• MyEsha Craddock

How to communicate effectively during family conflict:

Let's face it, you would not be on this website unless you have unresolved family conflict.

It's very difficult to communicate effectively with someone who may be acting out of emotion or pain. Breaking up is hard to do. And in many instances, no one knows how to push your buttons better than a loved one.

To best position yourself for your pending family litigation, it is important to remember the following:

  1. Do your best to control your response. It's not always easy to walk away from an argument. We all want to win and have the last word. But you will never regret walking away if the situation is too heated.

  2. Give yourself some time before responding to that message. Many times, if you wait to return that phone call, text or email, you will be able to respond with clarity and conviction.

  3. Listen. When someone is upset, it may be difficult to understand what they're exactly upset about. Try to listen for the core issue.

  4. Plan ahead. It's always helpful to practice the interaction beforehand, especially if you are delivering bad news.

  5. Keep the goal of your conversation in mind, and always ask yourself "Does this serve my goal?"

  6. It's okay to set boundaries. If talking over the phone often ends in an argument, it is ok to suggest that you communicate through email. If your spouse is making frequent and upsetting contacts, it is okay to tell them you will only respond to one message a day.

  7. Keep in mind the issue at hand. If you are calling about the children, do not deviate from that topic unless absolutely necessary.

  8. Avoid communicating through third parties, if possible. Most messages get lost in translation. It is important that you communicate exactly what you are trying to get across to the other side.

  9. The internet lives forever. Try to avoid posting about your spouse/co-parent on social media. If you are sending them a text or an email, remember that the judge may see the communication as well.

Divorce and custody disputes are stressful. But, it does get better. By effectively communicating during litigation, you may control the interactions so when tensions are no longer high, you are better positioned post-litigation.

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