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Tips on co-parenting when your ex is difficult

Ideally, you and your ex-spouse would get along with each other and rarely disagree when it comes to your children. Some divorced parents enjoy a friendly relationship, but unfortunately, that is not what you got. In fact, your experience may be similar to countless other Texas parents who are no longer together. People get divorced for a reason, and if they must still co-parent, they do not always get along.

If your ex is combative and uncooperative, the road ahead may be difficult until your children are grown, and you may need to put up with him or her for even longer. Fortunately, you can still be a good single parent while keeping your sanity. If the other parent is not easy to deal with, you might consider the following points:

  • Never resort to using your child to relay messages to your ex, to vent about how awful he or she is or to get information on him or her.
  • Do not argue with your ex in front of your child.
  • Keep records of your interactions with a difficult ex, such as screenshots of your text messages or saved emails.
  • Be firm about when and how you and your child will communicate with the other parent. If talking on the phone proves too combative, limit your conversations to texting or emailing. Let the other parent know that you will not allow him or her to monopolize your child’s time on the phone during your visitation time, and stick with it.
  • Get your visitation times – such as holidays and summer vacation – in writing, so your ex will not be able to dispute it.
  • Get help for your child if you think it is necessary. It can cause problems for children if one or both parents are combative. If your child shows signs of depression or aggression, counseling may help.

Parenting is challenging at the best of times and can be extremely difficult when the other parent is constantly trying to undermine you. If you keep your cool and stay consistent in your parenting methods, getting through this period may be a little easier.

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