When a married person tells their spouse they want a divorce, friendship is probably the last thing on either of their minds. The breakdown in the relationship probably has both sides feeling some combination of sadness, anger, bitterness and betrayal. It is very hard to hold those feelings about someone and also want to be their friend.
If you and your spouse do not have children together, it is extremely likely that you’ll be able to sever all ties. But if you do have kids, your relationship is not going to end completely, at least until the kids turn 18. In most cases, divorced parents will continue to work together raising the children after their marriage ends. To do this successfully, they need to be at least cordial with each other.
It may not be as difficult as you think
Building a decent relationship with your ex – and even becoming friendly again – might be easier than it seems when the breakup is still fresh. For one thing, both of you love your children and want what is best for them. This can motivate you to cooperate on child custody transfers, adjustments and so on. The fact that you are no longer trapped in an unhappy marriage can also relieve the kids of the burden of feeling caught in the middle.
And not being married to your ex anymore means that many of the things you did not like about them are no longer an issue. Your expectations for each other change once you stop being marital partners.
A framework for cooperation
Unfortunately, not every couple can put aside the reasons for their divorce and work together amicably on raising the children. But it is possible in most cases. This starts with a carefully considered and tailored child custody plan that follows the law and is in your kids’ best interests.