Communicating as Co-Parents after Divorce
Once a person has children, the other parent is never entirely out of his/her life, divorce or not. While the children are still young and subject to the terms of a parenting plan, former spouses are even more intertwined and must find acceptable and effective ways to communicate about child-related issues. As more divorced parents shift to a co-parenting model, which is child-focused and has both parents equally contributing to childcare duties, communication becomes even more key. Even in the best of relationships, parents will disagree on child-related issues, and unless a firm communication structure is already in place, resolving them without the need for the outside intervention of a mediator or judge is far from certain. A new app was recently launched, coParenter, that is supposed to combine all the functions a parent needs to coordinate co-parenting in one place, as well as a dispute resolution feature that uses AI to help defuse potentially inflammatory communications. Communication is such an integral part of divorced parents raising a child, and while online apps and services can help to reduce high conflict situations, other more direct interaction will be necessary if shared parenting is to work.
Even when parents are committed to working together, communication is still an issue that will require constant attention. Interacting with a former spouse is likely to trigger unpleasant emotions that need to be put aside for the sake of the child. The best way to start this process is to approach communication with the other parent as a business relationship, which shifts the focus away from interpersonal emotions and puts it on finding ways to best support the child’s needs. A big part of creating this dynamic is to establish and follow consistent schedules and rules at both homes, which will require a good amount of collaboration and a level of trust the other parent is doing his/her best. This means each parent is able to express his/her wishes about these issues and remain open to compromise and reasonable changes to schedules and house rules as needs dictate.
One way many divorced parents choose to communicate is through the numerous apps, in addition to the one mentioned above, that are designed to track schedules, send messages, and record communications and expenses, which can be invaluable in the event of a dispute. Utilizing this technology is one of the easier ways to keep communication consistent, but not too personal.
While disagreement is bound to occur, reducing the frequency and severity of disagreement is possible if a few techniques are used to create better communications skills. People do not always realize how their words are perceived by others, and in the realm of co-parenting, misunderstanding is even more likely. Attending a parenting seminar or working with a counselor to go over communication methods and how messages are being perceived is a great way to gain perspective on this issue.
Electronic communication is another area that can result in problems. Sending messages quickly is a great way to efficiently share information, but the flip side of this easy exchange is the very real possibility of sending an incendiary message before taking the time to think about the consequences. Thus, ground rules should be established for responding to emails and texts, including limiting each message to a single issue, and most importantly, taking time to sit back and consider if the tone and word-choice is appropriate for the situation.
Incorporating the techniques mentioned above can make a significant difference in the ability to communicate with a co-parent long-term, but if important issues do arise that cannot be resolved, reach out to an experienced family law attorney about legal options.
Talk to a Florida Family Law Attorney Today
Navigating parenting issues after divorce is challenging, but going in with the right tools can make all the difference in how contentious dealings will be. Despite best efforts, immovable difficulties can arise, and that is when a Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney should be your next phone call. If you have questions about your situation, speak with the family law attorneys at the office of Joyce A. Julian, P.A. to learn how you may respond. Do not let disagreements with a former spouse impact your child. Contact the Fort Lauderdale family law firm at (954) 467-6656 for a free consultation.