How to Converse with Your Spouse During a Divorce
Everything changes in a divorce, including how to talk to your soon to be former spouse.
To say that going through a divorce is a harrowing ordeal is an understatement. Marriages never start out with the expectation of having to hire an Orange County divorce mediation attorney.
Sadly, a large number of marriages do end up in divorce. Between splitting up your assets, coming up with a custody agreement for the kids, and learning how to continue with life during the entire process — divorce is never easy.
Whether your marital communication was fantastic, or it is one of the inciting factors that led to your separation, communication only gets more complicated during the divorce process. Your Orange County divorce attorney will help you effectively communicate, but it’s helpful to have a plan ahead of time.
Here are some things to consider when it comes to conversing with your spouse during a divorce.
You and your spouse have an intimate history together. At one time, you were in love enough to get married. You know each other’s secrets, hopes, and dreams. This also means that it’s easy to cross boundaries without even knowing it. Come up with and agree on a plan on how your communication will proceed.
Take some time to determine how often you will communicate with each other and in which ways. Talking on the phone might be upsetting, but e-mailing might be too formal.
If your spouse is too clingy, sending dozens of e-mails and texts every day, it’s worth setting a boundary of only making contact once per day.
If your spouse is too hurt or angry to communicate with you, you might only exchange messages through your Orange County divorce attorney.
Establishing boundaries upfront will help create realistic expectations and avoid any accidental mishaps. When everyone is on the same page, it’s much easier to make progress.
Stay on Point
Conversations during a divorce can be intense and full of emotion. Your Orange County divorce mediation attorney will try to keep things civil, but emotions can easily get carried away.
Regardless of why you and your spouse are getting divorced, it’s easy for discussions about dividing assets and plans to take care of the kids to go off-topic.
No one benefits from continuing a previous fight, piling on complaints, or going off-topic. It’s tempting to let every conversation turn into a fight, but it doesn’t help the situation.
Come into each conversation with a goal. For example, it might be time to discuss who will pick up the kids from school on which days and stick to that topic. If the conversation goes in a different direction, calmly remind each other of your goal and get back to the topic on hand.
If you’re not sure you’ll be able to keep calm during critical meetings with your spouse, let your Orange County child custody attorney take the lead. Your lawyer is there to protect your interests and can do so without bringing in any emotional stake in the game.
Stay Cool and Stay Quiet
It may seem harmless to have regular conversations with your spouse during a divorce. Maybe you want to talk about something that happened at work or some good news about the kids. In some cases, this may be completely innocuous but in others, these conversations could just fuel the fire.
Some partners may try to bait their spouses into saying something that can later be used against them. Even a simple conversation about picking up the kids from school could potentially be twisted to sound like a veiled threat.
The best way to avoid misinterpretations and potential snares are to simply not talk to your spouse during the divorce process.
There may be times when communication is necessary, like making plans for a meeting with your Orange County Divorce attorney or one of the children’s upcoming visit to the doctor.
It’s often best to put any necessary communication in writing. With the availability of e-mail and text, it’s easy to keep a digital trail of what you say. You can also avoid losing your temper or saying something that will hurt you later.
Keep in mind that written messages last forever. Check your tone, avoid sarcasm, and stick to the facts at hand.
It’s not wise to try and record all of your conversations with your spouse. California is a two-party consent state, which means both people need to agree to be recorded. A secret recording is a crime. You might also record something that can be used against you and at the same time, make sure to save any angry voicemails that your spouse might leave you because those are considered to be fair games.
Kids Aren’t Weapons
It’s tempting to try and pass messages through your children. As kids go back and forth between parents, it might seem like second nature to ask your children to relay a message.
This might be acceptable for little things like, “remind your dad that you have a spelling test this week.” Even then, you might be better to avoid playing telephone through your kids in case your spouse misinterprets the message.
You should also be careful not to badmouth your spouse to or in front of your children. It doesn’t matter if the children understand what’s happening or not; it’s never wise to use the kids as a way to get revenge or vent your feelings. This could come back and get you in court.
Important issues regarding the kids should simply go through your Orange County child custody attorney.
Hire an Orange County Divorce Mediation Attorney
Take advantage of the service of a mediation lawyer. This experienced legal professional can offer guidance and support for everyone involved.
They are unbiased and will listen to all sides of the story and encourage healthy communication. When emotions run high, an Orange County divorce mediation attorney can help keep things on track.
The reality is that going to court can be messy and expensive. While a great Orange County divorce attorney will work to make things happen as smoothly and efficiently as possible, the stress and emotions involved with standing before a judge can make things drag out.
It may be necessary to have a court step in when agreements can’t be made, but working with Lemkin Law’s mediation lawyer can reduce your costs and stress levels, contact us today.