Texans who have ended a marriage and have children will need to address a variety of issues related to child custody. One of the most complicated factors that must be considered is the need to maintain a relationship with the other parent. While some relationships are cordial or even amicable, others are acrimonious. This can be the catalyst for problems.

There are important points to remember for parents whose relationship is contentious. Regardless of the desire to be done with the other parent, both will need to maintain contact at least until the child reaches adulthood. That could take years. There is a temptation to rehash old disputes, some of which might have hastened the end of the marriage. Triggers could spark bad feelings to return. That can include the other person being in a new relationship or a comment opening past wounds. Retaliation is the easy path, but it tends to make matters worse. The negative relationship can take a physical and emotional toll.

Strategies to overcome these concerns include thinking of the child’s best interests. Kids might sense tension and animosity. Putting that aside will likely be better for the child than constant arguing and negativity. There are various steps a parent may take to avoid the three common responses to a feeling of being attacked: fight, flight or freeze. These include ensuring adequate self-care with a healthy lifestyle; being in a positive frame of mind when discussing the child with the other parent whether that is in person, over the phone or via email; and being focused on a family atmosphere and environment that is good for the child.

Many parents seek to handle their parenting issues by themselves and negotiate with the other parent. That sometimes works. However, in contentious relationships, it can be difficult. For child custody and visitation issues or any challenge related to family law, having legal advice may be critical. When parents are not on the same page, an experienced family law firm may be beneficial to achieving a positive outcome.