No one can force you to like your co-parent after a divorce, but you need some civility between each other for the sake of your children. Co-parents with a high-conflict relationship struggle to communicate about their children’s needs. Open hostilities and silent tension will upset your children. Your parenting agreement can limit the number of contentious situations that you are placed in. High-conflict co-parents need structure and formal interaction that leaves little room for emotion. A parenting plan can create structure.
Co-parents need to communicate with each other about their children so there is some consistency in their parenting. You cannot expect your child to be your messenger and tell your co-parent everything he or she needs to know. Your problem is that conversations with your co-parent often escalate into arguments. Your parenting agreement can set communication guidelines for:
- When you will contact each other;
- Your means of communication; and
- What you should talk about.
Scheduling a weekly phone call will make your conversation feel more formal and business-like. Keeping your conversation focused on your children and their needs will decrease the chances of an argument. Your agreement can also define what an emergency situation would be that would require one of you to contact the other outside of your scheduled conversations.
The one time you may have to see your co-parent is when you are exchanging the children as part of your parenting time schedule. Unfortunately, these in-person encounters are potential conflict situations. Your best solution is to keep your interaction at a minimum. Your parenting plan can also help by:
- Limiting the number of child exchanges; and
- Designating a public place for the exchange.
Some parenting plans involve exchanging the children several times per week to accommodate everyone’s schedules. You may be better served by a schedule that gives each parent one uninterrupted block of parenting time. When you must exchange your children, a public place may quell your temptation to argue with your co-parent.
Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer
You can decrease the likelihood of conflict with your co-parent if you create the parenting plan together rather than letting the court decide for you. You are more likely to be satisfied with the plan if you agreed to it instead of having it forced upon you. You may need to modify your parenting plan if you are consistently conflicting with your co-parent. A Batavia, Illinois, divorce attorney at Van Larson Law, P.C., can help you create a parenting plan that works for everyone. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-879-9090.