California parents who are divorced may struggle in co-parenting with a difficult ex. There may be a number of reasons for this. In some cases, it is related to a parent’s turmoil over the divorce. If the conflict is not over issues as serious as addiction or abuse and is mostly between the parents, there might be ways to smooth over the situation.

The first thing a parent should do is recognize that the focus needs to be on the child’s well-being. This can help the parent avoid getting wrapped up in conflict over other unrelated issues. Parents should draw strong boundaries around their personal lives and try to limit communication with the other parent to matters relating to the child.

Knowing what things are likely to set the other parent off is one good way to either avoid them or be prepared for the conflict that may erupt when they arise. Despite this conflict, parents should avoid talking in negative ways about the other parent in front of the child. This may make the child feel it is impossible to share feelings about that parent.

During even a high-conflict divorce, parents might want to consider using mediation instead of litigation to reach an agreement about child custody. One potential advantage of mediation is that is may help reduce the likelihood of the kind of post-divorce co-parenting conflicts described above. Parents might learn some conflict resolution techniques during mediation or even reach an agreement to return to mediation if they encounter parenting disagreements after the divorce that they and their respective attorneys are unable to resolve through negotiations.