How can co-parents improve communication?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Child Custody |

If you co-parent with your ex, you have to be able to communicate freely about the children, but this might not always be easy. Effective communication puts your child’s needs first so they can have the stability they need to thrive despite the split.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all way to improve communication, some tips work in many cases. Considering the following can potentially help you and your ex work more effectively in the interests of your kids.

Clear communication guidelines are critical

The guidelines for communication must be clear. This includes information about when communication should occur and how it should happen. You and your ex should agree on the preferred methods of communication. This may include text, email, phone calls or face-to-face interactions. Try to choose methods that minimize conflict and misunderstanding.

Written communication can be particularly beneficial because it provides a record that can be referred to. This ensures that both parents are clear on what has been agreed upon. It also allows co-parents the time to consider their responses carefully, which can reduce the likelihood of emotional reactions that can escalate conflicts.

Always focus on what’s best for the children

Conversations with your ex should be centered on the children. This prioritizes your child’s well-being and needs instead of everything being focused on the personal grievances their parents have. This might not be easy, especially in the early days when the emotions of the breakup are fresh, but it may become easier over time.

It is also beneficial for co-parents to actively listen to each other’s concerns and viewpoints without interruption. This respect for each other’s input can foster a cooperative environment, reducing conflicts and misunderstandings. Acknowledging each other’s roles and responsibilities in the child’s life reinforces a partnership mindset, which is crucial for effective co-parenting.

Putting communication guidelines into your parenting plan can help as well. This gives you and your ex the ability to refer back to it – and to enforce its terms – if contentious matters ever come up. A legal representative can help you to learn about what needs to be included and work important issues into the plan accordingly.