After the divorce you and your spouse are no longer married and both of you will need to establish a new life on your own so the first thing to remember is to:
1. Limit contact
If you need to contact your ex spouse regarding your children doing so via email is the best way. If the situation is not urgent this communication can avoid conversation not directly related to the children.
2. Only contact each other regarding the children
It is best to only contact each other when it is directly related to your children and needs to be discussed. There is no longer any other reason to communicate other than about the children
After the divorce, avoid being critical of your ex
3. Avoid negative comments
You may not like your ex spouse but comments which are negative about them should never be made in front of your children. The issues between you and your ex spouse are yours, not the children’s. Comments made against their other parent can hurt them or confuse them on how they should feel.
4. The children are not messengers
Messages to your ex spouse should never be sent through the children. Again the issues between one another are yours, not the children’s. They should be involved in discussions between you and your ex spouse.
5. Go not question the children
When you question the children after a visit with their other parent they may feel as if they need to report back on what they did while there. They may begin to feel bad if they had fun, thinking it may hurt your feelings. To encourage a positive relationship between them and their other parent simply ask them if they had fun, after they respond indicate you are happy to hear it and move on to another subject.
6. Coordinate visitation
Work with your ex spouse on setting up a visitation schedule. If something happens to come up which will change the schedule notify each other as soon as possible. Communication regarding the visitation schedule will allow both parents to work together to ensure the children are taken care of.
7. Do not ruin family events
You may want to drop your children off late so they miss a family event happening at your ex spouses house because you want to hurt your ex. This will hurt the children the most by missing out on a fun event or holiday meal.
8. Avoid negative comments about a new partner
Making negative comments about your ex spouse’s new partner can cause the children to feel uncomfortable when visiting. This person will be caring for your child while you are not there. They need to feel safe, secure, and comfortable with this person.
9. Choose a partner who will love your kids.
It is no longer only you and a partner in a relationship; your kids are a big part of it as well. You need to find a partner who will love your children as you do and care for them as you do. Finding someone who will take the time to get to know and bond with your children is important.
The divorce might be finalized however your kids still need you.
10. Stay focused on your kids.
All of these rules are important to staying focused on your children. It is about your children not about hurting your ex spouse. Please remember the divorce was painful enough for the children-so when you hurt your ex you are actually hurting your children.