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Good Manners Matter In Your Washington State Divorce


Whether you’re communicating with a judge, a member of the court staff, or your soon-to-be ex, good manners can make a big difference on how smoothly your Washington State divorce will go.


Even if you’ve never been to court, you probably know that you’re supposed to be polite to the judge. You know that the judge “makes the decisions” and signs your divorce papers, so you should be polite to her!


Did you know it’s just as important to be polite to the people who work at the court who aren’t judges? When you file your divorce papers, you will give those papers to a member of the court staff. Your divorce papers are then processed before they get to the judge. If you want to keep your divorce papers on the fast track, then it doesn’t hurt to be polite to the court staff.


Lastly - and possibly most importantly - it’s important to be polite and use good manners with your soon-to-be ex. What? Yes. You read that correctly. Getting a divorce is hard for everyone. Some people manage the stress differently. Some people may show sadness, others may show anger, and others may act as if the divorce isn’t affecting them at all. You may be able to predict how your spouse will act, and her emotional response may be part of the reason why you are getting a divorce, but don’t let it trigger you to act rudely.


If you and your spouse can act politely with each other, then it’s more likely you’ll be able to reach agreement on the issues that need to be resolved in order to complete your divorce. Just like during marriage, many disputes within the divorce process have nothing to do with the items you’re fighting about. They have to do with hurt feelings.


If you can force yourself to be polite and to work with your spouse, then you’ll be better able to stick to the actual issues that matter. You might find, too, that after forcing yourself to be polite, you’ll soon be able to be polite without trying. By working through the divorce steps together in a polite manner, you may find that you’ve worked through some of the emotional issues, too.


When you and your spouse have children together, this is especially important.  Kids are like sponges.  They soak up everything that is around them.  More than anything else, they soak up unspoken words and energy.  Don't kid yourself if you think your kids don't notice the tension between you and your spouse.  They do, and it harms them.


Remember: the goal of the divorce process is not to hurt your spouse or even to heal your wounds. The goal of the divorce process is to end your marriage in the least destructive and least expensive way, and to best position you and your spouse (and your kids) to move forward into the next chapter of your lives.