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When your co-parent insists on being combative

Co-parenting can be extremely challenging even when both parents have an amicable relationship with one another. However, if your child’s other parent insists on being combative in regards to child support, your child custody arrangements or parenting in general, co-parenting can quickly turn into a nightmare.

You cannot control your child’s other parent, nor can you control his or her behavior. However, you do have control over how you respond to his or her combative style. If your co-parent ever becomes abusive, please seek out help from both an attorney and from law enforcement. If your co-parent remains non-abusive but insists on being consistently combative, keep these few tips in mind in order to better ensure that you will handle the confrontation in healthy ways.

First, consider communicating primarily through written means. This way, if you ever need to prove to the court that your co-parent is consistently combative and non-cooperative, you will have proof of your claims. Just take care to remain respectful, professional and focused on your end of the communication.

Second, think about what you need to accomplish with any communication you have with your co-parent before the communication occurs. This advanced planning will better ensure that you stick to the facts and to the point so you can move on from the communication as quickly as possible.

Finally, communicate with respect, integrity and self-awareness, even if your co-parent refuses to do the same. You will serve as a far better model for your child when you behave in this way.

Source: The Huffington Post, “10 Steps to Dealing With a Combative Ex: How to Protect Your Children,” Sherrie Campbell, April 21, 2014

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