Sit down privately with the other parent to discuss matters between yourselves:
If you are concerned about behavior and still want to discuss things directly with the other parent, choose a public place to meet or include a mutually agreed upon person to join you. This can be someone you both trust in a professional capacity, your clergy, a counselor, a mutual friend (who is able to remain neutral); read the article
Meet with a trained counselor whose expertise is helping separated parents communicate between themselves; Meet with a mediator whose expertise includes working with separated parents. A mediator is a professional whose expertise is helping people in conflict reach agreements between themselves by working with them together, even though the notion can be anxiety producing. You only need to be willing to try. You don’t have to believe that yourself or the other parent will actually come to an agreement. In fact, more often than not, people who attend mediation are of the opinion that it is “the other person” who will not be ale to reach an agreement, yet most matters do settle or at least are narrowed down by the process;
Retain “collaborative” lawyers and sign a participation agreement. Collaborative lawyers are trained in helping people find solutions to their differences without the threat of going to court. Like mediators, they work outside of the court system and can help you craft specific agreements taking into account the particulars of your situation. Also like mediation, collaborative lawyers and parents meet and work together to arrive at mutually acceptable solutions;
Lawyer assisted negotiation is more for those persons who will not meet together. Each parent tells their own lawyer their view of the situations and what they hope to achieve. The lawyers then negotiate between themselves on your behalf. With this approach, you may never know how well your lawyer represented your situation and you may not be privy to their actual communication with the other lawyer. In the hands of a killed negotiator who themselves will remain civil, respectful and not inordinately demanding but conciliatory, this can lead to a resolution. However, this approach is at risk of actually inflaming conflict and the parents will likely never achieve the degree of specificity they may desire because the lawyers will never be as intimately connected to your situation. If you use this approach, ask to read every letter your lawyer sends on your behalf before it is sent. Angry demand letters produce angry demanding responses. Know what is being sent as those letters will represent you to the other parent. Unfortunately, in many cases, lawyer assisted negotiation increases conflict and is a prelude to litigation
Litigation is the option of last resort where the final outcome is fully in the hands of a third party, be it a judge or an arbitrator (private judge). Litigation often entails the telling of respective stories from the past that may have little to do with the present situation, but presents each parent in the worst possible light. This can hurt relationship beyond repair. However and with arbitration specifically, you at least get to choose who hears your case and typically people choose an arbitrator who has particular expertise in the area of concern. However, arbitration is a privately paid service and hence may be more expensive than court, particularly if both parents include their lawyers. Arbitration can be less costly though if the parents share the cost and attend on their own. There are many pro’s and con’s to attending court or arbitration and with or without legal representation.