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Ways to avoid emotional outbursts during divorce negotiations

Going through a divorce requires people to make difficult financial and child custody decisions after they have already become unhappy with each other. Dividing the marital estate and sharing access to children naturally produce strong emotions for parents in New Jersey. Feelings of anger and resentment might undermine negotiations meant to decide the details of the split, but people can make a strategic effort to avoid hostile encounters that ultimately prolong the process.

A person could consider how conflicts played out during the marriage. If hostile arguments and demeaning comments were frequent in the past, then these behaviors could likely emerge during divorce talks. Reflection about past arguments could reveal topics that especially upset the other party, like parenting or money. Thinking about the past could help someone know when or how the other person might become triggered and react in an unproductive manner.

When a topic does trigger anger in a former partner, a person should take a break from negotiations. By avoiding the impulse to react to provocation, a person could take time to consider a thoughtful response before attempting further discussion.

Outside support may play a strong role in helping someone negotiate a divorce in a timely manner. A coach, mediator, therapist or family friend could provide insights about the situation or encourage a person to apologize for an unpleasant outburst and move forward.

Legal advice may improve a person's understanding of rights when developing the terms for a divorce settlement. An attorney might research financial issues, such as the determination of marital and nonmarital assets or how child support or alimony might be calculated. Familiarity with common divorce disputes may allow an attorney to suggest acceptable compromises that get a person past difficult issues without resorting to time-consuming litigation.

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