You may have read how crucial it is to communicate as parents after your divorce. Yet, sometimes that is easier said than done. The disintegration of a marriage and the strain of the divorce process can create a situation where the last person in the world you feel like speaking to is your ex.
As co-parents, you have little choice. You have to communicate for the good of your child. While it should become easier in time, there are several things you can do to make it easier at first.
- Create a detailed parenting plan
The more details you set out, the less you need to contact each other to ask what is happening. If you write that you will conduct handovers each Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Walmart parking lot, then you both know to be there at that time each week. A plan that considers all possible financial expenses reduce the chance of arguments over money when extra costs arise, such as school trips, dental treatment, or your kids needing a new sports kit.
- Use email
Emails are slower than messaging or calling. Yet, people tend to revise what they write before sending it. If you speak in person or use instant messaging, it is easy to let a poorly chosen phrase slip out in the heat of the moment.
- Create a joint calendar
An online calendar you can both edit allows you to update information without physically telling your co-parent. You can set notifications to alert each other to changes.
How complex communicating will depend on how your divorce went. If you ended up in court, dredging up memories of past betrayals as ammunition against each other, co-parenting could be difficult. If you took a more cooperative and less conflictive approach to things, you might not be friends, but at least you will not be enemies. Finding out more about handling your divorce in an amenable way lays the groundwork for a better co-parenting relationship that will benefit you and your children.