Dealing with divorce is difficult enough, but dealing with an ex spouse who is difficult and a co-parenting agreement can be the stuff of nightmares. While the benefits of co-parenting are well-documented, if the situation is extremely toxic it can often turn into a good idea gone wrong. The good news is that there are ways to continue to co-parent successfully even if you and your ex-spouse have a negative relationship otherwise. According to Divorce Mag, one of the most important things is to establish a relationship based on boundaries and consistency for your children.

While it may seem like children spend most of their time trying to fight against routine, routine helps children feel secure and grow up to be their best. This means that an effective co-parenting relationship is based around having similar rules for your children at both homes. It is important to know whether or not your ex-spouse is ensuring that the children adhere to regular bedtime and school routines. Even if you and your ex-spouse cannot be in the same room together, it is vital to come up with a list of rules for the children to follow in both homes.

If your ex-spouse and you continually push each other’s buttons when communicating, it may be beneficial to move all communication related to the children to a method that is not immediate. That is, talking directly about your children may not be the best option. You may find that restricting communication to text or email is beneficial for your blood pressure. It is also beneficial to have a paper trail of what was said and agreed upon when.