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How do I make joint custody work when I have a contentious relationship with my ex?


Effective co-parenting can be quite challenging, especially following an acrimonious divorce.  Despite the challenges, in most cases having both parents play an ongoing and active role in the lives of the children will be beneficial for all involved.  For the sake of your children, it is important to find a way to work with your ex to develop a working co-parenting arrangement.  Our Midland, Texas child custody lawyers offer some tips to help newly divorced parents effectively co-parent.

  1. Set aside your anger and emotions:  To successfully co-parent, you will need to find a way to set aside your own feelings regarding your ex-spouse.  Chances are, especially if the divorce or split is recent, you may be feeling hurt, angry, and resentful.  These emotions can make it challenging to work cooperatively with your ex.  As such, you will want to find a way to accept that you have these feelings, but ensure your feelings do not influence your behavior towards your ex.  Try to keep the focus on your children and vent your feelings to other adults or a therapist as needed.
  2. Work on your communication with your ex:  Much of your success with co-parenting will ultimately depend on your ability to communicate with your co-parent.  Co-parenting requires ongoing communication concerning switch offs, important child care decisions, scheduling hiccups, and much more.  Find a way that offers the best means of communication between the co-parents.  This could be through phone calls, emails, or texts.  Keep the tone business like and focused on the kids at all times.
  3. Support the other parent’s relationship with the kids:  Divorce can be tumultuous for the children.  You can help your kids to emerge from the divorce with the least amount of stress by supporting the children’s relationship with the other parent.  You can lend support by avoiding speaking ill of the co-parent, remaining flexible with scheduling, and keeping your hostility far from the kids.

These are just a few suggestions to help you move on from the divorce towards a co-parenting relationship that will benefit all of you.  Your child custody lawyer will help you to achieve the best custody arrangement for you and your children.