Getting through a divorce can be frustrating, especially if you and your ex can’t or won’t talk with one another. Fortunately, there are steps you can take that may make it easier to interact with your former spouse during your case. Here are 5 ways to effectively communicate during your Wisconsin divorce:
It can be hard to discuss and interpret information when you are feeling painful emotions such as grief, anger, and frustration. Further, being in a heightened emotional state can distort perceptions on both sides. When divorcing parties misunderstand one another, it can complicate case issues and intensify conflict. If you and your ex are having difficulty communicating, it may help to try one or more of the following approaches:
- Communicate in Writing
Depending on the degree of conflict between you and your ex, you may be better off restricting certain communications to text or email. If you disagree about numerous issues, exchanging information in writing may help you ensure your words aren’t subject to misinterpretation. Further, even if you have low conflict, talking with your ex may bring up emotions that could cloud your perceptions. It may be better for you to interact with your ex as little as possible in these situations. Communicating in writing can help you maintain emotional distance and may make it easier for you to understand one another.
- Be Careful with Your Words
When you are communicating during divorce, even routine interactions with your ex have the potential to become contentious. Although it may be challenging, it’s important to do what you can to think before speaking. For example, you may be tempted to make a cutting remark when your ex is late picking up your kids. While you may be justified in being annoyed with them, there is a right and wrong way to express your opinion. Calling your ex inconsiderate and raising your voice during pick-up probably won’t improve the situation. Before commenting, you may want to take a moment, talk to your ex away from your children, and ask that they call if they are not going to be on time. Whether communicating in writing or in person, it will be to your benefit to think before you speak and choose your words carefully.
- Maintain Appropriate Boundaries
Another way to improve communication with your ex during divorce is by maintaining appropriate boundaries. As you transition from being a couple to becoming exes, it can be difficult to know how to interact. However, it’s important to establish limits that support your well-being and protect your case.
You may need to limit the frequency of your interactions and restrict your discussion to specific topics. For example, you may need to establish a clear boundary when it comes to discussing the case or arguing in the presence of your children. If your ex continues to contact you beyond what is necessary or tries to engage in inappropriate discussions, do what you can to remove yourself from or redirect the conversation. Maintaining boundaries that are appropriate for you can help you minimize stress during your interactions.
- Consider How You are Feeling
Divorce can evoke a painful array of emotions. You are experiencing the loss of a relationship and your potential future with your ex. Under these circumstances, it’s not uncommon to quickly vacillate between being sad, angry, resentful, frustrated, and confused.
Having strong emotions may influence your comments and reactions. Therefore, if possible, it would be best to avoid communicating with your ex when you are emotional. You may want to consider if certain conditions are more likely to be triggering and plan to avoid or limit contact during these times. If you don’t have these options, do what you can to keep your interactions with your ex to a minimum when you are upset.
- Recognize When You Should Not Interact
Another way to improve communication during divorce is by recognizing when you should not interact. For example, some subjects, such as those concerning property division or child custody and placement, have legal implications during your case. Talking to your ex about these matters may complicate the issues. If your ex is trying to talk with you about case-related details, it would be best to contact your divorce attorney.
Communication during divorce can be complicated. However, there are ways to manage your interactions. By working with an experienced Wisconsin divorce attorney, you can learn more about how to effectively communicate with your ex during a divorce.
- Contact an Experienced Wisconsin Divorce Attorney
Wisconsin Attorney and Mediator Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law is an attorney and Mediator with over 30 years of experience helping clients understand their options during divorce. If you have a divorce case in Metro Milwaukee, please contact us today and let us take a “first look” at your situation.