Dealing With Conflict, Need some help, Tips & Lists

6 Critical Tips for Co-parenting with an Impossible Ex

Co-parenting isn’t easy when the other parent is difficult. Mediation, family court, co-parenting apps, and professional help all impact your relationship.
(3 min 40 sec read)

Grace McSpadden
Grace McSpadden is a novelist and film producer living in Los Angeles.

Working with an uncooperative ex can be frustrating and sometimes even impossible. You have tried repeatedly to do what is best for the children but trying to work with your coParent is wearing you out and leaving you feeling defeated. You know that if you can’t make any progress you will have to go back to court and let the family court judge decide what is best for your children.

What can you do to encourage your coParent to work with you? Try these 6 tips.

Try to understand your coParents point of view.

It’s too easy to think that our way of doing things is best. We fall into the trap of believing that we know what is best for our children and don’t listen to what the other co-parent is saying. Remember that your ex loves your children as much as you do and wants what is best for them, even if you don’t think they do. Their opinion may be different from yours but it doesn’t mean that their opinion is wrong. People find that it is more productive to understand someone else and see their point of view than it is to assume they are wrong and argue with them.

Remain flexible with your coParent.

There will be times when the agreement you made with your coParent needs to be temporarily or permanently modified. At times like these, you should be open to changing what you agreed upon, as long as it is in the best interest of your children. If you remain flexible when your co-parent needs to modify part of the agreement, it is more likely to be reciprocated when you need to ask for a similar favor. Hopefully, your ex will remember how agreeable you were. It’s a give and take relationship that family courts encourage, for the benefit of your children.

Agree to Parallel Parent.

Parallel parenting is a parenting approach used when there is conflict between parents who have a great deal of distrust and disrespect for one another, and when communication is poor or non-existent. Part of the parallel parenting approach is that the parent who has the children, at any given time, is responsible for the care and decision making. The parent who does not have the children agrees to let the other co-parent make decisions on behalf of the children, without intervention. This parenting method ensures that both parents play an active role in the upbringing of their children while minimizing conflict.

Consider getting professional help.

There will be times when you have tried your very best to cooperate with the other parent and you still haven’t made any progress. At that point, you may wish to consider getting professional help such as a mediator. A mediator is a professional who acts in the capacity to help parents solve their disputes. Although a mediator’s advice is not binding, it can be helpful in getting parents to understand what is in the best interests of the children.

Get help from the court.

When you have done everything you can to communicate and work with your co-parent and you are still unable to settle your disputes, it may be time to go to family court. Going to court should be reserved as a last resort. Common reasons to ask the court for help are child custody disputes and child support payments.

Use the coParenter App.

coParenter helps single parents or parents who are no longer together to do many things such as: create customized custody plans; record communication between coParents; share and track expenses; and unlike all other co-parenting apps coParenter provides help from on-demand professionals; and supplies one-on-one coaching for the coParent who has to go-it-alone. The coParenter App is designed to work with either both parents together or alone, in case the other parent doesn’t want to use the app. 

It’s difficult enough being a parent, but without the cooperation of your co-parent, it can seem nearly impossible. Fortunately, there are many resources available for the parent who has to go-it-alone. The important thing to remember is that you are doing what is necessary for your children to grow up in a safe and stable environment.

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