Handling Parental Conflicts After Divorce


Some divorced parents in North Carolina may still feel strong emotions about their former spouses. According to one study, about half of divorced women and one-third of divorced men said they were still angry at their spouses 10 years after the separation. Problems arise if this anger begins to interfere with a co-parenting relationship.

For example, a conflict might arise if one parent decides to move farther away in order to be closer to a new partner. The other parent may resent the additional demands on their time created by the longer commute. They may also prefer that the child have extracurricular activities closer to them or dislike the new partner. However, if that parent reacts by refusing to drive the child to the other parent’s new home, then the child misses out on that interaction.

Parents may want to consider hiring a mediator to help them work through a conflict and find a solution that works for them and their child. They can work out transportation problems, scheduling and even changes in child support if necessary.

One of the issues that may arise during a conflict like this as well as during the divorce itself is that parents are concerned about their parental rights and getting enough time with their children. It is important that a parent take the best interests of the child into account just as a judge would. Regardless of how the parent feels about their former spouse, as long as there are not extenuating conditions, such as abuse, children generally benefit from access to both parents after a divorce. Parents might address how they would handle a move along with other potential issues in the parenting agreement.