There are few things more challenging than sharing child custody with a high-conflict ex. Oftentimes, this can make an emotional situation even more so. For this reason, our Bergen County family law attorneys have established a short bulleted list of tips for co-parenting with a high-conflict spouse. Please continue reading to learn more.
- Understand that you cannot change your former spouse’s way of thinking. When your former spouse acts in a way that in your mind is irrational, do not try to argue and change his or her way of thinking. This generally only makes matters worse, as it is nearly impossible to get a strong personality to see things from your perspective. Instead, focus on your own emotions and what you can do to make the situation better.
- Do not feed into your former spouse’s emotional responses. Oftentimes, former spouses will become angry and will use those emotions against you. In many cases, they are simply looking for a reaction, and when you take the bait, you will almost certainly add more fuel to the fire, thereby worsening the problem and decreasing the chance of any productive outcome. Instead, when your ex spouts emotions, reply with facts, and do so in a calm, collected manner. If your spouse sends an angry email or text and you are tempted to shoot one back, consider waiting a while until you cool off to do so. As a side note: remember that anything you put in writing can come back to haunt you, so be very careful!
- Do not badmouth your spouse to your children. This is true even if your former spouse badmouths you to your children. You should simply tell your children that if they have any questions about you, they should ask you yourself, and that if it makes them uncomfortable or upset when your ex talks badly about you, that they have the right to ask him or her to stop. Parental alienation is extremely harmful to children of all ages, which is something we discussed to a greater extent in our previous blog.
If you have any additional questions about how to get along with a high-conflict co-parent, please do not hesitate to give our experienced New Jersey family law attorneys a call today.
Contact our experienced Bergen County firm
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.