Dealing with a high-conflict co-parent can be mentally, physically, emotionally, and sometimes financially draining. If you don’t find strategies to manage your relationship with your ex, it only makes it more difficult to find peace of mind. Don’t let that happen, instead, read on to learn how to effectively deal with your co-parent so you and your children can thrive after divorce.
Don’t Take Things Personally
This is key to disengaging from conflict. Your ex is probably projecting his or her own issues onto you. That means that his sense of reality is skewed. If you understand this, then there’s no need to get wounded or try to get him to understand you, which is a colossal waste of time.
You can’t change what your ex thinks about your parenting or worth as a person, so stop giving them the time of day. If you need assurance or encouragement, talk to people you trust and who care about you. A lot of the conflict in your co-parenting relationship will simmer down when you stop reacting to your ex’s nonsense.
Don’t Withhold Parenting Time
The most common forms of withholding are refusing to allow a child time with their other parent or withholding important information about the child’s education or healthcare. Parents sometimes punish their co-parent by making it difficult for them to talk on the phone with the child or attend important events. Of course, it’s the child who is harmed most by these behaviors.
Control How You React
As difficult as your high-conflict co-parent can bay be, you have the power to choose how you react to the situation. The more you practice setting limits and managing your emotional reactivity, the more you will be able to disengage from the drama, and you can begin to parent your children effectively.
Do Seek Help from Professionals
Assuming you have tried asking nicely and have explained how this is detrimental to the child, you have probably exhausted all obvious tools at your disposal. You may be tempted to file a Complaint or sue for full custody. Before you take expensive and drastic legal measures, try requesting mediation to discuss this with your co-parent or ask your lawyer if you might be well served with parenting coordination.
Wondering about your legal options when parenting with a high conflict ex? We can help. To discuss your custody and parenting time situation, call Law Offices of William L. Geary at (614) 289-1227 us to schedule your consultation with our highly skilled Columbus family law attorney.