Communicating with your spouse may have been difficult when you were married and during the divorce process. Now that the divorce is final, communicating with your ex-spouse may call for the need to establish effective communication with each other in order to discuss issues regarding the children. Talking with your former husband or wife can be complicated, yet it must be done. Parents should learn some new communication skills that will be applied to their new role as single parents.
It is important to set guidelines that provide you the ability to discuss topics that involve the children without rehashing past marital issues. All too often, a conversation with a former spouse can turn into an argument over minor problems. Agree to keep your disputes out of the discussion so that you can provide a clean slate for your children. It is also helpful to set parameters about the length of communications, how quickly a response is expected, and to have a “one topic per email” policy.
Establish Regular Communication
Some couples only talk to each other when a problem arises. This can be a mistake, because it can make discussions harder. Parents need to establish regular communication time on a weekly basis so they can both be aware of the needs of the child. If you have trouble talking face-to-face, you may choose to use texts or emails as a way to message each other. Set up a schedule where both you and your former spouse are able to talk about the children.
If you are having trouble talking with your ex-spouse, help may be needed. You may choose to communicate with each other through an objective third party, such as a Parenting Coordinator, rather than directly. This option should be considered as a temporary solution, so use it only to ensure communication through a particularly difficult period. If talking to your former spouse is extremely difficult, you may want to get co-parenting counseling to assist you through the toughest period.
Do not use the children themselves as a method of communication. When one parent gives their child a message to tell the other parent, the child is now in the middle, and a dysfunctional situation has been created. The same holds true for passing notes. This type of behavior must be avoided, and parents need to talk to each other, regardless of how difficult it may seem to be.
Seek Legal Guidance
When a marriage ends, there can be many emotions and disagreements to work through. After the divorce, parents have to relearn how to talk to each other in a new way. They are no longer partners in life; however, they are still partners in parenting. It can be helpful to get support and advice from your family law attorney. Learn your options and find out what resources are available after your divorce.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Communicating with Your Ex-Spouse, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Barry C. Dickerson at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.