Articles and literature on co-parenting almost always reference the importance of communication and compromise. To successfully co-parent, it is essential that parents are able to discuss and come to an agreement about a range of issues related to their child and that dialog is ongoing. While the majority of co-parents do their best to navigate the rocky and unpredictable road that is co-parenting, the relationship between some parents is simply too hostile and volatile.
What happens when your ex doesn’t want to co-parent and intentionally tries to make your job as a parent harder? Unfortunately, as frustrating as an ex’s attitude and actions may be, giving up is not an option. Every child deserves to have and benefit from the love, support and guidance of both parents. There are times, however, when it may be necessary to disengage from an ex and explore other co-parenting options.
Co-parenting Advice: When You Cannot Get Along With Your Ex
Parallel parenting is a way for parents who have experienced a complete breakdown in communication, to disengage from one another while remaining engaged with their children. Often, this type of co-parenting arrangement works best for parents who are in the midst of or recently when through a high-conflict divorce or child custody case.
So how exactly does parallel parenting work? The key is to establish a parenting plan that outlines basic parenting principles that you and your ex both agree to honor. However, the specifics of how you go about fulfilling your day-to-day parental duties are not specified or dictated.
Of course parents will still need to communicate about major parenting-related issues and events. Often the most effective, and least combative, way to do this is through email or notes left in shared parenting journal. At all times, parents should be business-like and respectful in their communications.
Finding A Better Way Forward
While you and your ex aren’t currently able to engage in a cooperative co-parenting relationship—you may be able to in the future. The most important thing is to shield your children from your acrimonious relationship and make sure they feel loved and emotionally supported.
If you and your ex continue to encounter problems that are negatively affecting your children, it is wise to reach out to a family law attorney who provides mediation services.