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Divorce Tips: Co-parenting With an Ex Who Won’t Cooperate
Co-parenting is when two divorced, or separated parents share equal duties in raising their child or children. Parenting with your ex-partner can be difficult and stressful, especially when they won’t cooperate. But, it is something that both parents need to speak about and agree on if they want to play an active role in their child or children’s life.
Depending on the circumstances, custody of the child or children is determined by the court during custody hearings. Regardless of the ruling, co-parenting is another topic that needs to be discussed either in or outside the courtroom.
If you find that communication is too difficult and co-parenting is stressful to manage because of your ex-spouse’s lack of participation, then read on to learn 5 tips that can help you navigate these unchartered territories.
Tip #1: Use a Mediator
Open communication can be challenging, especially when the other person is unwilling to listen or offer input. Forcing someone to participate in a situation or discussion they want no part of can be difficult, time-consuming, and useless. Instead of resolving issues with communication, this can make problems even worse.
If you are trying this new parenting method, it may be best to gain a mediator’s advice to establish an open communication line. Having someone present during discussions about custody plans can help each parent; a few ways in which having a mediator present can benefit both parties are:
- Both parents have a chance to speak their minds.
- They feel that they are being heard
- Easier to come to agreements when someone else is present
A mediator can also help bring discussions up in a safe environment without taking the side of one parent or the other, making both people feel more relaxed and at ease.
Tip #2: Keep a Paper Trail
When raising your child or children with another parent who has gone back on their word one too many times, it is best to document any problems with the court. In mostly all divorce cases that involve children, the courts have already determined custody plans that both parents must follow.
If your ex-partner does not abide by court orders in which they agreed upon or make changes without your agreement, you can bring the issue back into court. By documenting this behavior and changes, you will hold yourself and your ex accountable for their actions.
Tip #3: Have a Plan and Hold Yourself Accountable
Having a plan in place when it comes to parenting your children is essential. This can be helpful to everyone, especially the children. Having a plan makes it easier for them to adjust to their new environment.
If you hold yourself accountable to the new plan you have in place or court orders, you will become a role model for the other parent. You can do this in ways such as:
- Keeping your word on agreements
- Abiding by court documents
- Setting realistic terms and agreements.
When you or your ex do not follow a court-ordered ruling, there can be significant consequences. To keep the situation peaceful, it’s essential to follow these orders and always communicate any changes you need to make before doing them.
Tip #4: Do Not Speak Negatively About Your Ex-Partner
When you are trying to raise your children with another parent who isn’t cooperating, it can make the situation a lot worse. But it’s crucial more than ever to make sure that you keep your composer and do not speak negatively about your ex regardless of their actions, especially in front of your children.
Words can easily get misinterpreted and can create bad feelings towards one another. By speaking negatively about your ex, you can create more problems than before, making it even more challenging to parent together.
Tip #5: Find a Support Network
After a divorce, it is normal to feel lonely. Finding a stable support system during this time will help relieve stress and find new avenues to alleviate co-parenting issues.
Friends and family are a great place to begin to look for support. Perhaps you have a family member you can speak with to help talk to your spouse. This can help to keep you from going back to court and settle things more adequately and in the comfort of your home.
If you are going through a custody battle right now, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Although the courts will end up with the final say regarding your children’s placement, it doesn’t mean that you can’t still play an active role in your child’s or children’s lives. With co-parenting, both you and your ex can work together to give them the best life regardless of your relationship status. By keeping these 5 tips in mind you can feel comfort in knowing that there are ways to make the situation better. Contact us today if you would like more information on how our family law attorneys can help you during this time.