Setting communication boundaries during your divorce: 3 tips
Divorce is an emotionally charged process that usually gives rise to a lot of heightened conflicts and tensions between the two people involved.
To navigate this challenging journey with as much grace as possible, it’s time to establish clear communication boundaries with your spouse. When it’s done well, communication boundaries can help keep your divorce moving along at a steady pace. If it’s done badly, you can quickly see what might have been a fairly civil process turn into a nightmare. Here’s how to start.
Limit your communication channels
Once the divorce is in motion, it’s best to keep a record of all your communications with your spouse. That can prevent potentially confrontational situations and confusion about what was said or agreed upon.
If the discussion involves your divorce, the division of property, custody of the children, support issues or anything similar, stick to emails or text messages. That not only allows you to create a record of what was said, but it also helps you avoid impromptu and ill-considered responses that come from a place of frustration or anger.
Define the topics that are open for discussion
This is another area where boundary setting is critical. Does your spouse want to discuss the holiday schedule for the kids? Fine. Do they want to talk about how to divide the investments? That’s also acceptable.
Let them know that you don’t want to rehash old fights or continue to discuss what went wrong in the marriage. Once you’ve reached the point where the divorce has started, delving into the past can only dredge up more negative emotions and hinder your progress.
Stick to business (and business-like language)
Remember that everything you write can end up in court, so stick to a respectful, business-like tone in your messages. Steer clear of inflammatory statements and emotional language. Instead, treat every conversation like it’s just a business deal with details that need to be worked out. This can help you avoid conflicts and foster a more constructive communication process, which can be particularly helpful if you and your spouse need to co-parent together.
Even a relatively benign divorce proceeding can go off the rails when a couple fails to communicate, and couples who already have trouble communicating can end up in a real battle. Whatever the issues, legal guidance can help you keep your divorce on track.