Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD.

How to improve communication between parents during and after divorce

By Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale LTD
October 21, 2022
communication parents divorce

How to improve communication between parents during and after divorce

By Blake Austin Culver

Communication between parents can be challenging, particularly during and after the divorce process. What should a parent do when the other parent attempts to demean, disparage, criticize, blame, or otherwise badmouth him or her, including in writing on social media and electronic parenting platforms?  

In Illinois, a parenting plan should be prepared in connection with Section 602.10 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/602.10), and should be in the best interests of the parties’ child, including provisions and parameters for acceptable parental conduct, behavior, and communication. Once approved and entered by the court, the parenting plan becomes enforceable.                 

Badmouthing seems to emerge when a parent harbors unresolved anger, frustration, or bitterness about the other parent, usually related to the breakdown of the parents’ relationship. It can adversely impact a child’s relationship with both parents—the parent making the disparaging remarks and the parent receiving the disparaging remarks—which would be contrary to the parenting plan.

When badmouthing occurs, including in writing on electronic parenting platforms, the parent receiving the disparaging remarks can choose to correct untrue statements but should remember not to retaliate. A cycle of unhealthy and unproductive communication, escalating in nature, should be avoided, especially considering that writing on electronic parenting platforms is usually transcribed. Accordingly, the parent receiving the disparaging remarks should remain focused on the child’s best interests, including the child’s mental, physical, and emotional needs.  

Learning to improve communication between parents is paramount during and after the divorce process, which can include: (1) Establishing firm boundaries and parameters around communication, including through electronic means; (2) Focusing communication on child-related issues, including education, extracurricular activities, health, and religion, rather than on interpersonal conflicts; and (3) Determining how frequently and when to communicate.     

In the event the badmouthing becomes too constant and too pervasive, the parents may need, among other things, to attend mediation and/or to seek modification or enforcement of a parenting plan.

If you have any questions about a parenting plan or would like additional information about improving parental communication during and after divorce, contact the law firm of Gardi, Haught, Fischer & Bhosale Ltd. You may request a free case evaluation by requesting a free case evaluation button below.

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