Ideally, a divorcing couple can continue to get along, especially when children are involved. However, being amicable with your ex can be challenging during and after a divorce.

Being a Single Dad

If you are getting divorced and have children, there are several important things to remember when co-parenting with your ex-spouse.

How To Co-Parent With Your Ex 

Treat It Like a Business

If you and your ex don’t get along, treat co-parenting like a business. Try to keep all communications with your ex-partner as brief and professional as possible. This can often be done by keeping conversations to texts and emails when possible and focusing on need-to-know things. For example, if you have the kids during the week and your partner has them on the weekends, focus on when and where the swaps will be handled.

Be Respectful

It’s crucial to always be respectful to your ex, especially when the children are there. The more respectful you are to each other, the more you can contribute to a positive co-parenting situation for the children. This emphasis on respect underscores the gravity of your actions on your children’s well-being. 

If the child sees one parent criticizing the other, this may not bode well for the child dealing with the split. The American Psychological Association states that parental alienation can happen in this situation, which is where the child may eventually reject one parent’s relationship with their new partner. Pulling the child into your drama also can make the child feel helpless and insecure. 

Keep Communication Open

Keeping lines of communication open with your ex during co-parenting is important. Until your child is at least 18, you must communicate well with your ex about the children. For instance, you will probably need to communicate often with your ex-partner about how they are doing in school and their after-school activities. 

If you and your ex-spouse cannot communicate with each other, it will complicate the co-parenting situation and make things harder on your child.

Be Consistent

Consistency is key. Every child does better with consistent situations and rules. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that consistent parenting after a divorce makes the kids feel safe and protected. There should be consistent rules and expectations in both of your homes. For instance, if you have the child do their homework at 7 pm and go to bed at 9 pm, the rules should be the same in the other house. Any inconsistency in these house rules can lead to behavior issues with the child. 

Think Long Term

You should always think about the children and the long term. While the marriage is over, your obligation to your children is ongoing. Even after the children are grown, you will probably still need to deal with your ex sometimes, such as at graduations and weddings. You should consider the long-term relationship with your kids and its importance. This can help you deal with any rough patches you might have in the short term when co-parenting with your ex-spouse. 

Contact an Attorney for Guidance

If you still have trouble with your ex-spouse and co-parenting, it may be time to call your attorney. If the other party is not adhering to the rules of the co-parenting agreement in the divorce decree, your attorney and even the court may need to get involved. Barring that, however, try to get along with your ex as best you can for the sake of your shared children.

Co-Parenting After Divorce, Co-Parenting After Divorce, Days of a Domestic Dad