Parenting with the Ex Factor

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On top of that, an alienated and troubled teenager suddenly enters as a chaotic and disruptive element to your step-family. Obviously an early casualty is the step family itself and your relationship with your new partner-unless you start being strategic and beat the hostile ex-partner at their own game. One of the most insidious forms of parental alienation occurs when a hostile ex-partner works on their biological children to get them to sabotage the step family from the inside.

An astute hostile and aggressive ex-partner knows exactly how to exploit this using the children as their weapon. One of the simplest and most effective ways of creating unmanageable stress in the step family is for your ex-partner to continually vary with little or no notice your shared care arrangements.

Another technique that is often used is to continually interrogate your biological children about their experiences in the step family, using them as a source of intelligence to use against you but also to create a belief in their children, that somehow there is something wrong with your new family. The rules of a step family are subtly different from those in a nuclear family and even with an amicable and cooperative set of ex-partners you need to understand and appreciate the new territory that a step family opens up.

It is even more imperative that you understand these new dynamics if the relationship between you and your ex-partner is not amicable and even hostile. If you do not understand these new dynamics, you can bet your hostile ex-partner will!

It is axiomatic in family law, and indeed in family therapy circles that children vote with their feet. If they are not feeling comfortable in your step family then it will not take very much at all for them to walk. Sometimes it is what they need to do for their own wellbeing.

The love between social parents and step-children is as strong as the love between biological parents and children. It is up to you, either as a step-parent or a biological parent or both to make sure that your children have the best that your new family can offer.

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Tips for dealing with the ex-factor

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But a cruise to Stewart Island — just a Beauty: And everything you need to be doing with your skin, hair and make-up in Coping with the challenges of a relationship break-up can be made all the more difficult when co-parenting comes into play. We share advice on how to ease the way when it comes to bringing up your children harmoniously.

Presumably these avoidance tactics are intended to protect both parties — the one ending the relationship from having to make the declaration personally and deal with the consequences, and the one being left from the pain of rejection up-close. But sometimes whatever the heartbreak, there are times when it is not possible to avoid contact with your ex. Whether that is because you work together, live close by, or, as is common, have children together, skilfulness is required in negotiating new territory.

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One way of understanding where the complexities arise is looking at the different starting points that face those dealing with the reality of co-parenting after their relationship has ended. Darcey has developed a simple, non-judgemental way of explaining these positions. According to Darcey, the Leaver has a reason to move on and they often have a plan. They typically have done a lot of questioning and wondering about the relationship prior to raising the issue with their partner.

The "Best Interests of the Child" Factors | Michigan Legal Help

They have worked through a lot of emotion before the monumental moment of calling an end to it. They have hope for the future and recognise that while they might be leaving the relationship, they are not leaving the role of parent. They wonder what they could have or should have done differently. Keep the following suggestions in mind as you figure out a visitation schedule with your spouse.

Maybe you think you deserve more time with your child than your ex. But if you are contentious and uncooperative during the process, it will only make things worse.

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  6. Try to negotiate with the goal of doing what is best for your children, even if it means compromising on some things. For example, if you have a toddler, it may not play much of a decisive role in determining the outcome. But if you have a teenager, his or her wishes may be more important.

    The Ex Factor

    You likely have a lot of concerns about your ex parenting your child, but some carry more legal weight than others. Disagreement over a parenting style is not a major factor. But if your ex has a drug addiction, alcohol problem or mental illness, you may want to bring this up. Clarify any of your worries before the custody arrangement is in place.