Trying to figure out how to co-parent with a difficult ex? Aren’t we all. There may not be a secret recipe but at least there are some basic rules that we can all follow. So, here’s what you need to know before hiring a lawyer.
How to co-parent with a difficult ex who doesn’t want to compromise
People often go on power trips when there’s a custody battle underway. Usually, it’s due to unresolved blame, resentment, and/or an inability to move on. That’s why knowing how to co-parent with a difficult ex is a life skill that’s beyond essential.
Keep the peace (or at least more of it) by practicing these five simple behaviors:
- Get the visitation agreement in writing. That way, you can use it as a guideline when disagreements arise or as evidence if you go to court.
- Hold your ex accountable for their decisions. Being forgiving is one thing, but being a push-over is another.
- Play by the rules. After all, it doesn’t make sense that you can change things while your ex cannot. Be fair or prepare for court.
- Always put your children first. So, regardless of what’s going on in your life, never let it negatively affect your kids.
- Take detailed notes on everything. That’s because you never know when you’ll need proof to back up your claims and complaints.
Keep in mind that retaining a lawyer is a great idea when dealing with a joint custody case even if you’ve come to an agreement. That way, you have someone to consult if you have questions or concerns. Plus, they’ll be well-informed about the facts of the case long before it goes to court.
Things to note for possible court
In some cases, going to court might be inevitable because one of the parents refuses to compromise. In fact, that happens in nearly half of all custody battles. Despite your best efforts, agreeing on anything remains impossible. When that occurs, it may be time to lawyer up.
Before contacting an attorney though, be sure you’ve taken excellent notes. Those notes should contain things like dates, times, conversation details, visitation guidelines, and child support agreements. If possible, try to get someone to serve as a witness.
DID YOU KNOW: Character witnesses can actually hurt the defendant’s case if certain questions are asked during cross-examination.
Knowing how to co-parent with a difficult ex regardless of your past
Chances are, your ex will bring up damning details from your past to try and defame you at every turn. In fact, you should expect nothing less. To avoid the trappings of bad memories, keep these simple guidelines in the back of your mind:
- Keep conversations about the kids. That means never bringing up each other’s personal lives no matter how curious you are.
- Draft accurate records of schedules, favors, and payments. This is more important than you realize, especially if your ex is manipulative or vindictive.
- Tell your lawyer everything. Remember, the facts you share with your legal team are kept strictly confidential. And hiding information could end up hurting you during cross-examination if you ever go to court.
You don’t have to be a perfect mom or dad to make an impact on your child’s life. You just need to compromise with your ex and hold them accountable for their actions. And if all else fails, there are lawyers waiting to read your detailed case notes either way.