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Keep It Kind: A Guide To Talking To Your Ex During A Custody Dispute

No matter how you deal with your divorce, the most challenging part of it is likely to be sorting out custody of your children. If you are convinced that you are the only parent who can provide adequate care for your kids, your lawyer can help you do what it takes to document your reasons why and support those claims. Meanwhile, you still must deal with your ex, so here is the best way to establish communication that ensures your children can have the easiest transition to life after a divorce.

Set Common Goals

In order to be most effective at parenting during this difficult time, ask your spouse to join you in setting common goals. If custody does change hands, perhaps more than once, during the proceedings, it will help your children have a sense of stability if you are both approaching parenthood with similar rules and expectations of your kids. Prioritize what matters the most to you, then sit down with your ex and establish the goals and how to implement them.

Take the High Road

Never trash your ex to your children. No matter how badly your ex-spouse behaves, your children aren't meant to be the buddies who hear you vent. Famously cantankerous divorces, such as the one that led to Betty Broderick to murder, involve parents badmouthing one another to the kids. No good ever comes of it, so be sure to reach a mutual verbal agreement to never talk trash about one another in the presence of any of your children.

Stick to Safe Topics

Stay clear of discussing any new relationships with your ex. Also, make sure to not introduce your children to a new boyfriend or girlfriend during this time because they will be dealing with enough change, and they are likely to tell your ex about it as well.

A new relationship isn't the only danger zone. You should be careful never to trash your ex's family, case workers, lawyers, or anyone else related to the custody fight. If you can't say something nice about the person or situation, try to avoid discussing it with your ex at all.


Proceed with care in all of your dealings with your ex as well as the court. Ultimately, the judge is going to want what is in the best interest of the children, so demonstrating that you have behaved with your kids' interest in all your dealings with your ex can only work in your favor. The sooner you accept that your ex will always be a part of your life, the easier it will be to treat them as an ally and work to create a cordial co-parenting relationship. Work with a custody lawyer like Timothy L Hitchings to find out more tips.