How to Deal With Post-Divorce Co-Parenting Challenges 

Many spouses who divorce have already encountered unsolvable issues within their marriage, so facing challenges with an ex-spouse while co-parenting may come as no surprise. Lingering animosity and an unwillingness to compromise are only the beginning of the difficulties individuals face in divorce and child custody in California.

We often witness these common co-parenting issues in Los Angeles’s family law. Practical strategies to navigate co-parenting these challenges do exist.

Communication Challenges

What is critical information about a child to one parent may not seem as significant to the other. Information about a child one parent has may go unshared with the other, depending on a parent’s view of that information. When parents struggle to identify the information they should share or withhold information from the other parent, a child’s welfare may suffer. Ultimately, a child’s best interests should be at the forefront of communication.

Opposing Parenting Styles

Parents may naturally have varying parenting styles or may choose to demonstrate a particular style to become the more favored parent of a child. While individuals may have different approaches to life and parenting, poor parenting choices may lead to contentious legal battles and court orders addressing parenting time when a parent’s behavior may harm a child.

Emotional Manipulation

Parents may find sharing time with a child or a child’s desire to spend time with an ex-spouse problematic. Emotionally manipulative behaviors a parent may use toward a child include:

  • Bad-mouthing a parent
  • Acting angry when a child desires to spend time with the other parent
  • Disrupting a child’s visitation with the other parent

Emotional tactics strive to harm the relationship between a child and the other parent.

Dealing with Co-Parenting Challenges Post-Divorce

The only person a parent can control in a relationship with the other parent is themself. Finding effective strategies to combat challenging behaviors will improve your life and your child’s.

Convey Your Thoughts in Writing

Words often land sharp and heavy on the other parent, creating a defensive reaction that may escalate into an inability to communicate. When you experience trouble conveying your thoughts, write them down.

You may even choose a letter, but digital communication records your conversations. Next, wait a day or as long as possible and reread your correspondence before sending it to even out the tone or smooth the rough edges of your words.

Find a Common Goal or Ground

Getting past the hurt and anger of a divorce can happen and may be facilitated through the help of a counselor or therapist. Coming to terms with the impact of parenting clashes on a child allows parents to see their unwillingness to work together hurts a child most. Focusing communication on the child instead of past hurts will enable co-parents to focus on common goals and the best interests of a child.

Document Your Concerns

Ultimately, any efforts to co-parent effectively may face combative or harmful behaviors. Documentation is vital if you need to file a legal action. In your written account, include the date, time, and where the incident occurred. Write down the names of any witnesses.

Ultimately, many battles with an aggressive co-parent go legally unaddressed because of a lack of documentation. All hope is not lost when you struggle with co-parenting post-divorce. Discuss any concerns and legal options available if concern for your child’s welfare exists. Support is available to you.