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Mediation and Litigation

A Guide to Effectively Communicating during Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

California divorce lawyer, California mediation lawyerJust because your marriage is coming to a close does not mean that your soon-to-be ex-spouse is out of your life forever. On the contrary, in fact, especially if you have children. More and more splitting couples are discovering that divorce is not the end of the conversation. Regardless of communication practices during the union, divorce discussions are harder. You will want to remember that during a divorce that effective communication skills can make the process easier and help you effectively get the arrangements that you want and need out of the agreement. These are a few tips that help clients in tough divorce situations and make divorce mediation a viable option.

Tip #1: Set Guidelines and Boundaries for Discussion.

As the adage says, “familiarity breeds contempt.” No matter how long the marriage lasted, there are likely to be some issues that were left unsaid. Familiarity during a divorce can lead to crossing boundaries, which is often destructive to the conversation. These are a few common scenarios:

  • If you know that you or your spouse incorrectly assess situations and intention over messaging services or text messages, perhaps a telephone call will work better,
  • If the phone leads to screaming matches, try e-mail as an option.
  • If one spouse wants to communicate more than necessary, consider establishing boundaries for discussion times.

Tip #2: Focus Solely on the Current Issue.

If your conversation is trying to reach an agreement over custody arrangements, it is not the time to discuss property division. Staying on topic reduces stress and confusion and often shortens the discussion. If you continuously jump from topic to topic, neither debate reaches a resolution promptly which increases tensions.

Tip #3: Watch the Tone in Your Voice.

Life-changing situations put everyone on the defensive. Especially when two people are splitting, emotions and sensitivities run higher than usual. If you lose your cool and allow your tone to become alarmed or angry, your spouse will probably take it to the next level. You, in turn, react in kind and increase your tone and soon everyone is yelling, and nothing is accomplished. If you feel your emotions get carried away, try these steps:

  • Take deep breaths,
  • Redirect conversation, or
  • Leave the room.

Tip #4: Hire a Divorce Mediation Attorney.

If you can practice these effective communication skills, then divorce litigation may not be your only option. If you would like to explore a friendlier divorce option which also saves you time and money with longer lasting agreements, consider divorce mediation with an attorney who can walk you through the legal process. If you would like to discuss your options with a San Jose, CA divorce mediation attorney, contact Law Offices of Benita Ventresca today. With over 35 years of family law experience throughout San Jose and Santa Clara County, California, we can use our expertise to guide you through this emotional process and make the decisions that are best for the future you want. Call us today at 408-395-8822 for your free initial consultation.

 

Sources:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1032.htm

http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Public/Pamphlets/DivorceCustody.aspx

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