Communicating with your co-parent after a divorce can feel uncomfortable, even if you did not separate on bad terms. You need to stay in contact with each other to discuss issues related to your children. For some parents, having a child act as a messenger seems like a natural solution to the problem. After all, your child sees both of you regularly. However, any parenting expert will tell you that using your child as a messenger for your parenting discussions is unhealthy for them, no matter how old they are or mature they may seem.


Asking your child to deliver a message to your co-parent is forcing them to become a player in your co-parenting drama. You may think that it is benign to send a simple message, such as that you will be late in picking up the children next week. By tasking your child to deliver a message:

  • They receive your co-parent’s negative reaction to the news and perceive that the reaction is directed towards them
  • They are exposed to details of the conflicts between you and your co-parent that they should not know
  • They may forget to tell your co-parent and feel guilty about failing their task

In a similar vein to using your child as a messenger, you should not ask your child to spy on your co-parent and report back to you. You put them in the unwinnable position of either betraying their other parent or disobeying you.

Proper Communications

Relationships between co-parents are often contentious, and you need to protect your children from seeing your dysfunction. It is unfair to force your children to become involved in the negative aspects of your relationship with your co-parent. As their parents, it is your responsibility to figure out constructive ways that you can communicate with each other, whether it is:

  • Meeting privately when you are exchanging the children
  • Scheduling phone calls
  • Contacting each other by email or texting
  • Using a co-parenting app that includes interactive schedules and messaging

Contact a Kane County Divorce Attorney

There are professionals you can talk to if you are worried about being able to cooperate with your co-parent after your divorce. A divorce coach or therapist will have suggestions for how to approach co-parenting and communicate with your co-parent in a way that does not lead to fighting. The most important thing to remember is that your children’s needs will take priority over your personal feelings towards each other. A St. Charles, Illinois, divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can help you create a parenting agreement that puts your children first and encourages healthy cooperation. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800.