How to Co-Parent After an Abusive Relationship

Co-parenting with an ex-partner is often challenging, but it's even more so if you were once in an abusive relationship with your ex. You have to simultaneously deal with your own trauma, look after your own safety and make sure that your child is protected at all times as well. Moving through this co-parenting process is never easy, but it can be made somewhat more so if you have a strategy in place. Here are some things that you should keep in mind.

Hire a family lawyer 

First of all, if you have been subject to domestic abuse, this is something that will help you in your legal case if you are fighting for the custody of your child. Many victims are unwilling to speak up because they have fear around the repercussions of putting something on record, but the simple reality is that taking these actions will help both you and your child when it comes to a custody agreement. Shop around for an experienced family lawyer who is sympathetic to your particular case and who you feel you can trust, as it is likely you will be working with them and leaning on their expertise long after a custody agreement is settled.

Have a detailed co-parenting plan 

If you are already in a situation in which you have to share custody of your child, your co-parenting plans need to be written out in fine detail so that there is no room for misunderstanding. Again, a lawyer who works in family law can help you out with this in the beginning stages until you find your feet with the agreement. For example, say that it's agreed that your ex-partner has custody over one weekend. Details need to be worked out and written down, such as the exact time and place of meet-up and drop-off to avoid any confusion and potential altercations.

Document everything 

If you are not convinced about the good intentions or practices of your ex-partner, it's best not to fly off the handle with unsubstantiated allegations because these can actually work against you in a court of law. Instead, make sure that you document absolutely everything you can that can prove your co-parent is irresponsible or unfit to parent, whether this is calling outside of agreed hours or something like using threatening language in a text message. It's important to document this because it could be useful in family court in the future.

Good luck with your co-parenting journey in the future.