After an acrimonious divorce, you might wish you could sever all ties with your ex. However, if you share a child together, this will likely be impossible.
Texas law strongly favors joint custody unless there is a very good reason, such as abuse, to award one parent sole custody. Fortunately, there are strategies that can help you co-parent peacefully.
Use a shared calendar
Apps and cloud-based calendars can help you and your co-parent keep track of your child’s schedule, appointments and activities. By sharing updates in the cloud, you can reduce the risk of miscommunication and scheduling conflicts.
Even with a shared calendar, there will be times when you need to speak with your ex about parenting matters. It is important to do this directly with your ex. Avoid using your child as a messenger. Doing so places unfair responsibility on your child’s shoulders and increases the risk of miscommunication.
Be consistent but flexible
Consistent rules and routines are beneficial for your child, but it is unrealistic to expect your ex to run his or her household exactly as you do. It helps if you are on the same page with regard to bedtimes, homework, chores and other major issues. Trying to micromanage your ex’s parenting will only frustrate you both.
Support one another
Try to speak positively about your co-parent in front of your child. Be supportive of your partner’s parenting whenever possible. For example, if your child misbehaves at your ex’s house, you may need to follow through with consequences at your house.
Co-parenting can be difficult when you no longer have a positive relationship with your ex. However, by being flexible and communicating effectively, you can reduce conflict and parent your child more effectively.