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Coparenting with a Bipolar Ex-Spouse

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Divorce is never easy to go through, especially when it involves children. Learning to co-parent with an ex who has a mental illness can prove to be difficult, follow these tips to help guide you when co-parenting your children.

Get educated.

Educate yourself on your ex-partner’s mental illness, this is a great way to give you an insight into the emotions and outbursts they’re going to have. If you believe these outbursts are going to negatively impact your children, don’t waste time and talk with a professional.

You may also want to consider talking with your children and educate them on what they should expect from their parents. It’s not just a change for you, but your children too, and they’re probably more aware than you think. Explain to them why their mom or dad is acting a little differently, this way they’ll have clarity and find it easier to talk to you if anything is on their mind.

Prepare yourself.

Getting a divorce is not easy for anyone, especially when your ex has bipolar. Mood swings are likely to happen and this only makes the prospect of going through a divorce even more daunting. So, prepare yourself, be ready to face obstacles, and learn how to respond to them.

Whilst you’re not able to control your ex’s moods you will be able to control your own. Find some time to breathe and respond to each obstacle the best way you can.

Establish your boundaries.

This is an especially difficult time for both you, your ex-partner, and children. So, it comes as no surprise that when so many emotions are up in the air, boundaries can be broken.

Whether your ex becomes too reliant on you, or both you and your ex take on responsibilities you otherwise shouldn’t. Let the professionals determine what should happen rather than taking matters into your own hands.

If you have serious concerns about your children’s health then make sure to contact a professional and discuss this with them.

Set your emotions aside.

In order to successfully co-parent both you and your ex need to set any anger and hurt to one side. Successfully managing your feelings ensures you put your children’s feelings first, making their happiness a priority.


Both you and your ex-partner have one main goal and that’s to co-parent your children. Although it’s difficult to adjust to such a significant change, find what works best for you and your ex-partner.

You need to communicate, whether that’s over the phone or with a professional present. You need to work out how you want to move forward and find what works best for your situation, do this when your ex’s symptoms are stable, this way you can come to a mutual agreement.

Going through a divorce with an ex who has a mental illness is difficult, but above all your children should be put first. Ensure you contact all professionals and ask for support from family and friends.

Our Firm Specializes in Southern California Divorces Complicated by Bipolar Personality Disorder and other Mental Illnesses. Do you have a divorce or family law question?

Call our office today at (949) 363-5551. We specialize in helping clients who have divorce and family law matters complicated by gaslighting, narcissism, bipolar disorder, and other psychological challenges. John A. Bledsoe is Orange County’s premier divorce attorney and a certified family law specialist. Our firm offers a confidential initial case evaluation.  to learn more.

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