When a relationship breaks down, communicating 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 maintain an amicable working 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 also remain on friendly terms after they ‘consciously uncoupled’ in 2014.
So, what’s the secret to co-parenting 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 homework and make sure your children have 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 in front of your children. 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.
Remember what is important
If your ex makes a sarcastic or nasty comment, it can be easy to lash out and tensions can rise. The most effective co-parenting relationships are those where both parents make sure that their personal feelings towards their ex do not affect decisions about the children. Our top tip when things get hard is to think about your child and how they would feel if both parents couldn’t be there on special occasions for them such as sports days, graduation or evening their weddings. By focusing on how maintaining a working relationship with your ex is best for your child, you can avoid being dragged into petty arguments that benefit no one.
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.
I’ve tried everything and my ex is still being unreasonable, what can I do?
If you feel that the arrangements for your children just aren’t working or that your ex is refusing to involve you in key decisions, we can help. Here at Harrogate Family Law our friendly solicitors are on hand to support you in establishing a workable co-parenting relationship for the sake of your children. They are experienced at reaching agreements with even the most difficult of individuals.