Q: What tips can you share with me for communicating with my difficult ex?

A: Communicating with a difficult person is always challenging but it is especially tough when you need to co-parent with that person. I have created some rules for my clients that will hopefully help you also:

  • Whenever possible communicate in writing – text messages and emails are good. This allows both people to be held to a standard of behaviour that can be documented.

  • Keep messages as short as possible – The less said the better. Just keep the conversation focused on the subject at hand.

  • Always be polite and non-threatening regardless of how the other side reacts or what they say.

  • Stay focused on the purpose of the message. For example, if you want to take your child to a doctor and are seeking agreement from the other guardian then keep the entire message about that one specific issue.

  • Do not bring up the past or old grievances. Stay focused on the current issue and refuse to discuss the past.

  • Don’t let yourself get drawn into a debate about who is right or what is and is not happening. Simply state your position and then request theirs.

  • You do not have to reply right away to a message. You can take a few hours or even a day or two to think about how you want to reply.

Sometimes seeking legal advice BEFORE reaching out to your ex, or BEFORE answering their messages are the best way to make sure you don’t accidentally agree to something that will have long-term implications for your family.


*Any guidance provided is not covered by solicitor client privilege, nor is it taking into consideration all of the facts of your matter beyond those in the question. The legal information is specific to British Columbia Law. If you want a more thorough and case-specific analysis of your legal matter please CONTACT US to arrange a consultation.