Staying friends with your ex; is it really possible? Read our co-parenting tips

When a relationship breaks down, staying friends with your ex might seem an impossibility. It depends on individual circumstances and the reasons for separating, of course, but some people do manage to achieve an amicable relationship. The Duke and Duchess of York are perhaps one of the best-known couples who have remained friends despite divorcing after 10 years of marriage. Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin remain on friendly terms after they ‘consciously uncoupled’ in 2014.

So, what’s the secret to staying friends with your ex after the emotional rollercoaster of a divorce. There are no right and wrong answers and for many people it takes time to heal and establish a new and platonic relationship. Divorcees who manage to set aside their differences and put the interests of the children first can end up staying friends. Co-parenting isn’t always easy but together you can still achieve the very best for your children.

Here are a few tips:

Set boundaries

It’s important to stick to any shared childcare agreements and financial arrangements. Share routines, schedules, school home work and make sure your child has got access to everything they need so both homes feel comfortable and secure.

Support one another

Be positive about each other’s parenting styles and use positive or neutral language if you are talking about your ex-partner in front of your child. Ensuring there is mutual respect on both sides will go a long way when it comes to dealing with any issues that may arise.

Share responsibility

Both of you should be involved when it comes to any life-changing or important decisions. If you are both on board, it will avoid mixed messages and confusion in the future.


Avoid misunderstandings by communicating effectively. Remember texts and emails can be misinterpreted so often it’s better to pick up the phone or talk face to face. Make sure you have both got access to school-related information.

Family life will inevitably change following a divorce: it marks the end of one chapter of the relationship and in some cases another chapter begins. Divorcees can go onto achieve very positive co-parenting arrangements and stay on good terms in the process.


Andrew Meehan is individually recommended for family law by both Chambers UK and the Legal 500. He is also a Resolution accredited specialist solicitor for divorce cases involving complex financial and property matters.


This article has been prepared with the aim of providing general information only and does not constitute legal advice in relation to any particular situation. While we aim to ensure that the information is correct at the date on which it is added to the website, the legal position can change frequently, and content will not always be updated following any relevant changes. In addition, everyone’s circumstances are different and this article is provided by way of general information only and must not be relied upon. If you require legal advice on a family law issue, please feel free to contact us by emailing Harrogate Family Law accepts no liability whatsoever in contract, tort or otherwise for any loss or damage caused by or arising directly or indirectly in connection with any use or reliance on the contents of any part of our website, except to the extent that such liability cannot be excluded by law.