After spending several months, or a few years, locked in a battle with an ex-wife over property, financial assets, and children, it is often hard to move on. However, once the divorce decree is official, a couple with minor children must work together to successfully co-parent their mutual children. Even though you do not need to be friends with your ex-wife, fostering feelings of animosity or treating her like the enemy is not recommended. Children can often tell when their parents are unhappy and an adversarial relationship can place your children in an uncomfortable position. Keeping the following advice for co-parenting with your ex-wife in mind may help you during the first uncomfortable months of your new relationship.
It is possible for two adults who do not like each other to continue to get along. Viewing your post-divorce relationship with your former wife as a business arrangement may ease some of your discomfort and avoid some disputes. Treat your former spouse like a co-worker you only deal with periodically and remember that your interactions will usually be brief. Thanks to modern technology, you can limit your communication with your ex-spouse to emails, text messages, or even private messages via social media. There is no reason to get into long conversations or discuss anything outside of your children. Eventually you both will get used to the routine and picking up or dropping off your child will not be an ordeal.
Now that you and your former spouse are no longer married, the relationship has an entirely different dynamic. Though you might be perfectly happy now that you are single, it is not unusual to feel jealousy, possessiveness, or simply feel entitled to know about your ex-wife’s personal life. The reality is that now that the divorce is finalized, the only thing you are entitled to know is information about your mutual children. If your ex-spouse is not telling you about a new significant other, a job change, or anything else that your divorce decree and custody agreement does not require him or her to disclose, do not push the issue. Respecting your former partner’s boundaries is just as important as having your ex respect your own.
Do Not Overcompensate
Being a non-custodial parent after being present each day of your child’s life often leads to feelings of guilt. These feelings are normal and you should not overcompensate for your absence by spoiling your children. The development of your children may be compromised if you do not work with your ex-wife to establish rules and consistency. Giving your children lavish gifts, not enforcing behavior rules, and taking your children on expensive trips to make up for spending limited time with them may cause problems in the future. Focus on building a loving and healthy relationship with your children during your time with them instead of giving them material items to partially compensate for your physical absence.
If you feel as though your relationship with your child is being compromised after your divorce or believe your ex-wife is interfering with your parent-child relationship, consider getting legal advice. A family law attorney can review your situation and give you valuable advice to help you make a decision. The attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are ready to work with you and help you strengthen your post-divorce relationship with your children. Contact one of our four Atlanta metro offices today to schedule a consultation.