Given that there are relationships, marriages and happy unions, inevitably, there are break-ups, divorces and unhappy endings to relationships that both parties went into, expecting to find long term happiness.
When a marriage or relationship ends, typically, parties to the marriage need legal advice and counsel to determine their path or steps forward. In my experience, there are four reasons that marriages or relationships end that routinely cause the divorce process to be much more high conflict.
What are those reasons?
- Having an affair:
When one or both spouses find other people, outside of the marriage, frequently the parties cannot heal and find a healthy relationship again. When that happens, often (and especially when the infidelity involves secretive behavior, a loss of trust or even a pattern of extreme lying), there is a significant amount of anger, hurt, betrayal and other difficult feelings and emotions that need to be worked through, in addition to the business of breaking up the marriage/family, dividing finances and determining a parenting plan for the best interests of the children.
Where mistakes have been made, often the best path forward is one involving some level of therapy, even if it is not “marriage counseling” but rather therapy that allows for co-parenting or some ability to have a logical/common-sense business-like relationship, particularly where children are involved and co-parenting needs to continue.
- Financial Hardships/Financial Mismanagement:
When financial hardship reaches the level that it has caused turmoil in the family relationship, including in many situations, a lack of trust in the family. For some families, when they already have tight finances or live check to check or month to month, even a small amount of financial indiscretion can create a financial hardship on the family. On the other hand, in some families, it requires a significant financial mismanagement to create a financial difficulty.
Many people feel, at least in part, that they were motivated to get married or have a long-term, committed relationship to achieve a level of financial security. When the marriage fails to offer a level of financial peace and stability, some people will feel that there is little or no motivation to continue with the relationship.
In other families, financial turmoil is the “outside symptom” of deeper or other problems in the marriage. This can include a spouse who is the breadwinner and develops a substance abuse issue or addiction or other issue that results in the loss of employment, the devaluing or loss of a business, among other things. In many families, the financial hardship would not have occurred but for the other issues. While many people go into marriage expecting that there may be good and bad times or high and low times on the finances, people do not expect their partner to ruin them financially or put them in a place where they cannot meet basic needs and financial obligations.
While physical abuse is often the final straw for someone and causes them to leave the marriage, often other kinds of abuse including emotional, verbal or even sexual abuse can be just as damaging. Additionally, for many parents, when their child experiences some type of abuse, that is the point that he or she elects to leave the marriage. If you are being abused, it is important to get out the marriage and undertake needed safety measures, including an order of protection in Missouri and a protection from abuse order in Kansas.
Nobody deserves to live a life where they are being abused. While this often creates a high conflict situation as the abusive spouse, who is used to having control through their tactics begins to face the reality that he or she is no longer in control of the situation, it is necessary to get out such harmful situations.
- Substance Abuse or Mental Health Issues:
If your spouse is using substances or experiencing mental health difficulties and refuses to
seek needed and necessary help, often this will create a high conflict situation in ending the marriage or relationship. In many situations, when a spouse abuses substances or experiences an untreated mental illness, he or she will display frequent bouts of unreasonable, unpredictable and erratic behavior. For many spouses, substance abuse or mental health difficulties will lead to other secondary problems including physical abuse, financial loss or mismanagement of funds, criminal behavior or other poor choices that the spouse would not ordinarily engage in. Often these types of cases present the most difficult situations in dealing with custody as the spouse struggling with mental health or substance abuse will not recognize and acknowledge his or her problems and make changes to be a safe and healthy parent.
If you or a loved one are experiencing one or more the symptoms outlined herein that can create a high conflict family situation, it is important to get a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney involved quickly to assist with making plans, and preparing for what lies ahead. Call Pingel Family Law today at (816) 208-8130 to get your consultation scheduled.