How to Handle Co-Parenting with a Difficult Ex
Sometimes marriages end on mutual terms and relatively free from drama. In ideal situations, people can obtain a divorce cordially. Perhaps being able to walk away wishing the best for their ex-spouse. In other cases, divorce can be an ugly thing filled with anger and resentment. This type of situation can extremely difficult when the splitting couple has children together. Where it would have been best for these people to never speak again, they must do so because they are parents to the same children. Even if you can no longer see eye to eye with a difficult ex-wife or ex-husband one thing should always be a constant. This is the fact that you both love your children, and both want what is best for them. If you can at least agree on this, co-parenting and custody with an ex that hates you can be achieved.
How to successfully share custody
As you may see in your difficult ex-spouse, just because someone is an adult does not mean that they will be mature or exhibit respectful behavior. The key to success in these difficult situations can be found in a blend of different strategies. Below are some key suggestions that may help you after a hostile divorce.
Set clear boundaries and agreements
It is important to pick your battles when it comes to disagreements. Compromises must sometimes be made, even if you do not agree with the result. There should however be a clear list of items that cannot be compromised. One example includes the rule that it is not ok for either parent to bad mouth the other parent to their children. In other words, neither parent should ever be allowed to speak poorly of one parent to try and have their children “pick sides.”
Use technology to your advantage
Technology can be extremely helpful because it allows for two goals to be achieved at once. This first is that things like text messages and email can help document what is going on. Secondarily is that text and email communication enable you to not have to speak with your ex. This helps avoid uncomfortable phone calls or perhaps even more difficult, face to face meetings. Moreover, written communication can be read again and thought about before it is sent. This makes it so we are not carried away in the situation to say things that we may later regret. A well-written text or email can get the message across while giving us time to think about what we are saying and how it may come across.
Do your best to stay on the same page
You may find that both your ex and you have begun to change after the divorce. This applies to many facets of your lives, including the value and lifestyle you want your children to have. It is usually best that one parent does not undermine the other one, whether intentionally or by accident. An example of what we are referencing includes trying to have rules and expectations be the same under each parents’ roof. For example, their bedtimes and list of chores should remain the same. This will keep consistent rules without one parent having to be the mean parent while the other one gets to be the fun parent. This also extends to punishments. We have heard stories where one parent will take away a cell phone as a punishment for poor grades. Instead of the lesson being learned and the bad behavior altered, the other parent has purchased a new cell phone with a new number for the child. Obviously, this situation is not ideal if, for any other reason, the child is being rewarded despite their lapse in schoolwork.
Remember to speak with an attorney
Perhaps you have tried your best but are still dealing with difficulties with parent time and shared custody. Knowing that you have a trusted Salt Lake City family law firm on your side can give you confidence in a time of frustration. If you are dealing with a difficult ex-spouse and have concerns about your children consider calling Burton Family Attorneys at (801) 393-1106 to speak with a legal professional about your case.
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