The divorce process can be very difficult at times. On top of that, there are additional things that can make everything more stressful. One common example of this is fighting between the divorcing spouses every time they have to meet. Constant disputes between divorcing spouses can actually make a divorce drag on for a longer time, making it more expensive overall and a rougher experience than it needs to be.
If you are already arguing with your spouse every time you have to communicate or know you are heading down that road, you are certainly not alone. Communication issues are very common during a divorce. While there is no one surefire way to avoid all arguments with your spouse during your divorce, there are some things you can do to improve the overall situation.
Try Using a Mediator
There is more than one way to approach your divorce, despite what you may have seen on TV or in movies. Not all divorces end up being a long, drawn-out and expensive battle in court. Many are settled without the spouses ever having to rely on a judge to make decisions for them.
One such approach is mediation, during which you and your spouse work with another person–the mediator–to help resolve your issues and reach a settlement. Your mediator will encourage and require respectful communication between the two of you, which can help avoid blowups.
It’s important to note that a mediator is someone neutral–not connected to you or your spouse in any way–and they cannot offer legal advice to either one of you. This is why it is wise to work with a family law attorney even if you are trying mediation, as they can answer your legal questions and offer advice throughout the process.
Keep In-Person Communication to a Minimum
If, for some reason, you need to contact your ex, use texts or emails or an app designed for divorced and divorcing spouses, instead of in-person visits or phone calls. Since your emotions or their emotions may not be completely under control right now, seeing each other in person can easily spark a heated discussion. In many cases, a simple email or text is sufficient, and it also leaves you with written proof of exactly what was said. Always remember to read your words twice before pressing “Send” as this can help you catch potentially troubling statements or phrases.
Don’t Argue About the Past
In divorce, it is all too easy to start bringing up old arguments from the marriage. It’s important to not fall into this trap, which will accomplish nothing but will likely add even more animosity to the divorce proceedings. Focus on what is relevant now – namely your divorce and its terms, such as property division or child custody. Don’t respond to any questions or statements from your spouse that are not relevant to the divorce or the issues involved in it. Keep things as direct and succinct as you can.
When you are able to remove much or all of the conflict in your communications with your ex, it can make a real difference in your divorce and your experiences during the process. You will also likely feel less stress as a result and have a clearer mind, which will allow you to make better decisions. Although you cannot control what your spouse says and does, you can control how you are responding to their words and actions. Don’t forget to work with your family law attorney as they may be able to take over some of the communication with your ex.