Creating a parenting plan after divorce or separation is a major accomplishment. This plan can help smooth difficult transitions and provide critical direction in your roles as co-parents. However, no matter how solid your plan may be, conflicts can still arise at some point in your parenting journey.
Common types of disputes
When you are parenting your child with someone you are not in a relationship with, there are many times when you won’t see eye-to-eye. For instance, some of the most common reasons co-parents fight include the following:
- Appropriate forms of discipline
- Changing rules for a child as they get older
- Pick-up and drop-off scheduling
- Celebrating holidays and birthdays
- Types of medical treatments and care for a child
- Being disorganized when a child goes between houses
Even if you are on the same page on all these things with your ex at one time, things can and do change. Parental strategies might shift; a child gets older and needs new rules and responsibilities; parents’ feelings toward each other can change.
Methods for resolving conflicts
When you and your child’s other parent argue over a child-related matter, there are a few ways to resolve the conflict. In some cases, you can agree to disagree. After all, you don’t have to agree on everything as parents.
However, if an issue does come up that you must address together, you can pursue one of the following types of family dispute resolution options:
- Negotiating a solution
- Mediating the matter with a neutral third party
- Collaborating with legal advisers and other professionals
- Letting an arbitrator make the decisions
If these methods are inappropriate or unsuccessful, you can end up litigating the issue in court.
The right approach for you depends on your unique circumstances and the type of issue you are attempting to resolve. Generally speaking, however, the more peaceful and amicable you can be during this process, the easier things can be on you and your children.
All parents fight, but in co-parenting arrangements, legal interventions may be necessary to help you seek a fair outcome that protects your child’s well-being and your rights as a parent.