As Kordell Stewart and Porsha Williams of The Real Housewives of Atlanta demonstrated so vividly, communicating with a spouse during a divorce can feel like an insurmountable challenge.
But there are certain rules you should follow when talking to a spouse for the sake of your civility, your children, and your case.
Here are five simple rules for communicating during divorce:
- Be nice. This is the golden rule. Emotions may run high during this challenging time in your life, but acting on them may lead to regrettable actions that you can't take back. Remember that communicating and being cordial is key to get through this process as efficiently as possible.
- Stay off Facebook. While it may be tempting to wield an e-pitchfork on social media and vent about your divorce or soon-to-be ex on Facebook and other social media platforms, resist those urges. If your sense of civility isn't enough to keep you off Facebook, do it for your case. Remember, social media posts can be used against you in court.
- Don't start or spread rumors. On a similar note, don't start or spread rumors about your spouse. Your soon-to-be ex can potentially sue you for libel if your false statements cause him or her financial or reputational harm. Even nasty rumors that don't rise to the level of libel can still hurt you. For example, judges can consider such catty comments when awarding custody or alimony amounts.
- Don't put your kids in the middle. Divorce is an emotionally exhausting experience for everyone involved, including children. After all, it's a form of evisceration of familial ties. Don't make it tougher on your children -- including adult children -- by forcing your kids to take sides, preventing them from seeing the other parent, or badmouthing the other parent in their presence. Doing so can hurt them and negatively impact child custody and visitation court decisions.
- Talk to your attorney. Your divorce attorney is legally obligated to keep an open line of communication with you. It's part of your attorney's job to listen to you, so don't hesitate to express your questions or concerns.
You don't have to keep mum and go it alone during a divorce. Being civil to your ex and regularly communicating with your divorce attorney will help ease the burden of the process.
- 'Real Housewives' Star Porsha Williams Is Finally Divorced (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Porsha Stewart Blindsided: Learned About Her Divorce on Twitter (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Hiring a Divorce Attorney: 7 Important Questions (FindLaw's Atlanta Family Law News Blog)
- What's the Quickest Way to Get a Divorce? (FindLaw's Atlanta Family Law News Blog)