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Set clear guidelines for communication with a co-parent

Communicating with an ex when you have a co-parenting relationship isn't always easy. You have to set appropriate ground rules at the start of the journey. These must be mutual guidelines and should always be followed by both parents. These can be included in the parenting plan you set up with the help of your Clearwater attorney so that everyone is clear on what is expected.

It is easy to think that lack of communication will only harm your ex, but this isn't always the case. Your child might be impacted by the situation. It is possible that one parent will miss important events. When it comes to medical care, it is especially important to be committed to complete communication. There is a chance that your child might end up with duplicate care, such as two sets of immunizations, if you don't have open communication.

Types of communication

The way you communicate with your ex is important. Some conversations can happen verbally, but others might be better suited to written dialogue. For example, discussions that will be lengthy, such as making decisions for education or health care, might be handled verbally. Notifications about schedule changes or times and dates for important events, usually work better in writing, such as sending a text message to your ex.

Tone of voice and word choice

The tone of your voice and your word choice have huge impacts on how the message is received. Keeping things business-like is important. If you wouldn't use a certain tone or word choice to a client, don't use it with your ex. Word choice is especially important in written communication since your tone of voice doesn't come across. Be especially careful about choosing all capital letters, bolding fonts, or using italics since those can make you seem angry or snippy.

Time limitations

You may need to set time limits on when communication is appropriate. While it is suitable to contact your ex at 3 in the morning if your child has an accident and needs emergency medical care, that wouldn't be an acceptable time to call to discuss the child's grades. On top of the time frame during which calls are acceptable, you might also need to have something in place regarding the duration of the calls or the number of calls that are allowed each day.

Final word of caution

Never ask or allow your children to relay messages back and forth between parents. Trying to play messenger puts them in a difficult spot. Plus, it opens the door for misinformation. Instead, always deal directly with your ex about all matters related to the children.

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