Going through the divorce process is stressful. Often, the breakdown in communication is one cause of the divorce. Even those who thought their communication was good during the marriage have trouble communicating with their spouse during their divorce.
Emotions run high. One spouse may be angry and blame the other for the divorce. There is generally heartbreak and disappointment over the failed marriage.
If this describes you and children are involved, you need to learn how to communicate. You will be with your ex-spouse for your life as you co-parent your children. You will both want to attend graduations, weddings, and other family events.
How to Communicate During the Divorce
If you are in the process of divorce, there are some ways to communicate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse that can reduce your stress.
Establish boundaries. The boundaries you set depend upon your unique communication issues. Some suggestions are:
- Never, ever talk about your divorce issues in front of your children. Children suffer enough and often think they are the cause of the divorce. Be careful not to talk about it in front of them.
- Determine the best communication process for you, whether email, text, or telephone. Be careful what you put in writing. It is all discoverable and can come back to haunt you if you have said something rude, disparaging, or controversial and wish you could take it back.
- Limit the number of phone calls or messages if your spouse tends to contact you several times a day for non-emergency or non-urgent reasons.
Focus only on the issues. If you need to discuss finances, what is best for the children, and any other issue related to the divorce, do not stray into other volatile issues. It is easy to get an argument started and to say things like, “You always…” “You never…” Do not do that. Keep focused.
Keep it professional. Do not shout. Do not incite an argument. Do not be verbally abusive. Do not retaliate. Do your best to foster an environment conducive to open and respectful communication.
Consider using a mediator. If your attempts to communicate are still difficult and feel non-productive, it may be time for you to use a mediator who will provide you with the guidance you need to help you communicate respectfully.
Contact Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP
For assistance in communicating with your spouse during the divorce process, or for mediation services that can help, contact our family law attorneys at Rosenthal & Markowitz, LLP. You can reach us online or by calling 914.347.1292.
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