Divorce isn’t by any means easy. There’s a lot to consider, such as asset distribution, alimony and child custody. All of these require delicate maneuvering, which can be difficult when communication between you and your ex-spouse has fallen to the wayside.
However, it’s likely in your best interest to touch up on your communication skills and put aside your differences when communicating with your ex-spouse during a divorce. This way, by strengthening your communication with your ex, even just momentarily, you’ll have a smoother divorce process.
Where do you begin when communicating with your ex during a divorce? Here’s what you should consider:
Understand your verbal and nonverbal actions
The words you chose determine how well you communicate with your ex-spouse. You may need to consider how concise or direct you are with your questions and statements. Some words may be seen as more respectable than others.
However, you also make a lot of nonverbal cues that communicate how you feel or understand a situation. Most nonverbal cues are unconscious and are made through facial expressions, hand gestures or even how someone stands. You may not be entirely aware of all of your nonverbal actions, but you likely have an idea of your ex-spouses – and this can help determine how well a conversation is going.
In some cases, your and your ex-spouse’s nonverbal actions may communicate more than what your verbal actions say. It may be important to take a moment and consider what verbal and nonverbal actions you do and how they communicate to your ex-spouse.
Understand what your ex-spouse wants out of the divorce
The divorce process is a lot of pushes and pulls. You want to resolve something after the divorce and so does your ex-spouse. For example, your ex may want to have more say in how they raise your children and you may want to settle a debate about what each of you owns or owes. That’s to say, communication isn’t just about speaking your mind but also listening to what the other wants, which can help come to a settlement.
It should be understood, however, that you and your spouse likely won’t get everything you want after a divorce. Yet, understanding your legal rights and having strong communication skills during the process can go a long way.