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Phrases to Avoid When Co-Parenting

Child in the foreground while his parents argue in the background

Co-parenting with an ex can seem like a daunting task. It is an undertaking, to say the least, between figuring out schedules and ensuring each parent puts in their fair share of responsibilities. One aspect that can make this action even more difficult is if co-parents consistently have disagreements. Whether it’s name-calling or outright lying, these types of conversations don’t make co-parenting any easier.

In particular, co-parents should use the below guide of phrases not to use when conversing with an ex.

Accusatory Words

One parent will say these words to their ex assuming that the ex did something wrong. Common accusatory words and phrases include:

  • “Liar;"
  • “Lying;"
  • “You always;" and,
  • “You never.”

While one parent may feel they have merit in using accusatory language, it does not strengthen a co-parenting relationship if one or both parents consistently use this language toward the other.

“My Children”

This phrase insinuates that one parent is the sole parent of the children. Even if one parent has sole legal custody, using this language can stir up resentment from the other parent and lead to heated conversations.

“I Will (or Will Not) Allow…”

This again emphasizes that only one parent has the right to make decisions regarding their children’s wellbeing. Unlike the phrase “my children,” a parent with sole legal custody may not have to consult with the other parent regarding decisions with their children. However, emphasizing this fact when trying to co-parent may leave the other parent frustrated about the arrangement.

“Pay Me $X and You Can See the Children”

This phrase is manipulative and hurtful not only to the parent but to the children as well. Family courts have the final say on when co-parents individually have time with their children, so insinuating that another parent has to pay a certain amount to see their children is unlawful.

Parents should also remember that anytime they use phrases like the ones above, they are not setting the best example for their children, which could impact the children’s outlook on becoming a parent or how they parent in the future.

Concerned About Co-Parenting With a Difficult Ex?

Trying to co-parent with a difficult ex can be frustrating, but you can take steps to help amend the situation. If you are looking for a child custody arrangement change or any alteration to your co-parenting plan, the team at Peterson White, LLP can help. Our experienced Kentucky and Tennessee family law attorneys are ready to answer any questions you may have about your current child custody situation. Contact our office online or by phone, so we can start working together. (855) 919-4124