5. Don’t respond to everything.
Just because your co-parent pushes your buttons in order to bait you into engaging doesn’t mean you have to engage.
Stay focused on what co-parenting is about: It’s not about hashing out your unfinished marital discord or diminishing one another.
Respond to communication about the children. Let the rest go…or add it to a happy hour vent session with a trusted friend.
6. Business is business.
Co-parenting with a difficult ex may require you to keep your communication business-like, factual and pragmatic.
Focus on the children and their needs.
The fantasy of co-vacations with exes is best left to Hollywood and the rare exception to the rule.
You don’t have to announce it. Just quietly and consistently do it. Keep a dedicated journal for documenting dates, times, communication, breaches of agreements, support payments, etc.
The information is for your eyes only — until if and when you may need it in a legal setting. Having proof can save a lot of mud-slinging when things turn into “he said, she said.”
8. Consider a court order.
If your ex consistently barges through agreements and boundaries, you may need to consider filing a court order.
You can talk with your attorney about your options for modifying your parenting plan so that co-parenting works better.
9. Evaluate if co-parenting is possible.
If your efforts to co-parent in a healthy way consistently end up in chaos and distress, you may need to consider parallel parenting. (This is especially true if your ex is a narcissist or is alienating you from your children through power plays, parallel parenting may be the only choice.)
How is your co-parenting arrangement affecting your children? Your sanity?
Your ability to stay in integrity without feeling crazed by your ex?
If you are holding up your end of the deal but are continually undermined or thrown off-course by your ex, it may be time to consider a new arrangement in the best interest of your children and your own sanity.
Co-parenting with a difficult ex makes an already painful journey that much more painful.
In an ideal divorce, both parents would rise to the task of parenting the children they love with dependability and maturity.
But life doesn’t play out on balanced scales.
Couples divorce and people disappoint. In the long run, you still have to live your own life.
I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. I help people navigate parenting post-divorce. You can join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. If you’re ready to take the first step to work with me as your personal coach, you can schedule a private first session.
Looking for more information about co-parenting with a difficult ex? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Coparenting.
Written by Dr Karen Finn
Originally appeared in DrKarenFinn.com
Republished with permission.