You may think that after the divorce is final, things in your life will start to settle down. You and your kids have to fall into a new routine, and making it as seamless as possible for their benefit is your primary concern.

A large part of how smoothly this goes is dependent on how your ex behaves. You worry that this argumentative nature and negative attitude will start to shine through during co-parenting. If you have an ex who causes stress and chaos, try one or all of these three tips in an attempt to co-parent more peacefully:

1. Do all communication in writing

One thing a high-conflict personality thrives on is being drawn into a fight. One way to diminish the chance of this happening is to keep all interaction in writing. Email and text are the best methods because you can keep those messages for future court appearances.

2. Stick to the parenting schedule

You agreed on a parenting schedule not too long ago, and sticking with it may help alleviate some of the stress. If your ex starts to ask for modifications or does not show up at the time designated in the plan, you do not have to oblige. The parenting schedule may need adjustment sooner rather than later if it is too difficult to follow.

3. Keep your triggers to a minimum

Your ex was probably had a high conflict personality long before you split up. This gives you insight into the kinds of things that may trigger a more aggressive personality swing. If at all possible, stay away from these topics or actions. However, if this means not sticking up for yourself or your children, prepare an alternate plan. Maybe meet the ex at a police substation, or bring someone with you when the swap occurs. Having someone else there, especially law enforcement, may help deescalate the situation.

A high-conflict ex can wreak havoc on your post-divorce world. Keep the kids in mind first, and take legal action should the situation escalate beyond your control.