Coparenting can be a very challenging experience. Even if you know in your mind that being civil and even friendly with your ex is best for the children, it can be difficult to actually put into action. This is especially true if the divorce was due to infidelity, abuse or issues with addiction. However, it’s important to remember that no matter what happened between you and your ex, both of you are and will always be your children’s parents. Taking steps to protect your child’s relationship with the other parent is an important part of coparenting after divorce.
One of the best and easiest ways to promote a healthy relationship between your children and your ex is to refrain from talking in a disparaging way about your ex in front of the children. Young children especially don’t have the capacity to understand expressions or exaggerations and can end up feeling anxious or scared about spending time with the other parent.
Talking badly about your ex also puts your children in the middle of the relationship — even if you don’t intend to. If you speak negatively about your ex in front of the children, the children may feel like they are caught between two worlds: feeling like they need to agree with you but simultaneously defending the other parent.
While many children of divorced parents grow up to be perfectly well-adjusted, a tense relationship between the parents can lead to anxiety in the children or trouble forming relationships with the opposite sex later on. If there are other ongoing issues contributing to the tension in your coparenting relationship, an attorney may be able to help you explore any available legal options.
Source: The Washington Post, “How to talk about your co-parent during and after divorce,” Samantha Rodman, Nov. 06, 2015