Preparing for contentious property division negotiations

Bringing a marriage to a close is never an easy matter. Many Florida spouses are prepared for an unpleasant experience as they prepare to broach the subject of divorce. For some, however, their spouse’s reaction far exceeds anything they could have imagined. When a divorce shows signs of being especially contentious, spouses must prepare for a rocky property division and child custody process.

There are some signs that indicate that a divorce may become more challenging than “normal.” The first indication lies in how one spouse reacts to the initial news that divorce is on the horizon. Most people will experience sadness or regret when they realize their marriage is coming to an end. When a spouse immediately reacts with anger, there is a chance that anger could soon turn into a quest for vengeance. That can lead to significant trouble when trying to negotiate the terms of the divorce.

Another indicator of potential trouble ahead is when one spouse refuses to acknowledge his or her role in the breakdown of the marriage. While a heartfelt acknowledgment of one’s wrongdoings that hindered the marriage may be too much to ask, a complete refusal to acknowledge any flaws or faults should be a serious red flag. That type of approach often signifies that one party plans to play the role of martyr throughout the divorce process.

Either of these signs should indicate a need to thoroughly prepare for what might be a contentious divorce. Florida spouses should make every effort to inform themselves of their legal rights and obligations when it comes to child custody and property division, because taking a collaborative or cooperative approach may not be an approach that the other party is willing to take. It is an unfortunate reality that some marriages will end more harshly than others, but being prepared is the best way to move through and beyond the divorce process.

Source:, “Signs of a “Rougher than Average” Divorce“, Ann Cerney, Sept. 5, 2017

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