Common Co-Parenting Issues
Parenting after a divorce can be quite the challenge. Like all parents, you must appropriately deal with your child’s ups and downs, good times and bad times. On top of that, you have to effectively parent while dealing with the child’s other parent—your ex-spouse. This often makes things tricky when it comes to co-parenting.
You may have noticed that when you were married, you were more willing to compromise with the other parent. You weren’t constantly battling over bed times and what to eat for dinner.
Now that the two of you are divorced and sharing custody of the children, though, you might find yourself wanting to constantly battle with the other parent. It may infuriate you that the other parent feeds your children too much junk food or lets the kids stay up until 10 p.m. on school nights.
Co-parenting issues are common, but the good news is that they can be resolved. Here are some ways for you and your ex-spouse to co-parent harmoniously.
Different Parenting Styles
It’s not uncommon for children to experience different rules in different houses. Dad may favor fast food, while Mom cooks with organic ingredients. Mom may have a strict 9 p.m. bedtime, with Dad allowing the kids to stay up until midnight.
How do you combat these differences? Communication. Probably not the answer you wanted to hear. After all, if you could communicate well with your spouse, you wouldn’t be divorced. However, you need to attempt to communicate with the other parent (via email is fine) to inform them of your concerns. If nothing changes and you strongly believe the parenting is detrimental to your child, feel free to get your lawyer involved.
Using Children as Pawns
Many parents inappropriately use children as a way to get back at their ex-spouse. They may refuse to let the other parent visit with the children. They may take the children out of town without notice. They may buy the toy that the other parent wouldn’t buy the child.
Keep in mind that using children in this manner is a form of child abuse. If your spouse is using these tactics, let your lawyer know.
Some parents have emotional issues that may have started during the divorce or that have been present most of their lives. Some parents are control freaks. Others are narcissists or passive aggressive. These personality types can affect one’s parenting ability and cause harm to children.
Unfortunately, the courts can’t help in these cases. As a parent, you need to be responsible enough to identify your weaknesses and seek appropriate help so you can move past your issues and parent in an appropriate manner.
Seek Help for Your Divorce and Child Custody Issues
Divorces are almost always complicated, and when children are involved, stress levels tend to rise. Kids often get caught in the middle of their parents’ custody battles.
Make sure you understand your legal rights following a divorce. The Dade City family law attorneys at Mander Law Group can help you with co-parenting and child custody issues following a divorce. To schedule a consultation, contact our office at (800) 557-0411.