Breaking up is hard. Breaking up with someone you had children with is impossible—especially when the children are still at home. Slogging through issues of discipline, finances and schedules can be tough when you have bad feelings toward the other parent.
But your children will be healthier during and after the process of the breakup if they can see parents talking through issues rather than being adversarial all the time. It will also dissuade them from trying to play you and the other parent against each other.
These three tips can help.
#1: Treat it like a business relationship. Remove emotion (and discussion about emotions) from the communication and stay focused on the children and problem-solving for their benefit.
#2: Don’t use the kids as messengers. If you want to switch placement times or have a question, go directly to the other parent. If you can’t do it verbally without getting emotional, use email or text.
#3: Use modern technology. Our Family Wizard is an app available for iPhone and Android devices that allows parents to share children’s calendars and send messages to each other. It’s a good resource parents who can’t communicate productively. In fact, it’s so helpful that courts increasingly are ordering it for parents working to resolve placement and other issues.
Above all, take the high road. Even if you know the other parent is speaking negatively about you in front of the children, don’t do it in return. Your children are watching.
By Sonja Davig, Partner, Johns, Flaherty & Collins. For a divorce lawyer in La Crosse, contact her at 608-784-5678.