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Illinois Divorce: High Conflict Institute and Preparing for a High Conflict Divorce

” Is your partner emotionally explosive, regularly picking fights, and blaming others for all their troubles? Bill Eddy sheds light on how to manage conflict and communication with a high conflict person.” 

Christina: What type of preparation do you recommend?

Bill: Well, a few things. First of all, get support. Build a support system. I think it helps to meet with a counselor occasionally and just kind of prepare for what you may go through, ’cause you’ll maybe personally attacked, publicly criticized, harassed, etc. Also, get consultation with a family lawyer, whether you’ll hire one or not, a lot of family lawyers today will let you consult for half an hour or an hour. And kind of talk about your situation and what some of the problems could be. Another is to kinda collect information. What a lot of people we encourage to do is make sure you find out what all your bank account numbers are. Some people take pictures of all their household furniture, the big items, in case things start disappearing during a divorce. And also keep a journal of extreme events. So let’s say there was a pushing and shoving incident happened while you’re still living together. You wanna write down exactly what happened ideally on the day it happened. So if six months or a year later, you get blamed for that event, you got some kind of record to say “Wait a minute, this is what happened. I didn’t start pushing. The other person started pushing.” You know, whatever it is that happened. So in a sense, it’s preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. And not assuming that the worst will happen, but kinda having your eyes open, having support, having information and keeping some records.

Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, and mediator in San Diego, California. He is the President of the High Conflict Institute. He is on the part-time faculty at the Pepperdine University School of Law and on the part-time faculty of the National Judicial College and is the senior family mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center. He is the developer of the New Ways for Families, a skill-based method for managing high-conflict families in separation and divorce, which is being implemented in court systems in the United States and Canada.”


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