Harrison & Medlin, P.C.
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Dealing with challenging co-parenting relationships

Many divorced parents in Georgia know that the gold standard in co-parenting is to work with a former partner in the best interests of the kids. However, even loving parents who know that children benefit from good relationships with both parents can find co-parenting challenging. This is especially true for exes whose relationships came to an end in a high-conflict situation, such as a divorce involving infidelity or financial shenanigans. These problems can be exacerbated when it seems as if the other parent is all too willing to use emotional manipulation to hinder a healthy co-parenting relationship.

However, there are steps that parents can take to protect themselves and their children, even when dealing with a difficult or narcissistic former partner. Parents should take an almost business-like approach to co-parenting, in which care of the children is the primary issue. Former partners may find themselves falling into the same pattern of argumentation that led to the end of the relationship. They may unconsciously have emotional responses that leave them less apt to logically handle the challenges when making decisions together for the children. By being aware of these negative loops and sharing them with a therapist or friend, a parent could better deal with a difficult ex.

In addition, co-parents with a challenging relationship can often benefit from stronger boundaries. They may decide to talk only about the children and steer clear of unrelated personal discussions. Some apps and portals allow for family communication without informal discussions or social media communication.

Child custody issues often lead to long-term battles that can be further emotionally damaging to the kids involved. A family law attorney may help a parent to advocate for the children and work to achieve a fair parenting plan.

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