How should I communicate with my spouse during divorce?

During divorce it is common for conversations between spouses to become tense, teary or impossible to manage. Unfortunately, however, communicating with your spouse may be necessary to finalize your divorce, or, if you have children, to continue co-parenting together. If you are in a tense situation, use any one, or a combination of these methods for communicating with your spouse.

1. U.S. Mail

PROS: You can say anything to your spouse without seeing or speaking with him in person.
CONS: Your letter may be used as evidence in your divorce.
TIPS: Never write a letter that could hurt your divorce case.

2. Email

PROS: You can say anything to your spouse whenever you want without seeing or speaking to him or her in person and he can respond instantaneously.
CONS: You may become obsessed with your email account, checking it constantly for a response, and your email may be used as evidence in your divorce.
TIPS: Choose your words very carefully and leave emotion, blame and potentially damaging statements out of your message.   Think Mel Gibson.

3. Telephone

PROS: You can have a dialogue with your spouse and receive immediate feedback.
CONS: You have to speak with your spouse.
TIPS: Keep your conversations business like and be ready and able to say “NO” if necessary.

4. In Person

PROS: You can have a dialogue with your spouse and if you come to an agreement during your discussion, you can put it in writing and your spouse can sign and date the document.
CONS: You have to see and speak with your spouse.
TIPS: Meet in a neutral place and avoid emotional or angry confrontations.

5. Through Your Divorce Lawyer

PROS: Your lawyer can do the dirty work and you don’t have to see or speak with your spouse.
CONS: It will cost you $$$.
TIPS: Don’t ask your lawyer to communicate with your spouse’s lawyer about trivial matters or if you must, prepare a list of issues that can be dealt with at once to reduce the number of times your lawyer must call or write letters on your behalf.

This article is not legal advice. You should consult an attorney if you have legal questions that relate to your specific divorce.

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