When a relationship breaks down, staying friends with your ex might seem an impossibility. It depends on individual circumstances and the reasons for separating, of course, but some people do manage to achieve an amicable relationship. The Duke and Duchess of York are perhaps one of the best-known couples who have remained friends despite divorcing after 10 years of marriage. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin remain on friendly terms after they ‘consciously uncoupled’ in 2014.
So, what’s the secret to staying friends with your ex after the emotional rollercoaster of a divorce. There are no right and wrong answers and for many people it takes time to heal and establish a new and platonic relationship. Divorcees who manage to set aside their differences and put the interests of the children first can end up staying friends. Co-parenting isn’t always easy but together you can still achieve the very best for your children.
Here are a few tips:
It’s important to stick to any shared childcare agreements and financial arrangements. Share routines, schedules, school home work and make sure your child has got access to everything they need so both homes feel comfortable and secure.
Support one another
Be positive about each other’s parenting styles and use positive or neutral language if you are talking about your ex-partner in front of your child. Ensuring there is mutual respect on both sides will go a long way when it comes to dealing with any issues that may arise.
Both of you should be involved when it comes to any life-changing or important decisions. If you are both on board, it will avoid mixed messages and confusion in the future.
Avoid misunderstandings by communicating effectively. Remember texts and emails can be misinterpreted so often it’s better to pick up the phone or talk face to face. Make sure you have both got access to school-related information.
Family life will inevitably change following a divorce: it marks the end of one chapter of the relationship and in some cases another chapter begins. Divorcees can go onto achieve very positive co-parenting arrangements and stay on good terms in the process.
Andrew Meehan is individually recommended for family law by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500. He is also a Resolution accredited specialist solicitor for divorce cases involving complex financial and property matters.
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