Tag Archives: Communication

Guest Post: 5 Things to Remember when Co-Parenting after Divorce

After the dispute is over and the child custody lawyers have done their job and been paid, parents embark on the difficult and enduring task of raising children with their former spouse. The bitterness that so often stems from the end of a marriage is difficult to put aside, but the trauma it causes to the children of divorced couples can be significant. The tips offered below will help guide parents through the delicate process of sharing custody.

  • Put Parenthood First

The most important thing for divorced couples to remember when it comes to custody issues is to put parenthood ahead of everything else. As angry or hurt as they may feel, those issues should have been addressed during the divorce. Now is the time to focus clearly on the best interests of their child or children. It can be difficult to overcome painful, if selfish feelings and work with the person who has left you feeling betrayed, but having a child with someone means that is your job, no matter what else occurs.

  • Forgive the Past

As difficult as it can be, letting go of the pain is the absolute best way to reduce the amount of trauma your children experience due to marital conflict. If you need help to manage this, family therapy doesn’t have to end because you have divorced. After all, you may no longer be married, but you will always be a family, and you and your children may benefit from some guidance and mediation from a professional counsellor.

  • Respect their Role

If forgiveness is more than you can currently manage, make sure that you are at least showing respect to your former spouse’s relationship with your child or children. Whatever their sins as a husband or wife, their role as a father or mother is critical in your children’s lives and remembering its importance can help you to come to peace with their continued presence in your life.

  • Discuss Important Decision

Although you are no longer married, as parents you will have a relationship for the rest of your lives. As with any other relationship, communication is the best way to keep things running smoothly. Openly discussing needs, obstacles, goals, and concerns will be the most effective way to avoid conflict and reach fair compromises. It will also help to keep the best interests of the child or children involved in sharp focus.

  • Parent Together

Self-awareness is something that many people struggle with, but understanding your ability to work with and be around your former partner is the only way to make to right custody plans for your family. For parents who are able to put aside their personal feelings or whose divorce was fairly amicable, coordinated parenting is the best way to go. With this method of shared custody, parents can work together, spend time with their children as a complete family unit, and collaborate on important decisions.

For couples who are left angry and unable to moderate their conflicts after divorce, parallel parenting may be the best option. In this arrangement, parents will coordinate through email and other indirect communication, while limiting their contact as much as possible to avoid traumatic fights that will impact their children negatively. If even this is more cooperation that they can achieve, intervention from a mediator or custody specialist may be necessary to ensure that the children are protected from continuing conflict between their parents.

Author Info:

Alan Brady is a freelance writer who focuses on issues that impact families. He currently writes for Attorneys.com, which connects people with local child custody lawyers.

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Filed under Children and divorce, Divorce, Divorce Support, Life after Divorce, positive thinking, Post Divorce

Guest Post: Divorce Lawyer Tips for Effective Co-Parenting

As a divorce lawyer it is not uncommon to see a lot of hostility and arguing between the parties during a divorce. Months and years of acrimonious living can lead to lots of hurt feelings and grudges. However, if children are involved it is important for both parties to understand that even though their marriage is over, their partnership in raising their child is not. Therefore, the parents together need to reach an effective co-parenting strategy for their child and themselves so that during this difficult time, the child feels a sense of stability.

Communication

I have found that a strong communication strategy can really help divorced parents. This requires each parent to let go of past hurts and disagreements. For those who find this difficult to do one effective strategy is to treat post-divorce interactions with you ex as you would a conversation with a difficult coworker – unpleasant but necessary. Conversations should be kept factual and professional and emotions should be left at the door.

This in no way means that you are required to agree with everything your former spouse thinks. Even married parents have different parenting styles. The important thing to remember is that you should keep communication lines open and you should never use your child as a messenger between you and your spouse unless you re sending a pleasant greeting or a thanks.

Involvement

Co-parenting requires involvement by both parents. It means cooperative scheduling and a bit of understanding. Flexibility is key. I have found that parents who put their child’s interests above their own wants have the most success. This means not being obsessed with the minutes and hours your child spends with your ex-spouse. For example, there may be times your child wants to go to a special party on the weekend when you have custody. You should consider your child’s wishes in this regard and decide whether it makes sense.

Explaining the Divorce to Your Child

I sometimes see former spouses get so wrapped up in their own emotions from the divorce that they forget just how impacted their children will be by the news of the divorce and exactly what it means. Remember to listen to your children, reassure them, and tell them you love them. If possible, try to make time for you and your ex to sit down together and reassure your child that he or she did not do anything wrong and did not cause the divorce. Hearing it from both parents together reinforces this idea. It may also be a good idea for former spouses and their children to talk together, or separately, with a professional.

Co-parenting is hard. It might be one of the most difficult things you ever do. I have found in my years of practice that if you can do this successfully you will have given your child a wonderful gift that many other children of divorce don’t have:  a peaceful childhood. For more resources on divorce and family law visit the  Morgan Law Firm blog.

Scott Morgan is a board certified divorce lawyer in Houston who regularly blogs on the subject of divorce and family law.

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Guest Post: How to Help Children Through a Divorce

Although a divorce can be stressful for parents, it can be even more traumatic for children. During a divorce, children experience a range of emotions that can include sadness, anger and even relief. For many children, a divorce is their first experience with a life-altering event. For this reason, they may lack the knowledge and skills to be able to express their feelings. Additionally, many children feel guilty or will blame themselves for their parent’s separation. Therefore, the following ideas are designed to help any family that is facing divorce to be able to help their child to cope during this stressful time in their life.

1. Be honest – At first, it may be difficult to tell a child that their parents are going to have a divorce. However, children are often the first ones to realize when their parents are struggling. Therefore, parents should sit down with their children, and inform them about the divorce in a calm and honest manner.

2. Avoid sharing too much – While children deserve an honest answer, they do not always need to know about the details of the divorce. If the reason for a divorce will put one or both parents in a negative light, then it is best to simply say that they are unable to work out their differences.

3. Do not place blame – Young children often see the world in terms of either good or bad. Finding out that their parents are divorcing can cause them to wonder who is to blame. Parents who may be hurting at the time may also feel the need to blame the other parent. However, this will only lead to more anger and confusion in the child. Instead, parents should express that they are united in their decision to divorce.

4. Explain changes – Change is inevitable during a divorce. Explain to the child how the divorce will affect them. For example, as soon as it is determined, let the child know about custody and visitation arrangements. If a move is expected, then clearly explain when and where the child will be moving.

5. Keep communication open – One of the best things a parent can do during this time is to be available for their child to express their feelings. By keeping communication open, a child will feel as though they can talk about the things that they are going through. It is also important for parents to listen to their children without judging when they express negative emotions. Instead, they should calmly help their children to find appropriate ways of handling them.

When a child feels the support of both of their parents during a divorce, then they are more likely to emerge from the experience with a positive relationship in place with both of their parents. For this reason, it is best to practice honest and open communication in order to help children to find their place in their new family environment.

About the Author:  This guest post is contributed by Debra Johnson, blogger and editor of Liveinnanny.com.She welcomes your comments at her email Id: – jdebra84 @ gmail.com.

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Guest Post: How to Talk To Your Ex after Divorce

It is an unfortunate fact that after divorce you’ll often be unable to avoid your ex completely. There can be many reasons for this, including children, finances, friends, in-laws, etc. etc.

The truth of the matter is that you and your ex shared a significant part of your life together and will always have that in common. So erasing them after divorce isn’t really possible.

Divorce is an emotional experience, and it is important not to let it ruin a significant part of your life or embitter you to life ahead. It is important to accept the fact that divorce is real, final and understandable.

Even more important is understanding and accepting that you will not be able to completely cut your ex out of your life, especially if you share children. So, there will always be the need to communicate in some fashion with your ex. Here are some quick tips to help you when you have to talk to your ex after divorce, and are uncomfortable with the situation.

1)      Be professional

Everyone knows what is and isn’t appropriate in a professional atmosphere. The best bet for successfully dealing with your ex, especially immediately after divorce, is if you act as professional as possible.

Don’t bring up emotional topics, talk about your personal life, ask for advice, or even ask them how they’re doing. What good can come of it? If they seem happy, it just serves to make you angrier and more bitter. If they’re sad it can cause guilt, anger, sadness and confusion. And if they rebuff you it can be emotionally devastating. So, stay professional, at the very least until the raw emotions start to fade.

2)      Be respectful

Unless you had an extremely amicable splitting, this will more than likely be a struggle. But it’s important to invest in moving forward with your life. A large piece of this will be learning to put the past behind you, moving forward, and being able to deal humanely with your ex. This means respectful communication.

This combines naturally with being professional. Even if it’s just an exterior you originally have to project, it will help in your communication with your ex. Eventually it will hopefully become less of a façade and truly the way you interact with your ex.

3)      Be confident

Often people categorize divorce as failure, and that failure with shame. There’s no reason for this however; it’s human nature to grow and change. And as unfortunate as it is, sometimes people grow apart. Don’t fall into the trap of guilt or shame during or after a divorce—these feelings are completely unproductive and only serve to hurt your future growth.

Being confident is an extremely important part of learning to communicate with your ex. Whether your divorce ended on friendly terms or not, more than likely you know enough about each other to push buttons. Being confident in your interactions can help you resist the urge to play these games, and hopefully give you the strength needed if they resort to less-than-adult tactics such as these.

4)      Be independent

Independence after divorce is rough. It can be a serious struggle to accept the official distance between you and your ex, and the new role you find yourself in. But, it is important to accept your new life, in which independence plays a large part.

It can be tempting to search for a new relationship with which to fill your time, and is often natural. However, you should resist this until you’ve learned to be completely independent.

Similarly, independence is extremely important when dealing with your ex. There can be temptation to return to the familiar. Everyone has felt that shortening of distance when dealing with an ex. It can be hard to believe and understand life after your marriage. But independence is important in maintaining normal, rational, productive and healthy communication with your ex—not to mention moving forward with your new life.

5)      Be brief

Brevity is vital in early stages of communication with your ex. More than likely you will find yourself stressed, frustrated, angry, or bitter when you first begin talking to your ex again. If you’re being overwhelmed by these feelings, make the conversation brief. Even if they don’t understand, you need to do what’s right for you.

Practicing common sense will help you talk to your ex after divorce successfully. The problem is that emotions tend to override more practical feelings, clouding judgment and leading to further problems. Your best bet to help prevent this is communicating in a professional, respectful, confident, independent, and brief manner.

Remember that no matter how hurt, upset, mad, or bitter you are about your divorce it will get better. And like it or not, you’ll probably have to continue to deal with your ex in the future—especially if there are children involved. Civility is important, and should be practiced as much as possible.

Author Bio:  Alan Brady is a passionate blogger who loves to share his personal experiences concerning divorce, his daughters, and being a single parent. He is a freelance writer for the divorce lawyer locator, attorneys.com.

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Filed under Children and divorce, Communication, Confidence after Divorce, Divorce, Divorce Support, positive thinking, self-esteem

Grandparents & Divorce: How Do I Ensure I See My Grandchildren?

A divorce between two people affects not only the couple but also all other people who are closely related to the couple. The children have to deal with a divided home, and the grandparents are left wondering about their status and role towards their grandchildren. No matter how amicable the divorce may be there are scars and marred relationships, and there have to be many new alignments and co-ordinations. Grandparents find that they not only lose on the time they spend with their grandchildren but they also feel a strain in the relationship, not only with the parents but also with their children. There are, however, a few ways in which they can play a positive role and be the bulwark for the broken family.

Remain Positive and Non-critical

Do not criticise the estranged parents in front of their children. Give the children a positive atmosphere and a place where they can get away from the stresses of broken relationships. Avoid taking sides, even though there may be a strong bias in your mind about who is to blame for this situation. If you project a positive image and your home becomes a place of refuge for your grandchild, continue doing that and provide the support that your grandchildren will need.

Maintain Cordial Relationships

Your child’s ex–partner may be bitter and resentful, but you should avoid getting into the same sort of mood. Maintain cordial relationships; it will not be easy but it will be definitely be one of the best things that grandparents can do for their grandchildren. Remain in touch with the other set of grandparents, and co-ordinate your visiting and playtime schedules.

 Provide a Happy Atmosphere

Be a good listener and if your grandchildren love to come to your house, continue giving them a happy and pleasant atmosphere. Do not discuss the divorce with them, unless you feel that they want to talk to you about the issue. Many children believe that the divorce is their fault and it is only the grandparents who have the time and the inclination to listen to them patiently, give them good advice and tell them that they are not responsible.

Legal Rights

Divorce settlements normally do not specify the role of the grandparents. If it is an acrimonious divorce, then the grandparent may not be able to bond with their grandchildren, since they do not have visitation rights. However, parents generally realise that letting the grandparents interact with their children makes life easier for them. If it is a divorce by mutual consent, then request the two parents to factor in your role by giving you specific visitation rights.

Respect the Settlement

If the parents have worked out their ways of dealing with the children, it is important that you also remain within those parameters. If the grandchildren are visiting your child during a particular weekend, be a part of their family then. Participate in the joint birthday or other celebrations, and do not let your resentment for the other side mar the occasion.

Author Bio:  This article was written in partnership with Punam Denley of Blanchards Law, a specialist in family and divorce law.

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Guest Post: To Be Friends or Not To Be Friends after Divorce

There are hundreds of complications and new hurdles that come with divorce, one of them being the matter of friendship with your ex after the divorce. Many people have strong opinions on the topic and have their own reasoning. However, when it comes to life post-divorce and the subject of friendship you need to make the decision on your own. Here are a few things to ponder before doing so:

To be friends:

If you decide to remain friend you firstly need to define what being ‘friends’ with your ex entails. Does this mean you are just cordial when in each other’s presence? Does it mean you are Facebook friends who occasionally ‘like’ each other’s statuses? Or does it mean you meet for coffee every now and then? Exes who decide to stay friends should have strict guidelines to follow; boundaries need to be set to prevent that friendship going sour. A good reason to remain friends is to reassure the kids. If you have children, acting as friends in front of them will help the process for them. Another reason to stay friendly is that people who choose to remain friends typically have an easier, more mutual divorce than those who didn’t.

Not to be friends:

It’s okay not to be friends. Nowhere does it say in the ‘Handbook of Divorce’ that you have to remain friends with your ex. There are plenty of reasons you don’t want or have to be friends with your ex. Those who to choose not to be friends choose it because it is easier just to cut everything off and move on. Keeping your ex as a friend could hinder the moving on process for either party. Sometimes it’s too painful to hang on to that person, it’s best to let go and move on.

The decision is ultimately your decision. You need to do what is best for you. To figure out what is best be honest with yourself and answer questions like these:

  • Will this hurt or help me?
  • Am I ready to be friends?
  • What will happen when I date or if they date?
  • What will my friendship mean?
  • What will a non-friendship mean?

Once you have answered these questions and weighed your options, speak with your ex. Be sure that you agree what your friendship or non-friendship means. You both need to be on the same page and understand the boundaries.   You are divorced because being married has proven not to be the best for you, do what will continue and strengthen you on that path.

Author Bio:  Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to the become a nanny website by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295@gmail.com.

 

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Guest Post: How to Keep Your Mutual Friends after Divorce

After divorce has ravaged the happy marriage that you once shared with the now-former Mr. or Mrs., you have to go through the unpleasant process of splitting up your belongings. When doing this, struggles often arise when it comes time to decide who gets the home, furniture, finances and other assets. But what about your brigade of best buds—who gets them in the divorce? Well, if you have mutual friends that neither you nor your ex-spouse are willing to forfeit, the good news is that you both can maintain these friendships! Here’s how it’s done:

Tip #1: Refrain from talking about your ex/divorce. If you talk about your ex-wife or husband in a negative way, it may feel good to drag their name through the mud at the time, but you may regret it later because you can’t be sure that what you say won’t get back to them (most likely you don’t want your ex to have the satisfaction of knowing that you even care to mention their name). And don’t expect your friends to jump in on the trash talk—these people are just as much your ex’s friends as they are yours. Of course you want to vent about the troubles that are weighing on your mind regarding the split, but surely there’s someone else you can talk to other than the mutual friends you have with your ex. Instead, confide in a friend or family member who is 100 percent loyal to you.

Tip #2: Make an effort to stay in contact. It can be difficult to maintain friendships with people who are also closely connected to your ex—especially because these friends may tend to remind you of happier times with your former flame. However, if these friends are especially important in your life, then you’ve got to make the effort to keep in touch with them. It is tough starting over without your spouse, but your friends will understand if you need a little time to yourself before getting back into your old activities with them.

Tip #3: Wait before bringing around a new love interest. If you are seeing someone new after your divorce—that is great! But understand that the divorce may have been upsetting for your friends too—and if it’s soon after the divorce, it may be difficult for them to see you with someone else right away; they might feel that you are betraying their other friend (your ex). Be sensitive to the possibility of such a reaction and give your new relationship some time to develop on more solid ground before introducing the girlfriend or boyfriend to the mutual pals you have with your ex.

Tip #4: Don’t assume you’re the only one invited to gatherings. If you and your ex-spouse have the same group of friends, don’t assume that you’re the only person who is still close with this group. Many friends won’t want to have to deal with the dilemma of deciding between the two of you and if there is some sort of event or gathering taking place, there is a heightened chance of running into your ex. So depending on what kind of terms the two of you are on, this is a situation that has the potential for some serious awkwardness. See if you can avoid it by finding out beforehand whether or not your ex will also be in attendance so that you can prepare yourself emotionally for the run-in or politely decline the invitation.

 

Sabrina Jackson is a guest post author who focuses her writing on helping people struggling with divorce. In addition, Sabrina also writes for Black Dating Sites where she offers advice to singles for how to make the most out of their online dating experiences.

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