What to Do If Your Ex Hires an Extremely Aggressive Divorce Attorney

Trends like the rise of collaborative divorce and so-called “divorce selfies” indicate a broader movement away from the traditionally combative environment of divorce proceedings and toward civility. Unfortunately, not everyone is on board quite yet. If your ex is threatening the civility of your own divorce by hiring an extremely aggressive divorce attorney, here are a few steps you can take to keep the peace and defend yourself without resorting to equally combative tactics.

Hire an assertive and experienced attorney

When consulting with a candidate lawyer, specifically ask about his or her experience dealing with aggressive attorneys. What strategies does the lawyer use to diffuse the tension and advocate for win-win outcomes during tough negotiations? What is the ideal demeanor and courtroom approach? Your lawyer may even have direct experience with the opposing counsel and thus may have specific tactical ideas for how to handle the situation as well as insight into what drives the aggressive behavior. For instance, some attorneys over-compensate for weak cases by making bold and provocative moves, and your lawyer needs to be able to parry those moves.

Suggest collaborative divorce

According to a recent report from the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP), 86 percent of all reported collaborative cases settled with an agreement on all issues. By incorporating financial experts, mental health professionals, attorneys, and mediators into the negotiation process, couples can make better-informed decisions with more privacy than traditional litigation.

Choose your battles wisely

Whether the divorce attorney is aggressive or not, it’s in your best interest to avoid stoking the flames as much as possible. Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fight for what’s rightly yours. Discuss your highest priorities with your lawyer to begin developing negotiation tactics for when your ex’s attorney comes on strong. If you opt to concede on lower-priority issues, you’ll have more leverage when negotiating for those that are especially important to you.

Try reasoning with your spouse

During mediation or in a personal conversation, talking seriously with your spouse about hiring a more reasonable lawyer is always worth a shot. You can even exercise your own negotiation skills in this conversation, perhaps offering to settle on a particularly contentious issue if your ex agrees to try a different attorney or a new approach altogether. Emphasize that an aggressive attorney will only draw out the process, resulting in more legal fees, stress, and contention for you as well as any children involved.

An extremely aggressive divorce attorney can add an extra layer of acrimony to the divorce process, but statistics prove that civility and compromise always win in the end. We hope these tips will help you avoid a bloody battle in court, but even if your ex chooses to be stubborn instead, rest assured that vindication is right around the corner. For more information and advice on dealing with an ex’s aggressive attorney, contact the DiPietro Family Law Group today at 202.609.7446.

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