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Four Ways to Deal With a Difficult Co-Parent

Posted on in Family Law

Four Ways to Deal With a Difficult Co-ParentA difficult co-parent is a headache that never quite goes away after your divorce or separation. People who do not get along when together can still have a civil relationship with each other when it comes to taking care of their children. The less-frequent contact helps to keep conflict to a minimum. However, some co-parents seek conflict or have personality flaws that you find infuriating. You have no choice but to try to tolerate your difficult co-parent unless his or her actions are a danger to your children or obstruct your rights as a parent. Here are four ways that a co-parent can aggravate you and how you should respond:

  1. Your Conversations Always End in Arguments: Your co-parent may be naturally irritable and prone towards conflict. Even if you do not intend to have an argument, he or she always finds something to disagree with you about or take offense to. Ideally, you would avoid talking to a person like this, but you need to communicate with each other as co-parents. You should keep your conversations business-like and refuse to respond to provocations. You can suggest that non-urgent communication should be done through email, which will give you time to calm down before you respond to each other.
  2. Your Children Are Being Poisoned Against You: A vindictive former spouse may disparage you in front of your children in hopes of gaining their favor. As tempting as it is, you should not respond in kind by speaking badly about their other parent. Encourage your children to talk with you about their feelings and your relationship. If they mention what their other parent says about you, remind them that you love them without speculating why their other parent is behaving that way.
  3. Your Co-Parent Is Buying Your Children’s Love: The easiest way to grab children’s attention is by spoiling them. Your co-parent may act like there is a constant gift-giving competition. It is not enough for him or her to give nice gifts. His or her gifts need to be bigger and better than yours as a way of saying “I love you more.” Do not let yourself be sucked into this competition. You would be teaching your children that love is defined by material possessions. Instead, teach them the importance of thoughtfulness and caring behind gifts.
  4. Your Co-Parent Does Not Respect Your Parenting Schedule: An irresponsible co-parent may be consistently late in either dropping off or picking up your children. This may be just an annoyance, but it can potentially disrupt your carefully crafted schedule. If it becomes a major problem, you can discuss the issue and offer solutions, such as changing the schedule or transportation responsibilities. If the problem is taking away from your parenting time, you may need to petition a court to enforce your parenting agreement.

Co-Parenting Stress

You must carefully plan your parenting agreement if you know your co-parent will be difficult to get along with. A McHenry County family law attorney at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, can help you create an arrangement that will limit conflict. Schedule a free consultation by calling 815-338-3838.

Soruce:

http://www.divorcemag.com/blog/difficult-co-parent-and-still-be-happy

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