Are you harboring a lot of anger toward your ex-spouse? While it might be understandable, it’s also something you have to learn to keep in check when you have children together.

Here’s why you want to maintain a good relationship with your ex-spouse whenever possible:

  1. Your children will be in his or her care part of the time. You don’t want your children to suffer the emotional damage that could come from your spouse’s misdirected frustration and anger.
  2. You need your children to be secure. Your children are more likely to be negatively affected if they feel anger and fear emanating from you every time they go to see your ex-spouse. Show your ex-spouse as much support as possible to keep your children confident and comfortable.
  3. You don’t want your children to resent you. If you make interacting with their other parent difficult, your children may come to resent you. That could come back to haunt you once your children are older and able to choose where they want to live.
  4. When your children become adults, you don’t want to be a source of conflict in their lives. There will be weddings, holiday celebrations, the births of grandchildren and birthday parties to look forward to in the future. Do you want to be the parent that they hesitate to invite for fear that you’ll cause a scene with your ex?
  5. Even driving your ex-spouse totally away wouldn’t spell the end to your problems. You’d only end up leaving a huge hole in your children’s psyches if you managed to drive your ex off because children usually thrive best when both parents are around to support them.

Having a good relationship with your ex-spouse often starts with a well-crafted custody plan. The better your plan, the less room there is for conflict — so, take the necessary steps to put everything in place as soon as possible.