Divorce is a challenging and turbulent process, fraught with intense emotion. Separating partners are likely to spend quite a lot of time arguing as they struggle to negotiate their way out of the relationship and into a new arrangement in which assets, child custody, child support, and spousal support are all reasonably settled. For both parties, it is essential not to let emotion get in the way, and to settle arguments effectively. Here is a short guide to show you how to become better at arguing as you go through your divorce.

Stay Calm Throughout

Here is a simple but effective guideline on how to become better at arguing: whoever loses their cool, loses the argument. Whoever is able to stay calm, be the bigger person and argue rationally, will win out in the end. Recognize that this is an emotionally charged process, and be aware of how your emotions affect your powers of argumentation. Allowing them to get the better of you can impede your ability to argue reasonably, and it can cause you to say something rash which might harm your case. Take a deep breath if you need to, or excuse yourself from the room for a few minutes. Do whatever it takes to regulate your feelings and stay in control of yourself.

Remember to Listen

There are two sides to every divorce. Naturally, you have your version of events and a list of demands that you think are self-evidently valid – but remember that your spouse does too. Listen to what they have to say – quietly and actively. Then offer a reasoned answer that takes all of their points into account. Observe the other person’s tone and body language and think about what they may be trying to communicate even in what they are not saying. Even if you disagree, acknowledging them and everything they have said is an important step toward a decent settlement.

Request, Don’t Complain

Instead of complaining about a claim, request, or demand that your spouse is making, calm down and reframe your objection as a request for a different consideration or compromise. Simply lashing out and lamenting what you regard as an unreasonable statement on your spouse’s part, is likely to have the opposite effect to the one you are seeking. They are likely to get defensive and even double down. Instead come back with something like, “I understand why you are asking for that, but can I make a different suggestion?”

Apologize When You’re at Fault

When your partner is at fault, you have a right to call them out and expect them to apologize. Likewise, when you are in the wrong, be prepared to apologize and repair the situation. Doing so will help to defuse any possible conflict – and it never hurts to be the bigger person in moments of conflict.

Westover Law is a leading firm of family lawyers in southern California. Our divorce lawyers will help you through your divorce process, show you how to become better at arguing, and, of course, argue on your behalf. Book a consultation if you need assistance with your divorce case.