Children need stability, consistency, and emotional support as they grow. In most cases, they also need ongoing access to both parents. Long after your divorce attorney in Paterson, NJ, helps you sort through the settlement agreement, you’ll have to deal with your ex for the sake of your kids. If your divorce was particularly contentious, your family attorney might recommend that you and your ex try mediation. This may help the two of you reach agreements that are necessary for successful co-parenting. One common stumbling block of co-parenting is communication. Your family attorney may recommend that you proactively set the ground rules for communication to reduce the risk of future conflicts.
Agree on Communication Methods
In some cases, a child custody agreement will include clauses on methods of communication. Talk to your family attorney if you’re unsure of whether your agreement does. These days, it’s common for ex-partners to agree on e-mail as a primary method of communication. E-mail is ideal because a response is not immediately required, which means that you can take the time to calm down before typing your response. However, e-mail is also slow, which means that you and your ex must have an alternative communication method when a response is required right away. This means that if you change phone numbers, you must provide your ex with your new number immediately.
Set the Ground Rules
The first ground rules you establish for communication with your ex should be to always put the kids first and never put them in the middle. That is, keep your conversations focused on the children and avoid using them as messengers between the two of you. It’s also a good idea to agree on the frequency of communication. Agree to let each other know about certain things, such as problems at school, new medical issues, and discipline issues.
Find an Alternative Emotional Outlet
Successful co-parenting requires that you do not allow your feelings to influence your behavior. Instead, treat your co-parenting arrangement just like a business and vent your emotions elsewhere. Turn to a friend, a therapist, or a pet for emotional support, but never share your frustrations about the other parent with your children.