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9.7Susan M. Hais

Once you or your spouse files for divorce, the legal process begins for separating all joint properties, assets, and ties. With minor children involved, you will divide up the finances related to their care and create a parenting schedule. Even after the temporary support guidelines and parenting schedule have been established, there could be many kinks to work out until the divorce is finalized.

Here are some tips for setting effective communication patterns with a co-parent:

  • Choose a preferred method of communication. This could include email, phone, text, video chat, or face-to-face meetings with or without the children present. These will be necessary to make decisions such as how to exchange the kids, how to accommodate work, school, and vacation schedules, and to how to resolve educational and medical concerns.
  • Establish the hours of the day and night when you can and cannot be reached. Set a precedent for your ex-spouse not to bother you at work or to call or text in the middle of the night when you will be asleep.
  • Respect your ex-spouse’s wishes regarding communication. If he or she prefers a specific kind of communication and you cannot agree, then respond to each contact in the appropriate way. Some parents are more concerned with having text or email records of their conversations, and others are more concerned with completing the dialogue so the decisions for their kids are made in a timely manner.
  • Don’t waste time on inappropriate language, blaming your ex or talking about the past, or issues that don’t relate to the kids. After the divorce has concluded, your ex should not be burdened with your problems or drama. You should not need details about his or her personal relationships or employment. If you stick to what’s best for them, then you could avoid arguments that constitute a waste of energy. You can also focus on the relationships and activities that fill your new life as a single parent.

With similar guidelines in place, it’s easier to structure conversations with your ex-spouse. The focus is always on the children and what is in their best interest. While your ex may resist at first, adhering to agreed communication patterns can eliminate unnecessary stress. For more information on divorce and co-parenting, please contact us today.