What Are the Signs of High-Conflict Divorce? There are many indicators that your divorce may be contested by your spouse. Physical abuse is the most widely recognized red flag, but there are often other signs that you could be headed for a contentious split.

At the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates, we’re ready for high-conflict cases. Often, there are ways to reduce the level of conflict if the disputes are mostly financial and not personal. There are also ways to address personal conflicts, though the strategy will likely be different. With time, many high-conflict cases can be resolved through mediation or collaboration. If your spouse is, shall we say, less amenable to working through your options in a rational and mature manner, then we’re ready to present your right to equitable distribution, custody, alimony, and child support to a family law judge.

High-conflict divorces due to abuse

If your spouse is threatening your physical safety or being verbally abusive, those are signs that your divorce is going to be contentious. Our strategy will begin by focusing on your safety. We may need to file protective orders to help ensure the abuse does not continue. If your spouse is abusive, that also indicates your spouse is likely to want to contest every position you take. We are prepared to fight back on your behalf.

If your spouse’s abusive behavior is due to alcohol or substance abuse, then those underlying problems may need to be addressed too. If your spouse has substance abuse issues or is violent for other reasons, then it’s not just your safety that is a concern. Your children’s safety be must be considered when discussing or litigating any custody or visitation issues.

High-conflict divorces due to child custody disputes

It’s a near certainty that if there are physical abuse or substance abuse problems, then those problems (as addressed above) must be discussed in the context of child custody. So, too, must any verbal or emotional abuse, as this can be just as damaging to adults and children. Conflict may also result:

  • If your spouse contests your right to custody. Parents have the right to joint legal and physical custody in most cases. If your husband or wife is contesting your right to either type of custody, we fight for your rights. We explain that Tennessee law requires that the family law judges review numerous factors when making custody decisions. We work to show these factors all support your right to sole or joint custody. Some of these factors include the current relationship parents have with their children, the ability of each parent to provide for the child, the physical and mental health of the parents, and the importance of stability in a child’s life.
  • If your spouse refuses to reach an agreement on visitation. Most parents are able to reach parenting plan agreements based on how close the parents live to each other, their work schedules, the ages of the children, and other factors. When your spouse contests every hour of every day that your child spends with you, that’s a sign the custody dispute is headed for litigation. Disputes about schooling, education, and discipline also indicate a trial before the family judge may be necessary.

High-conflict divorces due to fights over financial assets

Spouses who rent their home and/or who were only married for a short time may be likely to settle their divorce disputes more easily. If the spouses own a home, businesses, or investment properties, or when you have retirement accounts and other significant assets, you both need to determine their value and what needs to be done with the assets. Many spouses reach an agreement through negotiation, mediation, or divorce. Agreements often include the trading of assets and buyouts. If your spouse wants to keep everything, you’re headed for court.

Some of the signs you are likely to have to litigate property division, alimony, and other financial concerns include:

  • Your spouse is hiding assets or trying to claim his/her income is less than it is. Indicators include your spouse is living beyond his/her means, a business that was doing well for years is suddenly doing poorly, your spouse is making more than usual withdrawals from joint accounts, and your spouse refuses to answer questions about the assets.
  • Your spouse hires appraisers to show the value of his/her property is lower than you expect.
  • Your spouse refuses to leave the marital home even though you clearly can’t get along.
  • Your spouse has debts that you just learned about.

How can you resolve high-conflict cases?

Many divorces can be resolved without a full-scale trial. With time, many spouses do learn to admit their marriage is over and it’s time to move on. Our skilled Franklin divorce lawyers persist in verifying all the marital assets and their value. Once it is clear that attempts at hiding assets, lower their value, and other delaying tactics fail – many spouses realize negotiating a settlement is better than spending a fortune in legal fees.

Skilled mediators can help resolve disputes when there are divorce conflicts. In collaborative divorces, professionals can appraise property, value retirement accounts, and help parents resolve their emotional differences through consultations with experienced psychologists.

At the Law Offices of Adrian H. Altshuler & Associates, we have been strong advocates for spouses and children for 30 years. We understand when negotiation is possible and when conflict is likely. We work step-by-step to help ensure your financial and emotional future. We understand all the tricks and strategies uncooperative spouses take to take to make your life miserable. We’re ready to try your case before a family judge at all times.

To discuss all your divorce issues and the problems you’re having with an unfriendly spouse, call our office at 615-977-9370 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We represent spouses/parents in and around Franklin, Columbia, and Brentwood, Tennessee.