“The best interests of the children” is a common phrase that often sets the tone of post-divorce lives. Many parents pursuing marital dissolution understand the importance of keeping their kids out of the middle of contentious legal matters.
Others, unfortunately, choose to use their children as pawns in a toxic game of “chess,” refusing to abide by child custody and visitation agreements. Some parents seem to continually run interference in what should be a peaceful process of picking up and dropping off their kids.
Custody and visitation rights that are agreed upon and written into a divorce agreement often remain in dispute with parents unsatisfied with the final decree. Orders that spell out pick-up and drop-off times often see a parent being consistently late if they show up at all. While excessive tardiness and no-showing are inconvenient to the other parent, the child truly feels the impact and is left wondering.
The problem with uncooperative parents
Some ex-spouses will not allow themselves to get over their divorce and intentionally make life difficult for their former spouse, particularly when they share joint legal custody. Every issue, large or small, turns into an argument, whether it involves healthcare, education, or religion. These quarrels will not go unnoticed by kids and often cause them stress.
If possible, the two adults should have a civil conversation despite their differences and history. Getting to the reasons for continuing refusals or obstacles placed in the way of a peaceful existence is possible when both spouses talk it out.
When that isn’t possible, any disagreements should be held privately to not cause undue duress to the children.