Be Aware of the Ramifications of Anger on Divorce and Custody Issues in New Jersey
It’s Important to Make Rational Decisions When Dealing With Complicated Family Law Matters, Rather Than Letting Emotions Have a Negative Impact on Your Case in Monmouth and Ocean County, NJ
Getting divorced can be an emotional time. It is painful to separate from someone you previously had deep feelings about. Divorce can get ugly very quickly, even if the decision to split is shared; tempers flare as assets are divided, and child support is negotiated. There are different levels of anger in a divorce. Losing your temper with each other over who gets Grandma’s punchbowl may cause bickering, but deep, intense anger can lead to violence and abuse. Your life is in a state of upheaval in a way you haven’t previously experienced. You may feel out of control, which instinctually will provoke a “fight or flight” response. If your brain believes emotionally that a bear is chasing you, your response is decided by your brain’s amygdala or survival center. When you feel attacked, you answer in kind. You are jousting against someone uniquely qualified to push all of your buttons at once in an attempt to upset you. While this is utterly unproductive during a divorce, it is human nature. Fortunately, there are ways to push past the anger and settle your divorce in a constructive atmosphere.
Anger Issues Can Get in the Way of Productive Negotiation
It’s nearly impossible to negotiate with someone when you’re angry. Maybe it’s your ex who is angry. Perhaps it’s both of you. Either way, communication breaks down entirely, and negotiations can drag on and on. Consider the end game. Focus on what you want to have happen and what you can do to bring it to fruition. The process becomes bogged down if everyone is on edge and arguing over the slightest details.
Anger Can Prevent Rational Solutions to Resolve Issues
When you’re angry, you aren’t logical. Remember the amygdala? You want to have your frontal cortex in gear. That is the front part of your brain that takes care of rational thinking. If you are angry and argumentative, it is impossible to focus logically and resolve the issues at hand. No one is saying you have to take your ex out to lunch, but you need to come to a headspace where you can make objective decisions regarding solutions that will benefit you in the end.
Angry Outbursts in Court Can Hurt Your Divorce or Custody Case
When you are out of control with anger, you are reactionary, maybe yelling at your ex, making rude comments, or interrupting their lawyer or even the judge. Judges don’t take kindly to tantrums in their courtrooms unless they’re the ones who are upset. Never lose your self-control in court, even if you’re seething on the inside.
Resentment Can Drag Out the Divorce Process, Costing You Money in the End
Lastly, it all comes down to money. Divorce is expensive, and the longer it takes to settle, the more it costs. Remember the end game. Is it worth spending your last dime on a process that could have taken a lot less time (and money) were it not for your burning passion to ruin your ex’s existence? Focus on the finish line, trust your divorce attorney, and avoid expensive delays by simply not engaging in pettiness. Your bank account will thank you.
How Anger Issues May Impact a Court’s Decision in Child Custody Disputes
Losing control in court can upset the judge and influence the child custody agreement. If you and your ex have been playing TRO tag, making hyperbolic accusations back and forth out of sheer anger, it won’t look good for either of you. But if you add a hot temper and a loose tongue, you will be hard-pressed to prove to the judge that you aren’t the parent with an anger problem. In a hot minute, you could find yourself in anger management classes and supervised visits until the court is convinced you can demonstrate self-control. If it goes a step further and you disrespect the judge or their authority, you could be slapped with a contempt of court charge, and all that does is throw a wrench into the works.
If you have children, avoiding making them collateral damage in your divorce process is essential. They love you both and shouldn’t be placed in a position where they must choose one. Remember that they are your children, not your bestie or therapist. They are not mature enough to have the ability to process your anger toward your ex. The situation is traumatic enough for them as it is. Encourage your children to continue to have a good relationship with your ex. You can be honest about how things will change without blaming your ex or speaking ill of them. The negative comments you make could cause your children to feel guilty about wanting a relationship with both parents.
Thinking logically, if you are angry at your ex because they cheated on you, quit trying to make the marriage work, or didn’t want to be married to you anymore, hurting your children by moving heaven and earth to keep them away from the other parent could cause irreparable damage. Do you want your children to be exposed to the bickering and ugliness between the two people they love most in the world? Their success hinges on you and your ex’s ability to co-parent in a loving, stable, mature manner. You can be an example of how to resolve conflict constructively.
Family court judges base their decisions on the best interests of the children. Acting a fool during the proceedings, out of control, finger-pointing, and accusatory, will give the judge the impression that you are the problem. It could affect your parenting time and your ability to participate in the decision-making process regarding your children’s education and healthcare, among others. You cannot be seen as a responsible, mature, focused individual when you are overcome with anger.
My Ex-Spouse has Anger Issues, What Should I do to Best Handle our Divorce?
You can do nothing to make your angry ex cooperative if they choose to be obstinate. But you can do several things not to throw lighter fluid on the bonfire. Remember that anger is fear. It is the fear of not having control, being abandoned, or not having one’s needs met. Telling your ex that you will crush them financially and take the children away forever is a precise way to instill fear and stir up unproductive anger.
Don’t use your children as pawns or bargaining chips. They are already experiencing fear and anxiety with the changes in the family and need to be reassured that they are not the problem. Work with your spouse to resolve the issues concerning child support and parenting time as expeditiously as possible. Avoid getting pulled into an argument, no matter how hard it may be.
If your ex is calling or texting you, acting in a threatening manner, or harassing you at all hours of the night, document everything. Take screenshots, save emails, copy phone logs, and always remember that arguing is difficult when the other person doesn’t respond. You can choose how and when you will react. Stay calm, communicate with your attorney, and seek support from family and friends.
Talk to Our Divorce Lawyers at Bronzino Law Firm about the Impact of Anger on Your Divorce or Custody Case in Freehold and Toms River NJ
Anger in divorce is a genuine emotion, but participating in the back and forth of nit-picking and rehashing is a waste of time and takes a toll on your physical and mental health. You should never attempt to divorce an angry spouse on your own. You need someone who can cut through the barrage of arguments and divisiveness.
The Bronzino Law Firm will protect your bests interests throughout the divorce proceedings in Rumson, Toms River, Tinton Falls, Lacey, Barnegat, Lavallette, Freehold, Colts Neck, Long Branch, Wall, and other areas in Monmouth and Ocean County and South Jersey. We have handled hundreds of divorce cases and have experience representing clients in contentious circumstances. We know you are hurting and need closure so that you can move on and live your best life.