Although the divorce process is challenging, if you have children with your ex-spouse, you’ll soon learn that it was just the beginning. As you move into the co-parenting stage, there’s no shortage of challenges that stand in your way.

Here are five co-parenting tips you can follow to reduce tension:

  • Talk everything out. If you have a problem, don’t hide it from your ex. Talk about it openly with the goal of finding a solution.
  • Follow the parenting agreement. You created this agreement for a reason. Following it is the best way to keep both parents on the same page.
  • Be flexible with schedules. You want to follow your parenting agreement, but don’t hesitate to alter your schedule when necessary. For example, you may need to ask your ex to temporarily switch the days you visit with your children.
  • Don’t argue about everything. There are things worth arguing about. There are also things you should sweep under the rug, as they’re not worth the fight.
  • Cut back on unnecessary conversation. For example, when exchanging your children, keep your conversation on topic and concise.

It’s not always easy to follow these co-parenting tips, but doing so can reduce tension between you and your ex-spouse.

If you continue to run into issues with an ex who never wants to follow the parenting agreement, you’ll want to discuss this with them. It is hoped that a brief conversation gets things back on track, but if it doesn’t, you’ll need to learn more about your legal rights and how to take action. You don’t want the other parent’s unwillingness to cooperate to impact the relationship you have with your children.