When you’re in the midst of a divorce, whether its contentious or not, it can be difficult to know how to communicate with your former significant other, especially if there are children involved! However, communication doesn’t have to be difficult! With a few simple tips and tricks, you’ll have a better idea of how to effectively communicate during your divorce.
Avoid Communicating When You’re Upset
There are likely going to issues that arise when going through a divorce, or even as you continue to coparent your children. While it is always advantageous to discuss your true feelings, sometimes it’s worth waiting a little while. Before you make a phone call or press send on an angry text, take a few hours to process and digest and come back to it. It will help make your communication with your ex calmer and will likely help you with clearly articulating your feelings!
You Don’t Need to Response to Every Message
Sometimes it is okay not to reply. If your ex is trying to pull you into trivial issues and arguments, ignore them! Only communicate when necessary and about topics that relate to current issues, like your divorce or your children.
Following in the footsteps of not answering every single message, know that it is okay and encourages to set boundaries on your communication with your former spouse. While it isn’t wise to ignore them completely, feel free to set boundaries on times you are willing to talk, how you are willing to talk, and what you are willing to talk about. For example, you may say you’re only willing to communicate via email or text on weekdays and only about divorce-related topics. Setting these boundaries will allow you to feel refreshed and reset when you do come back to the conversation, as well as allowing for privacy.
Avoid Social Media
Try to avoid posting on social media about your divorce, your former relationship, or you new relationship. While it may be tempting to share, it will help avoid an emotional reaction from your spouse and keep your social media posts out of the court room as evidence.
Concentrate on Present Issues
When discussing any issues with your ex, try to stay on topic. It will help to avoid conflict if you avoid hashing out issues that have already been solved, either by you or by the court.
Make Sure You Are Heard
It is important to ensure that communication between you and your ex is clear and concise. It can be helpful to ask out loud and say “Can you tell me what you hear me saying? I want to make sure I am communicating correctly”. The same can go for making sure that they are heard. Restate what you are hearing so that they know they are communicating correctly.
Take a Break
If your conversation isn’t going anywhere, take a break and come back to it another time. It can be helpful to come back to a conversation after a night or rest or cooling down a bit. This doesn’t mean that you can hang up whenever you feel like it, but rather that you have the ability to take an intentional pause and come back to the situation when the time is right for both of you.
Overall, it is important to remain respectful and act responsibly. You don’t want to add any additional stress to the divorce or coparenting process. Bad communication skills can even add to conflict and prolong the divorce process! When all else fails, know that you can always keep contact to a minimum by only speaking through your attorneys. In this case, and in any case, be sure to save as much of your communication as possible, in case you need it in the future!
If you’d like to discuss this issue, or any other, with one of our season divorce attorneys, contact us today!