When parents in California decide to divorce, it can always be a challenge to adjust to the transitions that come with co-parenting. However, this can be even more difficult in a high-conflict situation or when a former partner seems dedicated to provoking problems. Divorced parents can overcome this type of situation and put their children first, but there can be some obstacles along the way. Part of the process can involve making sure that there are appropriate boundaries in place.
Family courts tend to favor joint custody or some form of visitation absent a context of clear neglect or abuse. Divorce decrees and custody agreements can also include provisions that aim to prevent one parent from bad-mouthing the other to the kids. These kinds of provisions may be necessary if heavy conflict arises. There are also several apps, both free and paid, that aim to facilitate communication between divorced parents about scheduling, child custody and visitation concerns. These apps keep conversation documented and can be entered into court if necessary. This way, former partners can block each other on social media and avoid texting.
In addition, it’s important for parents to keep in mind that they usually don’t need to respond right away. Unless there is a real emergency, it’s fine to take time and move past an initial emotional response before reacting. Talking through the issues with friends or therapists — but not the kids — can also help.
In some cases, an ex may repeatedly violate the child custody order or attempt to interfere with the other parent’s bond with the children. A family law attorney could help a client in such a circumstance go back to court and seek a child custody modification.