One of the hardest aspects of a divorce will be figuring out what will happen to your kids. You know they will benefit if allowed to have access to and a strong relationship with both parents, but that may not be easy for you to navigate. Even if you and the other parent do not get along, you may be able to find a way to make it work for the benefits of the kids.
However, co-parenting can be especially difficult when your ex displays toxic behaviors. You want to continue to allow your children to see their mother or father, but how can you deal with the negativity and difficult circumstances without losing your own sanity? One of the first things you can do is to learn to recognize toxic behavior and figure what child custody arrangement will work best for your family.
What does co-parenting require?
It is very difficult to make a co-parenting arrangement work with a toxic person, even if you really want to successfully raise your children as a team after divorce. This requires that both parties share the same goals, and are willing to compromise and keep the best interests of the children as the main priority.
With a toxic ex, you may also notice signs of parental alienation. This is when one parent attempts to harm the relationship that the other parent has with his or her children. This includes talking badly about the other parent and refusing to abide by the terms of a child custody arrangement. If you notice these things, it may be a sign that co-parenting is not right for you.
Consider parallel parenting
Parallel parenting is an option for two parents who simply cannot work together or really even speak to each other without problems. If your ex is toxic and impossible to work with, this arrangement will allow you both to have an active role in the lives of your kids without interacting.
Parallel parenting requires a very detailed custody order that outlines everything from how parents will make decisions to how drop-off procedures will work. If this is the right choice for your family, you may want to speak with an attorney about how to make sure you have the right terms and protections in place.
The future of your family
The future of your New Jersey family and your own peace of mind is at stake in a divorce. You do not have to force a co-parenting relationship to work with a toxic person, but instead, you may want to consider other options available. Before you make any important decisions, you may want to learn more about the different types of custody arrangements.