If you and your now ex-spouse recently separated, you’re probably wondering how to handle this kind of break-up.

Will cutting off all ties outside of divorce lead to a strained proceeding? Is it in your kid’s best interests to try and stay friends? Here are a few communication guidelines you should follow to make the split easier on yourself.

Establish the basics ASAP

Marriage ties you to a person in a lot of ways. If you’re a parent, you’re probably not sure about how to handle caring for the children, including taking them to and from school. Additionally, being apart from your spouse may cause you little inconveniences, such as realizing you don’t know the Netflix user name and password.

Try to focus only on covering the basics when you decide to separate or soon after in one conversation. For example, you should:

  • Establish a temporary schedule for the children until a custody order is established
  • Verify who will pay for which bills for the foreseeable future
  • Confirm who will care for any pets temporarily
  • Gather all important assets and documentation before the separation
  • Provide your lawyer’s contact information

If, after establishing these basics, you remember something you’d like from your ex, ask yourself whether it can be replaced or gained back later on. The chances are it can.

The less contact, the better

As with any other break-up, the more space and time you can put between you and your spouse, the better. If the two of you share children, maintaining a positive relationship is likely to help both of you with the responsibilities of childcare and help your kid transition more easily.

However, it’s not a good idea to talk with your ex too often or about anything aside from the basics. This will not lead to a healthy split and could cause more arguments and confusing feelings in the future. In the beginning, try to remain civil with your ex-spouse and keep all communications platonic and minimal.

Whatever you do, do not send your spouse a text when you’re feeling lonely at night. Try to remember why splitting up is better for both of you.

A lawyer can communicate on your behalf

After establishing the basics, you can also choose to use your lawyer to speak to your ex-spouse on your behalf. Doing this may seem harsh, but it is the best way to prevent relations between you and your ex-spouse from becoming aggravated.

Ultimately, using an experienced lawyer to receive and send communications to your ex will lead to more peaceful, productive mediation or court sessions once the divorce begins. An attorney can also help minimize communications with your ex by setting your expectations for property division and child custody.

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