I recently had a Mediation with one of my favorite clients, who was very emotional about the whole divorce process and I realized something that may be of great value to anyone going through a divorce or a break-up. In the majority of divorces, one party initiates the process and the other defends themselves. It is rare that a petition for a dissolution is filed along with a settlement agreement reached between the parties. In most cases, one or both parties are very hurt and often at least one remains acrimonious throughout the process. The question this blog seeks to answer is “How do I deal with my Ex when all he/she wants to do is cause me harm?”
My first suggestion is don’t resist the truth about your ex. While he/she may be difficult, obstante or just very unpleasant, wishing they were different does not make it so. Many people going through divorce want the process to just be over, but not necessarily at the expense of a very unfair arrangement. Thus, my second recommendation is that you accept that divorce IS a PROCESS.
My client, whom I will refer to as Blanca, is frustrated, tired, at times overwhelmed and just wants this all over. Her Husband has been unreasonable through most of the process and is remaining so at Mediation. He has been a bully to her for a long time and we are now about to conclude Mediation without settlement and get ready for trial. Thankfully, despite many differences, they have worked out a timesharing arrangement for their two children and I am not litigating timesharing issues aggressively at all. They also reached an agreement about how to divide their most significant asset – the marital home. This leads me to my third recommendation: acknowledge what differences you have resolved.
Lets recap the first three suggestions at this point:
1. Don’t resist the truth about your ex. The divorce does not all of a sudden lead them to change their ways. If you accept that person for who they are and who they are NOT, the process will be much smoother:
2. Accept the fact that divorce is a process with certain steps that are required before it is complete. Those steps in Florida include an exchange of financial information, Mediation (if an agreement has not already been reached) and a Final Hearing if Mediation fails and there are issues between you and your ex.
3. Acknowledge any resolutions you have reached.
My final two steps are as follows:
4. Create a vision of success for you and your family; and lastly, and most importantly,
5. Work towards that vision.
In my case with Blanca she has placed so much focus on what her ex does and says, she sometimes loses focus on her own vision. At times, she is wrapped up in the process instead of working towards her vision of health and peace for her and her children that she loses sight that this IS a process. At times, she has wanted her husband to be someone who he is not, thus furthering her frustration with him and the process. Blanca is one of my favorite clients for a few reasons. She has a big heart, is very appreciative, is very cooperative and a committed Mom. As I do with many clients, I remind her that each day is one day closer to the conclusion and she always has a choice about how to respond to her ex’s demands.
If you can settle your case reasonably, that is the best solution and much less costly than trial. If you cannot resolve your differences without sacrificing one or more of your bottom lines, then you must develop a level of comfort with having the Judge make the decision for you. Either way, it is important to realize that your ex does not control you or your decisions. At the end of the day, the best way for you to deal with your spouse or ex-spouse who wants to fight with you is to focus much more on you and your children than on him and work on your goals in an affirmative way.
I hope this is helpful to you. If you have any questions about this article, feel free to call me at the office at 954-757-5551.
Scott J. Brook, Esquire
Scott J. Brook P.A.
2855 N. University Drive, Suite #510
Coral Springs, FL 33065