Co-parenting post-divorce is a tricky task. Parenting a child who splits his or her time between households can leave each parent feeling inadequate. Divorced couples have a difficult time co-parenting because the relationship with their ex isn’t the best foundation for creating a lasting agreement. Even if there is an agreed-upon parenting plan, your ex could be sabotaging your plan after an emotionally trying divorce.
How to Navigate Co-parenting With a Difficult Ex-Spouse
Divorce can bring out the worst parts of a person’s personality. When one party doesn’t want the divorce, it can be expected if they refuse many aspects of the process to slow down the inevitability of the marriage’s dissolution.
Here are some signs your ex may be working against the best interest of your parenting plan:
- Poisoning Your Relationship With the Kids: A good co-parenting relationship requires some ground rules, and the number one rule is don’t work to tear down your ex in front of your children. It’s wrong to badmouth your ex, say insulting things about them around your children, or allow others to trash them in their presence. Children love both of their parents, so when a parent trashes a child’s parent in front of them, they are harming their children and the co-parenting relationship.
- Baiting You Instead Confrontation: No one knows how to push your buttons like someone you’ve lived with and been married to for any length of time. If you find that every time you and your ex are together, it ends in an argument, your co-parent could be baiting you into confrontation. Confrontation and arguments create a stressful home life for your children, and it’s harmful to the co-parenting relationship.
- Never On-Time for Parenting Responsibilities: A difficult aspect of co-parenting can come from the frustration of depending on your co-parent, who you’ve divorced or separated from, to be dependable and respectful of your time. A parent who purposefully wastes their co-parent’s time is saying they don’t care about the parenting plan or anything but their feelings.
- Makes You the Bad Cop: A cardinal rule of co-parenting is consistency. It’s not realistic to require everything to be the same between two households, but children need to know their parents are on the same page when it comes to what they may or may not do. If your ex is making different rules for their home without discussing it with you, they are working to be the cool parent and making you the bad cop.
- Leaves You Out of the Loop: If your ex conveniently leaves you out of the loop on important information about the kids, they are not honoring the spirit of the parenting plan or custody agreement. Leaving you out the loop is a way of having a secret with your child that you’re excluded from and allowing you to again be the parent who’s not a part of the child’s life.
At The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, we can help you develop a strategy to revisit your parenting plan and working with your ex to create a better solution for everyone. Call us today at (515) 200-7571 or contact us online for information or schedule an appointment.