The first thing one must understand is you cannot dictate or control the behavior of your spouse. Clearly, if you did not have this ability during the marriage you won’t suddenly have this power because you are going through a divorce or break-up of the relationship. You can only control how you respond to their behavior.
The first thing you should do is refuse to engage in the battle. Direct comments should be made through the attorneys involved, if possible. Your attorney can diffuse the situation or otherwise get the other party to behave. Of course, sometimes this requires judicial invention as well; such as domestic violence injunction or contempt hearing.
Second, it is often best to communicate by text or e-mail. This serves two purposes; to wit: creates a record of what is said and in so doing generally gets people to behave better.
Third, and most important, don’t negotiate the terms of your divorce. If you do engage in such behavior, be a listener, not a talker. I have no problem with my client obtaining an idea of what the other spouse is willing to do or not to do. However, I wouldn’t want my client revealing their hand prematurely.
This is one of those times where knowledge is power. So if you engage in settlement talks use it as an opportunity to empower your position – not your spouses.
‘Till Next Time,
Chet E. Weinbaum, M.S.J.D.
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Chet Eliot Weinbaum is a Family Law Attorney in Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Florida – Divorce Attorney, Family law, Child Support, custody, handling cases in St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Indian River and Martin County.