While a lot of time there is animosity and resentment between ex-spouses, there are many instances in which they can cooperate. Some say that this is becoming increasingly common. An unsurprising context for this is the holidays, when many ex-spouses put aside old differences, call a cease fire to any lingering hostilities, and often work together to make things festive and fun for the sake of their children. Some get together as a family, decorate the tree together, and coordinate presents so the kids get more of what they want and need, or go together to the grandparents and other extended family for the celebrations, just as before the divorce.
But for some, that spirit of cooperation can extend beyond the holidays and may occur even if there are no children in the picture. The fact that the marriage did not work does not mean that in all instances ex-spouses no longer have any positive feelings about each other or concern for their welfare. In some instances, when an emergency or sudden serious illness or injury strikes, an ex-spouse may step in and offer some assistance, or at least well wishes.
Animosity that seemed white hot at the point the marriage was ending can sometimes fade to a certain extent with time, and people sometimes do recall the good times and positive feelings once experienced. This is sometimes seen when an ex-spouse dies. In one instance, an ex-wife who had remarried gave a eulogy at the funeral of her ex-husband, as she knew him well, and could speak of some of his positive qualities.
This is hardly universal, of course, and when one or both spouses simply can’t refrain from visiting old battles, it may be best to strictly limit contact to those things that are absolutely necessary.
Source: USA Today, “Ex-spouses can get along — and not just for the holidays” Sharon Jayson, Dec. 23, 2013