Once one of you files for divorce, you and your ex probably don’t have much positive to say to or about one another. All of your negative feelings from your marriage and about the divorce can make effective communication between former spouses nearly impossible. You may become angry, accusatory or just depressed when interacting with your ex now that your marriage is in its final stages.
Divorcing couples usually fall into one of two categories regarding their communication needs. Couples who don’t share children may only need to communicate about divorce terms, while couples who share children will have to likely continue communicating frequently about their kids every time something significant happens or they exchanged custody.
In other words, childless couples can leave all the communication to their attorneys during divorce, while those with kids will typically need to find a productive way to communicate.
Handling major issues in writing protects you
It’s important that you understand that everything you say to your ex in a text message, direct message on social media or email could wind up used as evidence in your divorce proceedings. You need to be calm, straightforward and honest in written communications.
Many people find that typing a message and then waiting at least an hour, if not overnight, helps ensure they don’t send anything unnecessarily aggressive or emotional. When you communicate in writing, there is a written record of your agreements and the terms that you set which you can later refer to.
Written communication protects you from the emotions that can flare up during basic face-to-face communication, as well as from your ex changing their statements later and trying to blame the confusion on you.
Keep the focus on the kids, not the two of you
One of the easiest ways to keep things civil is to keep the focus of everything you say and share on your children. You need to be upfront with your ex about major occurrences, including a failed test or fallout with friends, as well as medical issues and behavioral problems. You need to have information about what happens during the other’s parenting time in order to do your best job as a parent.
If you can keep the focus on your kids and what they need instead of on your feelings about the situation, you will probably have an easier time staying calm and even being pleasant to one another.