The decision to end a marriage is rarely, if ever, an easy one. When the decision is finally made, it often feels like the only option is to permanently cut all ties with your ex-spouse. And although this might be an option for couples without children, it often is not possible for couples with minor or adult children. The simple fact is, dissolving the marriage does not dissolve the family. There are graduations, holidays, grandchildren, birthdays, funerals, etc. All these life events continue despite the dissolution. The reality is that, in most cases, it is in the best interest of the children for their parents to have a civil, if not friendly, relationship.
A Functional Co-Parenting Relationship
At the end of the day, when the divorce process is over, there are no more lawyers or judges. Only the couple and their children remain. A properly formulated parenting plan through mediation or collaborative process will help you outline what your post-divorce relationship looks like. This document provides the basis for a healthy post-divorce relationship for you as co-parents of your minor or adult children.
Your healthy co-parenting relationship is important for you and your children because it:
- Allows for peaceful drop-offs and gatherings
- Reinforces your desire for your children to have healthy future relationships
- Improves your children’s emotional and physical life and adjustment to their new family situation
- Encourages your children to have open and honest conversations with you about their feelings
- Gives your children the precious gift of having a relationship with both of their parents and their extended families
A Healthy Post-Divorce Relationship
If you worked with a mediation or Collaborative Family Law professional on your divorce, you are likely ahead in the ‘post-divorce relationship’ game. Your parenting plan was designed with win/win communication and relationship solutions in mind. If your divorce process did not focus on creating a healthy post-divorce relationship, it is not too late!
Work with a post-divorce mediator, co-parenting coach, or trusted clergy to develop new co-parenting patterns focused on strengthening your family relationships. These new skills will help your family relationships for decades to come.
When we learn how to better communicate with each other, we have a more sustainable, amicable, and respectful relationships.
Practice Makes Perfect…Give it time…
If you are feeling overwhelmed about the thought of having a civil relationship with your ex, that’s Ok! You may not be ready just yet. It takes times to heal, and develop a healthy peaceful post- divorce relationship, given the circumstances. Celebrate every little victory. A positive relationship can start with baby steps. It is like a muscle. With every exercise it strengthens.
For assistance or answers concerning communication with your co-parent following your divorce, contact us at Family Peacemaker. We are dedicated to helping our clients improve their communication skills with their ex-spouse by utilizing a non-adversarial, non-court, confidential, and peaceful process. We are here to help when you need us! Happy Co-Parenting!