The divorce is final – now the communication begins

On behalf of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC posted in Divorce on Tuesday, April 3, 2012.

Couples who can't wait to be divorced from their spouse sometimes don't think about how they will have to continue to communicate with their ex-spouse even after the divorce because of the children. When the divorce is final, that is the end of the marriage, but these couples need to find a way to communicate and work through challenges until their children are grown.

The irony is that some couples divorce because of communication issues, but communication will be critical after the divorce. Ineffective communication after the divorce can create problems for the children and make everything worse and the adjustment harder for your children. The best option is to remain calm and focus on the needs of the children. Experts have some tips to help you navigate the aftermath of divorce:

  • Take a step back and think about your ex-spouse's personality and how they like to approach different situations. Tailor your communication to fit this need and realize that the divorce could change how they want to be communicated with.
  • Your job is to communicate effectively. Be polite and concentrate on being courteous and treat your ex-spouse as you would like to be treated.
  • Be careful about anything you write or say. Try to avoid issues that could affect your future custody issues and if there is something serious to discuss, set up a time to discuss the topic and set some ground rules. If the divorce was contentious, you may need to contact your attorney or mediator if an issue needs to be addressed or changed.
  • Treat your relationship with your ex-spouse as a business relationship. Be courteous and to the point and avoid being overly friendly because it may send mixed messages.
  • Take the blame out of your conversations with your ex-spouse. It can make the other person defensive and could break down communication. Try to focus on "I" statements and remain constructive.

Life after the divorce is what you want to focus on, so making an effort to communicate effectively with your ex-spouse will make your life more enjoyable in the long run.

Source: Santa Monica Mirror, "Communicating With Your Ex After Divorce," Andra Brosh Ph.D. and Allison Pesosolido M.A., March 25, 2012

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