights in a High-Conflict Divorce in Wisconsin

 Posted on February 26, 2024 in Divorce

Blog ImageDivorce can be one of life's most challenging experiences, especially when a case involves high levels of conflict. Because a divorce typically occurs when a couple’s relationship has broken down, spouses may struggle to remain civil with each other as they work to resolve the legal issues involved in dissolving their marriage. If you are in a situation where you may be unable to resolve disputes amicably, you will need to understand what steps you can take to minimize conflict during the divorce process.

A high-conflict divorce can drain both your emotional and financial resources. It may lead to prolonged legal battles, resulting in higher costs for both parties. Protecting your rights in such a situation is critical. This can not only benefit your peace of mind, but it can also ensure that you will be able to provide for the well-being and best interests of your children. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can navigate this situation effectively.

Understand Your Legal Rights

The first step in protecting your rights is understanding them. Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state, meaning that you do not need to prove wrongdoing by your spouse to get a divorce. When filing or responding to a divorce petition, your attorney can advise you on how to remain professional and focus on addressing legal issues rather than arguing over who was at fault for your marriage ending. As you proceed with the divorce process, you can familiarize yourself with Wisconsin's laws on property division, child custody, child support, and maintenance. Knowing the basics will help you set realistic expectations and prepare to resolve any disputes you may encounter.

Keep Detailed Records

In high-conflict situations, maintaining thorough records is crucial. Keep a detailed log of all interactions with your spouse, including dates, times, and the nature of communications. Save emails, texts, voicemails, and any other correspondence. Also be mindful of what you say or write in emails, texts, etc. to your spouse and what you post on any form of social media as your words could be held against you. Document expenses, especially those related to your children and household. These records can be invaluable when addressing legal and financial concerns during the divorce process.

Prioritize Your Children’s Needs

A high-conflict divorce can be particularly hard on children. You will want to do your best to shield them from disputes and refrain from speaking negatively about your spouse in their presence. Focus on co-parenting effectively, putting your children's well-being before any conflicts between you and your spouse. As you work to put child custody arrangements in place, you can take steps to minimize their exposure to conflict, such as by arranging for pickups and drop-offs at neutral locations.

Seek Professional Support

You should not attempt to navigate a high-conflict divorce alone. An attorney who has experience representing clients in contentious divorces can be an invaluable partner and advocate for your rights and interests. They can provide legal advice, act as a buffer between you and your spouse during negotiations, and represent you during all required legal proceedings. You may also want to consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor. They can offer strategies to help you manage stress and emotional turmoil, ensuring that you will be able to make clear-headed decisions.

Use Mediation or Collaborative Divorce, if Possible

Although it might seem counterintuitive in a high-conflict situation, mediation or collaborative divorce can be effective ways to resolve disputes outside the courtroom. These methods encourage negotiation and compromise, which can lead to a more amicable and effective resolution than a court battle. An experienced attorney can help you manage the conflict and provide guidance on what methods may be used to reach a fair settlement that will meet your needs and protect your children’s best interests.

Protect Your Financial Interests

It is important to secure your financial future by taking steps to prevent your money or property from being wasted, destroyed, hidden, or transferred to other parties. You may want to close joint accounts, monitor your credit report, and ensure that all marital assets are accounted for and properly valued. You can also work with a financial advisor to understand the long-term impact of the decisions made in your divorce settlement, including tax considerations, retirement planning, and insurance.

Stay Focused on the Future

High-conflict divorces can cause a great deal of emotional difficulty, as well as stress due to ongoing conflict and uncertainty about how different issues will be addressed. During the divorce process, you can benefit by keeping your eyes on the future and preparing to move forward into the next phase of your life. Making decisions based on your long-term well-being rather than short-term victories can lead to more satisfying outcomes.

Contact a Milwaukee High-Conflict Divorce Attorney

As you navigate the divorce process, you will need sound legal advice and support. At Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP, our Milwaukee, WI divorce lawyers can provide guidance on how you can resolve disputes effectively while protecting your rights. We will work to secure a favorable outcome for you while minimizing the emotional and financial toll. Call 414-271-1440 today to set up a free consultation and explore your options for moving forward with confidence.

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