For many parents, one of the most dreaded aspects of divorce is working out child custody and parenting issues with their ex. Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to avoid working together until your children are grown.
This means that you’ll have to learn the skills that can help you to overcome the disagreements that you have — or will have — with your ex when it comes to the kids.
Put the needs of the kids first
The needs of the children must remain the focal point of all your joint decisions. You and your ex both have to set aside your personal feelings and desires and focus on what is best for the kids in any given situation. Keeping your emotions out of the equation is also a good idea since this enables you to think objectively about what’s going on.
Always communicate directly
Good communication is key to ensuring that there aren’t misunderstandings. Never rely on the children to pass messages back and forth. Instead, communicate directly with your ex so there isn’t any problem with inaccurate information being exchanged. It might be best if this is limited to written messages so you can refer to them later. That’s a tactic that can also minimize conflicts by allowing both parties to consider their words carefully in an exchange.
Be willing to compromise
There are very few situations in which it isn’t appropriate to compromise with your ex. These occur when the children’s health or safety will be negatively impacted. In most cases, parents who are willing to work as a team and negotiate with each other can help the children to be more secure.
An effective parenting plan provides the framework for all your future discussions. It can also help you anticipate future events and areas of conflict and look for resolutions. Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you avoid mistakes.