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Guidelines for communication in co-parenting relationships

One of the biggest mistakes that parents make when they are going through a divorce is thinking that the situation has to be full of strife. It is possible to go through the divorce and remain cordial to each other for the benefit of the children. Make sure that you think about all the years you have to parent together so that you can stay focused.

You might not think too much about the co-parenting relationship when you first find out that you are going to get a divorce. During these early days, you might only be focused on trying to make it from one day to the next while setting up a new life for yourself. Still, it is best to start the parenting relationship off on the right foot.

Keep your tone business-like

When you speak to your ex, try to think of them as a business partner. You need to use a respectful tone that isn't demeaning or snappy. Even the nicest statement can turn into a problem if it is said with a negative attitude. If you are using written communication, remember that your voice won't be part of the way that statements are perceived, so you have to think about how they might be construed when you write them out. It might help if you wait a few minutes after you write out a message before you read it to see if it sounds too harsh.

Remove kids from the middle

Never let the children come into the middle of a conflict. They shouldn't ever be asked to relay messages back and forth because messages can be misconstrued. It is also possible that having to be the go-between might be stressful for the kids. They might also become privy to information they don't need to know.

Protect the children

You have to make sure that your children are protected. One huge issue that some parents may face is with other adults. It has to be made clear that no badmouthing of either parent is acceptable. There should be clear-cut guidelines about what will happen if any adult does speak ill of the parents in front of the children.

All of the rules you and your ex agree to can be placed in the parenting plan. This plan should also include a schedule for when each parent will have the children and how shared activities will be handled. The more information you have in it, the fewer issues you may have to deal with later.

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