New Year’s Resolutions for Co-Parents (Part 2)

by Norris Law Group on January 10, 2014

coparenting_150Pamela Cytrynbaum, Executive Director of The Chicago Innocence Project and former member of the faculties of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and Oregon State University’s New Media Communications program offers suggestions for 10 “New Year’s Resolutions” in Psychology Today about how you can co-parent—and co-exist—peacefully with your ex-spouse, and work with your ex in the best interest of your child(ren):

6. Hold Thy Tongue: Will saying or doing what you really want to say or do help the situation or make it worse? Choose wisely—and, if necessary, choose silence.

7. Respect Time (even if you don’t respect your ex): Don’t be late for drop offs, pick-ups or appointments. Be on time—always.

8. Use ‘I’ Statements: If you have to bring up a difficult issue, use ‘I’ statements rather than ‘You’ statements. For example: “I get nervous when I haven’t heard from you and you are an hour late dropping off the kids,” instead of “You are always late; you’re such a jerk!”

9. Watch Your Face: We all claim we didn’t say anything about our ex-spouse to our kids, but who can read a sarcastic “eye-roll” better than your kids? Be careful—they’re watching.

10. Write It Down (The Divorce Playbook): We are all imperfect. By turns, we may overreact, forget, act badly, change our minds and regret decisions. Since that’s the case, write everything down. Create a “Divorce Playbook” that outlines your joint decisions. Don’t make any new policies or rules during an argument or crisis. Work with your ex to create a “Parenting Plan” that outlines all the specifics such as who pays for what, which holidays are whose, all custody details and contingency plans. Outline clear consequences for not abiding by the rules. And if—and when—you or your ex-spouse makes a mistake, try to go easy on one another. You’ll probably “get as good as you give.” If you don’t, at least you’ll know you took the high road.

Attorney Graham Norris and his associates at the Norris Law Group serve the residents of Utah County and throughout Utah in the area of divorce. Contact them today at 801-932-1238 or online for a free consultation.

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