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How to Cope with Co-Parenting Conflicts

A divorce or separation can amplify existing communication problems between you and your ex-partner, especially in matters concerning your children. These conflicts are often stressful, and the tension can pour over into your relationship with your spouse or children.

You cannot change your ex’s behavior or control their actions, but you do have the power to modify your response when conflicts arise. Checking your responses can help you feel more in control during these tense situations.

Three Tips for Dealing with Co-Parenting Disputes

When you and your ex argue about how to raise your children, it is easy for emotions to become heated and for the confrontation to escalate. However, the following tips may help cooler heads to prevail and lead to a more successful outcome — or at least a less stressful one:

Speak Calmly to Each Other and Focus on the Issue

When someone is yelling at you, it is natural to want to yell back. The reverse of this is also true, however: speaking calmly to your ex can help encourage them to remain calm as well. If a conversation or argument ever becomes too emotional or out of control, consider postponing the discussion until you can speak to each other in a less agitated manner.

When talking to one another, keep the discussion centered on issues and behaviors instead of the other parent’s shortcomings. Statements like “When x happens, I feel y and think that z would be a good way to move forward” are more likely to lead to a constructive discussion. In contrast, statements such as “You are such an x and y” will only worsen the argument.

Insist on Treating Each Other with Respect

Unless your court orders say otherwise, you each have an equal voice in raising your child. Do not stand for abusive or harassing treatment from the other parent. If such behavior occurs, identify it and ask for it to stop. If the other parent continues to disrespect you, it may be time to terminate the conversation until cooler heads can prevail. And if that time never comes, you may need an attorney or the court to intervene and resolve the issue.

Do Not Involve Your Child in the Dispute

No matter how heated things become between you and your ex, do not bring your child into the argument. If you vent your frustrations with your ex to your child, you place your child in the uncomfortable position of having to choose sides in the argument. Similarly, using your child as a mediator in your dispute can make them feel responsible for your argument and the feelings you and your ex are experiencing.

Know When to Get Legal Help

If a co-parenting conflict is prolonged and there does not appear to be any resolution in sight, it may be time to seek an experienced Michigan family law attorney who can help. Gucciardo Family Law has years of experience in helping clients resolve all manner of parenting disputes both in and out of the courtroom. We are committed to helping you work through the stubborn roadblocks you encounter as you co-parent so that you and your child can thrive.

If you find yourself stuck in a persistent dispute with your ex, contact us and see how we might be able to assist you.

Too much information?

We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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