There are many difficult aspects to divorce, but one of the hardest has to be figuring out how to be an effective parent after the ink on the paperwork has dried. The most popular form of custody in today’s courts is easily a co-parenting agreement, where the children spend equal (or close to it) amounts of time with both parents. While this has several benefits for the kids, it can be difficult for the parents to co-parent successfully if they have had a difficult past. Fortunately, there are certain strategies that can make co-parenting easier, even if you and your ex have a strained relationship. According to Helpguide.org, it is best to keep the children at the locus of attention for all conversations with your ex.

While it is likely that you and your ex have had many disagreements (you are divorced, after all), hopefully both of you can at least agree on one thing: the welfare of the children. Keeping all communications focused on this is the first step toward crafting a positive co-parenting relationship.

Also keep in mind that there is no mandate that you become best friends with your ex in order to co-parent well. You only need to be civil enough to be able to cooperate where the kids are concerned: you do not need to share holidays or any amount of time together outside of this. You may find that you communicate most functionally through a written medium: email is great for a good recreation of professional distance. You may also wish to put limits on the number of times you contact each other each week.