What words should I avoid when I’m speaking with my ex? She gets angry when I say “my daughter.”

There are several words and phrases that may become tainted by the process of separation and divorce and this is one of them! I notice that any language that identifies a person, place or object as belonging to one person or the other is particularly triggering for the other person.

In my experience, it is best to simply avoid all references to ownership. For example, it is not “my car”; it is the “Toyota Matrix”. It is not “my daughter”; it is “Olivia”. And as a final example, it is not “my house”; it is “1234 Smith Ave”.

This will be less and less of a problem as time goes by and your lives become untangled. For now, do your best to be sensitive to how your words can have unintended and hurtful interpretations.

Any guidance provided is not covered by solicitor–client privilege, nor is it taking into consideration all of the facts of your matter beyond those in the question. The legal information is specific to British Columbia Law. If you want a more thorough and case-specific analysis of your legal matter, please contact us to arrange a consultation.

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