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50/50 co-parenting with an ex who refuses to communicate

(25 Posts)
MaeMae138 Wed 17-Jul-19 22:19:35

My ex partner won’t communicate in our 50/50 co-parenting relationship.

Our son is two years old and he won’t tell me anything, unless he is ill. So this means I haven’t got a clue about what he eats/sleeps/activities/anything. And I’ve just found out he’s been toilet training him for the last four months. I haven’t. Now our son is starting to show confusion,

I’m very upset and anxious about this situation. Have seen a mediator to try and come up with a parenting plan, but ex won’t attend.

How are you meant to co-parent a toddler unless you have communication and keep everything consistent. I wanted to be able to, but feel like court to now go for main residence the only answer . We broke up a year ago because of his behaviour and I feel like he is still trying to exert control over me by doing this.

Has anyone got any experience of this?

OP’s posts: |
Starlight456 Wed 17-Jul-19 22:37:27

Tbh yes I would ask for mediation looking at main residency . At that young age it cannot work with no communication .

It simply isn’t fair on the child.

Parent999 Mon 22-Jul-19 06:45:01

So can I ask you this, I struggle to communicate with my ex. She flatly refuses to co parent. Ive tried everything from parenting apps to mediation and we have a court order. Are you suggesting that I should go for full residency because my ex wont communicate?

MaeMae138 Mon 22-Jul-19 07:09:20

I understand your frustration as I have also suggested parenting app and mediation, to just be refused.

I can’t answer you about whether you should go for full residency as you haven’t told me anything else about your situation. Do you co-parent 50/50? How old is the child? Do you have concerns about her as a parent?

I think it is especially important to be able to communicate properly if you have an equal share of parenting with a very young child.

OP’s posts: |
Parent999 Mon 22-Jul-19 07:36:22

Sorry, I was just being facetious, just seemed like a drastic step to go for full residency.
Its been nearly 5 years since we split, DD is nearly 6 yrs. We have a court order for joint residence but not exactly 50/50.
My ex is late taking DD to school every single day, shes constantly trying to turn daughter against our "step family" and engages in mild alienation. Teaching DD that her clothes/belongings are mums or dads but not hers. She tried teaching DD that I wasnt allowed in the school, thankfully the school told her to wind it in and spoke with DD and told her both parents are free to support her in school. etc etc etc.

Unfortunately theres nothing that suggests to me DD shouldnt live with both parents. So I just have to take it. Does anyone have any success stories of eventually co-parenting with a very toxic ex?

Rtmhwales Mon 22-Jul-19 08:00:49

Can you afford to take it to court?
There's been many parents on here that have and the ex has been ordered to fill out a parenting notebook to be handed over with the child, detailing food and sleep etc.

MaeMae138 Mon 22-Jul-19 08:19:02

I totally agree - it does sound like a drastic step to go for full residencey. I really, really want to be able to co-parent as a 50/50 schedule split so that our son gets to have his mum and dad on equal measures. I also don't believe that I should get more time just because I'm his mum. It must be hard for men in this situation too. But I'm at a loss on a better idea to lessen the inconsistancies and give our son the most stable and healthy environment to grow up in.

I'm sorry that your ex is trying to alienate you and your family. I'm guessing that these are the kind of problems I will face as my son gets older. I keep feeling hopeful that co-parenting will get easier as time goes on and the bad feelings fade. But it just seems to get harder!

I too would like to hear any success stories, or advice, of parenting with a toxic ex.

OP’s posts: |
Parent999 Mon 22-Jul-19 08:19:19

Unfortunately in my experience the handover book was only used to record criticisms and demands. Once the court order was made the book then disappeared. However there are some cracking co-parenting apps out there, if your ex would agree to that Id recommend it.

iamadramallama Fri 26-Jul-19 21:58:37

Oh this thread could be have my sympathies. No sage advice unfortunately but just to let you know that you're not alone x

MaeMae138 Fri 26-Jul-19 22:54:32

Thank you! Please share your story if it helps x

OP’s posts: |
MarshmallowHeat Sun 28-Jul-19 22:53:19

I don’t think 50/50 is in the best interests of your child. Why are you wanting this? Especially one so young. They need consistency, structure, and stability over and above their parents needs.

iamadramallama Mon 29-Jul-19 07:33:13

Our arrangements started off well but our relationship (I struggle to even call it that) has now deteriorated to no contact except by email or text.

My situation is a little different as our child is much older.

I am considering a regrettable ultimatum of - come to mediation or I will go alone and then take you to court for full custody. This would be devastating for my son as he adores his dad so I wouldn't actually do it but I am at a loss as to how to make the toxic ex see that this can't continue. It's not good for our child. It makes me sad and angry in equal measures

Sounds like you've tried or are trying all the right things MaeMae

NorthernSpirit Mon 29-Jul-19 08:57:16

I’m on the other side of this - i’m a DSM to two. EW won’t communicate with the kids dad and when she does it’s fairly abusive. My OH has come to realise that they can’t Co-parent, she flatly refuses to. He has accepted this.

The court has ordered that she can only communicate via email and all email requests have to be responded to within 5 days (or the request is automatically approved).

Judge also ordered a contact book which she used to send a barrage of abusive in. When the kids started reading it my OH stopped using it.

My recommendation would be only communicate via email in a short & business like manor. Absolutely no emotion as you are fuelling their fire.

Let the father parent - as he should you. Do you really need to know what the boy eats, sleeps, what activities he does? One parent doesn’t have more control than the other.

Kennyy Mon 29-Jul-19 14:13:35

50/50 is not necessarily about "parents needs". Some kids need to see both parents equally. Some mothers want full residency for selfish reasons.

MarshmallowHeat Mon 29-Jul-19 22:54:29

I do think 50/50 is almost always about the parents needs. The evidence on how children fair say that there is no evidence that 50/50 is better, or fosters better relationships with both parents. It says that there is evidence that it can be detrimental unless the parents communicate very well, and there is no conflict.

Parent999 Tue 30-Jul-19 07:25:45


I do think 50/50 is almost always about the parents needs. The evidence on how children fair say that there is no evidence that 50/50 is better, or fosters better relationships with both parents. It says that there is evidence that it can be detrimental unless the parents communicate very well, and there is no conflict.

Said every resident parent that will do anything to keep the status quo in their favour.

iamadramallama Tue 30-Jul-19 12:14:47

Personally, I find generic statements about parenting arrangements pretty unhelpful. Every situation is different. Every child is different. Unless you know the parents and child or children, I don't think it's fair to comment.

I know of children who are doing incredibly well with 50:50 arrangements and I'm sure there are examples where it isn't working.

We're all just doing our best for our children. I think my ex sticks to 50:50 so he doesn't have to pay maintenance.....wish I'd known this was the case before I agreed to it

Posymarie Tue 30-Jul-19 20:50:41

I can’t communicate with my ExH either we have a court order that means nothing now. Was pretty much 50:50 but now they only go EOW their choice not mine. He’s had another baby with OW so our DC don’t get much look in now. All communication was via email and he would use it to abuse me and have a go. He then decided all communication and arrangements had to go through OW. Which was ridiculous as she lied and manipulated situations to cause more friction. It was making me so ill In the end I threatened to go back to court and we only communicate via email that the OW has access to also but we hardly talk use it. I keep him informed of trips and medical issues as that is all he wants to know and we use it to sort out holidays arrangements. TBH the less contact the better as I feel I can parent the children and what they do with him is up to him. Give it time and he will get board that’s what mine did because I wasn’t riding and he was using it as a last chance of controlling me which he did for 16 years. I know it’s hard to let go when your DS isn’t with you and you worry constantly try to do things that you can’t do with a DC about.

MarshmallowHeat Tue 30-Jul-19 23:08:13

Nuffield foundation actually @Parent999

OP this statement from the report above may be pertinent to your situation

*Research shows that the best interests of children after parental separation are most strongly connected to
the quality of parenting they receive, the quality of the relationship between their parents, and practical resources such as adequate housing and income – not to any particular pattern of care or amount of time*

It’s a direct quote.

MarshmallowHeat Tue 30-Jul-19 23:11:51

So in other words, if 50/50 is detrimental to the quality of parenting, or any of the above, it’s time to review it.

MarshmallowHeat Tue 30-Jul-19 23:20:37

Also, when kids are very young, there are some concerns about shared overnight care. Quote from Nuffield again.

There has been debate, particularly in the US, about whether shared parenting is developmentally risky for infants and young children (Solomon & George 1999; Kelly & Lamb 2000; Warshak 2000; McIntosh et al 2010). Recent Australian research, drawing on national random samples found
[R]egardless of socio-economic background, parenting or inter-parental cooperation, shared overnight care of children under four years of age had an independent and deleterious impact.... (McIntosh et al 2010: 9)
This finding challenges the view that cooperation and goodwill are enough to make shared time ‘work’ regardless of children’s developmental stage. It is particularly worrying that even in cases with parental cooperation, very young children could be adversely affected by overnight agreements. These new data suggest that shared care has special risks for children under 4 years of age.

I’d read the report OP, it is based on evidence and objective. It’s a family policy briefing.

Parent999 Wed 31-Jul-19 07:07:33

Op I think what marshmallowHeat is saying is that you should give sole custody to your ex partner and visit your child every two weeks. I wouldn’t advise this, children need both parents.

surlycurly Wed 31-Jul-19 07:40:23

Pretty much the whole of Scandinavia use the 50/50 model and it works for them.

I'm another one who has no communication with her ex. My kids are now older and sadly everything is done through them. My ex won't discuss anything at all with me. It's still a source of enormous sadness and frustration.

iamadramallama Wed 31-Jul-19 12:02:07

It's very hard to coparent with no communication - any time I give comment to my ex about anything, I get a barrage of abuse. He's letting his older son smoke in front of our son who's 10.....I think that's pretty freaking irresponsible but I know I will get so much abuse for mentioning it, I'm sitting on it / makes me feel like a shit parent which I'm not angry

MarshmallowHeat Wed 31-Jul-19 22:28:18

Not true @surly. Honestly we are all better off reading the evidence rather than anecdotes.

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