5 Tricks For How To Successfully Co-Parent With A Toxic Ex

1. Accept what you can’t change and control what you can
When dealing with child custody issues you will by no means be able to change your co-parent. No matter how much they need to change (in your opinion), that work belongs to your ex.

What you are able to and need to control are your personal life and responses.

If you are co-parenting with a complicated ex, you know your buttons are going to get pushed. You will need a steady temperament and resolved composure in order to maintain your dedication to great parenting.

2. Acknowledge the dynamic and how it works out
How does the conversation with your ex go from zero to 90 in the course of a breath? Are there identifiable patterns to your communication? Do you have fears that get triggered? Are those fears based on reality and logic?

What can you do to interrupt an harmful dynamic and steer it in a direction that empowers and protects you?

Keep in mind, the children and your integrity and sanity are non-negotiables. And the only person you can control is yourself.

3. Set new boundaries
Once more, this is really about you and how you are going to engage (or not) with your ex.

Don’t allow yourself to be baited. Take defensiveness and emotional reactions off the table. Set time parameters for communication, and stand by them.

Reduce the means of communication. For example, you don’t text them but only use e-mail and a parenting portal. (Talking Parents is a free option for both avoiding disputes and documenting communication between co-parents.)

A person may also want to consider blocking your ex from your social media.

It will be up to you to stand by your boundaries when your ex challenges your resolve.

4. Don’t respond immediately
So much of co-parenting with a difficult ex is about not engaging. Of course, you will have to engage on behalf of your children. But you do have the power and right to choose when and how you engage.

If your ex says or writes something that causes an immediate dump of adrenaline into your system, take a breath and step back. Do your “reacting” in your own mind or when you’re venting with a friend. Do your “responding” once you are calm.

And sleep on your response. Choose a doable ‘delay time’ for responding to anything other than emergencies. You’re not on-call for your ex.

5. Don’t respond to everything
Just because your co-parent pushes your buttons in order to bait you into engaging doesn’t mean you have to engage.

Stay focused on what co-parenting is about: parenting. It’s not about hashing out your unfinished marital discord or diminishing one another.

React to communication about the children. Let the rest go or add it to a happy hour vent session with a trusted friend.


Tips for evaluating lenders and loan quotes

Strategies to get a lower rate
Getting a low refinancing rate is simultaneously an art and a science.

Specific techniques work, and some don’t. Each situation is different, and the stakes are extreme.

Certainly, rates are hovering near 3-year lows, but that doesn’t mean lenders will just give you their best possible deal and call it a day.

In many cases, you have to poke and prod for your best rate.

So, how do you do that?

With the right knowledge, you can address your lender with confidence, knowing how to compare one offer with another, and even use one offer against the other.

Ready to get the best mortgage refinance rates? Here’s how.
Make certain your credit and financial obligation are in check
To get the best rate from any lender, you should have a great credit score and a low debt-to-income ratio. In 2018, financing scores and DTIs were the two main reasons why lenders denied refinance applications.

Loan providers offer the best rates to consumers who have a track record of paying their bills on time and managing their debt.

Therefore, you’ll need to make sure your financial house is in order by checking your credit report’s accuracy and calculating your DTI before you start shopping for the lowest refinance rates.

Hold in mind that a less than perfect credit score or excellent DTI doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from a mortgage refinance — but it means you won’t be able to get the best rates and maximize your savings.
Compare multiple loan quotes
You can get as many mortgage refinance quotes as you need. But unfortunately, many borrowers only get one quote or apply with one lender.

By asking for a quote from just one lender, you could be leaving thousands — if not tens of thousands of dollars — in savings behind.

Fortunately, the web makes it easy to obtain quotes from multiple lenders.

But here’s in the kicker: you can’t simply get multiple quotes. You must show the quotes to the another lenders.

Possibilities are that higher quotes will come down. Loan companies will lower their rate and/or fees to keep your business. Smart shoppers come out on top when they use multiple quotes to their advantage.


Five Ways to Help Your Roof Last Much Longer

1. Prevent Power-Washing Shingles
Concentrated spray can weaken the granules from the products’ top coating—and resulting damage might not be covered by the warranty. Rather, have a professional roofer use a broom or leaf blower, or manually remove dirt and moss. And do not do it personally. “We advocate homeowners use a professional for safety reasons,” says Don Huber, CR’s director of product safety.

2. Check the Ventilation
Deficient or poorly located attic soffits and vents can cause condensation on the plywood decking that supports your roof shingles, which can lead to rot. A poorly placed exhaust fan can do the same.

3. Clean Gutters Frequently
“By doing so, you’ll avoid a accumulation of liquid that could lead to leaks,” says Bobby Fischer, vice president of contractor programs at GAF, a shingle manufacturer. Fischer also recommends cutting back heavy tree limbs that might brush against and erode roofing materials.

4. Insulate Attics and Cathedral Ceilings Properly
That helps prevent ice dams, which can contribute to costly leaks, especially in areas where roofing planes meet. Illumination can have an impact, too.

Usually, when the top layer of snow melts on your roof, it drips off. “But if the recessed lighting in your cathedral ceiling is poorly insulated, the heat can melt snow and ice from underneath; if trapped, that moisture can seep through nail holes and destroy the roof’s decking,” Eiseman says.

To counteract the effect, a roofer are able install a self-adhesive membrane layer to protect towards ice and water on select areas of the roof.

5. Fortify the Roof
In areas prone to hurricanes, tornadoes, or severe thunderstorm-related winds, consider investing extra for this three-stage treatment when you get a new roof. First, installers seal decking with specialized tape or sealant. Next, they utilize ring-shank nails, with ribbing which resists wind uplift. Third, they lock down the roof’s edges with metal flashing.

Discover a certified professional through the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. The upgrade adds about $700 to $1,200 to the cost of roofing a 1,500-square-foot home or about $1,500 to $2,000 additional for a 3,000-square-foot home, estimates Ian Giammanco, IBHS senior director of product design and lead research meteorologist. Your home insurance may give a discount for such fortified roofs, somewhat offsetting the cost.