At the Land Legal Group, our Los Angeles family law attorneys know that Co-parenting after a California divorce can become a continued challenge with every conversation. Whether you are newly divorced, or have been for years, raising young children together can feel like an uphill battle for most — with no end in sight.
The good news is, you do not live with your ex-spouse anymore, so you can move forward with your own life as soon as the conversation ends. The bad news is, you are going to have many, many conversations about your kids for years to come.
Here are a few helpful tips to communicate effectively, without exposing yourself to ongoing frustration.
Choose to Communicate with Your Ex-Spouse As If They Were a Coworker
Work is the one place where everyone knows it is impossible to see eye-to-eye with every single one of their coworkers. However, remaining professional and communicating rationally could mean the difference between keeping your job, and looking through online job boards.
Talk to your ex-spouse the same way. Watch your tone. Make solid statements that are backed by facts, not emotions, and once the details are understood, end the conversation. This allows you to understand the circumstances, make decisions, put the conversation behind you, and move forward with your day.
If You Expect to Be Heard, You Must Also Listen
No matter who you are speaking with, you expect that person to not only hear what you say but listen. That means you must provide the same respect. If you have a contentious relationship, where you talk over each other, take the time to say, “You go first. Then I would like to talk without being interrupted, too.” It is also helpful to start the conversation with a list. As in, “I have three important things we should cover. Is now a good time?”
Requests Go Much Further Than Demands
No one likes to be told what to do. That is especially true once they are no longer married to the person who spent a considerable amount of time making demanding statements. Instead, consider requests like, “How would you feel if we switched weekends?” as opposed to, “I need the kids next weekend.” or “Could we try to alternate school pick-ups and drop-offs next week?” as opposed to, “I am slammed at work, and need you to step up and do your part!”
There is always a better way to say anything. Take a second to integrate requests — instead of demands — into your conversations and see how your ex-spouse responds.
Remember Why You Are Talking, to Begin With
With each communication — whether it is a phone call, text message, or email — remember that your beautiful and amazing kids are the focus on your conversation. Placing their needs ahead of your wants can help you both make better communication choices.
Talk to a Skilled Divorce and Child Custody Attorney in Los Angeles, California
If you know before you get divorced that things are going to be contentious, talk to our Los Angeles County divorce and child custody lawyers to gain the professional advice and legal counsel that will allow you to make intelligent and informed decisions about life after divorce. We can help you understand each aspect of your divorce, so you can move forward with confidence.