If there is one thing that can derail your entire divorce, it’s having a major conflict involving your children. When you and the other parent can’t come to a reasonable agreement, it can be difficult to move forward and get your divorce finalized.
Dealing with a custody battle is upsetting, because you want to do what’s best for your children. You’re trying not to be short-sighted and want to know that your kids will be taken care of. The other parent constantly degrading you or shutting down your attempts at negotiating is unfair.
Fortunately, you can take steps to convert your custody battle into a conversation once again. It may take some time, but the right approach can reduce the conflict and get you both back to the negotiating table.
Take the anger out of custody discussions
The first thing you need to do is put on your best attitude and start listening. The other parent may lash out if they feel like you’re not being considerate of their feelings or ideas, so start by improving the way you listen to them. If you can’t get to a point where you have a verbal discussion yet, another option could be to have them write down all their concerns and read them over.
At first, expect that the other parent will be defensive and may still say rude or disrespectful things. It may be beneficial to ignore those attacks and simply focus on the matter at hand. Often, when people don’t get the response they thought they would, they stop being so aggressive.
If you can’t do this on your own, a second option is to ask the other parent to go through alternative dispute resolution. Mediation or arbitration could help you both get better perspective and have third parties weigh in on a possible solution. Mediation is nonbinding, but if you choose to go through arbitration, most decisions are binding. Keep that in mind.
Dealing with a custody battle and angry parent can be tough, but it’s possible to take some of the frustration out of the situation and return to having a conversation. Approach the topic with respect and grace, and consider alternatives for handling disputes.