Co-parenting with an Angry Ex.

When divorce happens, having to start all over again and move forward is difficult enough without having to learn how to begin and continue co-parenting with an angry ex.

Coping with divorce can be long term struggle or a long term achievement depending on which way you want to look at it.  It’s hard but not impossible.

The effects of divorce on children is a topic that has been written about and researched over the years and it is well known that it is up to us as parents to help children cope with divorce, separation and everything else that comes with it.

And we do try.

But what if you find yourself co-parenting with an ex who is uncooperative and intentionally sabotages the parenting plan as you go?  One who just doesn’t seem to get how important it is for the children to have him/her around without conflict, strife and struggle?

Well here are some tips for you on how to handle such a situation.

Remember, you cannot control what your ex does or doesn’t do.  All you can control are your own reactions to his/her behaviour.

If your ex is behaving unreasonably and using controlling behaviours keep in mind they are looking for a reaction from you.  This is one of the reasons why having a good enough support system on your side is crucial.  Not the sort of person who will fan the flames of your anger but one who remains objective and is able to help and support you through any adversity you face from your ex.

If verbal communication only ever disintegrates into shouting matches, then stick to writing emails to one another.

If the emails you receive are stuffed with abuse, threats and not so nice things then as one of your friends or family to be your censor.  Let them read the email for you and report back to you any relevant information that might be hidden in there e.g. what time he/she will be coming to pick up the children or what time he/she will be dropping them back.  This way you are looking after yourself and making sure that his/her anger and bitterness is left at the door.


co-parenting with an angry ex

Have a plan B just incase there’s a no show.

No shows.  This can be the most difficult part when it comes to co-parenting with an angry ex.

Where your ex has a habit of not turning up as planned there are two things you could try and do.

Firstly, don’t let the children know of his/her plans to visit until you are 100% sure.  Better for it to be a surprise rather than a disappointment.

If you know for certain that he/she will turn up, then tell them a couple of hours before.  Secondly, you could make you meeting point some place public.  Let your ex know that you will be there until 3 pm (for instance).  Then give him/her a 15 or 20 minute window for traffic delays etc.

Also let him/her know that you have to be somewhere for 4 let’s say so that he/she understands there’s an urgency to it all.  In both cases, have a plan B for the children just incase there’s a no show.  Then once they are out of earshot, call a friend or family member and vent all you like!

No Involvement with the children.  Your ex is not helping out with the children and isn’t interested in how they are doing, getting on and so forth.

In this case, get yourself another form of support either from a trusted friend or family member or both, why not?  You cannot make your ex interested him his/her children if he/she chooses not to be.  Unfortunately or fortunately, you are now your children’s main support system and parent.  Do the best you can for them but don’t forget to get help for yourself too.

If you are struggling with reaching a good enough parenting plan with your ex, then do find a local family mediator who help you put one together or contact me and I will be happy to speak with you.

How did you  reach a parenting plan that worked for you?  Have you reached one yet?  If not, why not?  Would love to hear from you.



4 thoughts on “Co-parenting with an Angry Ex.

  1. My life has been torn apart due to the false allegations made (by my wife) who was coerced by the DV advocates to make wrongful allegations including sexual assault and abuse. My wife has further alienated me from our daughter by changing phone lines, and email contact info. How can I co-parent with such false allegations and such alienating attitude of my wife? Please advise. Thank you. Rap O’Reilly

    1. This is very difficult for you and your daughter and I’m sorry for that. Unfortunately, this is the type of extreme behaviour that makes it almost impossible to co-parent properly with an ex-partner. I would like to help but will need a bit more information from you e.g. how long this has been going on, do you get to see your daughter at all, how old is she, etc. So do send me an email to and we can take it from there. Thank you Rap O’Reilly.

  2. i see your point in not telling the kids about the parent calling or meeting them in public i was in that situation but all it is is a form of control bitter people do this. had an ex that would want to bring them back early etc i mean god forbid i had a life. then the no shows were upsetting so after yrs of being a doormat i am getting him barred from the kids for emotional abuse hes an alcoholic so my case is different . in , ou in out was all that was he has no interest n the kids and now tries to control us my not giving money wow as as*hol&. anyone who thinks its fun to mess with kids heads needs treatment . be firm most abuse only starts or picks up tempo when u decide to start to leave and stand up for yourself they will be back when all the work is done. fact. up t the kids then what they want to do

    1. Thank you for your comment Emma. I totally agree with your statement “anyone who thinks its fun to mess with kids heads needs treatment.” It’s not fair on them at any level.

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