For many people, they cannot imagine how they will get along with their ex-spouse once the divorce is finalized. Others might still be on civil terms with their ex-spouse. Regardless, Virginia parents who share custody of their children must still maintain regular contact after their divorce.
So, here are some critical tips to help co-parents communicate in a healthy and productive way.
1. Try to keep all communication related to your children
All communication should center around the children. Most of the time, the parents’ love for their children is the most important thing they still have in common after a divorce. Therefore, it is a common ground that co-parents can build off of. When parents put their children’s needs and best interests first, they can reduce the chances of a conflict.
2. Focus on the present—and the future if necessary
Concentrating conversations on the present has several benefits, including:
- Avoiding old wounds or arguments from the past
- Ensuring conversations are concise and relevant
- Having a clear goal for all interactions
It might also be necessary for parents to consider the future as well. This is often essential if children have important events coming up, or if one parent wishes to plan a vacation with the children.
3. Be respectful
Simply put, communication is not effective if parents argue with or insult each other. An essential rule that all parents should follow for communicating with each other is to respect each other.
Maintaining a civil tone in any conversations with an ex-spouse and co-parent can make a considerable difference.
4. Consult the custody agreement when there is a big decision
Co-parenting is often a significant challenge. So, there is no doubt that co-parents will run into a few disagreements over decisions regarding their child.
When this happens, parents should:
- Follow any decision-making rules they established in their custody agreement
- Always put their children’s best interests first
- Consider their child’s opinion in the compromise
Disagreements might be common, but following these communication tips can prevent these disagreements from developing into disputes.
Dealing with custody issues like this can be stressful. But the child custody attorneys at Bowen Ten Long & Bal, PC, can help parents navigate any complex custody issues during and after their divorce.