Divorcing an abusive ex can give you a sense of relief and allow you to reclaim your life. However, if you have children with your ex, things can become a little more complicated.
When a Florida couple breaks up and neither one is abusive toward the other, parents are often encouraged to co-parent, or work together for the sake of the child. Successful co-parenting requires parents to communicate effectively and always prioritize the best interests of the child.
However, if one parent was abusive to the other, parallel parenting may be a better option than co-parenting when dealing with child custody issues.
Parallel parenting protects abused parents
Studies have shown that children benefit from having both parents in their lives, even if the parents do not get along. However, when an abusive parent continues to act abusive toward the other parent, the children often do suffer emotionally and exhibit behavioral problems. Generally, this continuation of abusive behavior post-marriage is common for abusers.
A parallel parenting plan protects the abused parent by minimizing their contact with the other parent, while still encouraging both parents to remain involved in their child’s life. A parallel parenting plan may require you to:
- Limit texting, e-mails, and other online communication to only address issues relating to the children.
- Use online scheduling to keep both parents informed of the child’s whereabouts without having to contact each other.
- Establish a visitation agreement that sets a clear schedule for both parents to follow.
While a spouse may have been abusive during the marriage, it is possible to come up with a plan that allows them to stay involved in their child’s life without causing further harm to the abused spouse. A family law attorney can help you navigate custody issues with your abusive ex and come up with a plan that keeps you and your child safe.