Joint Custody 10 Strategies For Co Parenting With An Uncooperative Ex

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Almost six years ago, when the father of my children and I divorced, we wholeheartedly agreed to share joint custody of our two children, who were 3 and 6 years old at that time.

During our nine years of marriage, we had never argued about parenting philosophies or values. I saw no indication that parenting after divorce would be any different.

So, with the help of lots of books and research, I set about creating a lovely best-case scenario of how it would be after the divorce: co-hosting birthday parties, welcoming each other’s new partners into an extended and joyful family unit, sitting together at their school and sporting events while beaming with pride at the accomplishments of our beautiful children, and getting on the same page with mealtimes, bedtimes, etc., so that there would be as much consistency between our two home as possible. These are wonderful and healthy ideas, and many co-parents I know have achieved them.

But I forgot to allow for one critical variable in my lovely scenario. I had assumed that my kids’ dad would want to participate in this optimal arrangement.

Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Shortly after our friendly divorce was completed, he informed me that our future conversations were to be confined to solely to the topics of scheduling and the exchange of relevant information, such as the results of their dental checkups. There would be no philosophical ‘meeting of the minds’ about parenting. He would parent our children as he saw fit on his time, and was not interested in my opinions or input.

I was horrified to think that our kids were going to be raised in two homes with no overlap. I had envisioned co-parenting as a bigger happy family spread out over two homes. Instead I faced the reality of parallel parenting


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