Tips for Effective Communication About Your Children During Your Divorce

During your divorce, it is arguably going to be one of the most challenging and emotional times of your life.  Sometimes the absolute last thing you want to do is talk to your former spouse, but there are times when it is simply necessary.

Below are some simple tips to help navigate communicating with the one person who could be making your life miserable at the moment.  This list will hopefully be a helpful tool in a time of strife.

  1.  The “KISS” Principle.
    • Keep It Short Stupid.  Something we may have learned in school, but still holds true.  There is no reason to get into great detail, or go on and on.  Address the issue at hand and end the communication.
  1.  No Cursing!
    • If you would be afraid to show it to your mom, your elderly grandmother or your boss, don’t send it!  Your tone should be almost business like and have no profanities.
  1.  Stay on Point.
    • Address the issue at hand.  Do not talk about why your relationship ended; do not place blame on your spouse; do not demean or condescend your spouse.  Sometimes you have to address logistics of pets, or maybe staying in the homestead, but generally, communicate only about the kids.
  1.  20 Text Messages and 4 Voicemails is too much!
    • Do not bombard your spouse with communication unless it is truly an emergency.  Otherwise, if they choose to not respond or take more than the time you want them to in their response, it is ok.  If you find yourself sending back to back messages, it is probably too much. Even if you are the most polite person and saying the nicest things, constant messages is overwhelming and unnecessary.
  1.  Ask yourself – why am I sending this?
    • We have all been there where we get an email or message that infuriates us and we want to send a zinger back.  Before you do, take a second and wait.  Take a deep breath.   If your response is going to violate the tips above, do not send it.  If you need to, walk away from the message and look at it later to gain some perspective on it.

The above tips are just a few to think about when communicating with your spouse about your children.   In this day and age, everyone seems to think you need to email or text, but sometime it is just easier to make a phone call.