Co-parenting gives the best outcome for children because it is centred on their need to be loved and cared for by both parents. Children have an attachment bond with both parents and it needs to be sustained for their emotional wellbeing all through life, as long as those parents are safe/normal range.
Cafcass has produced advice for parents who are divorcing or separating. Before taking the step to go to court, you may want to read this advice and try to set up a parenting plan.
Keep all communication with your ex business like. Do not get drawn in to hostility, especially in front of the children. Hostility will only increase anxiety and anger for all involved. It will not help you to think clearly and after being goaded by your ex’s unreasonable behaviours to react, those reactions can be used against you in a court as evidence. Keep every communication factual and as short as possible. Use the Our Family Wizard Co-Parenting App to communicate with your ex. It can help you to set the right tone for your communications and track them for evidentiary purposes.
Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with someone who is coercive and controlling you may not make reasonable progress in a reasonable amount of time and they may try to drive a wedge between the child and you. It may be useful to:
- get training from a co-parenting coach with a solid track record of helping families at risk of emotional cutoff in the context of parental separation or “parental alienation”.
- attend mediations services where you and your ex can negotiate arrangements for your child/children.
Where reasonable contact cannot be agreed within a reasonable time, there may be no option but to go to court to ask for help to ensure the parent/child relationship is maintained. How long you try mediation for will depend on what if any contact your ex agrees to. It is widely recognised that even a few short months of no contact with a child who is unjustly rejecting a normal range parent, requires significantly more support from private and state sources.