When you and your ex get divorced, the last thing that you probably want is to maintain any sort of relationship with your ex. If you share minor children with your ex, however, you have no choice but to maintain some sort of relationship, if only for your children’s benefit. While it may not be easy to maintain a civil relationship with your ex will benefit your children and yourself.

First, you both should take responsibility for your role in the demise of your marriage. The reality is that most cases neither spouse is solely responsible for a divorce. Nobody is perfect and if you are willing to admit your mistakes, it can go a long way toward building the trust necessary to a positive relationship post-divorce.

Next, avoid bad-mouthing your ex to family and friends. The divorce is over. Continuing to talk behind your ex’s back will serve no purpose and can harm you and your children. It is hard for future partners to truly trust you if they think that you cannot get over past wrongs. Additionally, whether you like it or not, your children feel as connected to your ex as they do to you. When they hear you speaking bad about their parent, they will take it personally.

Also, don’t use your child as a messenger or a go-between. Work out problems and make decisions as adults. Don’t force your children to make decisions that only adults should be making, or dealing with issues that only adults should deal with.

In some cases, you may seek professional help. Relationship counselors are not just for people trying to repair a marriage. Counselors can also help you get along with your ex for the benefit of your children.

Divorce cases can be extremely complicated, lengthy, emotional, and stressful. For parents who share minor children, however, the end of a divorce does not also mean the end of the relationship. Parents have to find a way to continue to communicate and co-parent their children, no matter how difficult it may be. Regardless of the complexity of the issues in your case, we are here to help. The attorneys of Pacific Northwest Family Law have handled all cases involving all aspects of divorce and family law, including child custody, paternity, child support, parenting plans, and division of property. Please contact an experienced Washington divorce attorney at our office if you have any questions about divorce or family law in the state of Washington.