Don’t Make Things Worse: Four Tips for Effective Communication during Divorce

Even in the best of cases, going through a divorce is going to be difficult.  There are a lot of emotions flying around, not to mention the fact that virtually every aspect of your life will be changing during this process. For most couples, one of the biggest challenges is maintaining civil communication during the actual divorce proceedings.  While it may be difficult, it is essential for the well-being of your children as well as your own sanity to be able to effectively communicate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

The following four tips can help make communicating easier and more effective.  Even in the most difficult cases, this advice can help avoid unnecessary problems and keep any conversations that you have as productive as possible.

Tip #1 – Save Contentious Topics for the Right Situations

You will never have to discuss things like who will be getting what property or assets on your own time, so don’t bring it up during your conversations.  Focus only on the specific topics that you need to discuss and leave any arguments over assets and other things for your mediation sessions or the courtroom.

Tip #2 – Don’t Communicate while Drinking

No matter how tempting it may be, never call, text, email or communicate in any other way if you have been drinking.  Just having a glass or two of wine, for example, can loosen your tongue and cause you to say something that you will regret later.  Even if you are feeling kind or affectionate toward your spouse because of the alcohol, no good can come from making a phone call or sending a text.  Just put your phone away and you can always call in the morning if needed. The same holds true for email, social media, or any other form of communication.

Tip #3 – Stick to Court Orders as Closely as Possible

Once your divorce is done, you will have specific court orders for things like parenting time and other important aspects of your life.  In almost all cases, parents will find it necessary to trade days or make other adjustments to meet obligations.  During the actual divorce, however, this should be kept to a minimum.  You will likely have a temporary custody order in place, and you should stick to it as much as possible.  If you don’t, it could result in further conflict and other problems that are not necessary.

Tip #4 – Don’t Try to Create Long Term Solutions Prematurely

The divorce process takes time, and though it can be tempting, try not to get ahead of yourself.  If you are going out of town for work, for example, talk only about the specific days that you will be gone and how it will affect the other parties involved.  Don’t try to work out how all future business trips (or other traveling) should work.  This should be addressed only in a mediation session or the courtroom.

These tips will help to make your communicating easier and more effective for everyone involved.  Remember, if you are having trouble sticking to them, it may become necessary to only communicate through your attorneys or mediators.  The bottom line here is you need to do whatever you can to reduce or eliminate conflict during the divorce proceedings.

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