It’s difficult to successfully co-parent when your ex-spouse is hostile. Even if they only act out every now and again, it’s enough to bring massive amounts of stress to your life.

Even though you’re not happy with your current situation, there are tips you can follow to more easily deal with a hostile ex-spouse while you co-parent with them:

  • Stick to the type of communication that works: Some forms of communication will work better for you than others. For example, if you and your spouse always argue when talking in person, stick to text messages and email moving forward. This reduces the chances of a hostile encounter.
  • Don’t share details about your personal life: Sharing information about your life that does not pertain directly to the child you share should be avoided, as it can quickly anger your ex-spouse. For example, don’t tell your ex that you’re going on a date or moving in with your new partner. Keep your personal life to yourself.
  • Try to see things from their side: Don’t automatically assume that your ex is hostile for no good reason. Instead, put yourself in their shoes to better understand what’s happening with them. It may not do anything to calm down your ex, but it might give you a better idea of the approach you can take to reduce trouble.
  • Don’t put your kids in the middle: This happens time and time again, so don’t be surprised if your ex attempts to use your child to get back at you. For example, they may tell your child things about your past that you wouldn’t have shared yet, or at all. Or they may allow your child to break rules that you’ve set, all to start an argument. You can’t control what your ex does, but you should do everything you can to keep your kids out of your post-divorce problems.

It’s likely that you’ll have disagreements with your ex-spouse when co-parenting. If you are prepared for this, you can take steps to avoid blowout arguments that cause nothing but additional trouble.

If your ex is belligerent and unreasonable, to the point where it’s worrying you and your child, learn more about your legal rights. You don’t want to put yourself and/or your child in harm’s way. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have basic questions or concerns about child custody-related matters, visit our website for additional information and guidance.