Silhouette of a angry husband and wife  on each other looking at their daughter and waiting for her to choose between them.Image is intentionally with grain and toned.

When Parenting and Divorce Becomes Impossible

After a divorce, you and your former spouse likely created and agreed upon a plan that would benefit your children. You had plans to uphold your end of the bargain to ensure the best for your kids. As fate would have it, things did not work out that way. Your spouse may have deeply rooted issues, mental illness, or other complications like losing their job, which makes parenting children even more difficult for them. Sometimes parenting becomes impossible, creating chaos for the children. Here are possible scenarios where co-parenting has become difficult for both parties, and what to do for the sake of your children.

When Your Ex-Spouse Loses Their Job

Losing a job is hard enough, no matter who the person is and what situation they are in. After divorce, this creates additional pressure of taking care of the rent, and finding a place to live. If your spouse has lost their job, moving in with family or friends may be the only other option for them. Regardless of this, it’s important that the children see their parent and spend time with him or her. Doing so gives you a break, allows your children to brighten up the other party’s day, and gives everyone a diversion. If alimony and child support become a concern, speak to a lawyer about how this affects the process, and if you are expected to pay anything while your ex is out of work.

If Your Ex Becomes Violent Toward You or the Children

Depending on the situation, your ex may react in ways that aren’t favorable. Various reasons for being mad after divorce include what role you played in it, how their life is going afterwards, and even if you are seeing someone new, or getting married. It is never okay for your ex to react with violence towards you or your children. If this is the case, seek a restraining order and other legal protections. Talk with a lawyer, and see what steps to take to prevent your children from being in a situation that is dangerous to their health and well-being. They will advise you on the proper process, so you are keeping your children safe while not putting yourself at risk of breaching your child custody agreement in the divorce.

When Your Ex Moves Away

Moving is not always a bad thing. It can be a healthy change for everyone involved. If your ex was violent or caused other problems, this comes across as a relief to the other partner. You should talk with an attorney if a situation arises and the next steps seem unclear and muddled.

Know what to do if:

  • Your ex moves away and has full custody of the children (legally they must consult you first)
  • How to handle your ex being far away and working out who will take the children during what times of the year
  • How other members of the family can see and have access to the children

If your ex is moving for work-related purposes, they might not have a choice. Depending on your relationship after the divorce, speak to them. Otherwise, use a third party to communicate, and create a plan that enables the children to have the best life possible. Parenting children in different locations is possible. Both parties need to find a solution that works best for everyone, and examine the steps necessary to implement their plan.

Working with an ex-spouse to create a parenting plan can be done. How to handle the situation depends on the spouse, if they are currently causing any problems, or posing a threat to their former partner or the children themselves. Anytime situations arise, and you cannot deal with your ex or feel that further problems will be created, have a third-party step in to handle the problem. This will immediately diffuse feelings, while creating a plan that focuses on the children and their needs. A former spouse that is violent with the intent to cause harm can face a restraining order and lose their rights to see and be around their children. In cases where the former spouse has a minor set-back, like losing a job, you can create a temporary plan that respects their needs and issues, while giving children time with their parent.

Parenting during these issues causes challenges. With legal advice from an attorney who is skilled in family law, navigating the waters of single parenthood won’t seem as daunting as you raise your children.

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