The ideal co-parenting relationship is an amicable one where the parents can work together to raise their children in a positive, supportive environment. However, for some Illinois residents, it comes with struggles and challenges, particularly if their relationship was already weighed down by high conflict. Since co-parenting will need to continue until the children are adults, the parents must figure out ways to make the relationship work so they can both continue to support their children as they grow.
Establish boundaries and keep them
When high-conflict ex-spouses need to co-parent, they must establish solid boundaries to prevent explosive situations. Having and keeping these solid boundaries can help both parents focus on the well-being of their children. Some of the boundaries they should establish include:
- Times when they can communicate
- Topics they should discuss with each other
- Ways to communicate that minimize conflict
- Scripts they can use to exit high-conflict situations
Create a detailed parenting plan and follow it
A parenting plan is necessary, but it is particularly important when the parents have a high-conflict relationship. In those cases, a detailed parenting plan will be most helpful. It should include a parenting schedule with exchange times and places. But it should also address other topics such as decision-making, rules and routines and how special events will be handled.
Find the best ways for parents to communicate
When there is conflict between the parents, they struggle to communicate civilly. However, they will need to communicate often. Figuring out the best method, such as by email, text messages or even a parenting app specially designed for this can help parents communicate more effectively.
As challenging as co-parenting in a high-conflict relationship can be, ensuring the children’s emotional well-being is the priority. Figuring out the best way to do this for your family can ease some of the conflicts as your family moves forward in life.