Divorces can ultimately turn very messy, even ones that start off amicably. For instance, did you ever watch the movie The War of the Roses? While Micheal Doughlas and Kathleen Turner’s characters may have taken things to the extreme, it does show how contentious a divorce can be.
Chances are your dissolution of marriage will not mimic the movies, but it does illustrate the importance of keeping channels open through a messy divorce time. To help keep your divorce from becoming the talk of family and friends, here are some tips to ensure communication channels stay open.
How to Keep Communication Channels Open
Every divorce is unique, and perhaps you don’t have any trouble communicating with your soon-to-be former spouse. On the other hand, you may be struggling to keep communication channels open.
Use Your Phone
Yes, emails are a form of communication, and so are text messages. However, this type of communication is impersonal and can lead to misunderstandings. If you’re not clear in your message, problems can arise.
An effective way of preventing many misunderstandings is to pick up your phone. Dial your spouse’s number and have a calm and rational discussion about the pending divorce—this is also a good time to just check up on your former spouse.
Sometimes, simply inquiring about their day in an honest way can help relieve some of the tension and ill feelings. You can also meet up in person to talk, but this isn’t always a great idea, depending on your situation. Sometimes, it’s best to limit communication to phone calls.
Pick A Communication Channel
A goal of keeping communication channels open is to limit hostilities. Even amicable divorces can run into snags when one former partner feels slighted.
Maybe you prefer phone calls, and your spouse likes meeting in person. Try to agree on how you’ll communicate throughout the divorce, which can be especially important when shared children are involved. After all, you don’t want to miss a message regarding your child.
Agreeing on a primary communication channel can also relieve some anxiety. Instead of cringing every time your phone rings, you can relax, knowing it’s probably not your spouse. Even if you can’t talk in person or over the phone without fighting, staying in touch via texts or emails can help keep everything moving along.
Use the Keyboard Sparingly
There’s a reason why it’s often best to limit communication to phone calls and in-person meetings since, with a keyboard and a lack of real-time feedback, you can feel pretty invincible. Suddenly, you’re typing out everything that you feel was wrong in your marriage: this isn’t productive and can make an already tense situation so much worse.
After all, you don’t want to read a text or open an email listing all of your faults—your marriage is in the past, so let it stay there. If your divorce is too contentious for vocal communications, limit your keyboard strokes to relevant matters.
So, what’s actually relevant in a divorce? This can include everything from your children’s daily activities to sharing details about family members. Remember, just because you’re getting a divorce doesn’t necessarily mean you no longer care about the well-being of your former in-laws.
Create a Schedule
Creating a schedule can include when you and your former spouse communicate. This way, you both know when to expect the communication.
Sometimes, an unexpected call from a former partner can quickly turn ugly. One partner may not be able to take the time to talk, and this can lead to hurt feelings—suddenly, your relatively amicable divorce just turned ugly.
Have a set day and time to communicate and stick with the schedule. This can help eliminate some potential problems that often arise during a divorce.
Use a Third Party
Your marriage may have started as the two of you being best friends, but now you’re enemies and arguing over everything. Sometimes, even a simple email between the two of you results in a raging argument.
While this is unfortunate, it’s also sadly common in a divorce. If there’s absolutely no way you and your former partner can have a civil and productive conversation, it’s time to use another form of communication.
Your attorneys are there to help keep communications civil. However, your attorneys can also get dragged into the arguments. Now four individuals are arguing instead of only you and your spouse.
Instead of dealing with this unchecked chaos, a much better option is to actively seek divorce mediation. The mediator is a neutral third party that will help facilitate calm and productive communication.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Pending Divorce
While it’s true that some divorces can be quick and straightforward, with both parties reaching an agreement amicably, such instances are quite uncommon. More often than not, divorces involve complex emotional and financial negotiations.
To safeguard your interests and navigate these complexities effectively, it’s crucial to consult with a skilled divorce attorney who can provide expert guidance and ensure a fair resolution to your case.
Jessi is the creative mind behind The Coffee Mom, a popular blog that combines parenting advice, travel tips, and a love for all things Disney. As a trusted Disney influencer and passionate storyteller, Jessi’s authentic insights and relatable content resonate with readers worldwide.