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Handling a difficult coparenting relationship

Coparenting in a high-conflict relationship after a divorce can be difficult, but if the conflict is largely about difficulties between the California parents and issues such as addiction or abuse are not present, there may be ways to defuse the situation. A parent should be aware of what is likely to upset the other parent since knowing this can help keep the situation under control.

The well-being of the child is the most important thing, and a parent should focus on this. This means avoiding falling into conflict about issues between the parents that ended the marriage. A parent should encourage the child's relationship with the other parent and should not speak poorly of the other parent in front of the child. Doing so could result in the child feeling unable to express feelings honestly.

The parent should maintain appropriate personal boundaries and stick only to matters concerning the child when it comes to communication with the other parent. While the turmoil and emotion around divorce can making maintaining this discipline difficult, it will benefit the child in the long run.

Parents should also make an effort to resolve most issues outside of court. However, there are a few kinds of issues that a parent might need to turn to the legal system to resolve. For example, if there is a dispute about custody, a parent might need to go to court for enforcement of a child custody agreement. The other parent might not be showing up for visitation or might be returning children late. The situation could be even more serious if one parent is concerned about abuse or parental abduction. Certain safeguards may be put into place in these situations including supervised visitations.

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