How to foster effective communication between co-parents

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2024 | Divorce |

These days, many parents in Illinois who end their marriages opt for a joint custody or co-parenting arrangement after they divorce. Of course, there were reasons you divorced, so trying to co-parent with your ex can be a challenge to say the least. Collaborating on decisions or just interacting with a person you would rather avoid or forget about altogether may feel like an impossibility.  

Yet, as much as it may hurt to see or talk to your ex-spouse, your children will benefit when you both remain in their lives and commit to parenting. As difficult as it may seem, it is possible for you to overcome these challenges and form a cordial co-parenting relationship with your former spouse. Consistent and purposeful communication is the foundation of a successful co-parenting arrangement. Here are some ways to foster effective communication with your co-parent. 


Effective communication begins with listening. Listening does not mean you approve, so allowing your ex to give their opinion will not cost you anything. By listening, you will show them that you understand their point of view, even if you disagree. 

Show restraint 

When you speak with your ex, it may ignite unpleasant emotions, especially if the divorce is fresh. However, keep in mind that communicating with him or her will be necessary for the extent of your kids’ entire childhood and possibly longer. If you feel yourself getting emotional, walk away or resume the conversation when you’ve had a chance to calm down. Over time, you will train yourself to avoid overreacting. 

All business 

It can be helpful to think of your ex as a colleague and set a business-like tone in your interactions. The marriage is over and in the past, so any and all communication now should be centered around the children and their well-being. Approaching the relationship with a business-like mindset can help you to remove emotions and focus on the task at hand, which is raising your children. 

Where to go for help 

Effectively communicating with a former spouse in a co-parenting arrangement does not mean you have to agree with them all the time. Instead of agreement, strive for consistency. When there is consistency between both homes, your children will be less confused and feel more secure. Yet, no matter how hard you try to avoid it, conflict in your co-parenting relationship will be inevitable. If you are struggling to communicate with your ex or need help with any aspect of child custody, seeking the assistance of a family law attorney can prove invaluable.