How can I co-parent with a difficult ex?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2021 | Divorce

You must maintain a civil and respectful relationship with your ex after divorce if you have children together. If your former spouse has narcissistic tendencies or is generally difficult, this process is a lot more challenging for all involved.  

Because you want your children to enjoy a happy home environment, you must find a way to reach common ground. Healthline offers a few tips on how to navigate parenting issues with a difficult person.  

Keep communication direct

Challenging people, especially former spouses, often try to draw you into an emotional argument. You can avoid this by only talking about child-rearing topics with your ex. If you find face-to-face communication too stressful, communicate via text and email.  

Put your kids first

The best interests of your child or children always come first. Even when your ex is behaving poorly, refrain from saying so in front of the kids. When your ex breaks promises to your child, express empathy. While it is difficult, you may need to fulfill the other parent’s role if they are not providing sufficient care to your child.  

Take notes on what occurs 

Document every interaction with your ex, whether on paper or digitally. If they promise to pick up your child or call them and fail to do so, write down the date and time of their no-show. Document the date and time of conversations you have, as well as the content of those conversations. It is easier to make a case that your ex-spouse is behaving poorly when you have backing information to show.  

Perhaps the best thing you can do is to establish an official parenting plan with the court. Both you and your ex must follow any court ordered decrees or face a risk of penalty. If your ex continually flouts the terms of the plan, you can follow up with the court for further assistance.