Co-parenting is not a laughing matter when you are divorced. What I find to be amazing is that when you were married, you agreed on how to parent your children, but now that you are divorced, everything is a battle. And, co-parenting is hard work. Throw in bitterness, anger and general displeasure and it can be a recipe for disaster, so following is a list of things you should NOT do when co-parenting.

1. Don’t respond to emails from your ex. Ignore the fact that the information that is being sent to you is probably fairly important, and just hit delete.

2. Don’t answer the phone when the children are in your possession and you see it is your ex calling. After all, why let them talk during your time?

3. Don’t tell your ex when one of the children gets sick while they are in your possession. It does not matter that the other party may need to take them to the doctor when you return the kids.

4. Don’t have your kids relay messages to your ex. It is so much better to have your kids do it, then to pick up the phone or send an email.

5. Don’t inform the other parent of parent/teacher conferences or grades for the children. You don’t want them to be involved with their education.

6. Don’t tell your ex if you are leaving town with the kids. It is your time, and the other parent does not need to know.

7. Don’t tell your ex when you leave town. If there is an emergency with one of the kids, you will hear about it when you return.

8. Do talk poorly about your ex to the children. They need to know that you were left broke and what a loser the other parent is.

9. Do pick the children up late and drop them off late or pick them up early and drop them off early. Be sure you do not call the other parent to let them know you are doing it, because that would spoil the fun!

10. Don’t tell the other parent about activities you enroll the kids in. You pay for them, why should the other parent go to games or plays?

11. Don’t discipline or set rules that are the same in the other parents home. If your child has been punished by one parent, and it happens to coincide with your possession, be sure to let your child off the hook, after all, the incident didn’t happen at your house.

12. Don’t compromise when it comes to being flexible with visitation. If your child is sick, insist on taking them anyway! It’s your time!!

13. Do pay the child support and medical expenses late. After all, the parent that has the most custody doesn’t need the money, they usually got the house.

Take a look at that list above, and if you want to co-parent successfully, do the opposite of every single item on that list! If you are doing even one single thing on that list up there, STOP and take a look in the mirror and think about how it is affecting your children. Change your ways for the sake of your sanity and your kids.

Author's Bio: 

Lee Block, a post divorce consultant and author of The Post Divorce Chronicles, helps women move through the life changing events that divorce brings about and helps them find their empowerment and freedom. She is also the founder of The Post Divorce Dating Club and is currently working on two books while raising her two children and two dogs.