Divorce Attorney Shares The Most Powerful Strategy For Handling Your Ex

Leverage a better position for your kids, your divorce lawyer, and yourself.

Co-parenting flex filadendron, Dean Drobot | Canva

Twice in the last month, Nina’s ex-husband David has asked her to pick up their daughter from her Friday afterschool dance class, despite the fact that, on both occasions, it was his agreed-upon turn. So this Friday, Nina texted him in advance, and asked, “Do you need me to pick up Darla today?”

Some might see this as capitulating to his negative pattern of dropping the ball on a responsibility he agreed to take on. But I see this as a co-parenting flex. And while it may seem "weak" on the surface, it actually gives Nina a powerful advantage in her divorce and co-parenting positioning. 


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The #1 most powerful post-divorce strategy

As a divorce attorney, “co-parenting flex” is a term I’ve learned and come to love because it can have two meanings, and both are positive.

“Flex” can mean a show of strength — flexing your muscles, for example. But it can also mean flexibility. A co-parenting flex encompasses both of these ideas to win at the often difficult job of sharing parenting duties with someone you’re also creating a separate life from and someone you might not feel great about.

When your ex seems to be shirking their responsibilities or failing to live up to an agreement, it might feel good to clap back at them with a sharp remark. It might be tempting to put your ex in their place in front of the kids as a show of your unwillingness to put up with any more of their garbage. As an attorney, I can tell you these are not the actions that will win you respect when they’re being described to a judge at a custody hearing. Courts don’t like tit for tat, they don’t like bickering, and they know two wrongs don’t make a right.

@singlemomattorney What coparenting app are you using? 👀 and what’s your BD saved under in your phone 👀 Don’t miss our 3rd episode where we dicuss baby daddies who work under the table and former client and single mom, Brenda, joins us#childsupport #divorce #custody #houston #fortworthtexas #dallas #coparenting #htxfamilylawattorney #dfwfamilylawattorney #sanantonio #satxdivorce #satxfamilylawattorney #houstonfamilylawattorney #babydaddy #momsoftiktok #singlemom ♬ baddie background - Dersim 👅

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This post-divorce flex is good in court and good for life

What is far more productive than arguing with your ex is documenting your history of being responsible, cooperative, and accommodating. And, doing it in writing.

Send a text offering to help in some way. Offer to assist your co-parent in a way that isn’t condescending or rude.


Can you switch dates with them when they ask? Can you accommodate them on something that doesn’t hurt you very much or bother you in any way? Can you assist them in a way they need that is beneficial to them and doesn’t hurt you?

Mom with daughter flexes her parenting post divorce Nicoleta Ionescu via Shutterstock

That’s a flex because you’re showing strength and documenting your attempts to be flexible and helpful. You’re documenting your good behavior. This documentation will be important if your ex ever claims you’re terrible, crazy, or difficult to deal with.


You are also showing your co-parent the story they’re telling themselves and others about how unreasonable you are isn’t true. We can’t control the stories people tell about us, and you might even hurt yourself trying. But it will feel good to know you have objectively verifiable evidence that you’re not a monster and you are, in reality, cooperative and helpful, unlike what your ex might be saying about you.

RELATED: How To Co-Parent Effectively With An Ex

Added bonus: it's great for your kids 

I’ve saved the most important point for last. By helping your ex, you help your kids.

If you’ve been through a split, your kids have seen enough to know their parents have trouble getting along. Next, let them see you put all that aside to cooperate and help one another. That will show them your maturity, and maturity will ultimately rub off on them.


Kids see and learn from their parents’ actions, not just their words. Let them see you being flexible to put the kids’ needs first. Let them see an example of people who may have at one time been extremely hurt and mad at each other, now working to get along and help each other out (even if it’s through gritted teeth).

You’re teaching your children resilience by teaching them that even upsetting moments in life can be worked through later. You are also modeling the vital life skill of learning to work with people you aren’t always fond of.

So do good deeds, be a good example, and (here’s the lawyer’s favorite part) document everything! That’s a flex to benefit you in the courtroom and life.


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Holly R. Davis is an accomplished and nationally recognized family law trial attorney with over ten years of experience. A founding partner of Kirker Davis LLP, her legal practice focuses on high-asset divorce, business and professional divorce, custody matters, and complex litigation.