If you’ve been through a contentious divorce, you may feel like you don’t want to see your ex again – ever. The marriage did not end on good terms, and it was both confusing and frustrating. Perhaps you even blame your spouse for causing the divorce. However, you know that you can’t entirely cut yourself off. The two of you have children together.
You’re always going to have to work together to be effective co-parents. So how can you approach this situation in a way that reduces your stress level and makes things go more smoothly? Here are some important tips that may prove helpful.
Focus on respect
You don’t have to like your ex, but they are your child’s other parent. It is important to be respectful of one another. When possible, you and your ex should present a united front. This doesn’t mean you have to do everything the same way, but you should avoid things like insulting or bad-mouthing your ex around the kids for the kids’ mental and emotional well-being.
Let the past go to the extent that you’re able
Many people encounter future conflicts because they haven’t moved on from the past. In a situation like this, it’s best to focus on your children and your future. This can help you put the contentious divorce behind you and work toward these goals, rather than dwelling on things that have already happened and cannot be changed. Be gentle with yourself but also keep your eyes trained forward when you can.
Work on communication skills
Additionally, it’s important for co-parents to be able to communicate. One key thing to do may be to decide on a single communication method that is easiest. For example, a couple that tends to get into disagreements when talking face-to-face may have better success with email or text.
Make a plan in advance
Even if your past was contentious, co-parenting is going to go better when you and your ex have a plan in place for the future. What rules will you have for the children? When will they live with you and when will they live with your ex? What parenting styles are you going to use?
The more you plan in advance, the easier it can be to address these questions when they come up. That’s just one reason why it’s critical to understand all of your legal options while going through the divorce process and to seek legal guidance whenever necessary.