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How to prepare yourself before a high-conflict divorce trial

High-conflict divorces tend to involve ongoing disputes, animosity and poor communication. Going to court for any reason is a stressful experience, but resolving a high-conflict divorce through a trial can be especially challenging.

Fortunately, there are practical steps you can take to ready yourself before your high-conflict divorce trial begins.

Emotionally preparing yourself

Taking measures to address your emotions before you go to court can help you build resilience and stability during your high-conflict divorce trial. Try employing self-care methods such as journaling and meditation that help you work through issues and reduce stress. Make sure you do not neglect your physical needs, including adequate rest, regular exercise and a nutritious diet. You can also reach out to friends and family if you need support while dealing with fear, anger or grief regarding your divorce. Speaking with a therapist can provide a safe setting that allows you to express your feelings as well.

Attending your divorce trial

When you go to court, you should dress in clean, professional attire that is not overly flashy or uncomfortable. Carrying cash is a good idea, and you might want to bring snacks and water, too. You can also carry a supply kit with notebooks, pens, lip balm and breath mints. Leave items like pepper spray and pocket tools in your car’s trunk or at home.

During the trial, it is crucial to speak politely and calmly to everyone in the courtroom, including your ex. You should avoid using stigmatizing labels and emotionally-charged language when discussing your divorce. Always address the judge properly as “your honor” and keep your answers concise and factual.

Although going through a high-conflict divorce is difficult, you can benefit from seeking support and preparing yourself before the trial begins.