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How can you co-parent with a difficult ex-spouse?

The end of a marriage does not mean the end of the co-parenting relationship. You and your former spouse must band together to raise your children in a loving manner. However, this is much easier said than done when your ex exhibits narcissistic tendencies.

While it is often challenging co-parenting with a difficult spouse, it is not impossible. Here are a few steps you can take to navigate the issue.

Maintain your boundaries

Your ex-spouse may attempt to goad you into a conflict when discussing matters regarding your children. You can safeguard yourself against stress by developing firm boundaries and maintaining them. For example, if face-to-face communication is too stressful, relegate conversations to text or email. You should also stick to child-rearing topics and refrain from discussing the matters that led to the end of your marriage.

Develop a co-parenting plan

A co-parenting plan can serve as the framework for you and your former spouse when it comes to child-rearing. The more detailed your plan is, the more effective it will be for your family. Along with daily custody issues, also give some thought to special occasions, such as birthdays, holidays, and other events. While negotiations with a difficult ex are often challenging, having a plan in place at the outset is best.

Seek help from the court

If you have an established parenting plan in place between you and your ex-spouse, you both have an obligation to follow it. If one of you does not, the other party can contact the court and address the issue. You can develop a new parenting plan with the court’s assistance, one that is amenable to you, your ex, and your children. The court can also take steps to have the existing plan enforced if it works for everyone.

No matter what type of behavior you must deal with from your ex, try to make your children a priority during the process. That way, you can rest assured that you are taking steps in their best interest.