Mother comforting her daughter as family deals with child custody issues.

How to Handle Problems with an Uncooperative Co-Parent

Co-parenting after divorce can be a challenge, to say the least. Lingering feelings of hurt, resentment, and disappointment can hamper the development of a positive co-parenting relationship. If you are dealing with a particularly uncooperative co-parent, you may be at your wits end. The frustration this kind of situation can produce is severe. Here we are going to talk about some tips for you to help handle an uncooperative co-parenting situation.

How to Handle Problems with an Uncooperative Co-Parent

The first thing you need to do when working on your relationship with an uncooperative co-parent is to accept what you cannot change. Try as you might, there are things about your former spouse that you cannot change. Accepting this will help ground you and become more proactive about focusing on the things that you can actually improve. You can control your perspective on things. You can control how you deal with your former spouse. You can try and see things from their point of view despite them possibly not granting you the same benefit.

As with so many things in life, communication is key. The way you communicate with your former spouse has a huge impact on the tone of your relationship. If you are dealing with an uncooperative co-parent, be sure to keep communication straightforward and as simple as possible. Stick to a single, relevant topic and do not deviate. It is too easy to take a sudden turn into emotionally charged, unproductive topics. Focus on the present and resist the urge from bringing up the past. If you find it impossible to talk to them in person, try alternative forms of communication. Would talking on the phone help? Should you stick to emailing or texting? Find what works best for you and minimizes confrontation.

Setting reasonable boundaries in your communication style can help develop a productive co-parenting relationship. Setting reasonable boundaries in your overall interactions with your former spouse can also help. Keeping your co-parent at arm’s length can really help relieve the pressure of the situation. Limit your interactions to those necessary to effectively co-parent. Do not talk about your own personal life. Stick to issues involving your shared children. This can really help avoid conflict and negative interactions with your former spouse.

Always, always resist the urge to involve your child. It is far too common for divorced co-parents to try and weaponize their child in order to hurt their former spouse. Even if your former spouse engages in this kind of destructive behavior, avoid stooping to this level. No one wins when children are put in the middle of co-parenting conflict.

In some cases, where a co-parent who proves to be persistent in being unreasonable and uncooperative, you may be able to get your custody and visitation agreement amended. This will only be available in more extreme cases, however. A parenting plan and custody agreement are more likely to be changed if there is the suspicion that the co-parenting is attempting to manipulate the child or is being not just volatile to you, the co-parent, but also to the child. 

Florida Family Law Attorneys

At Orlando Family Team, we provide legal support for our clients before, during, and after divorce. Each stage provides unique issues that can often feel overwhelming. We are here to help. Contact us today.