Divorce tears apart not only immediate families, but also relationships with in-laws. While some spouses complain endlessly about their in-laws, others mourn their loss. But is it really necessary to say goodbye? Depending on your situation, you could maintain a strong relationship with your in-laws long after you sign your divorce papers.
If You and Your Ex Co-Parent
If you and your ex had children together, expect in-laws to play a significant role in your future, for better or for worse. From piano recitals to baseball games, they’ll share in many of your child’s most important milestones. At minimum, maintain a cordial relationship. If you’re on amicable terms, plan outings with both in-laws and your children.
If You and Your Ex Didn’t Have Kids Together
Maintaining a relationship with in-laws can prove trickier for divorces not involving children. It’s far from impossible, but it will take ample effort on your part. Let your intention for an ongoing relationship be known. Exchange contact information and plan regular outings, ideally without your ex.
Don’t Complain About Your Ex
Your need to vent is understandable. That being said, it’s imperative that you find somebody other than your former in-laws to confide in! Instead, focus on shared interests, such as your children or hobbies. Also worth avoiding: using an in-law to communicate with your ex. This person will quickly come to resent playing messenger.
When to Let Go
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, it’s impossible to remain close with in-laws after divorce. Your former in-laws may feel pressured to choose sides—and in all likelihood, they’ll stick with blood relationships, no matter how much they empathize with your situation. If former in-laws fail to respond to your messages or outright reject your invites, wish them well and move on.
No matter your relationship with your in-laws, you owe it to yourself to work with a trustworthy divorce attorney. You can count on the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. for compassionate representation. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.