A contentious divorce doesn’t just officially end your marriage. It also does serious damage to your relationship with your former spouse. Even those who intend to keep things amicable can find that their divorce becomes bitter and contentious when they failed to agree on custody arrangements or how to split up their shared property.
You may have done a good job protecting your kids from the worst fighting, but your feelings could still cause issues in the future. The negative emotions between the two of you could hurt your children and make shared custody more stressful for them.
How can you get ready to work together as co-parents when divorce has damaged your relationship?
Consider co-parenting therapy
You know your marriage can’t be rebuilt, but the two of you still have to interact, possibly several times a week. There are counselors who specifically focus on the strained relationship between parents who share custody after the end of their relationship.
Co-parenting therapy can help the two of you rebuild a friendly relationship. It can give you tools for healthier communication with one another in the future and help you really develop the parenting skills you need to work together as an effective unit.
Consider using a specialized co-parenting app
Direct communication right after divorce can be hard for former partners. Their emotions may get the better of them, or they may block out what their ex says, making it hard to remember when arrangements change.
Using a co-parenting app for at least the first few years of shared custody can help both of you. You will have a centralized location to check when your next custody exchange is or make one-time changes formal. You will also have a neutral means of communication that may not cause the same emotional thing that emails or text messages could. Finally, there’s a verifiable record of everything you say to each other and every custody exchange you arrange.
Trying to work together now instead of fighting might mean looking at your ex not as someone who divorced but as someone who loves your kids. Keeping your children your focus and top priority if you share custody with your ex will help you make decisions that benefit your children.