Divorce is a stressful time for most people. Typically, one person usually moves out of the house and needs to find a place to live, which can be a nightmare in Galveston or League City. You might also have concerns about how to tell people in your life that you’re splitting up.
No one needs to add to this stress by getting into fights with their spouse. Unfortunately, many couples find themselves arguing whenever they are alone in a room together. Is it possible to minimize conflict? Our League City family law attorney offers these tips.
Figure Out What You Want from the Divorce
Some conflict stems from a lack of clarity about what you are hoping for. Do you want the family home? Custody of the kids during the school year? If you aren’t sure of what you want, then you might get into conflicts which are avoidable. One reason to meet with an attorney is to map out a strategy before filing your divorce papers. That will allow you to focus like a laser on the essentials and compromise on other issues, like who gets the dog or who leaves with a checking account. Compromise helps to reduce tension, but compromise isn’t possible until you know what is non-negotiable in your eyes.
Avoid Bad Mouthing Your Spouse to Other People
Many experts recommend not saying anything negative about your spouse to your children. That’s great advice. Making negative comments could qualify as parental alienation and result in losing custody.
But we go a step further: don’t say anything negative to any friends you have in common, and don’t put any negative information on social media. Chances are that your spouse will find out about the negative comments and explode. If you need to vent about the divorce—and who doesn’t?—find a trusted friend who hopefully doesn’t know your spouse.
Don’t Let Your Spouse Egg You On
Some people thrive on conflict. Maybe you are getting divorced precisely because your spouse is that type of person. Your spouse might try to trigger you by saying nasty things or being rude whenever you talk. There are strategies for reducing conflict even with someone who likes to needle you:
- Rely on your attorney to speak to your spouse’s attorney. That’s the best way to pass information between both sides.
- Respond mostly by email with your spouse. This gives you a chance to think over your response and cool down if you need to. Of course, email communication is not always possible. But try to use it or text messaging whenever it makes sense.
- Defuse any negative comments by listening carefully and not responding immediately. Instead, you can say, “I understand what you’re saying.”
Don’t Let a Mother-in-Law or Sister-in-Law Trigger You
If your spouse thrives on conflict, there’s a good chance your in-laws do as well. Many fights erupt between one spouse and their mother-in-law or other relative. If you didn’t get along while you were married, there’s no reason to think you’ll have a great time now that you’re going through divorce.
Ideally, you should have a plan for avoiding them entirely. You don’t need to take their calls or respond to emails or social media direct messages. Mute them so you don’t hear from them.
Demand that Your Spouse Say More than “No”
One way to cause conflict is to simply disagree with everything a person proposes. We’ve seen this happen in mediation. Our client makes a recommendation for how to divide their children’s school vacations, but the other side immediately says “no” or “that’s not going to work.”
And you know what? That’s okay—because that’s negotiation. The other side doesn’t need to agree to your proposal.
But the person who says “no” then needs to offer their own proposal. Disagreeable spouses often don’t have any other alternative, and you need to make them come up with one. If your spouse says “no,” say “Okay. What do you propose?” And sit silently until they come up with something.
This is hard to do. But it is effective at showing your spouse that you know they’re being disagreeable for the sake of causing drama.
Hire the Right Divorce Lawyer
An experienced lawyer is great at defusing situations and can offer other helpful tips to make your divorce as “drama free” as possible. Spend some time talking to different divorce lawyers in Galveston or League City. And make sure to give Tad Nelson and Associates a call. We can meet for a confidential consultation to discuss any fears or concerns you have surrounding divorce.