While your marriage may be in the past, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never speak with your ex-spouse again. For example, if you’re co-parenting after divorce, you both will have to do whatever you can to provide your children with a stable environment in which to grow.
No two couples face the exact same circumstances post-divorce, but there are some basic tips anyone can follow to successfully co-parent after divorce. Here’s a good place to start:
- Communicate: Even if you’re not getting along, you must communicate for the sake of your children. Do so in a manner with which you’re comfortable, such as text message or email. Avoid communication channels, such as face-to-face meetings, that always seem to end in an argument.
- Put your children first: If you do this one thing you increase the odds of successfully co-parenting after divorce. Your children should be at the center of every decision you make.
- Follow the parenting agreement: During your divorce, you created a parenting agreement to guide you in the future. The terms and conditions of this agreement are legally binding, so both of you should follow them down to every last detail. Also, take into consideration the visitation schedule for the non-custodial parent.
- Don’t look for a fight: Every disagreement doesn’t have to turn into a blowout fight. If you don’t see eye to eye, do your best to remain calm and calmly talk through things. When you look for a fight, you’re likely to find it. You’re typically better off walking away from the conversation.
- Don’t put your children in the middle: This is a common mistake that’s easy to make, but one that you must avoid. When you stick your children in the middle, such as by talking poorly about your ex to them, it only increases tension across the board. Keep these feelings to yourself.
You don’t know what the future holds, but you do know that you want to do whatever you can to protect your children.
If your ex-spouse doesn’t feel the same way, consider your options moving forward. For example, if your ex continually violates the parenting agreement and/or visitation schedule, you may be able to seek a modification.