Divorce Terrorism In A High Conflict Divorce

Divorce was supposed to be the end of one chapter and the start of another—a chance for renewal, growth, and a brighter future. However, for some, divorce becomes a nightmarish ordeal, where cooperation turns into conflict, communication into chaos, and a desire for resolution into endless battles. If you’re facing what we call “divorce terrorism”, we’re answering your common questions and please know that you’re not alone. There is a way out of the darkness.

Is Your High-Conflict Divorce Turning Into a Nightmare?

What is Divorce Terrorism?

Divorce terrorism is a type of domestic violence that takes place during a high-conflict divorce. Divorce terrorism can feel like you are walking through an endless, emotional war zone. It happens when minor disagreements escalate into relentless disputes when the other spouse monitors and examines your every move to hold it against you later. It is behavior that undermines the well-being of everyone involved – you, your spouse, and, most importantly, your children. These battles can take an immeasurable toll on your emotional and mental health, leaving you feeling exhausted, vulnerable, and even hopeless.

In divorce terrorism, you may experience:

  1. Emotional Warfare: Your once-loving partner seems transformed into an adversary, using litigation or the threat of litigation to bully, harass, or intimidate you to gain the upper hand in custody battles, asset division, or alimony disputes.
  2. Endless Courtroom Battles: The courtroom becomes a battleground where the fight for control or validation overshadows the pursuit of fairness and resolution.
  3. Psychological Strain: The constant stress and anxiety can lead to sleepless nights, declining health, and fractured relationships with friends and family.
  4. Emotional Scars on Children: Your children are caught in the crossfire, witnessing battles that no child should ever endure.

Why Choose Us For Your High Conflict Divorce?

At Hart Ginney, our divorce attorneys understand the emotional turmoil you’re going through. The fear, anger, and sadness accompanying divorce terrorism can feel overwhelming. So here’s the crucial truth – there’s a way out, beginning with choosing the right legal representation.

We are not your typical divorce attorneys, we are fierce litigators with a history of handling the most complicated, messy divorces – we are experienced guides through the storm. Here is what makes us different: 

  1. Experience That Matters: Divorce terrorism is complex and nuanced. Our legal team has extensive experience in handling high-conflict divorce cases. We are litigating attorneys  – we do not back down from a fight – but we also understand that litigation comes with a high emotional and financial cost.    
  2. Compassion as Our Compass: We approach every case with empathy. We know that behind the legal battles are real people with real emotions. We’re here to support you not just as legal experts but as caring partners in your journey.
  3. Customized Strategies: There is no one-size-fits-all solution in divorce terrorism. We work with you to develop a legal strategy that aligns with your unique situation and goals, be it ensuring your child’s well-being or protecting your assets.
  4. Resolution Not Escalation: We are skilled litigators, but we also prioritize finding solutions that minimize litigation whenever possible. We aim for resolution, not escalation.
  5. Empowering You: We’re not just your legal advocates; we’re your allies in reclaiming your life. We empower you with knowledge and strategies to face divorce terrorism head-on.
  6. A Team Approach. We work with you to set up your own team, so that you are not alone in this process, and you have a network of support professionals you can turn to for advice. 

Tell Us Your Story

Don’t let divorce terrorism in a high-conflict divorce define your future. It’s time to take back control, find peace, and rebuild your life. Contact us today, and let’s navigate this challenging journey together. Your brighter, post-divorce chapter starts here.

1939 Harrison Street, Suite 210
Oakland, CA 94612

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Divorce Terrorism FAQs

Divorce Terrorism is a term used to describe a high-conflict divorce where disputes escalate into relentless battles characterized by extreme adversarial behavior, excessive litigation and an inability to settle even minor issues outside of court. Divorce Terrorism cases typically involve threats, hiding assets, allegations of abuse from the abuser, a large number of irrelevant issues to detract from the abuser’s own bad acts, and threats to therapists, attorneys or other support individuals involved in the case. 

High-conflict divorces often involve numerous third-parties, such as therapists, parent coordinators, child custody evaluators, forensic accountants, etc.  Though the issues are complicated, high-conflict divorces are generally capable of being resolved – even in part – outside of court. High-conflict cases generally do not include threats, intimidation, refusals to cooperate in any way, or extensive litigation about trivial issues that are the hallmarks of Divorce Terrorism cases. 

Signs include frequent court appearances to litigate trivial issues (such as one parent being 10 minutes late on one occasion to a pick-up), intense disputes over custody or assets, including claims of alienation by one parent, refusal to cooperate, harassment, threats against therapists or attorneys involved, involving friends or family in personal attacks, and using children as pawns in the conflict.

Children are often the main victims of this type of divorce and it is critical to find an experienced therapist to support your child, even if you think that you are shielding your child from the conflict. Often, the Court will also appoint a minor’s counsel to represent the child’s interests. 

Mediation can be extremely effective in resolving cases where the parties can cooperate. However, cases which have escalated to Divorce Terrorisms are not going to be resolved through mediation. Mediation is often used in these cases simply to prolong  the pattern of control or financial abuse that is already prevalent in the relationship. 

Yes, California courts take a dim view of behaviors that harm the divorce process, especially when children are involved. Consequences can include changes in custody arrangements or financial penalties, including the payment of attorney’s fees.

Yes, if you feel threatened or harassed, you can request a restraining order, though a restraining order typically cannot protect you from most of the behavior that is creating so many issues in Divorce Terrorism cases. It’s crucial to consult with an attorney to understand the process and the ramifications of this type of approach on your specific case. 

Divorce Terrorism cases tend to last for years – generally until the youngest child turns 18, or, in cases with no children, until all assets have been determined and divided.  A typical Divorce Terrorism case generally takes 3-5 years to resolve. 

Yes, if circumstances change and your child’s well-being is at risk, you can request a modification of custody arrangements. However, in Divorce Terrorism cases, it is imperative that you have a clear plan and the right support team in place before considering this approach given the high likelihood that such a request will result in years of unfounded allegations and litigation.