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Tips for co-parenting with a difficult former spouse

Parents in Charlotte who are divorced might struggle in co-parenting with a former spouse. However, if the conflict is largely between the parents and not the result of serious problems such as domestic abuse, one parent might be able to take action to improve the situation.

The most important thing the parent can do is remember to keep the focus on the child. Remembering that the child's well-being is what matters may help in navigating the relationship with the other parent. As part of this focus, the parent should limit any communications with the other parent to matters involving the child. The parent should avoid getting drawn into old arguments about other topics. Firm boundaries for the ex-spouse around personal issues can also help.

The parent should avoid saying negative things about the other parent in front of the child. This can cause the child to feel unable to share honest emotions. The relationship between the other parent and the child should be encouraged. A parent should also make note of what types of things upset the other parent so those things can be avoided or at least anticipated. After the initial turmoil of divorce, parents may find that conflict recedes.

Child custody can either be decided by parents or by a judge. While in a high-conflict divorce a parent might feel that sitting down and negotiating with the other parent is too difficult, doing so allows parents to control the negotiation and gives them the opportunity to reach a decision they may be happier with than that of a judge. Parents may also choose to have their respective attorneys do the negotiating. While custody can be an emotional issue, parents should try to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child.

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