Fighting about money with your spouse is terrible, but fighting about money when they have become your ex is even worse.
If you were married to your former flame, you could find yourself having to discuss money, especially if you have children together.
There are many expenses that fall into the cracks when it comes to a formal divorce agreement. When you have to discuss money with a former spouse, the key is to avoid reliving what caused you to break up.
Set Ground Rules.
No emotions. Okay, we know that is hard, but seriously. Distance yourself by imagining you’re talking to a business associate. This will help you avoid saying things you’ll likely regret.
Nothing is going to get done with claims like, “If you would have been more frugal with our money, we wouldn’t be in this position.” Shoulda, coulda, woulda doesn’t really help at this point. Just focus on a resolution. The sooner you have one, the sooner you can break free.
Use an Opening Gambit, Questions, and Facts.
The worst thing you can do is make demands when it comes to handling finances with an ex. Instead, try, “Timmy really likes football, and it’s starting to get pricey. I’m hoping we can meet to discuss his plans.” This creates a discussion, not an argument.
When handling finances with an ex, questions also help as they express empathy. For example, “Sarah wants a private tutor for piano lessons. How do you feel about that?” This works because you’re priming your ex for his/her perspective.
Lastly, facts are important. If your ex already pays alimony or child support, they are likely going to question why you’re asking for more money. Make sure you are ready to illustrate how those funds will be used. For example, “Thank you for the child support, which covers Sarah’s food, clothing, and medical bills. There’s nothing left for piano lessons, which is $65 an hour.”
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