You and your ex are going to split up and that means talking about child custody rights, money, property division and a whole host of other issues, all of which can be quite delicate. You may set out hoping to have a conversation, but you’re worried it’s going to turn into a disagreement and even a fight.
If you want to ensure that things go as well as possible, pick a neutral location. This advice is great for any conversations about money with family members — perhaps when dividing up an inheritance, for example — but also works for divorce cases.
Why does it work? The judge found that people who were anywhere but their own homes paid more attention to the way they acted, and they were less likely to raise their voices or lose control of their anger. At home, a conversation could turn into a shouting match and then you wouldn’t be getting anywhere. In a more public place, people will be more reserved and think rationally, rather than reacting emotionally.
Where should you pick? There are a lot of options: A local coffee shop, a diner or a restaurant. A park is an excellent place. You get privacy, but there are still people around, and scientific studies have actually shown that people are more creative and process information better when they’re out in nature.
Even if you have a contentious divorce, it’s wise to know how you and your soon-to-be-ex can work together. Always remember your rights and make sure you stand up for them, but also think about how to handle sensitive subjects carefully.