The Ex-Files

Why to stay positive in your communication with your ex!

Look, I understand that communicating with your ex can be a challenge. After all, if communications were that great to begin with you’d probably not be separated in the first place.

And in my experience as a family law lawyer, communication between ex’s becomes even more strained when children are involved, and parents can’t find common ground about future parenting arrangements.

However, it’s during such incredibly stressful times that I encourage my clients in any communication with their ex to remain especially civil and respectful. Write things the way that you would like to read, for example,

let them know ( in writing) you are doing your best, even during such trying times, to encourage the children to maintain contact with them.  

Also, advise them of any of the children’s professional appointments, or extracurricular activities, and encourage their attendance. Invite their input whenever possible regarding any significant child related decisions. If you follow this simple approach it will be much more difficult for your ex not to reciprocate when your ex has the children.

There are two reasons for this positive approach.

Firstly, and most importantly, you want to show the world (read judge) that you are committed to work collaboratively with your ex for the betterment and best interests of any children- the only issue of importance to the court.

Secondly, this will also set you apart as a unique and responsible parent, since the majority of applications heard by family court judges involve two parents determined to slander the other to the worst degree. Those embarrassing, insulting or threatening letters or e-mails will invariably be used by your ex in their materials to support just how unreasonable and irresponsible you really are, (despite all of the wonderful things you have to say about yourself in your own affidavit which most judges discount in any event.)

A negative approach only serves to make both parents appear hopeless, and helpless, to the judge.) While the judge will, in my experience, be rightfully impressed reading all of your positive e-mails and letters to your ex.

So, if you want to make the judge’s decision a lot easier to make, (in your favour) keep this simple, but effective, positive communication strategy in mind, and practice, with your ex.

Next week – more communication tips from the ex-files.


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