The marriage is over, your decree is in place, you have made arrangements for custody with the court…. So now what? Once it’s all said and done, learning to communicate with your ex can be difficult. After your case is complete, you may want to cut ties, however, when children are involved it’s often not possible.
Communicating Without Harming Kids
We have included a few pointers on how to correspond with the other party to make arrangements for your children. It’s common to have hard feelings once your case is done, but you’ll need to do your best to work with the other party and keep in mind it’s what’s best for your children.
The golden rule. This may seem like a silly recommendation, but it’s true. If you expect your ex to give you as much notice as possible for vacations, you should do the same. It can be frustrating to continue treating your ex as you hope to be treated, but someday they may follow your example.
Find a method that fits. Find a method of communication that works for you and your ex. You can coordinate visitation and other issues relating to your children in several ways, such as: phone calls, emails, text messages, etc. It is also a good idea to send an email confirming phone conversations so you can make sure both of you are on the same page. Some of our clients have found it helpful to use a shared calendar such as a google calendar to coordinate events. (You may have specified a contact method in your decree, in which case you should follow it as outlined.)
Stick to issues relating to your children. Don’t let other issues get in the way of arrangements for your children. Stick to visitation and other issues relating to your children. Even though it can be difficult communicating with the opposing party, we recommend you never coordinate parent time using your children as a third party.
Leave the past in the past. Dwelling on the past will do little good when attempting to move on. Empower yourself by choosing to leave the past behind you. Your children will benefit and you will too. It’s not uncommon for people who have suffered a significant emotional injury to patch things up with a former spouse enough to move on.
Find resources to help. There are many resources out there that can help you communicate with your ex without involving your children. We recommend the book “The Co-Parenting Survival Guide”, by Thayer and Zimmerman. It offers some insight on dealing with common parent-time issues.
While effectively communicating with an ex can being difficult, keeping a smooth and calm home life for your children will make the process worth the pain. Burton Law Firm can give you legal advice about the best way to correspond with your ex-spouse.
Disclaimer: Using this site or communicating with Burton Family Attorneys through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship. This site is legal advertising only. Do not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services providers. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter, you should consult your attorney or professional legal services providers.