By Amy Johnson, Esq.
Communication can be difficult in any relationship, but is especially so when you’re forced to communicate with a person after a relationship has ended. Parents that are divorced, separated, or have ended their relationship face this communication struggle quite often in co-parenting situations. Many parents have joint decision-making for their child and must discuss major parenting decisions with the other parent. Most parents regularly discuss and coordinate parenting time exchanges. To maintain civility, stay sane, and most importantly, create a positive upbringing for the child of their relationship, parents should keep a few communication guidelines in mind. The tips below come from family law attorney and mediator Joan H. McWilliams in her book, Parenting Plans for Families After Divorce.  In general, stick to these rules when communicating with your child’s other parent:
- Limit conversations to child-related issues.
- Choose a single primary method of communication for discussing child-related issues.
- Be polite and considerate in all your communications.
- When texting or emailing your former partner, wait a reasonable period of time before sending the message.
- Communicate as if you were talking or corresponding with a business partner.
If you are initiating communication, consider the following approach:
- State the reason for your communication.
- Briefly explain the issue.
- Offer a proposed solution.
- Ask for a response.
If you receive communication, try to respond within 24 hours with one of the following methods:
- Explain your point of view on the issue, concisely and politely.
- Tell the other person you have to think about the issue and will get back to him or her within 24 hours. Then, actually respond with an answer within 24 hours.
These guidelines for communication with your child’s other parent extend to posts on Facebook and other social media sites, public discussions with others about that person, or any other communication with that person.
If you have any questions regarding communicating with your former spouse or significant other, or creating or modifying the Parenting Plan for your child, please contact the Domestic Team at Feldmann Nagel Margulis.
 Published by McWilliams Mediation Group LTD, 2011.