Co-Parenting Communication

‘Train Your Ex to Be Your Ex’: Transforming Co-Parent Communication


…Another snarky text…

…I asked one simple question, now paragraphs….oh boy…

…Another shady social media post…

…He put her in that shirt just to spite me…

…Why does she text me soooo much?!?…

…Why is it STILL a battle?..

When you are having all of these thoughts and your divorce Judgment is already finalized, you feel trapped in the same patterns that lead to your divorce. Like your stuck in an endless bad communication loop.

Guess what? That’s your ex-spouse now. You do not have to invest the same energy trying to win every point, like you did when you were working on a dying marriage.

Yes, you share children and need to communicate, but not about every detail like people who are intimately involved. As your children age, the need to directly communicate lessens. In any event, your communication around, in front of or within earshot of little ears. They can’t process the why you are so angry, they just know it’s about them. Is his/her subliminal IG post that important to address at pick up? Or may be not at all?

He/she who angers you, controls you. You’re free now, right? Act like it. Set boundaries…. for your mouth and your reactions. In time, your non-reactions diffuse the irrational, overly emotional ragers. What you tolerate will continue. So, if you ex-partner is setting up for an argument you see a mile coming, you can choose to take another road to your destination. When your ex says something to you intended to take you where you do not want to ever go again (but you kinda sort keep going there…. doh!), you can spend time working on it away from them and diffuse the trigger. It takes maturity, time and self-awareness.

The backdrop to you having a strong post court, post Judgment posture, is knowing that your court orders are in full force and effect and if he/she chooses to not to comply with the court order, THE TUKE FIRM, PLLC will be the muscle of enforcement to bring those violations to account before the Court. It’s funny how a possible contempt finding and possibly being ordered to pay your ex-spouse’s attorney fees makes folk act right…sometimes.

Here’s the gag…you can’t ‘train’ them. You can only change how you engage with them!

You ultimately are only in control of how you respond to the world and will be pleasantly surprised when you exercise new disciplines for a new interaction with your ex:

  • When texting, emailing, or using a parent communication app, use the direct, non-inflammatory words and phrases. Don’t go back and forth over every point. Sometimes, the point is to engage…. don’t. Just responds to substantive portions and move on.
  • Social media IS. NOT. YOUR. FRIEND. Truly! Do not overshare about your emotional rollercoasters on any social media platform, particularly when you in the thick of litigation. It does not win you any points with the Court and often times can be used as evidence of bad decision making and impulsiveness. Vent to your hairdresser, not FaceBook, they’re just going to sip tea and gossip.
  • Some people can co-parent, others must parallel parent. Parallel parenting time occurs when both parties parenting time parameters are so different that the child(ren) have two parallel, often disconnected, experiences in each home. This can occur because the two parents have very different personality types, different parenting philosophies, different religious practices, different food consumption, rules etc. This can often result in high conflict parenting time situations where communication is strained.

However, you cannot die on every hill. Your ex putting her in his new girlfriend’s clothing line may annoy you, but it is not going to harm the child. When a more substantial disagreements do come up, you must communicate them clearly in writing, without the snark. Having a dedicated parenting time communication channel, i.e. App Close or Our Family Wizard (parent communication apps), is very helpful for out of court accountability when party’s think about not following the order.

When you ex over communicates, remember, you do not have to respond to everything. If there are 20 sentences and only one is a question needing your response…. just answer that one question. Resist the urge to clap back or respond disrepectfully. I promise you, over time, the over-typer/emotional-typer runs out of steam with no back and forth fueling the petty.

We have a court order and he/she doesn’t always follow the terms, what do I do?

First, try talking to your ex to see if there is a reasonable explanation. Better to ask and get an answer than assume. Next, if your are not getting an answer or a good answer… Enforce. Your. Order.

File a motion to Show Cause the other party for failure to comply with a lawful court order. THE TUKE FIRM, PLLC successfully show cause people for failure to comply with orders on a regular basis. Also, for enforcement motions, you may seek reimbursement of all or some of your attorney fees expended because of their violation. Tsk. Tsk.

It’s all about setting up new boundaries and setting up new intentions around “WHY” you’re communication with this person. Keep it simple and to the point. You are no longer in a relationship so the types of arguments you had while your relationship was in demise should not occur now, find new ways to communicate. Ultimately, you are not in control of if our ex will or will not play nice, but you can refuse walk down the same endless path of hurling insults.

Set boundaries

Practice maturity- they kids are watching!

Protect your peace

Know when enough is enough and it’s time to seek court intervention to stop bad behavior.

You may also like…

Meet Esse Tuke

Meet Esse Tuke

as published on We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Esse Tuke a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below. Esse, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Please tell us about starting your own firm and if you’d do...

My Experience: 9/11/2001, 1L Law Student in NYC

My Experience: 9/11/2001, 1L Law Student in NYC

  Esse Tuke is a native NYC gal. It’s in my blood. I grew up in Brooklyn and suburbs of the city. NYC is a city that lives and breathes like no other. In 2001, I was anxious to get back home to NY for law school after graduating from University of...

If You Are Filing for Divorce, Have Received Divorce Papers, or Need Guidance in a Family Matter,
Contact Us Immediately.