Co-parenting is a skill than you can improve with practice. Read on for tips on how you can get along better with your ex.
Practice good communication skills. Don’t use the written word as a weapon! The purpose of emails and texts is to deliver facts and logistics, not to lash out at your co-parent, or try to convince him of the error of his ways. Keeping your messages simple and devoid of emotion will help maintain an amicable co-parenting relationship.
Get over being angry. It’s easy to become addicted to anger. It distracts you from the difficult task of creating a whole new life. It keeps you psychologically entangled with your co-parent, which is the exact opposite of what you want if you’re to move forward. If you find that you’re constantly marinating in bitterness, get professional help to work through your anger.
Follow the court orders. Pay child support on time. Stick to the visitation schedule. Handle shared child-related expenses as set forth in your agreement. Making a unilateral decision to ignore your court order will certainly pull your children into conflict and possibly result in less custody for you.
Be polite. Say please and thank you. Tell your ex you appreciate his efforts to be a good co-parent (even if he or she is not as “good” as you want). Treating your former spouse with respect and highlighting his positive behaviors will encourage him to do the same.
Respect your ex’s time with the kids. Don’t call, text or FaceTime your kids multiple times during your ex’s visitation. Don’t make your kids feel guilty for having a good time with their other parent. Don’t try to chip away at visitation by being late for drop-offs or keeping the kids longer than allowed. No matter what you think of your ex, he has a right to his parenting time.
Respect co-parenting rules. Some divorced couples are able to agree on basic rules: discipline, bedtimes, policies about electronics and homework. If you agreed to do something, follow through. Otherwise, your ex will be less inclined to hold up their end of the bargain.