Going through a divorce is hard in any situation, but when your ex is hostile and combative, things get even more challenging. You need to take steps to protect yourself throughout the process if this is what you are going through.

When dealing with an ex who won’t negotiate and isn’t willing to be respectful, there is a good chance that you will have to go through a trial instead of being able to use mediation or another form of cooperative resolution. This can drag the divorce on a bit longer, so you should be prepared for this battle.

Pick your battles carefully

Before you go into any proceeding with your ex, you need to decide what you are going to fight for. It might help if you make a list of what decisions need to be made and assign everything an importance level. Only fight for the things that you decide are worth the battle. Let your ex have their way on the others.

Keep the space

Don’t try to become friends with your ex during the divorce. While you should remain cordial and respectful, remember that your sole job during this period is to ensure that you get what you are due. Trying to befriend your ex could mean that you let your guard down and they may us this to their advantage.

Set your boundaries

Your personal boundaries must be set based on what you are comfortable with. This might mean that you only speak to your ex through your representation. If you try mediation, you can have the mediator act as a go-between. If you end up going through a trial, you and your attorney would deal directly with the court.

Know when to walk away

There is a chance that things will get heated between you and your ex. You shouldn’t let yourself stay in a situation that is toxic. Know your limit so that you can walk away if things get too stressful. By giving yourself enough time to calm down, you might be able to come back to the situation with a new view on what’s going on.

It is best to know your rights and what is possible when you are going through this major life change. Think of the end of your marriage as a fresh start and you might find it a bit easier to remain positive throughout the process.