Co-Parenting When Your Ex Doesn't Want To

Behavioral health experts tend to agree that in most circumstances, amicable co-parenting is the most positive way to raise kids after a divorce or legal separation. But despite a father’s best efforts, the mother won’t necessarily be on board with this plan. This is frustrating for dads, and it cheats the children out of healthy, ongoing relationships with both parents. If you feel that your ex is trying to sabotage your relationship with your kids, get in touch with a father’s rights attorney right away.

Adopt the mindset of a hostage negotiator.

This advice might sound a little extreme, but it’s actually a positive way to communicate with someone who isn’t interested in communication. When you adopt the mindset of a hostage negotiator, you will:

  • Maintain a calm tone of voice and respectful manner at all times.
  • Listen attentively, and don’t interrupt.
  • Ignore your emotional reactions, and treat it like a business relationship.
  • Compromise whenever possible.

Stay flexible and don’t take the bait.

Sometimes, an ex is bound and determined to get into an argument. You’ll need to be equally as bound and determined to avoid arguing. The trick to defusing an ex’s anger is to be stubbornly agreeable and flexible to changes in the parenting plan. Take the hypothetical example of Carla, who calls Jim to cancel a dinner visit on Thursday because little Juan has a dentist appointment. Because of Carla’s past behavior, Jim knows she is intentionally trying to reduce his access to his child. But instead of taking the bait and getting angry, Jim offers to take Juan to his appointment, or asks to reschedule the visit instead of canceling it.

Learn to recognize triangulation.

Triangulation is a psychologist’s term. A person who triangulates is one who creates confusion or drama among three or more people. It’s a passive-aggressive means of manipulation. For instance, Carla tells Juan that she knows Jim doesn’t allow the TV on during homework time, but she does. This is intended to create resentment against Jim. One way to reduce triangulation is to establish consistent rules between households. Since your ex isn’t interested in collaborative co-parenting, it may be necessary to work with a mediator to accomplish this.

When your relationship with your child is at stake, you need aggressive legal representation. Fathers throughout the Sacramento area rely on Singer & Associates for strong advocacy services. Call our family law firm at (916) 922-5985, and browse our website to learn more about child custody and parenting plans.

Categories: Tips for Fathers


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