Managing a high conflict coparenting situation is exhausting and so very time consuming. Read below our best practices when it comes to dealing with a high conflict coparent that just doesn’t want to get along.
1. Stick to the custody order
In a high-conflict situation, you may want to hold the other parent accountable when not following the rules, but you have to be abiding by the rules to the tee as well. If you end up in mediation or litigation and you’re not following the Parenting Plan either, it is tough to complain about the other parent not following the Parenting Plan.
The Parenting Plan is designed to keep order and boundaries in place and is developed in your children’s best interests. When you made your Parenting Plan, and it wasn’t a high conflict situation, but it is now, feel free to reach out to us to revisit your Parenting Plan and possibly have it updated with a modification.
2. Write it down!
Make sure you are documenting everything: emails, texts, and communications – assume the judge will read everything. Keep phone calls limited to emergencies only and always keep things brief. A good rule of thumb is implementing the BIFF response used for dealing with any high-conflict situation. Keep it Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm.
PLEASE NOTE – do NOT use your child’s backpack, notebook, phone, iPad, etc., to send a message to your ex. That’s putting your child in the middle and absolutely not ok. If you have paperwork, you need to send to the other parent, mail it directly to them.
3. Keep kids out of it!
There will be times when you want to defend yourself to your child or blame the other parent, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to refrain from doing so. Always be the bigger person when it comes to conversations with the kids and not discuss any conflicts between you and the other parent with the child.
4. Use outside resources if necessary
Websites like Family Wizard and other communication tools courts and high conflict parents use will help alleviate any undue stress and keep communications limited and to the point. It can also be a backup for you should you ever need to head to mediation or litigation. A Parenting Coordinator should also be considered in high conflict co-parenting cases. Parenting Coordinators assist parties by facilitating resolutions of disputes by monitoring compliance with the Parenting Plan and educating the parties on the needs of the child, co-parenting and parental communication and assists in facilitating time-sharing arrangements.
Along with implementing the techniques or tools mentioned above, if you feel that you need to revisit your Parenting Plan and potentially make changes, please reach out to us at 407-403-5990.