Three Key Tips for Successful Co-Parenting After a Divorce


The reasons for your divorce don't go away when a Pasadena divorce attorney helps you end your marriage, but you'll still need to be able to handle conducting a civilized conversation with your ex if you have children together. To keep the lines of communication open, you might find it helpful to keep in mind three key tips for successful co-parenting after a divorce.

First, it's often helpful to think of co-parenting as a business relationship. You wouldn't scream at your boss or your colleague for arriving five minutes late to an important business meeting, so it's best to resist the urge to yell at your spouse if he is late picking up your children. Even when you're angry, strive to keep your tone as neutral and respectful as you would be if you were in the office. You are no longer married, but you are "in business" with your ex raising your children to be happy and productive adults. If you have trouble keeping your temper in check, voice mail, text message, or email might be helpful for arranging the day-to-day details of your co-parenting arrangements. Do not rely on your child to communicate messages to your ex, since children often misinterpret details and are likely to resent the responsibility for playing "peacekeeper" between their parents.

Second, remember that requests are likely to be interpreted more positively than demands or even statements of what you want to do. Ask "Do you think we could change visitation from Monday to Wednesday this week?" instead of "I need to pick up Jillian on Wednesday this week." No one likes to feel like they are being ordered to do something, especially if the person giving the orders is someone they've had trouble dealing with in the past. Giving orders might work when you're trying to get your children dressed and out the door in the morning, but barking orders at your ex is likely to be met with a complete refusal to cooperate. Strive to treat your ex in the same way you wish to be treated, even if he doesn't "deserve" the consideration.

Finally, be willing to compromise. You don't need to give in to every request your ex makes, but showing flexibility will go a long way towards establishing a more amicable co-parenting relationship. For example, if you feel strongly that your son needs to be in bed by 10 pm on a school night, it might be worth compromising on what type of TV shows he's allowed to watch in order to make sure your ex sees he gets the sleep he needs.