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It can be a mistake to shut the door on a coparent

Some people go through life shutting every metaphorical door they go through. It means that they drop high school friends in favor of college friends. They drop college friends in favor of work friends. It means they delete or block the numbers of ex-girlfriends or ex-boyfriends.

It can work for some, but it can make circumstances more complicated than they need to be for divorced parents with children. Unless the relationship was unhealthy or unsafe, collaborative parenting can be easier and less stressful for the family. Plus, the ex may turn out to be a better coparent than a spouse.

Reasons to stay in touch

There are many reasons for not burning the relationship bridge:

  1. The kids: The priority in any divorce should be the health and well-being of the children. Family experts and the courts believe that it is in the children's best interests if the parents maintain a positive working relationship while raising the children.
  2. The parents: Being a single parent is hard, so having a collaborative relationship can make life easier for the coparents, particularly when parents juggle family and work obligations.
  3. Friends and family: Perhaps their extended family and circle of friends are good people worth staying in touch with. It is unfair to expect them to choose sides, particularly when you’d miss their company.
  4. Burning bridges takes effort: Actively avoiding someone in the same social circle can take work.

Time heals some wounds

Some relationships are toxic, and it may be best to minimize all interactions -- people can do this in different ways -- but often it is best to be content that an is ex-spouse as someone in your life for a reason. They are someone you share children with and experienced other significant events.

A divorce can even facilitate the coparent relationship if the negotiation is done respectfully, by building consensus and working towards a common goal. The ex may not be the right person for the “happily ever after,” but that does not mean they should be ignored and avoided.

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