The value of effective listening skills in divorce

Divorce rates have consistently hovered around the 50 percent mark for some time, and with its increased acceptance has come some insight into behaviors that can effectively minimize the stress. According to The Huffington Post, the most commonly cited reason for a divorce is poor communication. If communication issues have led to your split, you can still navigate divorce more easily by developing and applying active listening skills. Here are a few reasons such skills can benefit you. 

Reduce tension following split

No matter how you slice it, divorce is likely to be stressful for both parties. There are certain steps you can take, though, to mitigate this. Active listening means that rather than struggling to have your voice heard, you prioritize understanding the other person's perspective, and this approach can eliminate much of the tension that results from a struggle of wills when neither person feels they are heard. Active listening serves both partners equally in minimizing conflict.

Negotiate terms without pressure

When you and a partner decide to divorce, there are many details you will need to discuss and agree on-housing, custody, and child or spousal support. These discussions will be much more difficult if both partners are unable to negotiate. By employing active listening skills, you can better understand exactly what the other party is saying and respond effectively. The misunderstandings that so often fuel disputes can be avoided completely.

Understand what to expect

Establishing clear expectations is key to handling a divorce and minimizing stress. When neither party knows what will happen next, tensions are high, and you may be tempted to lash out. By communicating clearly with your ex and asking her or him to do the same, you are actively reducing the opportunities for any misunderstanding to arise. You are also avoiding any surprises that will further contribute to the tension of the situation.

Model good behavior for children

If you and your ex have kids together, engaging in active listening is one of the best things you can do throughout the divorce process. The last thing you want your children to see is an acrimonious separation, and you certainly do not want to model anger and hostility for them. Actively listening teaches excellent communication skills and conflict resolution skills that will last them a lifetime.

Another great resource for divorcing couples to consult is the legal advice offered by an attorney. Contact a lawyer if you are seeking a legal representative for your divorce.

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