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Protecting your child from co-parenting conflicts

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2024 | Child Custody

Co-parenting after a California divorce is not always smooth. Even if you and your former spouse have an amicable relationship, there will be times that you might see things differently. While this might be normal, it is important to avoid putting your child in the middle of these conflicts.

How a child ends up in the middle

While in some cases, the parents might deliberately do so, such as by fighting in front of their children or speaking harshly about their other parent, in other cases, this might happen accidentally. Some of the ways that might result in the child feeling torn between their parents include:

  • Using the child as a confidant about adult problems
  • Making the child the go-between messenger between the parents
  • Asking the child the spy on their other parent

The emotional impact of being in the middle

For children, falling into the middle of a co-parenting dispute can be harmful and confusing. The child might feel pulled in opposite directions and forced to take sides in the conflict. Over time, the stress and anxiety they feel might lead to issues of self-worth.

Protecting the child

Protecting your child from co-parenting disputes can help you have a successful child custody journey. It means choosing not to speak wrong about their other parent in front of the child, encouraging the relationship between them and modeling positive behavior by choosing to have open, honest communication with that parent. If the relationship between you and your co-parent is highly conflicted, you should minimize the children witnessing these interactions.

The goal of most co-parents is to raise happy, emotionally-stable children. While there might be conflicts between you, prioritizing the children’s emotional needs by protecting them from these conflicts is an important step.