Your marriage is over, but your relationship with your ex-spouse is just beginning. Since you have children, you’ll be co-parenting together for years to come.
Do yourself a favor and start the process off right — because what you do now will have a significant effect on how you continue to communicate in the future with your co-parent. Here are some tips:
1. Establish boundaries
Communication works best when there are some rules. Some important ground rules include:
- All important information, including schedule changes, needs to be transmitted in writing so that there are no misunderstandings.
- The children are never to be used as messengers between you.
- Electronic communication is preferred (via text, email, or an online calendar).
Keeping to these rules can help you remember that you need to treat your ex-spouse cordially, the way you might a business acquaintance.
2. Be respectful
Respectful communication is a must when you’re trying to work together. That means:
- Focus on the present, not the past. Your marital difficulties have nothing to do with your parenting.
- Keep your tone under control. Ask your ex-spouse to do the same.
- Walk away from the communication if you can’t be civil.
It may take some practice, but you can learn to focus only on your children’s needs — not your relationship with your ex or what went wrong in the marriage.
3. No venting on social media
Venting about each other on social media is bound to start problems — and it’s not healthy for the kids. Even though you’re divorced, you and your ex need to model good behavior and show the kids how to behave maturely.
If your ex-spouse won’t cooperate and facilitate a healthy co-parenting relationship that puts the kids first, it may be time to discuss some post-divorce modifications to your parenting plan.