You may also want to consider blocking your ex from your social media.
It will be up to you to stand by your boundaries when your ex challenges your resolve.
4. Don’t respond immediately.
So much of co-parenting with a difficult ex is about not engaging. Of course, you will have to engage on behalf of your children. But you do have the power and right to choose when and how you engage.
If your ex says or writes something that causes an immediate dump of adrenaline into your system, take a breath and step back. Do your “reacting” in your own mind or in venting with a friend. Do your “responding” once you are calm.
Sleep on your response. Choose a doable ‘delay time’ for responding to anything other than emergencies. You’re not on-call for your ex.
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.