If you and your soon-to-be-ex had a difficult time communicating while you were together, how are you supposed to communicate now that you are going through a divorce?
It is important to understand that channeling your anger and frustration will have consequences. A lack of constructive communication can result in a lack of productive legal action, leading to additional costs (e.g. attorney fees, court fees, etc.) and a greater emotional toll on you and everyone else involved, including your children.
Furthermore, if you say the wrong thing to your spouse or one of his/her friends, or give a status update on social media, it could end up causing you a lot of serious damage in your divorce case. Always assume that if you say something that can be misquoted or misinterpreted to your disadvantage, then it will be.
The following are several ways you can communicate better with your spouse and steer clear of communication pitfalls:
- Avoid communicating when you’re angry. Wait until you’re cool, calm, and collected before you say anything to your spouse. Think about the potential consequences of what you plan to say.
- When the kids are around, act as though you like your spouse. As difficult as it sounds, be polite and try not to incite anger, especially when the kids are around. Although your marriage is coming to an end, you will still continue to be the parents of your children. Kids benefit when both parents are kind to one another.
- Refrain from responding to every communication from your spouse. Additionally, if the correspondence you receive is not important or irrelevant, consider not replying at all. You don’t need more ways to become upset.
- Be aware of your tone of conversation. Try your best to speak to your spouse in an amicable and civil tone and avoid yelling.
- Establish parameters for communications. For instance, let your spouse know up front that, barring a legitimate emergency, you’ll respond to important requests when you’re able to. Furthermore, consider establishing a daily cut-off time for correspondence.
- Establish boundaries. State your preferred modes of communication, such as through phone, text, or email. If you only want to respond to emergency requests, or if you’re comfortable with constant communication, make it known to your spouse.
- Avoid social media while your divorce is ongoing. You shouldn’t post anything that relates to your divorce or your social life. A photo of you partying when you’re supposed to be watching the kids or a photo of you on a date may trigger a mean-spirited reaction from your spouse and result in a more contentious litigation process.
- Focus on the present issues. During conversations about child custody or property division, it is often easy to lose track of what the discussion is about and begin arguing about other things. In order to effectively communicate during divorce, you and your spouse need to remain focused on the issue at hand and refrain from going off topic.
- Get a mediator. A mediator is an unbiased third party who can assist you and your spouse arrive at a mutual agreement on various issues.
If you are interested in filing for divorce in Illinois, contact Wakenight & Associates, P.C. and request a free consultation with our experienced divorce lawyer today.