How to Co Parent With an Ex

Divorce is never easy for anyone involved. For children they can feel every ounce of stress that is involved,no matter how young. Your son or daughter loves you very much (even though they may not show it) and every hurt you feel they feel too.


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    Understand that your love for you child is more important than any anger you might feel for you Ex. When a child is involved in a divorce you have to leave all selfishness aside and put what is best for him or her first. You probably have a lot of anger and a lot of pain but in order to make things work best, both of you need to set that aside. You should never use your child as a tool to get back on your ex. And if your Ex is trying to do that you need to pull him/her aside and discuss things calmly. Focus all the negative energy you have towards your ex and put it toward making your child's life better.
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    Maintain a certain amount of respect for your Ex. Yes friendship is ideal, but does not always happen. It may help if your think of them as a co-worker. You may not like them but you need to find a way to put up with them.
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    Talk to your Ex about what you both want for you child. It is so important that he/she has both parents around. So long as your Ex is able to care for the child properly, joint custody is the healthiest option. Also it puts a lot of strain on the child if your live far apart. SO try to stay as close as possible. If you Ex sets rules for your child you need to respect them. If you do not agree with them you can talk to your Ex about them but do not let your child know that you are not a united front.
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    Don't talk poorly about your Ex to your child. This is your child's mother or father, and no matter what age they need to be able to love them without feeling guilty that they might be hurting you. We all love to share our emotions but your child is not your therapist. Finding a close friend or family member are good ideas of people to talk to.
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    If your child is having issues with your ex and comes to you with them it is important to listen but not put your ex down. Encourage them to talk but do not play sides. Try to say why your ex might have done what they did. Your child still needs to feel that both parents care for him/her
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    They will want to talk about Their life at their other parents house. Most likely they will already be monitoring every word; trying not to say something to make you feel sad. Some things they tell you may hurt to hear but try your hardest to make sure your child feels comfortable sharing every part of their life with you. When they share it's a way for them to try to get you to feel the excitement that they felt.
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    Don't make your kids your messenger.
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    When you or your ex re-marries it is important that your child has a good relationship with his/her stepparent. Try to get on base with your Ex's new spouse and try to get along with them.
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    Parenting is hard. It makes a world of difference just to apologize to your child for any mistakes that you do make.
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    Never hesitate to let your child know that you love them.


  • Treat your co-parent as a business partner, unite in your common goals - the success of your children.
  • Have a written schedule and plan, but be flexible. When you can't agree fall back to the written plan.
  • Try to give your ex-partner the benefit of the doubt (but don't let them walk all over you!) particularly with schedule mix-ups or other minor disagreements.
  • Keep transitions short and sweet to minimize disruption to the children.
  • Consider using a weekly email communicate important issues and updates.
  • Table issues that might need more discussion until you have time to do so away from the kids.


  • If you feel that your Ex is harmful to your child in any way it is important that you do not let your child be in a situation where they can get hurt.

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Categories: Children and Divorce | Parenting