William Marcus Wilkerson
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Photo of attorney William Marcus Wilkerson
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3 ways to improve co-parental communication

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Family Law |

Communicating with your co-parent can sometimes be difficult. There may still be bad feelings between you or hurt that could take years to dissipate. Yet your children need you to talk to each other. Otherwise, things that are important to them and their development could be missed.

Setting a few ground rules can help. Here are a few to consider:

Treat each other with respect

You may have lost all respect for your co-parent because of how they acted in your relationship or divorce. Yet you need to separate your (lack of) respect for them as a partner from your respect for them as a parent to your child. Respect is the basis of good communication.

Make a time and place to raise issues

Maybe you are fed up with your co-parent turning up late to collect your child. That is understandable, but you must find the right time and place to discuss it. Handovers are not the right time, as your child could overhear or see you arguing. If one or both of you are running late the time pressure could also increase the chance the discussion escalates into an argument or becomes disrespectful. Pick a time and a place where you can calmly talk about things.

Be prepared to be flexible

There may be a valid reason why your co-parent or you need to change something. It might be a one-off alteration- such as taking the children for an extra day so your co-parent can go on a business trip. Or it might be a more permanent change – such as altering the parenting schedule because one of you has a new job. Trying to see the other parent’s point of view and find a solution that works for both of you and your children is crucial.

If you need to make substantial alterations to a custody agreement and parenting plan, it is wise to seek legal guidance to do so.