Cooperating With an Uncooperative Spouse in Divorce

couple arguing divorceFamily law cases are clearly highly personal by their very nature.  These cases can delve deep into intensely private areas of your life, ranging from your finances to extra-marital affairs to how you handle discipline of your child.  It can be challenging to remain stoic and put your anger or bitterness aside when your spouse or former partner is laying out all of your dirty laundry for the court and the world to see.  Moreover, family law litigation means that you and your former spouse or partner cannot agree on what is to be done about sometimes crucial issues. With so much disagreement going on, it should come as no surprise that the other parent may not be cooperative with you during or after your court case. There are some important tips to keep in mind when trying to cooperate with an uncooperative co-parent or spouse.

One of the most important ways to keep the bad feelings to a minimum is to refuse to engage in arguments as much as possible.  Stay calm and try to separate your feelings from the discussion.  For example, if your spouse is being difficult about equitably dividing the credit card debt you accumulated during the marriage, try not to focus on your potential belief that he or she is just trying to make your life difficult. Focus instead on the actual issue.

Another important tip is to try not to antagonize the other parent in a custody dispute. Especially when the other parent is being spiteful or trying to draw you into an argument, there is a great temptation to say something hurtful or sarcastic. Remain sincere and impassive.

Next, you may want to limit your communication with the other party to texts or emails, if you really are not able to communicate with him or her in a face to face conversation.  Having texts and emails instead of in person conversations has a couple of advantages. One is that you have a written record if you need to return to court.  Another is that it provides a chance for each party to cool off and consider responses before replying to the other parent.

Finally, realize that if the other parent is being uncooperative, it may be that there is a bigger reason that he or she is not agreeing to a particular request. Try to be understanding and get to the root of the actual issue instead of focusing on the fact that he or she will not agree to a particular proposal of yours.

We have extensive experience helping our clients navigate family law when the other party is unreasonable or uncooperative. Call us today at (651) 371-9117 and let us help you.

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