Whenever possible, communicating directly and civilly with your ex can benefit all involved. Even if your ex is difficult or uncooperative when it comes to communication, your efforts will demonstrate a desire and ability to behave appropriately. Here are three ways to communicate effectively during your divorce.
Even in the most amicable of divorces, setting boundaries is an important step when it comes to effective communication. Determine in what ways and how often the two of you will be communicating. Consider talking on the phone if quick questions need to be answered or amicable conversations can take place. If talking on the phone or face to face causes more harm than good, perhaps email or text communication is the best route to go. Physical messages, such as texts and emails, also serve as great documentation tools.
Remember to also establish how often you and your ex should be in communication. If either you or your ex is reaching out too often, reiterate the boundaries you set and respond to important requests when you’re reasonably able to. Also think about establishing a daily cut-off time for correspondence. By establishing these boundaries up front, expectations for communication will be managed and will also allow everyone to be on the same page.
Keep Emotions in Check
When speaking with your ex, do your best to keep your tone cordial, calm and civil. Shouting, or sounding condescending or demeaning, only invites hostility. If you’re upset, take some time to cool off before communicating with your ex. Don't feel the need to continue a conversation immediately, take the time you need to sufficiently check your emotions to successfully continue cordial communication.
If you are on the receiving end of uncivil behavior, simply ignore it or end the conversation. If your ex is unable to communicate civilly, speak to your lawyer and evaluate other communication options that may work better for both of you throughout the divorce process. Subjecting yourself to repeated hostility does nothing to resolve your divorce and only continues to breakdown communication between you and your ex.
When you are talking with your former spouse in person, on the phone, through text, or through email it is extremely important that you stay focused on the topic you want to address. Do not get off topic and start talking negatively about your marriage, your ex, or any other factors that can lead to a negative or non-civil conversation.
You can say politely that you are only willing to discuss the issue that initially started the conversation, no matter how many times they may push you. Regardless if they bring something up or whether you're upset, keep the conversation focused solely on the actual issue(s). If the beginning of a negative conversation persists, hang up and document the experience. Also, consider talking to your lawyer about other avenues of communication.
Although this may help with general effective communication during your divorce, more specific questions related to your unique and individual case should be brought to your divorce attorney or to an attorney you can trust. C.Y. Lee Legal Group, PLLC has more than a decade of experience helping families through the divorce process. Contact them today for a free consultation.