Peaceful, consistent, and purposeful communication with your ex is essential to the success of co-parenting—even though it may seem absolutely impossible.You cannot control the words or emotions of your ex; you can only control your reactions to them. It all begins with your own mindset. Think about communication with your ex as having the highest possible purpose: your child’s well-being.Before every contact with your ex, ask yourself how your talk will affect your child, remind yourself that only you control your emotions and resolve to conduct yourself with dignity. Make your child the focal point of every discussion you have with your ex-partner.

Remember that it isn’t always necessary to meet your ex in person. Speaking over the phone or exchanging texts or emails is fine for the majority of conversations. The goal is to establish conflict-free communication, so see which type of contact works best for you. Sometimes written communication may be better because you can pause and rethink before you hit send (we encourage you to do so!).

1. Set a business-like tone.Approach the relationship with your ex as a business partnership where your “business” is your children’s well-being. Speak or write to your ex as you would a colleague—with cordiality, respect, and neutrality. Relax and speak slowly and pleasantly. Smile, even if you don’t feel like it. It can be heard in your voice over the phone.

2. Make requests.Instead of making statements that can be misinterpreted as demands, try framing as much as you can as requests. Requests can begin, "Would you be willing to…?" or “Can we try…?” Remember you can always take serious disagreements to court if necessary but many times a friendly request will resolve your issues quickly.

3. Listen.Communicating with maturity starts with listening. Even if you end up disagreeing with the other parent, you should at least be able to convey to your ex that you’ve understood their point of view. Listening does not signify approval, so you won’t lose anything by allowing your ex to voice his or her opinions.

4. Show restraint.Keep in mind that communicating with one another is going to be necessary for the length of your children's entire childhood—if not longer. You can train yourself to not overreact to your ex, and over time you WILL become numb to the buttons they try to push.

5. Commit to meeting or talking consistently.Though it may be extremely difficult in the early stages, frequent communication with your ex will convey the message to your children that you and your co-parent are a united front.

6. Keep conversations kid-focused.Never let a discussion with your ex-partner digress into a conversation about your needs or their needs; it should always be about your child's needs only.

It is almost certain that you will feel angry and exasperated at times, particularly during and shortly after your divorce or separation. Exercise, take time for yourself, vent to your friends and family, vent to your attorney. Remember to keep negativity off of social media and away from your children. Time will make communicating with your ex much easier and these tips should pave the way.

If You Have Questions Please Feel Free To Contact Our Office.
Ryan K McFarland • 1 (931) 919-4376

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