Joel W. Anders, P.C.
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Here's what to do when a co-parent won't cooperate

Co-parents need to be able work together so the situation can turn complicated if one parent refuses to cooperate. Often, the uncooperative person thinks they are hurting the other parent but they are really harming their child. It is imperative that both adults work as a team so the child can have what they need despite their parents' divorce.

When you realize that your ex isn't going to cooperate with the co-parenting relationship, you have to plan your next steps. These aren't going to be the same for every situation, but you can customize the relationship to fit your needs.

What issues are occurring?

There are many issues that might occur that make co-parenting difficult. You have to think about whether you ex is doing things against the parenting plan or are they just being difficult. This is a big distinction because if they aren't breaking the parenting plan, the options you have are limited.

Another thing to consider is whether the children are still safe. If they are still safe, you might not need to do anything except let your ex parent in their own way. If your children are being harmed, you must determine the most appropriate action to take.

What can you do?

It may help to take a step back to determine what you should do. This also gives tempers a chance to cool if they were flared before you try to work things out with your ex.

One thing that might prove difficult is that you need to remain respectful even when your ex is being difficult. You may be able to work through the issues if you can both take a step back from the situation and determine what's best for your children.

When you can't work together, you might have to turn to the courts to make a determination about the parenting plan. Once you have a plan written out, it should be followed. Unfortunately, this might mean that you don't have the same flexibility that the original parenting plan provided to you.

What if nothing changes?

If your ex remains difficult to work with about the child custody issues, you might have to consider something other than co-parenting. Arrangements like parallel parenting, which means that each person runs their own home without regard to what the other parent does, might work better. Consider each option carefully and determine how it affects the children so that you can make decisions that are in their best interests.

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