Contentious Divorce, Cooperative Parenting

Contentious Divorce, Cooperative Parenting

When a divorce turns into a high-conflict court battle, it can feel as if you and your ex may never be friendly again. Yet when you have kids, you have to figure out how to work together for the good of the children.

The good news is, even if you were in a contested divorce Tampa, you and your spouse can go from divorce adversaries to parenting partners. The following techniques may help.

Be Businesslike

Co-parenting can be like collaborating on a project with a colleague you do not like: be polite, communicate as necessary and do your part of the project. Approach your ex as if you are co-workers and raising the kids is the goal of the company. Imagine each school year, holiday season or medical decision as a collaborative project.

Be Firm

Boundaries are a key to good relationships, especially when exes are co-parenting. Establishing firm boundaries from the start can set the stage for smoother interactions in the years to come.

You got divorced so you could start living separate lives, yet you are still tied together by the children. It is essential that you maintain privacy regarding money matters, social interactions and romantic interests. You may still have friends in common, but do not try to remain part of your ex’s social or emotional support network.

If your ex wants to discuss personal matters, redirect the conversation immediately. It can be as simple as saying, “That has nothing to do with the kids.” Repeat that phrase like a broken record until your ex respects your boundaries.

Be Civil

Take the high road when dealing with your ex. Never let a custody exchange end in screaming or tears. If you let your ex push your buttons, you will be giving her what she wants and rewarding bad behavior. In contrast, if you do not let your ex push your buttons, he will eventually get tired and quit trying. Remember that your children are watching, listening and learning. They need someone to set the example and act like a mature, reasonable adult.

Author Image
Earl Barnes