When there are hurt feelings or resentment following a divorce or separation, communication between ex’s can be strained. However, when there are children involved in the breakdown of a marriage, it’s possible that communication between parents could continue for years.
When parents decided to share parenting duties following a split, a parenting plan can be a great way to facilitate communication between the parties and create guidelines that each parent can adhere to.
At the time of a divorce or separation, it can be difficult to determine all the needs your child may have. Parenting a 3-year-old is different than parenting a 9-year-old or a teenager. Because you may be parenting with your former spouse for many years, it is essential that you both have a means to communicate with each other to discuss the needs of your children as they grow up.
Consulting with an experienced family lawyer can help each of you determine what type of communication relationship will best suit your family dynamic. As outlined on the Department of Justice website, there is a lot of information that parents may need to discuss with each other over the years.
One of the more complex issues to navigate is the frequency of communication. Should parents check with each other after doctor appointments, check-ups or other health situations? What about concerns over bullying at school, the types of friends/activities your child is engaged with, and or a slip in grades or performance?
It’s also important to be clear about the method of communication. Will each parent discuss any concerns during drop-offs and pick-ups? Email, phone calls and in-person meetings suit different types of family dynamics. And what if there is a disagreement between parents on how best to parent a child? Deciding to involve additional parties, such as a therapist or mediator, could be contentious, as will the payment of such services.
Having a reasonable communication system that both parties can agree to may aid parents in developing a long-term parenting relationship that reduces the likelihood of fighting in front of their children. To find out what type of situation may best suit your family, its best for both parties to consult with an experienced family lawyer for legal guidance on how best to proceed.