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Managing a difficult child custody situation

43276324_s.jpgDivorcing parents in Illinois often find it difficult to adjust to a co-parenting relationship. This is true in the most amicable of cases, but it poses a particular problem in high-conflict situations. The disputes may spill over into the child custody situation, leading to parents bad-mouthing each other to the children or undermining the custody agreement or visitation schedule. While co-parenting with a toxic former partner adds additional strain and stress, there are ways to defuse difficult situations and put the children's best interests first.

Of course, former partners may know how to push each other's emotional buttons. It can be easy for a quick comment or message to lead to a serious argument, sometimes in front of the children. It's important for parents to recognize that their former partner is still the same person, but they no longer have to interact the way they did as a couple. Those unhealthy patterns led to the divorce in the first place, after all. Parents can turn to a therapist or friend for support in dealing with a difficult ex. However, they should avoid confiding in their children. This puts the kids in the middle of the conflict and makes them choose sides between their parents.

Strong boundaries can also help people to deal with a challenging co-parenting situation. For example, it may be wise for parents to block each other on social media. A verified, stand-alone parenting app could be better for communication.

When parents have a conflict over child custody issues, it can easily spill over and cause emotional harm. A family law attorney may help a parent handle these conflicts responsibly. In some cases, this could involve returning to court for a child custody modification.

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