No divorce is easy, particularly if you are the one going through it. However, as attorneys, we see the spectrum of divorce clients, from the amicable and reasonable divorcing spouses to the scorched-earth-take-no-prisoners-vengeful clients, and everything in between. While no divorce is easy to get through, when divorcing spouses are trying to be respectful of one another, divorces tend to be easier, more efficient, and less costly. We always try to guide our clients to take the high road and overlook lots of small digs and slights that can eventually build to bigger blow ups between people. Sometimes clients can do it, sometimes they can’t. It is often the case that spouses know how to push one another’s buttons and get a rise out of one another. Needless to say, no person will be able to rise above the button pushing in every instance, but it behooves anyone going through a divorce to try to ignore as many of the pokes and prods from the other spouse as possible.
Here are some tips for avoiding conflicts with your soon to be ex spouse:
If you fight when you talk, try switching to email or texts instead of talking to one another. Remember that anything you write down can be evidence against you in Court so be mindful of what you type and think about how it would sound being read aloud in Court.
If your spouse sends fiery emails that upset you when you read them, have a friend or someone else who is more neutral open them for you and let you know if there is anything you need to address. Otherwise, have the friend print them and keep them for you. Don’t read them if they unnecessarily upset you.
If your spouse has a Facebook page and posts unkind things about you that are upsetting, stop reading their Facebook page. If you have a friend who is willing to print and keep track of the posts, keep them for possible future use in Court but don’t read them. Remember that Facebook can be a wealth of information in a divorce or custody battle and think about your own posts carefully before you make them. Also keep in mind how your children would feel to read the things you have posted about their parent before you make any post.
If you have kids and are participating in custody exchanges that turn ugly, try meeting in a public place where people are likely to congregate and make it more likely that each of you will act better towards one another because of social pressure to do so. Another option is to bring a neutral third party to every custody exchange to help mitigate tension and the likelihood of arguments. However, the third party should not be a new boyfriend or girlfriend or someone who is likely to add to rather than detract from the tensions. If all else fails, consider having a third party do the custody exchanges for you. It should be someone you and your spouse both know and trust and are comfortable with caring for your children.
Talk to a counselor. Divorce is a major life change with accompanying stress that is often too much for people to handle alone. A good counselor can help get you through the process. If you don’t know a good counselor, talk to a trusted friend or family member and see if they know anyone. We can make recommendations for you too.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, take a deep breath. Now take another deep breath. Keep it up until you feel yourself calming down. It sounds simple and maybe silly but it works. A very wise counselor told me about this simple step and it is an effective way to help bring you back into your body when you are spiralling emotionally. And lets face it, when you are going through a divorce, it’s understandable that you are spiralling emotionally from time to time. It will eventually get better. Call us if you need help getting through the legal process, we’re here to help.