Communicating with ex-spouse while divorce proceedings are in process causes a lot of stress. There are so many different ways to do it -- in person, email, phone -- and if the divorce is contentious then one may have an eye to what will hold up in court.

Effective communication is one of the ways that you can protect your interests, as well as the interests of your children. Learn which kinds of communication are most effective during this emotional time.

Restrict Communication to Important Issues

Avoid getting into long meandering discussions about your past with your spouse. It's important to limit communication to child support, child custody, and other issues at stake. Not only is such communication unnecessary, but it can also leave you emotionally exposed, and less able to make the kind of practical decisions that you need to make during a divorce.

Identify the Means of Communication Best for You

For some couples, face-to-face communication can mean a volatile argument. If communicating face to face with your ex-spouse isn't appealing, then stick to email or telephone. Often, simply avoiding the presence of the other person is enough to defuse tempers.

However, if you are prone to verbal mud-slinging matches with your spouse on the telephone, avoid that avenue. Stick to e-mail or through your divorce lawyer instead. You will need a lawyer for divorce if you have problems agreeing on things with your ex and a mediator is not an option.

Finally, always act as though you are on videotape. Angry exes have been known to record phone and in-person meetings, not to mention hoarding text messages and emails.

Take Time

Take time before you respond to any communication by your ex-spouse. You don't have to answer every telephone call immediately. If an email from him or her is simply informative, then you may not need to respond at all.  Never shoot off an email when you are upset. If something is time-sensitive and you must respond while sad or angry, have another person read your reply first to see how the tone comes across.

Leave Communication to Your Lawyer

Sometimes, leaving it to your attorneys is the best thing to do. If communicating with your spouse leaves you clueless and confused, communicate through your divorce attorney. Allowing your divorce lawyer to handle communication is almost required in domestic abuse cases.

Also, if your spouse is very good at manipulating your words to coerce you to override your interests, it is best to leave the communicating to a lawyer.

For help filing for divorce, or for answers to any of your divorce-related questions, speak to a separation lawyer. Call 425-460-0550, and schedule a consultation with the family law lawyer Molly B. Kenny.

Molly B. Kenny
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Divorce and Child Custody Attorney Serving Bellevue and Seattle Washington
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