Written by attorney Connie Jean Merwine

How should I communicate with my spouse during the divorce?

Communication between spouses is a very important part of the divorce process; however, for that communication to be productive it must be effective. This can be hard given the emotional strain couples who are divorcing often find themselves under. Effective communication can facilitate the entire process from determining the distribution of assets to custody of the children. When going through the divorce process there are three general ways of communicating that can prove productive.

  1. Written communication - Written communication is useful for several reasons. First you can plan what you want to say and word it carefully. Second it allows you to keep emotion out of the communication. Third it provides you will a record of everything that is said. But be aware, this will also act as a record against you, so be sure of what you write.
  2. Verbal communication - This is the most effective way for those divorcing couples who have a civil relationship because it can be quick and easy. It is real time communication without the delay of the postal system or email. However, when verbally communicating with your soon to be ex-spouse emotions can get in the way and hinder productive communication.
  3. Third Party communication - This is an option for those divorcing couples who are unable to have or wish to avoid direct communication. Generally this type of communication can be done between the parties attorneys and can get expensive. If at all possible it is a good idea to save third party communication for the larger and emotionally charged issues. However, for those instances where abuse may be an issue, third party communication may be the only real option.

When in doubt about how to communicate with your spouse, ask your attorney for guidance. He or she has dealt with these situations many times before and can properly advise you on how to proceed.

Additional resources provided by the author

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