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Tips for communication with a co-parent

Divorcing when you have children with your ex means that you and your ex are still going to have to interact together for some time to come — most likely until your children are grown. You’re going to need a suitable communication plan. This can help to keep the stress down for everyone involved. 

One of the most important points to remember during this time is that you and your co-parent should be committed to working as a team for the good of the children. That requires communication skills. Here are several tips that might make communication a bit easier for you.

1. Use business-like language

Thinking of communication as a business-like matter might make it a bit easier for you to keep calm. If things start to get heated, it’s usually best to take a step back so both parties can calm down a bit before coming back to discuss the matter. Tailor your language much the same way you would any business letter so that you avoid the temptation to cross boundaries and get too personal. (That way, nothing you say can ever be used to embarrass you later in court, either.)

2. Focus only on the issues at hand

Forget about your feelings about the past and old history when you’re talking about present-day matters. Rehashing past transgressions won’t resolve current-day difficulties with the children.

3. Find a method that avoids putting the kids in the middle

Never try to relay messages through the children because the children shouldn’t be put in the middle of adult matters and they can misstate information. Instead, you need to communicate directly with your co-parent. This enables you to ensure that everything is being stated as intended. If you can’t communicate verbally, consider using a parenting app, text messages or another form of written communication. 

The terms of communication should be clearly stated in the parenting plan. This ensures that everyone knows their responsibilities and what should happen. Your attorney can assist you with determining what terms are appropriate for the parenting plan. 

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