Navigating a divorce with children involved is difficult enough, but attempting to co-parent with a difficult ex is an entirely new level of stress and emotion. Generally speaking, co-parenting is the most child-beneficial approach to parenting after a divorce, but what is best for the kids is not necessarily best for your peace of mind. Nevertheless, it is still possible to co-parent successfully even if you can no longer be in the same room as your ex. According to Healthline, being kind to yourself is essential when attempting to co-parent.
One of the best ways to control negative responses to your exes to only communicate in nonreal time. For instance, instead of talking on the phone try texting or email. Not only is having a paper trail of communication vital in case you decide you need to seek sole custody of the children or if your ex starts accusing you of saying things you did not, it will also give you the mental space to compose a neutral response. This is very important if your ex tends to push your emotional buttons.
Try to exchange the children at a neutral zone with no other adults involved. This means that current partners stay at home if this is an emotional trigger for either you or your ex. Good public places for child exchange involve libraries, restaurants or school parking lots.
Finally, no matter how frustrating your ex-spouse may be, make sure you do not demonize him or her to your child. In the event that your ex actually is a deadbeat parent, your children will come to grips with this on their own time. Your child does not need your input on this matter.