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Lois Tarter is a divorce party planner and divorce blogger. She believes that a divorce is a rebirth and is just as important to celebrate as a marriage.
by Lois Tarter
During the emotional throes of a divorce, etiquette is one of those things that may have gone out the window (possibly along with some of your ex-spouse’s belongings). A divorce can be one of the most trying experiences in a person’s life. But when it’s all said and done and the papers are signed, there comes a time when both parents have to put things back into perspective.
Life goes on after a divorce and even though you both may not forget the past right away, you have to move on from it eventually. Being cordial to each other and showing post-divorce etiquette is a positive step in the right direction. As parents, it’s essential to have post-divorce etiquette because life goes on for your children, too. This is your chance to set the right tone for everyone. Here are seven keys to post-divorce etiquette:
1) Keep It To Yourself. You may want to vent frustrations about your ex with anyone in earshot. However, your children should not be included. Your ex is still their parent and you need to always remember that. There’s no need to confuse your children’s minds with problems that don't pertain to them, so keep disagreements with your ex to yourself.
2) Children Aren't Messengers. Don’t have your children serve as carrier pigeons with messages from you to your ex. When the kids are in your company, it should be about the quality time you’re spending together.
4) Be Pet Friendly. Family pets are innocent parties in a divorce. If you wound up keeping the pets, see if your ex wants to say hello to them from time to time. Offering that option not only expresses post-divorce etiquette to your former spouse, but to the animals as well.
5) Word Travels Fast. Be cautious when and where you talk about your ex. You never know who is listening and word travels fast. Even though you may be angry, keep it quiet because it may come back to haunt you and there could be repercussions.
6) Lost and Found: If your ex moved out of the house and you’re still there, you may find some things left behind. Post-divorce etiquette says that even though you may want to have a bonfire with all of the stuff, you should return it. If you’d rather not call, you can easily send it along in the mail.
7) No Family Feud. You may have feuded with your ex, but don't take it out on the entire family. Proper post-divorce etiquette is to keep peace with family members, especially your ex-spouse's parents (your children's grandparents). Just because your marriage ended, it doesn't mean they should be eliminated from your children’s lives.