4 Tips for Diffusing Arguments During Divorce

Serving Clients Throughout Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, and Napa Counties

All divorces have one thing in common- the marriage didn’t work out. Even couples who are determined to be amicable may find themselves overwhelmed by feelings of anger and regret, leading to arguments. When your spouse is argumentative, a minor disagreement can escalate fast.

It is in everyone’s best interests to diffuse any arguments that arise. You will be able to focus less on your angry feelings and more on an outcome that benefits both sides. In this blog, we’ll share four tips for preventing necessary discussions from spiraling out of control.

Tip #1: Let Them Know That You’re Listening

Arguments become especially hostile when one or both people don’t feel heard or understood. If your spouse is becoming agitated during a custody discussion, you could say something like, “What I’m hearing is that you’re worried about how often you’ll be seeing the kids.” Then let them express their concerns without interrupting. Once they’ve gotten their anxiety off their chest, they may be more willing to listen to you.

Tip #2: Tell Them You Understand How They Feel

This is a recommended approach when the argument arises from hurt feelings. Is he upset because you want to be the one to stay in the marital home with the kids? Is she angry because you want to buy out her share of the family business? Showing them that you understand where they are coming from, even if you don’t agree with them, can go a long way toward diffusing hostility.

Tip #3: Apologize When You Are Wrong

If you did something wrong, admit to it and apologize. A heartfelt apology can undo a lot of damage and put both of you on the same page once again. You could say something like, “I shouldn’t have lost my temper at you in front of the kids. I was stressed out, but it was wrong, and I’m sorry.”

Tip #4: Take a Break

Sometimes, the best way to diffuse an argument is to take a time-out now so that you can discuss things rationally later. You can say, “I think we’re both getting too heated right now. Let’s take a break and come back to it later.”

This approach is especially beneficial for people who tend to be passive-aggressive. When they feel threatened, they either withdraw or escalate. Take some time to calm down before approaching the issue again.

Contact a California Divorce Attorney Who Can Help

When you’re divorcing, arguments will be inevitable. Ending a marriage calls for you to discuss some highly emotional subjects, such as child custody, property division, and spousal support. When these conflicts occur, it’s important to go about it the right way and know when to prevent them from becoming counterproductive.

At Carroll Law Office, our California divorce attorneys aim to make this difficult time as positive as possible. In addition to representing you during negotiations and any necessary litigation, we will recommend ways that you and your spouse can keep your discussions productive so that you agree on the key terms of your divorce. We also work with and can recommend other professionals such as therapists and co-parent counselors who can assist in developing positive communication techniques for you and your family.

To schedule a free consultation, please contact us today.

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