After divorce, the need for an ex-spouse to maintain contact with their
children remains present. This scenario, when managed correctly, can foster
healthy relationships between both former spouses and their children in
a manner that respects the authority of both parents while allowing independent
relationships to prosper post-divorce.
There are certain scenarios that need to be avoided in order to allow healthy
interaction between former spouses. The “Bondage of Caring”
and the “Bondage of Bitterness” refer to sentiment retained
by an ex-spouse after a split. If one spouse remains emotionally attached
and attempts to place themself in the midst of their ex-spouse’s
life for emotional support, they exhibit the bondage of caring. The usage
of children as a vehicle to cater personal interests needs to be addressed
and avoided post-divorce for the sake of both the children and the parents.
Alternately, if an ex becomes jealous at the remarriage of their former
spouse and utilizes their children as a means to infiltrate their ex’s
life and cause difficulty, they invoke the bondage of bitterness. Both
of these situations necessitate the usage of clearly defined boundaries
and rules in regards to children and the post-divorce relationships of
the parents, which can be discussed and outlined during mediation.
In a situation where custody is split evenly between parents, issues may
arise relating to different parenting styles. In this scenario it is important
to be respectful of the other parent’s views on parenting so long
as their practices do not place the children in direct harm or jeopardy.
Maintaining respectful boundaries of each other’s personal lives
after a divorce will allow for positive relationships with children and
civil interaction between former spouses.