Divorce isn’t always the end of your relationship with your former spouse. Parenting or business relationships may require you to communicate and collaborate with your ex. Experienced Las Vegas family law attorneys say that learning conflict resolution skills can help these interactions go as smoothly as possible. They can also help during the divorce process as you and your spouse negotiate property division and related issues.
More than half of marriages end in divorce, but kids and financial matters result in many of those divorced couples continuing to communicate on a regular basis, even those who had particularly acrimonious splits. Continued fighting isn’t healthy or productive, so learning to cooperate from a distance is important for these divorced couples. Here are a few ideas on how former spouses can constructively communicate and work together:
- Realize you’re in a different relationship – You’re no longer married; you’re divorced. The obligations and rules are different now. When dealing with an ex, you can’t expect to have the same level of access and influence as you did when you were married. Accept this, and begin establishing ground rules for how this new relationship should work.
- Try to create a clean slate – This is difficult, but worthwhile. Avoid lingering on past gripes and complaints, and approach your relationship with your ex with a fresh start. Extend a certain level of trust, with the expectation that your trust will be respected and reciprocated.
- Stick to the divorce agreement – Your divorce agreement can be a great blueprint for your relationship with your ex in terms of parenting and financial matters. By sticking to the letter of your agreement, you erase ambiguity from the relationship, providing a stable and predictable arrangement.
- Give respect and expect it to be reciprocated – When discussing issues with your ex, do so in a kind, respectful manner and avoid the temptation to berate, insult, or otherwise hector your former spouse. Also insist on civil treatment from your former spouse. If your ex becomes disrespectful, terminate the conversation and try again later. By establishing firm boundaries concerning acceptable and unacceptable behavior, you and your ex can learn to communicate in a productive manner.
- Avoid discussions about the past – One of the best ways divorced couples can focus on parenting and business issues is to avoid re-hashing issues from the marriage. Dredging up conflicts from the marriage will only serve as a distraction from the issues at hand and will result in pointless arguments. When communicating with your ex, keep the conversation focused on the present.
Many divorced spouses go on to have amicable relationships after the end of the marriage, becoming better friends than they were spouses. Also, the great thing about these conflict resolution skills is that many can be applied to other relationships, allowing you to engage in healthier, more stable relationships with friends, co-workers, family members, and future spouses or partners as you move forward.
The McFarling Law Group offers Nevada residents caring and experienced representation in divorce and family law cases. Emily McFarling is an experienced Las Vegas divorce attorney who is a Board Certified Family Law Specialist and a recipient of the Pre-eminent AV Rating. To schedule a consultation, call 702-565-4335.