Some people in California who are going through a divorce may also find themselves dealing with a divorce bully. A divorce bully is an estranged spouse who was not a bully during the marriage but becomes one during the divorce process. This can be very difficult for the other spouse who is also coping with the emotions that accompany a divorce.
The behaviors of a divorce bully may range from subtle to dangerous. They might include lying, threatening to try to get full custody of the children and isolating the other spouse from family and friends. Setting boundaries and documenting behavior are both important ways of dealing with a divorce bully.
Another good way to deal with a divorce bully may be through mediation. Mediation can be one way of getting people to negotiate and feel as though their point of view is being heard. Both spouses might be more satisfied with a resolution that is arrived at through mediation. However, mediation may not be appropriate in cases where the bullying preceded the divorce. If there has already been abuse, mediation has a tendency to legitimize that abuse, but if it is truly divorce bullying and there is a baseline of trust between the two people, mediation can work.
It might be tempting to hire an attorney who uses aggressive litigation to deal with bullying, but people may want to speak to attorneys about mediation instead. Couples might be happier with a division of property they work out themselves. For example, they might agree to trading off assets such as one getting the retirement account and the other the house. They may also prefer to work out child custody between themselves. Parents can agree on a plan that is unique to their circumstances, and they may also be laying the groundwork for a strong parenting relationship in the years ahead.