Co-parenting is not an easy task. Trying to raise children with a spouse that you just divorced can be difficult at best. Many studies have shown that co-parenting is more effective for raising children that are emotionally stable and less anxious.
If you are in a co-parenting situation with your ex-spouse, communication is key to making it successful. Here are some tips that you can use to make co-parenting just a bit easier for everyone.
1. Be Business-Like
Approach any relationship with your ex as one of business. Keep things neutral, speaking to them as you would someone you work with. Relax if you can, and speak slowly. Try not to let your emotions get involved in the conversations you need to have.
2. Ask, Don’t Tell
It can be very easy for your ex to get defensive when you make statements instead of requests. Try to phrase things as a request…”Can you…?” or “Are you able to…?” Anything else may sound like a demand and put your ex-spouse on the defensive. If your ex is still harboring resentment toward you, something that sounds like a demand may be met with a negative response.
3. Listen to Understand
Don’t be so worried about getting in the last word that you forget to listen. You may not agree with what your ex has to say, but you won’t know unless you hear them. Effective listening means that you are able to repeat back what your ex has said to you, showing them that you have heard what the words that have been spoken. Give your ex time to voice their opinion, remembering that it doesn’t mean you have to agree.
4. Don’t Overreact
Emotions can run high after a divorce, assuming that you divorced because of ill feelings. You don’t want your feelings to affect the way your child feels about their other parent, and you don’t want negative feelings to impact any positive relationship that you can have as a family. Try to show restraint if your ex begins to push your buttons, and don’t be the button pusher.
5. Focus on the Kids
There is no reason for you and your ex to talk about anything other than the kids. You don’t need to know what your spouse did on Saturday night, and they don’t need to know what you did after work on Thursday. You are in two different houses now, so there is no need to discuss bills, mortgage payments or car troubles. Keep it focused.
Co-parenting isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as some make it. If you need assistance with child custody issues in Orlando, reach out to our team of family attorneys. We are able offer you advice and guidance, and we can help you with the legal matters you are facing. Call our office today to schedule a case evaluation.