Navigate tough divorce discussions with these communication tips

Are you one of the many who expect you never need talk to your spouse again once you decide to get a divorce? Many believe this, but chances are, you cannot end your marriage without continuing to communicate.

If you do not participate in negotiations, you and your spouse may not be able to agree on critical issues like child custody and marital property. The court will step in and decide these matters without you, if necessary.

When discussions are plagued by emotions like anger and bitterness, they may yield few results. Practice these communication tips to improve negotiations with your spouse.

Establish clear boundaries

Set ground rules for communication, such as avoiding personal attacks, sticking to the topic at hand and respecting each other’s time and privacy.

Use neutral channels

Consider using email or text for sensitive or non-urgent matters to reduce the risk of heated arguments. However, face-to-face conversations may be more suitable for important discussions.

Focus on the present and future

Try not to dwell on the past in your divorce discussions. Instead, focus on resolving your current issues and planning the future.

Listen actively

Give your spouse your undivided attention, maintain eye contact and avoid interrupting. Repeat what they say or paraphrase their remarks to show you hear and understand.

Seek help

If communication becomes too difficult on your own, consider seeking guidance from a mediator or therapist. Your legal representative can counsel you further on these matters and put you in touch with reputable professionals who can help.