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It is no secret that divorce is difficult, and there is often a lot of conflict between two spouses during the process. Breaking up with your former husband or wife can be rife with anger, hurt, resentment, and sadness. Keeping conflict to a minimum is the easiest way to make the divorce process smoother, though. Minimizing conflict also makes post-divorce life easier, especially if you have children and will be sharing custody.
So, how can you minimize or avoid conflict with your spouse during divorce?
7 Tips to Help to Minimize Conflict During a Divorce
1. Don’t Dwell on the Past
During a divorce, it’s natural to think about the past and the event(s) that may have led to the end of your marriage. This can bring up a lot of animosity and conflict, though. Avoid thinking about the past too much and be careful bringing up any wrongdoing by your spouse. This almost always results in an argument or the other person feeling attacked.
2. Communicate in Writing
As much as possible, limit communication between you and your spouse to written form, so that everything can be documented for your attorney and for potential future use in court. Written proof that your spouse is acting in bad faith or is sending hurtful communications can often help your pursue your legal claims. A family court judge does not appreciate bad behavior, and this kind of evidence can damage a party’s case.
Remember that this goes both ways, and that you need to monitor and control your own words as well. Although it is tempting to respond to your spouse’s spiteful words with spiteful words in return, keep in mind that you are essentially under a microscope during a divorce.
Take a time-out when you feel yourself getting angry. Avoid using “trigger words” that you know will set off an argument with your spouse. Remain calm at all times, and absolutely do not allow interactions with your spouse to escalate to the point of violence.
3. Check Privacy Settings on Social Media
Speaking of written communications, do not forget that your social media accounts may be scrutinized closely by your spouse and his or her attorney. Check the privacy settings on your social media accounts, and think very carefully about every post that you share.
Even if your account is private, there are still ways that information can be found by others. The safest thing to do is take a break from social media during this tumultuous time. If you choose to remain active on social media, do not speak about your divorce or your spouse on any platform. Keep your personal business personal.
4. Hire a Mediator
A mediator is a neutral third party that can help facilitate communication and negotiations during a divorce. Working with a mediator alongside your attorneys can help you come to agreements sooner and with less conflict. A mediator can also help you avoid lengthy court trials and hearings.
Instead of a judge deciding the outcome of your divorce, mediation allows you and your former spouse to come to a resolution that is best for you and your family. Since you’re working together, this lessens the chances that someone will feel like they were short changed and harbor resentment, which can lead to long-lasting conflict.
5. Communicate Through An Attorney If Necessary
Some divorces are more contentious than others. If you and your spouse are completely unable to communicate in a civil manner even in writing or with a mediator, you may choose to communicate through your attorneys instead. Your attorney is your advocate, and they can communicate effectively on your behalf without emotions clouding their judgment. Your attorney may also assist you with getting your needs met without having to go through your spouse.
6. Treat Divorce Like the Process it is, Not Like a One-Time Event
Divorce is a long process and even after a settlement is reached and finalized, the ramifications and pain can stick around for years. While some divorces move quickly and some people are able to “get over” it relatively fast, that is not the norm.
Take the entire process step by step and try not to get frustrated if your former spouse is handling things differently than you are. We all respond to huge life changes differently and taking a moment to practice empathy goes a long way.
7. Take Care of Yourself Emotionally
Finally, it is important that you take care of yourself emotionally. Seeing a therapist during and after the divorce process can be immensely helpful. A therapist’s job is to listen and to help you cope with your feelings. There are also several local divorce support groups where you can interact with other people who are dealing with the same issues. Remember that you are not alone and that there are resources available to help you through this difficult time.
Contact an Experienced Raleigh Divorce Attorney
If you are going through a divorce, an experienced divorce attorney can guide you through the process and make sure your needs are met. Call our office at (919) 301-8843 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.