Communication During Litigation: Keeping Your Cool

Let’s face it – litigation can be stressful and heated.  Communication that was once routine may now prove difficult.  Yelling at your spouse when the kids come back a few minutes late (or minus some clothes you sent in the diaper bag), may offer temporary satisfaction, but before you do that, you may want to consider a few things…

First, while your intimate relationship is ending, your relationship as parents will continue for years to come.  In addition to the big events – graduations, ball games and recitals, the day-to-day parenting duties will remain.  You and your soon-to-be ex will need to work together to be sure teeth get brushed and homework gets finished in both homes.  It’s better for your kids to see a positive relationship even under negative circumstances.

Second, you should also be aware your communications could become part of the court process.  The judge may review communications (or lack thereof) and take that into account in deciding parenting time and decision making authority.

Finally, we all know that litigation can be expensive.  Heightened conflict requires more attorney involvement.

Communication during litigation should be brief, businesslike and deliberate – do not be reactive.  When you are angry, you may want to consider waiting a day to respond.  You may even want to contact your attorney.  Never assume your communications are private.  And remember, civil communication goes a long way towards keeping costs down.

Be aware every situation is unique.  This post should not be considered legal advice.  If you have questions about your individual situation, please contact an attorney.