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Handling a challenging co-parent relationship

Dealing with an ex on child custody matters isn't always going to be fun or easy. For people who are co-parenting, the situation is often even more challenging because these parents must work closely together for the sake of the children.

When things do get tough during a co-parenting situation, things can devolve quickly. Here are some tips to help you and your ex overcome the problems and move on with a successful co-parenting relationship:

Think about the present and future

There is a chance that the issues you had during your relationship with your ex might creep up during the course of the co-parenting communication. While it is easy to let all of those old feelings and events come to the surface, this isn't a productive option. You should remember that the focus has to be on your children. Try not to let the past creep into decisions you make about the present time or future unless there is a chance that your child's health or safety will be impacted.

Stand your ground ... sometimes

There are times when you will need to stand your ground about an issue. Before you decide which situations warrant a staunch stance, stop and think about why remaining unwavering is necessary. You might realize that compromising isn't actually going to harm anything. In this case, you should try to work something out with your ex. If you must stand your ground, make sure that you do so in a calm and respectful manner. This could show that you are willing to work with your ex on the matters at hand.

Always make sure you have the facts

Never make assumptions. Even if you think that you know the reasons behind your ex's actions, find out the truth. The same is true if you think you know what was decided about a matter. It is always better to get clarification on everything related to co-parenting so that you can try to avoid problems in the future.

Take a step back

Co-parenting conflicts can wear you out. If you see that there isn't any progress being made in your situation, take a step back. Many decisions that come with co-parenting don't need to be made right away. Taking the time to calm down and think about the issue without any interruptions might help you to see what arrangements will be likely to work. You can then go back to the discussion with your ex.

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