Friday, December 9, 2022

4 Tips on Having a Functional Relationship with Your Ex When Sharing Custody.

December 13, 2019 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Relationships, Weekly Columns

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( Maintaining an amicable relationship with your ex-wife is often not easy, but it is necessary if you are sharing custody. Of course, many divorces end in tragedy and maintaining any kind of relationship after that is impossible, or will require years of therapy. However, if things between you aren’t quite that bad, there are some things you can do to help build at least a functional relationship for the sake of your children.

Find a neutral (and pleasant) ground for your conversations

Communication is key for any relationship, so you’ll have to talk to your ex-wife. And for that to go smoothly-ish you’ll need to get all the help you can get. The location you choose to have these conversations at is very important.

First of all, it’s essential that the place is neutral and unburdened with memories, so meeting up in your old home won’t be a good idea. It also needs to put you at ease, both of you. Therefore, you should look for a café or park or some other location that is, above all, pleasant for you to be in. This will help set the mood for the conversation as both of you will be as relaxed as possible.

Settle the money issues

One of the biggest sources of conflict post-divorce is money. In fact, money issues are one of the most common reasons for divorce as well. And because it’s such an important subject, resolving it will go a long way to reducing the strain between you and your ex.

The groundwork for this should be laid during the divorce as this is when the court signs off on the exact amount of payments you have to make. It will be much easier if you and your soon-to-be-ex negotiate this without the court.

This means you’ll need to do a lot of research and calculations so you understand what kind of payments is fair. You also need to understand the matter of alimony vs child support as these payments are very different and not interchangeable. Talk to a lawyer and a financial advisor to understand the size of both payments you should be making.

The most important thing, however, is to keep up with those payments. This will help make your relationship with your ex less strained by default and also can serve as the stepping stone for building a friendship. Many divorces result in trust issues and being diligent with these payments can help rebuild that trust.

Get couple’s counseling even if you aren’t a couple

If your divorce was complicated and left both of you with a lot of bitterness and issues, you should consider counseling. At the least, you could use these sessions as a way to mediate your first meetings. During those you can set rules and boundaries of your new relationship, which will be necessary to bring your kids some stability.

You can’t simply ignore the issues that led you to divorce, even if it’s for your kids. Trying to do this will only make the problem fester and lead to a nasty blow up later on. So, it’s for your children’s best interests that you need to resolve those issues and move on, both individually and as partners. You might not be romantic partners anymore, but you still are connected and need to keep that connection healthy.

Focus on the kids

While both of you might be bitter or hold a grudge, remember why you are working so hard. It’s for your kids and their happiness is the one shared interest you are 100% guaranteed to have.

Therefore, you should make the betterment of their lives the focus of your conversations, at least in the beginning. You might never progress to amicable friendly chats about your own lives, but this is the topic that should be safe and fulfilling.

Staff Writer; Steve Jackson

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