Like all good parents in Arizona, you want what is best for your children. Since you’ve decided to file for a divorce, you understand that you must work out a parenting agreement with your ex. In fact, even though you will both move on in life in separate directions, you’ll always be communicating with each other about child custody issues.
Every relationship is unique. You might consider yourself lucky that you and your ex get along well, although you have differences of opinion. On the other hand, yours might be a more volatile relationship where you can barely be in the same room without fighting. Either way, keeping a few communication tips in mind as you move toward a divorce may help you avoid child custody disputes.
Dos and don’ts of communicating with your ex about child custody issues
Review this list that includes pairs of dos and don’ts regarding unspoken rules for communication with your ex as you begin a co-parenting relationship after divorce:
- Don’t digress into arguments about past marital problems when you contact each other to discuss your children.
- Do have a discussion itinerary in mind before calling or texting, etc., and try your best to stay on task.
- Don’t force a friendship where there isn’t one. You don’t have to have a deep, meaningful relationship to raise your children successfully and amicably as a divorced set of parents.
- Do approach child custody and co-parenting like a business. The two of you are working on the most important project of your life together in raising your kids.
- Don’t disregard the attempts of your ex to contact you.
- Do keep lines of communication open at all times so that you both make yourselves available to encourage and support each other as parents.
- Don’t move on in life after divorce without a detailed parenting agreement in writing.
- Do craft a thorough plan that includes many child custody issues, including schedules for birthdays, holidays, special events and more.
- Don’t keep doing the same things over and over if they aren’t working, such as trying to have in-person discussions or phone calls.
- Do consider parallel parenting, which means you and your ex agree to limit correspondence to email or text messages. Avoid attending functions at the same time and only interact, when necessary, because of child-related issues.
With these helpful tips as a basis for “ground rules,” you and your ex may be able to move forward after divorce without a lot of parental conflict and confrontation. A system like this helps keep co-parenting stress to a minimum.
How to handle child custody problems
If a child custody issue arises that you are having trouble resolving, don’t hesitate to reach out for additional support. Trusted friends, extended family members, teachers, counselors and legal advocates are available to assist your family and to help you resolve problems in as swift and peaceful a manner as possible.