Divorce attorneys in West Palm Beach know that people involved in family law issues often are on an emotional roller coaster. At times, emotions get in the way of effective communication. However, communicating effectively can make or break a negotiation in a dissolution of marriage case or a negotiation in any other part of your life.
Attorney Richard Price of Fort Worth, Texas recently offered tips for better communications in a collaborative divorce case. Whether you are involved in a collaborative dissolution of marriage or discussing or negotiating issues with your spouse in other family law matters, Attorney Price’s advice should be followed:
- Look the other person in the eye. While this may not feel comfortable in some situations, failing to do so may lead your spouse to make an inaccurate assumption about what you’re saying. In our society, failure to make eye contact is often assumed to be an indication of deception. If performing this task is difficult for you, then you need to get some assistance in learning to communicate in this fashion;
- Don’t attack verbally. Oftentimes discussions end abruptly or negotiations breakdown when one party gets off track and starts criticizing the other party. Even if what you say is true, don’t attack the other side during your conversation/negotiation. It will not promote your agenda; it will not achieve the goals that you desire and, more likely than not, it will abruptly cause the termination of the communication/negotiation; Schedule a Personalized Divorce Assessment With an Attorney Now!
- Ask for what you want. Don’t wait for someone else to speak up for you and don’t think you can bring it up later. Don’t assume that someone will remember what you have said in the past. Speak up for yourself. This is your divorce and you have some responsibility in assuring that what you believe is important is put on the table and is discussed;
- Speak factually. Don’t exaggerate or make up details. Don’t speak in absolute terms such as “always” and “never”. Don’t make assumptions about what your spouse or the person on the other side of the communication/negotiation wants or would do or say. As Jack Friday on the old television show Dragnet used to say: “Just the facts, ma’am, just the facts”;
- Respond without engaging in or starting an argument. In an emotionally charged situation, this often may be hard advice to follow. But remember, you don’t have to be mean or angry as you respond to what is said. Try to keep things factual;
- Respond directly and briefly. Don’t start a tirade because of a comment. Don’t change the subject or get off on a tangent. You don’t want to have to pay your attorney for a long, unproductive meeting. Keep focused. Speak factually and keep on task;
- Don’t make assumptions or read things into statements. This is a common problem in our day-to-day communication. In the emotional context of ending a marriage, it may be even more of a disruptive dynamic. Nevertheless, try dealing with statements that you hear in the context of your communications and negotiations at face value. Adding assumptions will always cause problems because your assumptions usually are going to be wrong and most certainly will be negative; and
- Don’t be looking at your cell phone while you’re in a discussion or negotiation. Pay attention to just what is being said at hand. Choosing your cell phone over the live person or persons with whom you are negotiating is rude and probably would be considered insulting. If you’re attempting to negotiate an issue in your dissolution of marriage case or during a communication on an important issue in your life, then it should be far more important than whatever may be occurring on your cell phone.
Whether you are talking with your spouse, having a discussion with your attorney, or attending some negotiation session in family law matter or on any other important meeting in your life, you will have an easier time by implementing the above recommendations. To learn more about Attorney Richard Price see his web site at: http://www.pricelawfirmtx.com/