Co-parenting can be challenging even when parents are still in a stable and healthy marriage. People often have very different ideas about how a child should be raised and what is best for that child. Following a divorce or separation, that co-parenting relationship can become strained and even more complicated. Even with the most amicable of divorces, co-parenting with a former spouse or partner can present challenges. Where one of the co-parents is excessively aggressive, this can be even more difficult. If you are dealing with a difficult or aggressive co-parent, there are particular steps that you should take to make sure you protect yourself and your children.
One way to help handle an aggressive co-parent is to try to keep as much communication as possible in writing. It is simpler for you to back away from a confrontation when it is not in-person, and clearly if the aggressive parent is not physically in front of you during an argument, the chances you may be physically injured decrease substantially. In addition, a written record often forces otherwise aggressive people to tone down their harsh rhetoric, as they do not want evidence of their bad behavior in the event there is another return to court.
Another way to handle an aggressive co-parent is to keep your physical interaction with them as limited as possible, and always in public or at least with a witness. For example, have parties often agree to exchange their child in a crowded and well-lit parking lot instead of inside their home. An aggressive person is less likely to physically intimidate or assault you when there are plenty of witnesses to their wrong-doing.
Remember, also, that the aggression may not be directed solely toward you. Although it is far from certain that the parent is also aggressive with the children, you will want to keep alert for symptoms of parental aggression. Regularly attending family therapy with children may be a good solution to make sure the children have a neutral outlet where they feel safe to disclose any feelings they may have about this issue or others associated with the divorce.
Aggressive co-parents can be difficult to deal with and you need an experienced attorney to help you navigate the situation. Call us today at (651) 371-9117 to talk about your custody issues and how we can help you move forward with dealing with a difficult co-parent.