Posted by familylaw on 19th December 2011

The time leading up to a divorce is often fraught with hostility which the divorce process itself can make worse. However, once the divorce has been finalised, if you have children together it’s essential you can co-operate as parents.

Learn To Work Together

Although your relationship with each other has ended, you continue to be your children’s parents. To be the best parents you can, you need to establish a post-divorce relationship.

Although you should aim to be on friendly terms with your ex, this should not be mistaken for being friends. Given time that might become the case, but for now the emphasis is on open honest communication concerning the well-being and best way forward for your children.

Do’s and Don’ts

The circumstances surrounding everyone’s divorce are different, but experts tend to agree the principles for successful co-parenting following the split can be generalised in the following do’s and don’ts.

Do:

  • Be civil and respectful towards your ex-partner. The more acrimonious your divorce was the more important it is now to find common ground regarding your children’s upbringing.
  • Keep communications brief and to the point. It is best not to wander from the subject of your children, especially during the early months.
  • Be polite, punctual and listen to your ex-partner. This ensures communication between you is more effective.
  • Be prepared to compromise.
  • Encourage your children to talk about their time with your ex-partner as much or as little as they want to.
  • Seek help from a third party if you find you cannot communicate with each other.

Don’t:

  • Use your children to relay messages between each other.
  • Ask your children to lie or keep secrets.
  • Ask your children to spy on your ex-partner or interrogate them for details.
  • Confide in your children or lean on them for emotional support.
  • Stray into old arguments with your ex-partner – this is the opportunity for a clean slate.
  • Forget you are both your children’s parents and the most important and influential people in their world.

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