When a couple goes through a contentious divorce, it is common for each parent to have feelings of mistrust and disdain for each other, perhaps even months after the divorce becomes final. When you and your ex don’t have children, you essentially can remove your ex from your life, because there is no reason to have further contact with him or her. However, when you share a child with your ex, you are likely to have to deal with him or her, at least with respect to issues related to your child, for many years to come. As a result, it is in your child’s best interests to create a workable relationship or at least an effective means of communication with your ex. If you continue a high-conflict and contentious relationship with your ex, you only will harm your children and makes things more difficult for them.
For example, if you and your ex cannot communicate in person without fighting, you will need to find a way to effectively communicate with as little conflict as possible. Some parents are able to better communicate via text message or email. This is a less personal means of communication, which can make it easier to avoid disputes. You also should try and limit your conversation to issues directly related to your child. These communications with the other parent are not an opportunity to argue about who’s right, bring up problems that existed during your marriage, or criticize each other’s parenting skills. It is time to communicate solely about your child, the schedule, and his or her needs.
Another common communication problem between parents occurs when one or both parents attempt to use their child as the “messenger.” A parent may rely on a child to deliver messages to the other parent, to arrange pick-up and drop-off times, and to exchange information about doctor appointments or parent-teacher conferences. This places a great deal of pressure on the child to work situations out between his or her parents. Instead, focus on communicating directly with your child’s other parent, no matter how difficult or distasteful that might be. You also should refrain from using your new significant other, or your ex’s significant other, as a form of communication.
A knowledgeable California custody and visitation attorney can guide you through every step of your custody proceedings, no matter what issues they involve. You are likely to have many questions, both now and in the future, about various issues related to your child custody case. At the Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates, we have assisted countless clients through child custody proceedings. Contact our office today and see how we can help.