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Co-parenting successfully with a difficult parenting partner

You and your child's other parent may have decided to parent in different households for a myriad of reasons. It is possible that tensions exist between you both. It is also possible that your child custody arrangements are proving to be quite challenging because your co-parent is difficult to work with. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to make your situation less stressful for you and your child, even if your co-parent has no intention of changing his or her approach right now.

First, it is important to accept the fact that you have a great deal of control over how you behave and very little control over how your co-parent behaves. Starting from a place of acceptance and empowerment related to your own capacity for healthy behaviors will hopefully help you achieve much-needed peace about your current child custody situation.

Second, please understand that you do not have to swallow any kind of abusive behaviors. If your difficult co-parent is harming you or your child emotionally and/or physically, please consult an experienced family law attorney about any legal options that may be available to you.

Finally, keep in mind at all times that you are now essentially in a business-like relationship with your co-parent. The mission of this relationship is to ensure that your child’s best interests are pursued and met as consistently as possible. When you approach your relationship with your co-parent like an invested business partner instead of as a former romantic partner, you may be more able to focus on the best interests of your child instead of any tensions between you both. Over time, your co-parent will likely pick up on this altered approach to the relationship and will hopefully begin to pursue it in a similar manner.

Source: Huffington Post, “When Co-Parenting Is Difficult,” Dr. Peggy Kruger Tietz, Nov. 18, 2013

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