I Share Custody With my ex, But They’re a Really Bad Parent! (Pt 1)

Mother and son watching something off screen
It can be very hard to co-parent with someone who you think is doing a terrible job of raising your child.

Sharing custody can be a great experience – it gives both parents a chance for a little “time off”, and allows kids a chance to have a relationship with both parents. And let’s not forget, it helps a child to feel loved by both parents, even if those parents no longer love each other. But that’s only in the best case scenarios.

In situations where there’s unresolved hostility between the parents, or they deal with their child in very different ways, it can put a serious strain on all aspects of those relationships. And that is no more apparent than when one parent thinks the other one is doing a crappy job of it.

Joint custody after divorce is almost always what the courts prefer

Over the years there have been many studies done that support the idea that children do better when they have relationships with both parents. Which is why here in Oakland County family courts, judges will often grant joint custody to a divorcing couple with children whenever it’s possible. Yes, there are certainly situations where that isn’t possible (like in situations where there are allegations of abuse, or one parent’s home isn’t big enough for a child to stay in or schedules just don’t work out.)

But in most cases, if both parents claim to want their children, the courts usually wants both parents equally involved in their children’s lives. To be clear, we’re discussing physical custody rather than discussing legal custody. That’s because legal custody is almost routinely awarded jointly in Oakland County, Macomb County and Livingston County. So, let’s get back to talking about physical custody of the kids.

This can be very hard when your ex isn’t a good parent.

Nothing is more frustrating than trying to be the best parent you can possibly be while your child is with you, only to have them head over to their other parent’s house and have all your hard work undone. Regular bedtimes at your house, and late nights with insufficient sleep before school at their other home. Healthy nutritious meals at your house, and an endless diet of junk food from their other parent.

It can be exhausting to feel like you have to establish a basic schedule every single time your kid comes back to your house. And the fact that your child probably resents your efforts, makes it that much harder! After all, being a parent here in Metro Detroit is tough enough, right?

But you do have choices that will help you cope!

You may not be allowed to deny the other parent their time with your child, but there are options that may be open to you that you hadn’t considered before. Join us next time for a break down of what you can do to manage this very frustrating situation – you won’t be sorry, we promise!

Until then, if you have any questions about your divorce or custody situation here in Oakland County, Macomb County, Livingston County or Metro Detroit, give us a call at (248) 479-6200 to speak with one of our top rated family law attorneys. You can chat with one of our experienced family law attorneys, and get the help you need, regardless of how complicated or frustrating this feels right now. We’ve helped hundreds of clients with their family law issues over the decades, and we can help you too.