I’ve Got Joint Custody But My Ex Is a Terrible Parent! (Pt. 2)

You love your children and it hurts when their other parents is unsupportive and uncaring.


Welcome back to this discussion on what to do when you and your ex can’t agree on how to parent your kids after the divorce. As we explained in the previous article, there’s a difference between joint physical custody and joint legal custody. Which can mean that even Michigan parents who have primary custody of their kids, might still have to honor the parenting wishes of their ex because the court assigned joint legal custody.


When you’re both on the same page about how to raise children, split custody can be smooth sailing. But what happens when a divorced couple can’t agree on how best to parent their children? What do they do when one feels that their child should be on a certain medication, and the other disagrees? Or when one wants to raise the child in a Judaic home, while the other thinks a Catholic upbringing is the only acceptable option? It’s a dilemma indeed, but there are solutions…


You can try to talk to your ex and find a common ground


If your ex is a remotely reasonable person, you may want to try talking to them about finding some common ground rules. Try proposing the solution as an idea you had to make parenting easier for both of you. Suggest that you meet somewhere neutral, like a coffee shop to discuss what’s important to both of you. If you don’t think you can have this conversation without a fight, get a mediator to sit in on the session and guide the conversation.


Remember that your ex has as much right as you do to parent their children the way they see fit. You may think your ex is lazy or selfish or uncaring (and they may be!) but that doesn’t necessarily give you the right to tell them how to parent. Try working with them, if possible, and find areas you can both agree on. Also, be willing to bend on some of your rules, especially if you’re expecting them to do the same. And remember, the goal here is your child’s best interests, not that you be proven right!


Or you can do your best and keep your distance


This may not feel like a very proactive solution, but for some exes, where the conflict is high and you can’t have a conversation without it becoming an instant screaming match, this might be your best choice. Keep your distance from your ex, don’t engage them or confront them, don’t rise to their bait or give them the satisfaction of reacting to their efforts to argue with you. Just keep on keeping on, as they say, and doing your best within the parameters you have.


That means enforcing the rules you believe are right at your house, even if your ex has completely different rules at their house. If you want 9pm bedtimes and candy only on the weekends, then do that, even if your ex lets then stay up late on school nights and gives them treats every day. You can’t change how your ex parents them, so just do the very best you can with the time you have, and choose not to let the things you can’t change bother you.


Parenting is very hard, especially when you’ve got no support!


Raising kids is extremely stressful, and when your children’s other parent isn’t supportive of your choices, it can be even harder! But you don’t have to fight the good fight all alone. At The Kronzek Firm, our highly skilled and experienced family law attorneys know how emotional these types of situations can be, and how difficult it can be for parents who are just trying to do the right thing for their kids.

So join us next time for a look at more options you have as a parent, and what you can do when you believe your ex’s parenting choices put your kids at risk. Until then, if you need help with any of your divorce or child custody issues, the helpful family lawyers at The Kronzek Firm are available 24/7 at 866 766 5245. Give us a call. We’re here to help.