Your marriage with your ex-spouse is over, but the need to take care of your children and parent them together never ends. As much as you love your children, sometimes it feels impossible to put aside your conflict with their other parent.
Understanding what common disputes exist between co-parents may help you avoid further issues and grief.
1. You worry about your children with the other parent.
If you find yourself worrying about your children constantly while they are in the other parent’s custody, then the issue may reside with you, and not with the co-parent. Give deference to the other parent to show the children they have another capable parent.
2. Your parenting styles differ.
If you do not parent in the same manner as your ex, you should attempt to communicate with one another to compromise on parenting styles. Clearly outline important issues such as diet, homework, bedtime and who is permitting around the children.
3. The co-parent uses the children as weapons.
Using your children as pawns in a manipulative way against the other parent is not about the children, but rather about you trying to hurt each other. Courts frown upon parents using children in this way as it is a form of child abuse.
4. Co-parenting raises emotional issues.
Parents who try to work with their ex-spouse to parent while still harboring emotional issues do not have much success. Passive aggressiveness and narcissism are not conducive to co-parenting. Do the work to get therapy and protect your children from harm.
5. One of the co-parents breaks the parenting agreement.
If co-parenting, referred to as shared parenting, is in the best interest of the child, then the parents should submit a plan to the court. Each time a parent submits a plan or revision, the court makes a determination with the children in mind. Breaking this agreement can lead to animosity and arguments between the co-parents, so following the agreement from the start generally alleviates stress and save a court date.