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High Conflict Divorce During a Recession?

A young boy sitting on a couch with his head resting on the armrest, while his parents are having a discussion in the background.

Are you one of the millions of Americans contemplating a high conflict divorce during what will likely become a very quick recession?  You and millions of others are suddenly facing diving stock markets, the economy grinding to a halt, restaurants, and bars are closing, the Dow losing ground and questions about the Coronavirus.  At Moshier Law, we can relate to the uncertainty – after all, Moshier Law actually started during the 2008-2009 “great recession.”  Divorce is a challenging process in the most ideal economy.  Divorce can turn a lot worse if it’s a high conflict divorce in Arizona.

The diving market creates an opportunity for a spouse looking to exit a marriage or break financial ties.  The lower the market, the less the “buyout” maybe for the financially “out” spouse.  Likewise, if the economy dives now, the breadwinner may see a dive in salary or employment opportunity, and leave the marriage.  The lower the salary, the less spousal maintenance that could be owed.  These are perilous times.

Even though you may not feel in control throughout a high conflict divorce, in reality, you have more control over your divorce than you might think.  This may not be the time to go straight to court in Arizona.  This may be the time to find an even greater common enemy and align for the sake of conserving your finances.

First, let’s discuss what occurs in a high conflict divorce in Arizona. A lot of the fighting and conflict in high conflict divorce cases are concentrated on child custody and parenting time disagreements. Children are defenseless to put an end to the fighting among their parents, but they also take the brunt of those conflicts. Divorces can be detrimental to children. Now, your children may be home with you full time.  Children at home full time can add more stress by virtue of just being present and observing an already brewing conflict.

High conflict divorces can be a lot more damaging to kids.  Consider the experience of your children and their emotions now.  Schools have shut down, daily life is interrupted and their parents are in conflict.

Many high conflict divorce cases can even involve allegations of child abuse or domestic violence. These kinds of cases are the most difficult. If the allegations are true, there is a need to safeguard children from being harmed.  If they are based on subjective but unfounded concerns, there is still cause for concern.  It’s critical to take the steps necessary that are legally possible to safeguard your children from those types of abuse.  There are fewer public services available and greater opportunity for allegations and accusations.

How You Should Act in a High Conflict Divorce

You are in total control of how you behave yourself in a divorce. When facing a lot of antagonism and conflict, you have choices.  Choosing to withdraw (silence) or engage in conflict can make a difference.  You may want to educate yourself about ways to find an even, but determined tone when you discuss ways to resolve conflict with your spouse.

Character emerges when we are faced with our greatest challenges.  To remain even but determined is difficult when encountering discussions about divorce or legal separation while facing all the uncertainties in our world today.  Using all of your self-control now will influence your ability to proactively respond to a hostile spouse’s words and actions.  You still have power.

Your power is to neutralize negative or aggressive communications.  These do nothing but upset you, your spouse, and raise tension even more. To defend yourself, think about creating healthy boundaries when communicating with your spouse.

Are you considering divorce, but you want to ensure no one is inappropriately taking advantage of rapidly changing circumstances?  Consider mediation or collaborative process.  Sharing a common love for your children, and a common distrust for the divorce “industry” may align you to conserve the financial reserves you have available.  Collaborative process has caused my clients’ fees to be reduced by 75% and the clients have greater service, short response times and lower risk.  In Collaborative Law, my clients have been happy with their outcomes.  Mediation can be a little less secure.  Mediation does not guarantee you both have a lawyer or access to the legal information you need.  Mediation is still superior to court.

Hire the Correct High Conflict Divorce Attorney

Manage the attorney you’re hiring in a high conflict divorce.  Some lawyers use Collaborative Law to bring you in the door, but we will offer you Collaborative Law as a first option.  We believe that in about 80-90% of cases, Collaborative Law (also called Collaborative Process) is the right option.  Every Collaborative Process case is different, but the structure is the same.  You get to make your own choices, you get to decide the schedule and the timing.  A judge never makes decisions for you in Collaborative Process.  We have directly witnessed cases go from divorce to a high conflict divorce for the simple fact that the attorney representing the other spouse was highly aggressive.  In Collaborative Process, there is no highly aggressive behavior.

Actually, there are divorce attorneys in Arizona that are well known for simply taking unreasonable positions and act exceedingly aggressive to the opposing party and their counsel in every case they undertake. I’ve watched physical attacks after court cases.  I have known people who died because of high conflict court cases.

An aggressive divorce attorney will cost both of you tens of thousands of dollars in unneeded attorney fees.  The wrong representation can even cost lives.  Who your spouse hires to represent them is out of your control, but you’re in control of who you want to retain as your counsel.  Your behavior can dictate the difference.

The enemy you know can be safer than the enemy you don’t.  The court can sometimes cause your family more damage than anything.


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