Some divorced Minnesota parents of young children might find themselves co-parenting with an ex-spouse who might not be the ideal partner. However, successful co-parenting is possible, even when an ex exhibits certain behaviors that might seem toxic. As long as the ex’s behavior does not put the children at risk, there are some things people can do to succeed.

The first thing a parent should remember is that, even after the divorce, the children’s needs, well-being and stability should be the guiding principles. When an ex’s behavior is volatile and sometimes outright hostile, the other parent should attempt to keep all communication between them focused on the children. Even if the other parent attempts to bring up unresolved issues from the failed relationship, it is important to attempt to maneuver the conversation back to the children. Similarly, successful co-parenting is more possible when parents know what should be shared about their own life with their ex. There have to be clearly drawn lines in order to keep the communication as peaceful as possible.

Another thing people can do to work towards successful co-parenting is to learn what might cause their ex-spouse to have negative reactions, and in that way keep more control over situations. Additionally, co-parenting also means having enough self-control to not speak negatively about the other parent, particularly since doing so might cause the children to lose trust and not feel comfortable talking freely about their feelings for their other parent. Part of this also includes encouraging the children to continuing developing their relationship with the other parent.

Negotiating a co-parenting agreement with a toxic ex can be a complex process. In those situations, a parent might find it beneficial to speak with a divorce lawyer who can take the lead in an attempt to reach an accord.