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Strategies to limit conflict with a co-parent after divorce

New Jersey divorces involving parents of minor children generally mean that the former spouses will have to continue their relationship on some level as co-parents. This could be challenging, especially if disagreements about child rearing contributed to the marital breakup. During the development of a written parenting plan, guidelines and procedures could be included that might improve communication about parenting duties and reduce the chances for arguments.

With children splitting their time between two households, parents should strive to establish the same rules for both homes. Consistent expectations for behavior at both homes could prevent arguments among divorced parents about what children are allowed to do.

Written communication might also eliminate triggers for conflict. Parents should set up in each home a calendar that details the custody schedule. When co-parents inevitably need to tell each other about schedule adjustments, school events and medical issues, they should communicate via text messages or email. Written correspondence produces a record that can be referred to later and insulates people from verbal conversations that might turn emotional. Online tools for co-parents to message each other also exist so that parents can access a written record of messages. As the years go by, co-parents might need to attend events like graduations and weddings that include ex-spouses and new stepparents. To avoid problems, people should focus on remaining civil and avoid starting arguments about parenting issues.

A person in the middle of negotiating the details of child custody or visitation could ask an attorney for advice. An attorney who represents people going through divorce issues could offer insights about the types of strategies and compromises that help people maintain relationships with their children.

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