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How to Co-Parent with a Difficult Ex

When children are exposed to ongoing conflict between their parents post-divorce, they may be at risk for social, academic, and mental health problems.

Oftentimes when the divorce and custody process has completed, many parents are at a loss as to how to co-parent with their difficult ex, especially if their ex suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.  This can make co-parenting after divorce a nightmare for the child and the parents, and can often result in litigation post-divorce.

In high-conflict cases, the following tips may help you through a difficult co-parenting situation:

  1. Consider utilizing the services of a Parenting Coordinator. A Parenting Coordinator is oftentimes a licensed mental health professional who serves as an impartial third party, helping to navigate the difficulties of co-parenting with a toxic ex. The goal of parent coordination is to ensure that high conflict situations can be resolved peacefully without harming either parent’s relationship with their children or harming the individual child.
  2. Consider mental health counseling for the minor child. This tip is especially important if the other parent suffers from narcissistic personality disorder.   It is quite common for children to feel that they are the cause of their parents’ divorce and poor behavior. A narcissistic parent can magnify these feelings in a child when they start exhibiting narcissistic behavior towards the child. A therapist who is familiar with these types of personality disorders and co-parenting may provide the child with much needed coping skills.
  3. Communicate with your ex via a courtmonitored program such as Our Family Wizard or Talking Parents. These online and mobile communication tools help parents with co-parenting issues such as visitation schedules and the exchange of medical and educational information. Nothing can be deleted within these programs, and if the parties disagree about anything regarding their communications, the emails and texts may be viewed by the Court. This program helps minimize post-judgment litigation and improves communication between the two parents.

Every case and family are different, so before you decide to move forward with litigation or with one of the above tips, speak with a divorce attorney about your specific case to learn more about your legal options.

The Law Offices of Patricia Palma, P.A. represents parties in the Collaborative Divorce process and, when necessary, the post-judgment litigation phase of the case.  Please call 813-258-3211 or contact us online to schedule a meeting at our Tampa office.

Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.


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