How To Co-parent When You Don't Get Along.

AuthorLux, Glenda


Reading Time: 5 minutes

A look at common co-parenting challenges, as well as practical dos and don'ts for parents and a reminder of when to get help.

Co-parenting is never easy and comes with complications, especially when you don't get along with your co-parent. However, it is important to try, where possible, to co-parent effectively and to find ways to support and care for your children.

Co-parenting difficulty falls on a continuum. If you do not get along with your co-parent, you might be experiencing "high conflict". "High conflict" is marked by ongoing trust issues, misunderstandings, and challenges communicating, decision-making and working together.

Family law often uses the term "high conflict". However, family lawyers and professionals should carefully screen their cases to avoid confusing difficult co-parenting, high conflict and family violence. Detecting family violence is vital because mistaking it for high conflict co-parenting can have serious consequences for the client and their children.

Common co-parenting challenges

Below are some common challenges that arise when co-parenting with someone you do not get along with:

  1. Difficulty creating a parenting plan and coordinating schedules.

  2. Conflicts about different parenting styles including misunderstandings and trust issues, especially if you and your co-parent have different approaches to discipline, routines, and other aspects of parenting.

  3. Lingering resentment, emotions, or other issues from your past romantic relationship.

  4. Issues with financial obligations such as child support.

  5. Spending less time with your child(ren) than you may have previously. Co-parenting means sharing your child with their other parent, even if you do not like them. Conflict can arise when parents have different ideas about how much contact the child should have with the "off-duty" parent while in the care of the one "on-duty" and how much information to share between the homes.

  6. The arrival of a new partner may lead to feelings of jealousy or resentment from one or both co-parents, which can create tension and conflict in the co-parenting relationship. There can be disagreements about the new partner's role, expectations, or boundaries around their involvement in the children's lives.

    Despite not getting along with your co-parent, it is essential to prioritize the well-being of your children.

    What to do

  7. Do set boundaries and communicate with them using a...

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