Watch what you say during & after divorce: Use your right to remain silent

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You have probably heard the start of the Miranda warning at least a hundred times if you like watching police TV shows: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you…”

While this is a staple in criminal proceedings, it offers a valuable lesson for anyone going through a divorce — especially when children are involved.

Your actions and words during this time are not just about navigating legal complexities, but about modeling strength, resilience, and maturity for your kids.

Digital communication & divorce: Handle with care

In our digital age, it’s crucial to remember that both photos and written communication are easily preserved and shared. Emails can be forwarded, texts can be screenshotted, and smartphones make it pretty easy for someone to record your conversations.

We aren’t just talking about conversations with your ex, either. The unfortunate reality of a contentious divorce is that allegiances can shift, and friends (and even family members) you once trusted might not be as loyal as you thought.

Before you speak or type, reflect

If a comment isn’t necessary, it might be best left unsaid. Likewise, when emotions run high, take a moment to cool down before responding. Delay sending any messages or emails written in anger until you’ve had time to sleep on it and reconsider your words.

This practice can prevent misunderstandings, minimize your stress (who can relax when you’re waiting for what’s bound to be an angry reply?) and generally help you maintain a peaceful co-parenting environment.

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Mindful communication: a key to peaceful co-parenting

This isn’t legal advice, but practical guidance for a challenging period in your life. When interacting with or discussing your ex, it’s wise to consider how your words and actions would be perceived by others, particularly your children, friends, and family — both on and off social media — and both in and out of context.

This approach will also help you maintain composure and prevent anger from dictating your actions.

Protecting your children’s perspectives

Your children are silent observers and often, unintentional judges of your conduct. It’s important to shield them from adult conflicts.

If discussing sensitive matters with a trusted friend and you can’t get out of earshot of your kids, consider using a pseudonym for your ex to prevent children from overhearing and identifying the subject as their other parent.

Living under a microscope

Parenting during and after a divorce can feel like being under a microscope, where every decision and reaction is magnified.

At times, you might find it helpful to picture yourself as the main character in a reality TV show, where your every move is captured on camera and broadcast. Simple actions are seen and interpreted by your audience… and not always the right way.

Your children, much like curious scientists, scrutinize and learn from these observations. They may not understand the complexities of adult emotions and conflicts, but they are keenly aware of how you handle them, so it is up to you to take the high road — even if you’re the only one on it. 

Final thoughts: Maintain integrity and respect

Divorce can be a tumultuous journey, but maintaining a level of integrity and respect in all communications can not just potentially keep you in a better position legally, but can also safeguard your safety, peace of mind, and the emotional health of your children.

Remember: You can’t control someone else’s actions, so put that power into yourself to be the adult in the room. Your future self will thank you.

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