Navigating High-Conflict Ex-Partners: Tips for Negotiation

Separating from a partner can be emotionally challenging, and if you find yourself dealing with a highconflict ex-partner, it can become even more stressful. High-conflict situations are characterised by endless arguments, blame-shifting, and erratic behaviour. In such cases, it’s important to approach negotiations with caution and strategic thinking to protect your interests and maintain your emotional well-being.

The Family law team at Griffiths Parry Lawyers have compiled their top tips for negotiating with a high conflict ex-partner.

Keep Communication Brief and in Writing

One of the most crucial steps in dealing with a high-conflict ex-partner is to maintain a level head during communication. When faced with hostile emails, text messages, or social media interactions, it’s tempting to respond with emotion.

However, remember that anything you write can be used as evidence in court if your dispute escalates. Take a deep breath, pause, and respond in a calm, concise, and respectful manner. Avoid phone calls, as it can be challenging to prove the content of a conversation, rather opt for written communication to maintain a record.

Focus on Problem Solving, Not Conflict

High-conflict individuals may thrive on drama and confrontation. Instead of getting caught up in the emotional turmoil, shift your focus to problem-solving.

Ask yourself whether engaging in a particular argument or dispute will serve any purpose or help resolve the issue at hand. If not, resist the urge to engage and instead, offer practical solutions. This approach can defuse tense situations and steer the conversation towards a more productive direction.

Prioritise Self-Care

Dealing with a high-conflict ex-partner can be emotionally draining. It’s essential to take care of your well-being during this challenging time.

Set aside moments for self-care, whether it’s disconnecting from your phone, enjoying a book, having a glass of wine, or taking a peaceful walk. These small breaks can significantly improve your mental and emotional state, allowing you to approach negotiations with a clearer mind.

Consider a Detailed Parenting Plan/Orders

If you share children with your high-conflict ex-partner, having a detailed parenting plan or court orders can provide clarity and reduce future disputes. The more comprehensive these arrangements are, the less room there is for disagreements.

While it’s impossible to predict every possible scenario, a well-crafted plan can help minimise misunderstandings and conflicts down the road. Consult with a family lawyer to ensure your parenting plan is as detailed and clear as possible.

Engage a Lawyer

Dealing with a high-conflict ex-partner is challenging, and attempting to navigate it alone can be overwhelming. Seek the help of an experienced family lawyer who specialises in managing difficult personality traits and high-conflict cases.

A skilled lawyer can guide you through the negotiation process, help you maintain your composure, and redirect the conversation toward practical and workable solutions. They can also provide valuable legal advice to protect your rights and interests.


Negotiating with a high-conflict ex-partner is never easy, but by following these tips and seeking professional legal assistance, you can minimise stress and increase your chances of reaching a fair and amicable resolution. Remember that self-care and maintaining a level head are crucial during this challenging time.

With the right approach and support, you can navigate the complexities of a high-conflict situation and move forward with your life.

If you are in or think you will be in a situation where you will have to navigate a high-conflict ex in trying to resolve your separation, contact the team at Griffiths Parry Lawyers.

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