Co-parenting with a difficult ex

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in child custody on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.

Many divorced and divorcing parents in Kansas are concerned about their children. They want to spend time with their kids while also recognizing that children benefit from having a strong relationship with both parents. However, there are situations in which effective co-parenting can be particularly challenging.

While many divorces are amicable, others are not. In some cases, one spouse may engage in controlling, unpleasant or aggressive behavior that makes the relationship difficult or intolerable for the other spouse. In divorces where there are no children, divorce represents an opportunity for one spouse to start a new life without having to deal with such negative behaviors on a regular basis. However, if a couple has children, both parents will have to work together to address parenting issues.

What can make things even more complicated is that the poor communication and behavior patterns from the marriage may extend into the co-parenting relationship. The fact that the parents are unable to appropriately communicate and effectively co-parent can have a negative effect on the children.

There are several options that a parent might have when attempting to communicate effectively with an aggressive, unpleasant or toxic ex-spouse. In some cases, a court system might provide an online communication system that allows the parents send text messages back and forth. These messages are recorded, providing accountability.

Parents are also advised to be aware of how the other parent may provoke conflict through words and actions. The parent who is aware of this behavior is often in a better position to change their own responses, avoiding future conflict as well as personal stress.

In some cases, however, it may be necessary to give up on attempting to co-parent. In these cases, a child custody modification may be necessary to further restrict visitation or custody rights. An attorney may assist in preparing a modification case that can be presented to a judge.

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