How To Communicate with Spouse During Long Island Divorce
Many Long Island couples dealing with divorce or family law matters find that, even once they reach an agreement regarding the custody and parenting time of their children, they are still faced with difficulties in effectuating that agreement.
We have found that one of the biggest concerns of our clients, who are also parents, raise is that they feel they cannot have a civil conversation with their soon-to-be ex-spouse about their children.
Naturally, our clients get frustrated, upset and overwhelmed that they thought the hardest part of their divorce or family law matter is behind them, and it appears that it is not. As time passes and the parents’ wounds begin to heal, communication naturally gets easier, ex-spouses become less argumentative with each other and are able to co-parent more effectively.
However, before reaching that point, our clients look to us for guidance and assistance in their attempts to establish a civil relationship with their soon-to-be ex-spouse. Following are tried-and-true methods to get through this difficult period with as little conflict as possible.
Be the Bigger Person
I am sure this is not the first time you have heard the old adage that you should “be the bigger person.” There could not be truer words said in a divorce or family law matter, especially one where children are involved. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse sends you a text message or email asking what time your child’s baseball game is that weekend but also riddles that text message or email with rude, passive-aggressive comments about someone you are seeing or your personality, or any number of other irrelevant issues, ignore the rude, passive-aggressive comments and simply respond as follows “Hi. Johnny’s baseball game is Saturday at 1 p.m. at ABC Field. I know he would love for you to be there. Have a great day.” In most instances, if you fall into a routine where you consistently ignore anything not specifically related to your children, your soon-to-be ex-spouse will no longer get “joy” out of being rude to you, and eventually he or she will stop.
Kill Them with Kindness
If you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse shows up at your daughter’s dance recital late and leaves early, ignore it. As much as it may bother you to see this, making a comment to your soon-to-be ex-spouse that he or she clearly has somewhere better to be than at your daughter’s dance recital, the only thing that will accomplish is starting an argument. Your soon-to-be ex-spouse is not going to change his or her plans because you made a comment to them, therefore, your soon-to-be ex-spouse will carry on with the plans they made, and you will be the one left frustrated, upset and angry. Alternatively, you can tell you soon-to-be ex-spouse to have a good evening, turn the other check and enjoy the rest of the night with your family; perhaps take the children for ice cream after the recital.
Do Not Say (or Text) Anything You Would Not Want Repeated
In today’s day and age you never know when your phone calls are being recorded or screen-shots of your text messages are being taken and sent to everyone your soon-to-be ex-spouse knows. Contrary to popular belief, it is not illegal (at least in New York) to record a conversation that you are a party to, even if the other party has no idea that the conversation is being recorded.
We also understand that, in the heat of the moment, people may say things they do not necessarily mean out of anger and frustration. However, when you are going through a divorce or family court matter, you have to be sure to take a step back before you speak (or text) and ask yourself if you would be okay with seeing (or hearing) your statements in a motion your soon-to-be ex-spouse may bring before the Supreme Court or Family Court.
If you find yourself in the middle of a heated conversation with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, my suggestion is that you call a “time-out”, end the conversation and reconvene later when cooler heads will prevail. At the time, you may feel that taking a step back is allowing your soon-to-be ex-spouse to “win”, but taking a step back is a much better path of action than engaging in an argument and eventually having your angry words used against you.
Have Questions About Effective Communication with your Soon-To-Be Ex-Spouse During Your Long Island Divorce or Family Law Matter? We Can Help
Effective communication with your soon-to-be ex-spouse is a crucial part of resolving your Long Island Divorce or Family Law matter with as little conflict as possible, and, it is important to have an experienced Long Island Divorce Attorney by your side. Contact our Long Island Divorce & Family Law firm at 631‑923-1910 to set up your free consultation with one of our experienced Divorce & Family Law attorneys.
ree consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.
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