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No-Contact Co-Parenting: How To Do It

by | Feb 22, 2024 | 0 comments

no-contact co-parenting - incoming phone call on cell phone

The term “narcissism” on this blog is used to describe a specific set of personality traits. It is not intended to be used as a professional diagnosis.

no contact co-parentingAre you ready to put a restraining order on your ex?

Man, I wish it was that easy.

But it’s hard to cut all contact with someone you’re supposed to be co-parenting with.

And narcissists know this and will weaponize co-parenting to make their ex-partners’ lives hell.

So how do you go no contact with someone you have to stay in contact with?

There are legal avenues you can take to control communication (like court orders and peace bonds), but there are things you can do too.

Whether your child lives with one parent or spends equal time with both, going no to little contact is your best bet to control the situation and reduce the chaos.

Keep reading to find out how!

What is No-Contact Co-Parenting?

no-contact co-parenting - man with tape on his mouth

No-contact co-parenting is a strategy used by parents who have decided to limit or completely cut out communication with their ex-partner.

This is usually done for the sake of their mental health and well-being.

In cases where people are dealing with narcissistic co-parents, communication is usually manipulative, hostile, and emotionally abusive.

This makes traditional co-parenting methods impossible.

So instead of engaging directly with the other parent, no-contact co-parenting can be used to establish boundaries and alternative methods of communication. 

Going no-contact minimizes contact and protects both the parent and the children from toxic interactions

But how do you co-parent with someone you can’t talk to?

Sometimes no contact means no face-to-face or on-the-phone contact. This means that communication can be limited to written forms like text, email, or a co-parenting app.

Or, if you have a no-contact order, using a third party for communication.

What Do You Do If There is a No Contact Order?

no-contact co-parenting - court document on table with scale and gavel

No-contact orders mean that communication with your ex is legally prohibited.

These are usually issued in cases involving domestic violence, harassment, or other forms of abuse.

No contact orders are hard to get, but you can also get something called a peace bond, which legally limits communication. In the cast of co-parenting, this would mean only communicating about your child and nothing else.

These types of legal orders don’t last forever, but they can be a helpful way to establish boundaries in cases where harassment and emotional abuse are extreme.

If you do have a no-contact order or a peace bond, it’s important to follow it. Violations can have legal consequences and affect your custody arrangements.

You can use third parties, like lawyers, mediators, or neutral people, to facilitate necessary discussions between you and your ex.

As with any situation where you’re dealing with a narcissistic co-parent, make sure you document everything! Keep track of interactions, what is said, and when it is said.

This evidence will help you if you end up in court.

How to Do No Contact When You Share Kids

no-contact co-parenting - little girl holds paper cut out of family

So when you have shared custody or a legal parenting agreement, not talking to your ex can be difficult.

However, there are ways you can significantly minimize communication with them so that you can remain cooperative but avoid conflict.

Establish Boundaries

Clearly define your communication boundaries with your ex. 

I know having boundaries with someone who disrespects them seems pointless, but think of them as “consequences” for their behavior.

For example, if your ex loses their mind during phone calls, tell them you will only communicate through text. If they constantly insult you, tell them you won’t be responding to anything not related to your child.

And then stick to those boundaries.

They can overstep your boundaries all they want, but as long as you keep putting your foot down, you have control.

Use a Co-Parenting App

Co-parenting apps are a super useful tool for keeping track of scheduling and communication.

Apps like OurFamilyWizard provide a centralized platform for sharing and storing information all in one place.

In fact, many courts and custody agreements will stipulate that apps like these are used to minimize communication.

You can start a free 30-day trial of OurFamilyWizard by clicking here. And if this sounds like a shameless sponsored YouTube video, it kind of is. If you click and sign up, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you.

But I 100% would not endorse this app if I didn’t believe in it! 😀

Focus on Parallel Parenting

While minimizing communication is a huge part of no-contact co-parenting, there are many other tactics you can use to reduce the conflict and chaos.

Parallel parenting is an alternative to co-parenting where, instead of shared parenting, you and your ex do your own thing.

This means you don’t keep tabs on what they are doing and they don’t stick their nose in your business.

There are tons of other aspects to parallel parenting, which you can learn about in my post here.

All that said, if you ever feel that your child is in danger or being mistreated, then, by all means, stick your nose in.

Co-parenting and parallel parenting are all about your child’s best interests and creating the healthiest situation for them.

Get Help

Dealing with a narcissistic co-parent is tough, and you shouldn’t have to do it alone!

You can build a support network of friends, family members, therapists, support groups, or people who blog about narcissistic co-parenting (Hi! 👋). 

People who understand your situation can give you emotional validation and practical guidance to help you figure out no-contact co-parenting.

Court Order

You can also seek legal help and get a court order if you don’t already have one.

A court order is a legal document that lays out the “rules” of co-parenting – and if your ex breaks the rules, you can take them back to court to have it sorted out.

A court order will lead to custody. There are different types of custody (joint physical custody, sole physical custody, etc.) but basically, custody works by determining who has decision-making rights for the child.

Joint custody arrangements mean you both do and sole means the custodial parent does.

Court orders and custody orders are determined by a case master or judge who looks at evidence and decides what is in the best interest of the child.

Cutting Out the Crap with No-Contact Co-Parenting

Not communicating with your ex when you’re co-parenting a child is challenging. But limiting communication is necessary if you’re dealing with a narcissistic ex.

Just remember that, in the grand scheme of things, you need to prioritize your well-being and the well-being of your kiddos.

How do you limit communication with your ex? Any tips to share? Throw them in the comments!

no contact co-parenting no contact co-parenting

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