Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of going through a divorce is communicating with an estranged spouse. When an ex-couple shares custody of children, in particular, it would benefit everyone if exes can communicate effectively.

That’s much easier said than done, but a recent article in the Santa Monica Mirror points out a few potentially helpful tips. Among them:

• Keep things professional and businesslike. Since using an overly friendly demeanor can be confusing, it’s often best to stay professional in tone and never behave in a way that can be described to others as “inappropriate.”

• Keep in mind that what you say and write can be used against you later. On a similar note, it’s best not to say anything that could come back to haunt you later. Unless it’s something your ex-spouse needs to know, maybe it’s best not to say it or write it.

• Remember your ex-spouse’s personality traits. Keeping in mind how someone is can help you understand why they may react the way they do. It’s possible to tailor the way you say things if it seems appropriate. It’s also good to keep in mind that people change, and an ex-spouse may not behave the same way as before.

• Try to communicate effectively if you can. It may be tempting to avoid talking to a bitter ex-spouse, but taking the high road can be beneficial. Using polite phrases such as “hello” and “thank you” can make communicating easier and less awkward.

Source: Santa Monica Mirror, “Communicating with your ex after divorce,” Andrea Brosh and Allison Pescosolido, March 25, 2012