“If we communicated better, we wouldn’t need a divorce!” Even as you say it, you know it isn’t true. There is seldom one reason a couple seeks a divorce. Many factors combine to make your marriage and relationship no longer work for you both.
You’ve acknowledged you want your divorce to take the high road with no courtroom drama. You want what’s best for each other and your family. Still, it’s a difficult transition.
Why Effective Communication During Divorce is Important
“If there were ever a situation where the expression ‘time is money’ applies, it’s in a divorce,” says retired judge Joseph Pandolfi. Collaborative divorce can lower costs for several reasons, but what Judge Pandolfi is referencing are the fees for legal professionals’ time.
Some couples “needlessly use their attorneys as messengers,” continues Pandolfi. That’s why you and your partner need to develop communication skills that are divorce-specific. The conversations that do not involve your attorney are free. But even the best public relations professionals can lose their useful communication skills when the situation is personal. Collaborative divorce communication coaches can help with communicating during divorce.
When you have children, adversarial communications are an even bigger problem. You cannot shield your children from the pain of separation. But when you can make parental decisions together, without anger, your kids feel better about you, themselves, and their family unit. Children can be resilient, and they do well when their parents do well. You will always be a family.
What You Can Do to Improve Communicating During Divorce
It’s probably a good idea to limit communications with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse when you’re feeling stressed. That includes emails, social media, and instant messages.
Wait, then respond when you feel more in control of your emotions. Avoid the urge to punish or seek vindication for wrongs.
Your collaborative divorce communications coach may advise you to establish ground rules for communications. For example, one of your parameters could be to post nothing about each other or the divorce on Facebook®.
Perhaps you will want to set other boundaries; no more than one phone call daily unless there’s an emergency, for example. Emails give you time to think about your response (as opposed to text messaging, which tends to be a rapid-fire process), so communications through email (except for emergencies) might be another rule. Two valuable tips for better communication during divorce include:
Albert Mehrabian said successful communication involves three vees: verbal (spoken words), vocal (tone of voice), and visual (body language). Body language includes your posture, facial expressions, and eye movements.
Ask your communications coach how to appear more positive when you and your partner engage in communicating during divorce. When your clothing is carefully selected, and you have a happier appearance, it can help you feel better during this lifestyle change.
Voice quality control
Sometimes, the words we speak are less important than the tone of voice we use. Avoid shouting and strive to keep your tone of voice – the sound quality and the volume – even and unintense.
Difficult Choices Made Easier
Best Legal Choices is an Arizona directory for collaborative divorce professionals, including financial neutrals, legal practitioners, and communication specialists. Every one of us wants to help you and your partner with better communication during divorce.
In fact, another big difference between collaborative and courtroom-based divorce is the partnership you’ll have with your collaborative divorce attorney. Let’s begin the conversation.