You may be one of many Virginia spouses who couldn’t wait to sign the settlement papers in your divorce because you wanted to get as far away as possible from your ex. Perhaps you encountered challenges during child custody or property division proceedings because the two of you can’t seem to be in the same room without arguing. Especially concerning custody issues, a contentious co-parent relationship can make things tough.
While you understand that you’ll always have to interact with your former spouse on child-related matters, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re looking forward to it. It’s not uncommon for parents who divorce to wish there were a way to co-parent without having to see or speak to an ex. If your co-parent relationship is contentious, keeping several things in mind may be helpful.
Set boundaries to avoid conflict
If you know that every time your ex gets you alone in a room, he or she tries to cause an argument, you can incorporate terms into your co-parenting agreement requiring that a third party be present at every in-person meeting. Having another person in the room can help diffuse angry outbursts or provocation from your ex.
You can also agree to avoid discussions about your past marital problems or other topics that don’t pertain to co-parenting. This not only helps avoid stress, it keeps the conversation shorter, which helps avoid conflict.
Use correspondence that doesn’t necessitate face-to-face meetings
Perhaps the mere sound of your co-parent’s voice makes your blood start to rise because of unresolved issues or hurt that occurred in your marriage. To avoid confrontation, it might be best to eliminate in-person discussions by agreeing to use text messaging or email to correspond as needed.
Using digital correspondence might also help you avoid parental conflict in front of your children, which can cause coping challenges for kids. They’ll likely be able to come to terms with your divorce in a healthier manner if they witness you and your ex using texting, email, etc., to work together as a team and avoid arguments.
If a problem arises that you’re unable to resolve alone
Divorce isn’t easy, but it doesn’t necessarily have to ruin your life, either. If you’re struggling emotionally, financially or legally, it’s okay to reach out for additional support to help resolve a specific issue and to provide encouragement and support to your children as you all move on after divorce and adapt to a new lifestyle as a family.