October 30, 2023
Yes, there are some divorced couples who get along beautifully now that they no longer have to live in the same household and argue about chores and in-laws, but they are the exception to the rule. Anecdotal evidence suggests that, somewhere, a young adult still goes out to dinner with both of her parents every year to celebrate their divorce anniversary; Mom and Dad are still family, but they were simply unsuited to each other as spouses. Do not be disappointed if you cannot meet these unattainable standards. It is much more common to find couples who cannot stand to be in the same room with each other or those who are counting the days until their youngest child graduates from high school so that they do not have to deal with each other anymore. A Chicago parenting time attorney can help you and your ex-spouse raise your children without making each other miserable.
Nothing good can come of calling your ex-spouse just to shoot the breeze; there are too many opportunities to reopen old wounds. Your conversations with your ex-spouse should focus on your children, at least for the first few years after your divorce, at which point it may be realistic for you and your ex to act like friends again. When talking to your ex about your kids, just stick to the facts and do not vent your emotions. Say, “The bus for the choir trip leaves from the school at 7:00 in the morning,” instead of, “I hope you don’t make her miss her choir trip by being late again.” Likewise, you cannot blame your ex for not knowing information about your child’s schedule that you did not share.
Talking to your ex-spouse about your children’s schedules and concerns without getting upset is harder than it sounds. In contentious divorce cases, judges sometimes order parents to text each other on co-parenting apps such as Our Family Wizard instead of talking to each other on the phone. Some of these apps draft sample messages that you can modify with the details of the message you are trying to communicate. Some of them also let you know if you sound too belligerent, snarky, or passive-aggressive.
You can talk to someone about your negative emotions about your co-parenting relationship, but that someone should not be your ex-spouse, and it certainly should not be your children. During your ex-spouse’s parenting time or while your children are at school or activities, it is fine to confide in your friends and family members about the challenges of co-parenting.
A Chicago family law attorney can help you and your ex-spouse follow your parenting plan with minimal conflict. Contact Women’s Divorce & Family Law Group in Chicago, Illinois, to discuss your case.