Ways to Keep Your Divorce Civil

Jodee Redmond
man and woman fighting

Going through a divorce can be a highly emotional and stressful time, but there are some ways to keep your divorce civil.

Ways to Keep Your Divorce Civil

Keep Your Private Thoughts to Yourself

While you will have a number of thoughts and feeling about your former spouse and you may be experiencing anger, guilt, frustration, shame or rage about the situation, there is a time and place for you to express them. If you need to think about having a public and a private persona around your divorce, then do so.

There will be times when you will have to deal with your former spouse to discuss some aspects of your divorce or issues affecting your children. During them, your focus should only be on the issue at hand. If it helps to write down the topics you need to talk about so that you can stay on track, then do so. This strategy will help you avoid getting off-topic and saying something you may regret later.

Find a Safe Place to Vent

During the divorce, you will likely need to get support from others to help you cope. Friends and family members may want to help, but not know how to do so effectively. Rather than focusing on listening and helping you move past your anger, they may say things about your former spouse that will make you even more angry or hurt.

There are many places that offer a safe place where you can share your thoughts and feelings. You can get counseling from a therapist or a member of the clergy, or look to a support group for this kind of help.

Never Bad-mouth your Former Spouse in Front of your Children

Your children should not be placed in the middle of your divorce. They have their own issues to deal with when their parents separate, and it's a good idea to establish ground rules about talking about the other parent early on. You can tell your children that they can tell you about something that makes them hurt or upset about the other parent's behavior, but you will not bad-mouth your spouse nor allow the child to do so in front of you.

Focus on the Goal of Resolving Issues, not Being Proved Right

It may be tempting to go after your spouse to get revenge or make him or her hurt as much as you have been hurt. This may feel good at the time, but if one or both of you have made the decision that you no longer want to be married, the focus should be on resolving the issues that stem from that decision. Getting bogged down in trying to prove who is right is not on the list of ways to keep your divorce civil.

Hire an Attorney

Once you have retained a lawyer, have communication with your spouse go through him or her as much as possible. You are paying for the attorney to represent you, and you no longer need to be dealing directly with your former spouse. With the lawyer's help, you can keep discussions focused on the legal issues without either person resorting to threats or remarks that will only serve to hurt or humiliate either party.


This list of ways to keep your divorce civil is meant to serve as a way to keep reminding yourself that your focus should be on resolving issues and ultimately moving on with your life. Your marriage may be ending, but you can choose the way you deal with your ex as you settle the outstanding issues between you.

Ways to Keep Your Divorce Civil