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Setting boundaries around your personal life with your co-parent

If you and your spouse continue to have a high-conflict relationship even after you're no longer living together and after the divorce has been finalized, working together as co-parents can be challenging. However, it's essential to find a way to do that if you're sharing custody of your children.

Developing a detailed parenting plan is a good first step to minimizing conflict. If you have worked out and codified things like your parenting schedule and expectations for both of you during your time with the kids, there's less opportunity for misunderstandings and arguments.

While a detailed parenting plan can help minimize the amount of communication you need to engage in with your co-parent, you'll still need to deal with them sometimes. Likely, your co-parent knows what buttons to push to fluster, annoy and anger you. That's why it's essential to set boundaries when it comes to your personal life.

Keep your communications focused on your children. Don't veer into territory like what you'll be doing or who you'll be with while your kids are with your co-parent.

Even if you don't share this information with your co-parent, mutual friends and others may. If there are people in your life who tell your former spouse what you're doing, it may be best to avoid them for a time.

You may want to avoid social media also. Privacy settings can help minimize what your ex sees. However, it may be best to disable your social media accounts. If you stay on social media, be very cautious about what you post. It's probably best to block your ex. This can help you avoid looking at what they're doing.

While you're setting boundaries for yourself, be respectful of your co-parent's boundaries. Don't ask personal questions or pry into their social life. You can't ask for privacy if you don't respect theirs.

You shouldn't ask your kids to keep secrets from their other parent about your life. However, just because your co-parent finds out something you didn't want them to know, that doesn't mean you have to engage in a conversation or fight about it.

If your co-parent's personal life and the people in it are negatively impacting your kids, you may be able to seek modifications to your parenting plan to protect your kids' well-being. Your attorney can help you work to do that if you believe it's necessary.

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