Ending a relationship with a partner who is prone to conflict can be challenging on many levels. If you have kids together, one of the biggest difficulties will be figuring out how to forge a working co-parenting relationship.
When one or both parents have a hard time cooperating, even just breaching the subject of working out a parenting strategy can be hard.
Here are a few ideas for how you can work towards setting boundaries with your co-parent:
Commit to the Parenting Plan
In a high conflict co-parenting situation, agreeing on a parenting plan will take a good deal of effort. Mediation may help some, but in many cases where conflict is a problem, parents will find themselves settling their arrangement in a courtroom. Now matter how it is done, once it is decided, commit yourself to sticking to it. Follow the guidelines set out by your plan so that you have something tangible to back up the actions you take.
Consider Parallel Parenting
When your co-parent isn't willing to cooperate and communication is difficult, parallel parenting may be a good approach to take. Parallel parenting is co-parenting but with added boundaries. You will disconnect from your co-parent by not communicating directly with each other. Parallel parenting may also include implementing a rather specific parenting plan, at least in the beginning. This will encourage each parent to follow the plan while also removing the risk of conflict created by direct communication. For this reason, you may plan parenting time exchanges at a supervised location, or you may not even attend exchanges together. You may still need to communicate at times over matters like child-related emergencies and major decisions, but you will do so indirectly. Written communication is often easier in high conflict co-parenting situations because it allows for parents to keep a physical boundary between each other. While this is true, emails and text messages can often lead to some kind of conflict due to ambiguity or unfriendly words.
Keep Your Personal Life Personal
When an intimate relationship ends, emotions are all over the place. Even if you wanted to be done with it, you're probably still feeling the pain of it being over. However, you must set some emotional boundaries to protect yourself from getting hurt or falling back into a bad relationship. One way to keep your emotions in check when it comes to your co-parent is to keep your personal life to yourself. The only topics that you need to discuss are those having to do with your kids and nothing more. If your co-parent begins to ask about for details about your personal life, respectfully decline to talk about it.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar either through email or telephone 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation to discuss your situation.