What can family courts do about difficult co-parents?

In our last post, we highlighted the benefits of planning early to secure holiday parenting time. Yes, Halloween is a month away, but an early plan can help in reducing the risk of scheduling issues.

But what if you are dealing with a difficult co-parent? It is not uncommon for one parent to be especially incorrigible because of things that have nothing to do with your relationship (or lack thereof). Perhaps they are jealous that you were awarded primary custody or a majority of parenting time. You may be dating someone else and your ex is upset about how you have been able to move on.

In these situations, what can you do?

You may feel as if the court must intervene and stop the person from being so difficult. However, family court judges are not interested in legislating parents’ feelings towards each other. They are interested in how the child is treated and they will act if the child’s well-being is compromised. So if one parent is consistently verbally abusive towards the other parent in front of the child, or one parent says disparaging things about the other parent in the same manner, a court may be inclined to act.

So while you may want to retaliate against a difficult parent or take matters into your own hands by keeping a child away from such a parent, but it may not be helpful to do so. Seeking advice from an experienced family law attorney before acting is a prudent move.

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